OT: Laptop hard drive - I'm stumped

I get a fair number of laptops to repair. A lot just need a reformat, but keyboards and hard drives often need to be replaced. It seems that laptop
keyboards and HDs are frail. I got a Dell D600 that wouldn't boot after it was dropped. I had no problem accessing the data when I hooked the drive up to a desktop with an adapter. I saved all the customer's wife's pictures and documents, the hero that I am! The drive works fine on the desktop. The laptop won't even acknowledge the drive exists in it's BIOS and it says no drive in POST. I ran Spinrite and formatted the drive using the desktop and even installed XP on it with no problem. The laptop still won't recognize the drive. Three other laptops won't recognize the drive in the BIOS or POST. The drive still works perfect on the desktop. I wouldn't care and just get a new drive but I just replaced this one about a year ago, I'm sure it's still under warrantee. I'm just perplexed why the laptops won't see it.
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Buerste wrote:

I repair laptops too, and fnd that a drop or fall will damage some of the tracking or connector solder joints so some component will not be seen. If the hard rive is ok in a desktop then its ok. Tell the customer that the laptop is not economical to repair. Or ask them how much money do they want to throw at it to fix it? With the current economic climate a replacement second hand of the same odel would be cheaper.
Like autos, if you crash it badly its awrite off or only fit for breaking for spares. If folk want a laptop to not break when they drop it then they should get a Panasonic toughbook. NOT a Dell. Its a hardware fault.
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The laptop works fine with a different drive.
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Then sell the man a new drive and put the old drive in an external case for him to use for a backup - so the NEXT time he drops it you don't need to salvage his files.
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No doubt the drive is damaged, it's just a funky mystery how it failed partially.
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Aha! Look carefully at the drive ID (and the ID setting jumpers). Notebooks will typically only support master (drive #0) on the boot drive connector, and some kinds of drives can be software set or can fail to connect to the cable-select wiring.
If you can put a small bit of wire-wrap wire on the drive terminals, you can bypass the cable-select jumper.
Any sensible non-laptop IDE interface will recognize either ID 0 or ID 1 (master or slave) drives.
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Buerste wrote:

Is there an adaptor between the HD and the bus on the laptop that is not in the circuit when you have it in the desktop? If so, then this could be damaged.
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That made sense to me too so I tried a few different ones and no difference. The laptop works fine with a different drive with any adapter. And, any laptop won't see this drive with any adapter.
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The problem may lie in either the moherboard or Dell's BIOS, especially if it's a larger drive than the original.
Did you format it as FAT or NTFS?
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NTFS. Other laptops (same model - d600) won't see the drive and this laptop works fine with other drives.
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Buerste wrote:

Most likely guess is that the circuit board in the laptop is cracked. Broken traces open up and no connect-o.
Navy electronics training was "interesting". Like, for instance, how to repair a bullet hole in a circuit board...
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This laptop works fine with other drives and other laptops won't see this drive.
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Buerste wrote:

Probably damaged part of the controller on the drive itself.
I would just install a new drive and reload if it was me. Stick the funky one in an enclosure and use it for transfer storage.
--
Steve W.

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Buerste wrote:

What happened when you used the 'restore' CD in the D600?
--Winston
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It won't see the drive in BIOS so it won't get past POST.
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Buerste wrote:

What happens when you boot from the 'restore' CD?
--Winston
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It still won't see the drive, like no drive connected. The drive is obviously toast, it's just a pursuit of a mystery.
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Buerste wrote:

Couple questions.
1) Is that what actually happened when you booted from the 'restore' CD?
2) What is a 'Master Boot Record'?
--Winston
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the MBR is the very first 512 bytes of the hard disk. It has code to make the computer locate and boot the operating system.
If you botch this up, the hard disk may still have an installed OS, but it won't be able to load and run it.
The fix to rewrite the MBR is to boot from a dos or windows 98 boot floppy with the fdsk program installed and run
fdisk /mbr
as much as people like to rip on microsoft, they actually have decent enough, something linux clowns still can't figure out.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/69013
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Cydrome Leader wrote:

Oh. I see. Thank you.
--Winston
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