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Repairing and Upgrading Your PC by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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Troubleshooting Hard Drive Problems

Problems that occur when you have just installed a hard drive are almost always a simple matter of a bad or incorrectly connected cable, incorrect jumper settings, or some similar trivial problem. If a newly installed drive isn't recognized by the system, turn off the system. Check the cables—make sure that they're aligned properly and seated completely—and replace them if necessary. Make sure that the drive has power, and restart the system.

Once a hard drive is configured properly and recognized by the system, it generally continues working properly until it fails. If you're fortunate, you may get some warning of impending drive failure, such as odd noises coming from the drive, dialogs warning of read or write failures, or a SMART drive failure warning when you start the system. Unfortunately, hard drives often fail like light bulbs—perfect one moment and dead the next.

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