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SymptomFlowchart or Book SectionSee Page
I can't prepare the hard disk for use with any version of Windows.Can't Prepare ATA/IDE Hard Drive After Installation680
I can't copy files to an ATA/IDE hard drive.Can't Change Contents of ATA/IDE Hard Drive682
I can't partition an ATA/IDE drive.Can't Change Contents of ATA/IDE Hard Drive682
I can't delete or change files on an ATA/IDE drive.Can't Change Contents of ATA/IDE Hard Drive680
I can't format a floppy disk.Can't Change Contents of Floppy Disk695
I can't erase files from a floppy disk.Can't Change Contents of Floppy Disk695
I can't read a disk in the floppy drive.Floppy Drive Problems694
I can't save files to a floppy disk.Can't Change Contents of Floppy Disk695
I can't boot from the ATA/IDE hard disk.Hard Drive Doesn't Boot681
I can't access a newly installed ATA/IDE hard drive.ATA/IDE Disk Drive Installation Troubleshooting679
I can't use any drive connected to the ATA/IDE interface in my computer.ATA/IDE Disk Drive and Device Troubleshooting679
I can't read optical media.General Optical Drive Problems683
I can't erase, format, or save files to a removable-media disk (LS-120/240 SuperDisk, Zip Disk, Jaz, Orb, or others).Removable Media Drive Problems693
I'm having problems writing to CD-R or CD-RW media.Troubleshooting CD-R and CD-RW Drives and Media686
I can't read recordable (CD-R) media in the target drive.Can't Read Recordable (CD-R) Media690
I'm getting a buffer-underrun error when I try to create a recordable CD (CD-R).Buffer Underrun Problems685
I can't copy (drag and drop) files to a CD-R or CD-RW disc.Can't Copy or Drag and Drop Files to CD-R or CD-RW Media689
I can't read CD-RW media in the target computer.Rewriteable (CD-RW) Media Problems688
I can't delete files from a CD-RW disc.Can't Delete Files from a CD-RW Disc691
I can't read a particular recordable or rewriteable DVD disc with my DVD drive.DVD Media Compatibility684
I installed Y-splitters to power additional drives, and now I'm having problems.Checking the Hard Disk Connection to the Power Supply172
I just installed a new ATA/IDE drive, and the screen is blank when I turn on the computer.Checking the Drive and Host Adapter Connection to the Data Cable174
I've lost the documentation for my drive and need information about jumpers and other settings.

Sidebar: Got Questions? Ask the Drive Vendor.

I think my hard disk has failed.Determining Actual Drive Failure Has Occurred193
My IEEE-1394a or USB drive is detected when I plug it into the rear of the computer, but not when I plug it into a port on the front of the computer.

Sidebar: Connecting Front-Mounted Header Cables Is Trial by Error

My PC Card slots work, but a new PC Card drive I just plugged in isn't Drive recognized.Troubleshooting a PC Card/CardBus192
Windows XP recognizes my new hard disk, but Windows 98 can't read it.

Sidebar: Choosing the Right File System in Windows XP/2000

I keep running Disk Management but it can't partition the disk.Troubleshooting Disk Partitioning Problems205
My new CD-mastering program doesn't recognize my writeable drive.Troubleshooting CD-Mastering Drive Support Problems223
I'm not sure which connectors to use for master and slave ATA/IDE drives.Table 3.2179
I'm not sure how to jumper my ATA/IDE drives.Table 3.2179
I keep having buffer underruns with my rewritable CD or DVD drive.Troubleshooting Buffer Underruns234
I want to reuse CD-RW media written with Windows XP's CD Writing Wizard.Erasing CD-RW Media Created with Windows XP's CD-Writing Wizard231
I want to upgrade the hard disk in my portable computer to a larger, faster drive.Upgrading a Portable Hard Disk210
How can I help an existing DVD drive to read DL media?Troubleshooting Incorrect Media and Media Usage Problems219

Your “personal confuser's” hard disk is one of the most important parts of your PC. If the hard disk built into your system stops working, you can't load your operating system, you can't surf the Web, you can't play a game…well, you get the idea.

You might be using an external hard disk for additional storage or backup. If it stops working, whatever you stored on it isn't accessible. If that happens to be your collection of MP3 or WMA CD rips, it's going to be very quiet at your home or office until you get that hard disk back on line again and working.

Your CPU might be the fastest on your block and your memory might be smokin' fast, but if your hard disk decides not to wake up in the morning, your computer's nothing but a great big paperweight. Frankly, when I need a paperweight, a nicely polished rock works a lot better—and it's easier to lift besides!

Let's be honest—hard disk failures don't happen nearly as often as they did when the IBM PC was a newbie, but they still happen. It's not much consolation to find out that you're the only one in your circle of PC users with a sick hard disk. In this chapter, we'll help you find the reasons for hard disk problems, find the solutions, and show you how to get advance notice of problems before a sick hard disk dies and takes your data away.

If you're reading this book after your old hard disk has been packed off to the manufacturer for replacement, we can still help. You've got to get the new one installed, so let us help you with that process, too.

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