How can I get my computer to work properly?
June 22, 2006 4:04 AM   Subscribe

How do I get Windows to see a drive, and fix some other wierd things?

Recently I purchased a nice, fat 200 gig Maxtor IDE internal. I decided to use this drive as my primary OS drive, and got a Win XP Pro SP2 OEM disk (my original XP cd broke a while ago; note I also made sure all the updates were done after install). Let's look at my original setup...

C: drive, WD 80 gig, master
E: drive, WD 60 gig, slave
H: drive, external 80 gig HDD USB

Since I still wanted access to my original C drive, I slaved it to the Maxtor and then installed Win XP. The original E drive I put on the side for now. Windows, upon install, now had my system like this:

F: drive, Maxtor, master
C: drive, WD 80, slave
G: drive, external 80 gig HDD USB

Simple enough; I heard that Windows will arbitrarily assign drive letters so it's not a big deal to me as it's not really hard updating my shares so that my iBook can access files off the PC.

I wanted to now add the original E drive to my system, and so purchased an Ultra ATA IDE Controller PCI card, installed the drivers, slaved E, rebooted. Windows Explorer displayed the E drive in the Hard Disk Drives area, but when I attempted to access it an error message (can't access drive) was returned. A friend suggested that I try it in my IDE2 slot rather than the PCI slot to see if I could access the drive then. No problem being that I've been using an external DVD burner for my drive. And so I did so.

Now Windows isn't seeing the drive at all, but when I go to the Device Manager, it sees a drive there (no conflicts).

So I tried the following. I decided to return to the original set up (C, E...) and grab some files needed. Guess what? Same thing as above, where E is not seen in Windows Explorer, but there it is on the Device Manager.

Same results when I slaved the drive to the Maxtor drive, sans original C drive.

Did I kill my drive? Is there a way for me to access the files, either via IDE2, slaving it directly to the Maxtor, via the PCI controller card? Did I, in my lack of experience with more than otwo internal HDDs, overlook something?

Second problem/question.

After doing the install and updating the Win XP Pro SP2, I noticed that the SM Bus Controller was showing up with the dreaded yellow ! in the device manager. Never seen this before (the original C was fine in this regard), and am not really working the GoogleFu well on this matter. The mobo is an ABIT AN7 and I've an AMD Athlon XP 3000+ CPU. How can I resolve this problem; any other hardware information required to accurately work with me here?
posted by missed to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I would try using knoppix to see if you can read the hdd. If so, chancs are there is something wrong with your configuration in windows, if not the drive is broken, or knoppix doesn't support your IDE controller.
posted by scodger at 4:59 AM on June 22, 2006

I notice that the E drive was slaved in the original configuration. Did you remember to master it if it is the only device connected to the other IDE bus?

If the SM Bus Controller is on-board, have you visited the ABIT support site to download drivers for your motherboard after reinstalling Windows XP?

You might simply be missing a driver for the IDE bus on your logic board.
posted by Mr. Six at 5:47 AM on June 22, 2006

Best of luck with this; windows can be really sloppy about multiple drives; I'd suggest knoppix, additionally, the UBCD "Ultimate Boot CD" has some helpful tools on it. It really shouldn't matter if you have an ide drive terminated as a slave drive despite lacking a master. When you add a drive, windows writes a signature that uniquely identifies it. I've had problems with moving internal drives to external, as the interface is different and m$oft gets all "confused." In this case, systematic trial and error should get you back on pace. After further reading, are you familiar with the disk manager? Right click on my computer and click manage; now click on disk management; This will give you and idea of how windows "sees" your drive. NTFS / new install might point to permission issues, there are lots of things at play here.
posted by AllesKlar at 8:06 AM on June 22, 2006

I'm not sure if this is the same problem, but we have problems at work when people first plug their iPods in as the E drive is reserved on most machines. To find and fix this (I should mark this as a favorite so I can finally remember), right-click on My Computer, choose Manage and go to Disk Management under storage. Even though the iPod would be invisible to Windows Explorer, it's visible here and a drive letter can be (re)assigned.

It sounds like you've tried Device Manager, but this is different. It differs from Device Manager in that you can accomplish things in it and it's not just there to torture users who assume no one would provide an OS panel that didn't do anything.
posted by yerfatma at 1:05 PM on June 22, 2006

After doing the install and updating the Win XP Pro SP2, I noticed that the SM Bus Controller was showing up with the dreaded yellow ! in the device manager.

I think this is the first problem I'd fix, even though it's the second you highlight. You could have a problem with your IDE controller drivers (ie. the ! mark) that is making bigger problems with your many drives. Go to the MB manufacturers website and download the drivers for your MB to fix it.

Once you've got rid of the yellow ! mark, then try out your IDE card.

And, for goodnesses sake, try and consolidate some of those drives (maybe a couple of external USB enclosures?)! :)
posted by ranglin at 5:22 PM on June 22, 2006

I forgot to mention that I did actually go to the ABIT site and download everything there for my mobo to no avail.

Yesterday I was inspired to see if I could get the SMB driver via the C drive, and so pointed the hw manager to c:\windows\system32\drivers to no avail. then i set the C to master to see if I could maybe find the path, and there was no SMB Controller listed in the device manager! I'm confused.

I also checked to see if BIOS saw the E drive, and it did. Windows just doesn't want to see it, even in the Manage window that yerfatma suggested I check out (btw, thanks for that... never knew I could do that!)

The only thing I've yet to try is the Knoppix suggestion. I'm just boggled as to how to resolve these issues.
posted by missed at 1:53 AM on June 23, 2006

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