Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

Troubleshooting a computer

More than 70% of all computer problems are related to cabling and connections. Ensure all cables are connected and connected firmly. IDE and floppy ribbon cables and power cables can often go loose. Ensure microprocessor, memory modules, and adapters such as video card are inserted correctly and didn't "pop-up" due to vibration.


Posted by on

Computers & Internet Logo

Related Topics:

Related Questions:

1 Answer

I have a working hard drive (Barracuda 7200.7) from a 2007 HP Pavilion a430n that contains files that I would like to retrieve.


Your description has me confused. I'm not clear on which power and data cables you are using. You described pulling one cable from first hard drive and connecting it to your second drive. Extra power connections should have been in a loose wire bundle somewhere in the computer. (Often they are tucked into an unused drive bay.)

The SR1720NX has 2 SATA controllers and two IDE controllers. Thus it can have 2 SATA and 4 IDE devices. The computer sometimes shipped with a SATA hard drive or an IDE hard drive. In all cases, the hard drives must be connected to the data cable (and to the motherboard) and then the power connection from the power supply has to be connected. So there should be 2 cables plugged into each drive. The optical drive is usually an IDE drive for this model, also a master drive.

The IDE power connection is a large 4-pin Molex connector; the SATA power cables are a smaller 5 pin connector. There is also a small 4 pin connector that powers a floppy drive, if present. IDE data cables are a wide 40-pin ribbon cable (sometimes an 80-pin cable for master/slave). The SATA data cable is a 15 pin cable.

First make sure that the jumper on the drive from the A430n is across the two pins in the second position (counting from the side away from the power connection). This is the cable select option. Next make sure that the IDE cable is firmly connected to both drives and the motherboard. (I've sometimes loosened the data cable while connecting the drives.) Finally check that the appropriate power cables are firmly connected to all the drives. Then power up the computer. (With the second drive on the Slave connection, if the device on the Master connection isn't powered up/recognized, then weird things may occur.)

BTW: you should be alert to the power needs for the computer. The original power supply could be overloaded with the extra drive. You might be better off using an external drive enclosure (USB) or a USB/SATA/IDE dongle that leaves the drive out in the open. Connect these with extreme care following the directions for when to connect the power supply. Some enclosures won't work without reformatting the drive - you do not want one of those.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells

Nov 24, 2011 | Seagate Computers & Internet

1 Answer

How do I add more memory to my dell dimension 3000 computer thatn has a 34 GB Harddrive?


Go buy an IDE hard drive of whichever size you want, and connect it to the IDE cable that your current drive is connected to inside the computer. If you don't want to reinstall windows, you'll have to either purchase a separate IDE cable and connect the new drive to another IDE port on your motherboard (IDE cables are the thin, flattned cables that are fairly wide) If your current IDE cable has a freed up connection, ensure that your drives are jumpered properly with the master/slave options that should be printed on the drive itself, with a diagram. Your main drive (34GB) should be the master, the new one set to slave - this will keep the computer booting off of your current hard drive. It may seem intimidating, but installing a new hard drive is easy once you open up the computer and start comparing parts, looking for your hard drive ports and power supply cables. Just make sure the IDE cable and the power supply cable are firmly attached to the new hard drive when you install it.(power supply cable usually has a white tip, with four loosely bound wires leading to it) I hope this helps!

Nov 18, 2010 | Dell Dimension 3000 PC Desktop

1 Answer

acer 5536 saying media cable unplugged and no operating system,will not boot up.


Check that your ide cable connecting the drive to the motherboard is connected at both ends.

1. Open computer case.
2. Ground yourself by touching computer chassis before touching any component, especially the drive and the motherboard.
3. Check that the hard drive is attached to the ide cable firmly.
4. Check that the ide cable is attached to the motherboard

Dec 18, 2009 | Acer Aspire 3680 Laptop

Not finding what you are looking for?

171 people viewed this tip

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Computers & Internet Experts

Doctor PC
Doctor PC

Level 3 Expert

7733 Answers

kakima

Level 3 Expert

102366 Answers

David Payne
David Payne

Level 3 Expert

14161 Answers

Are you a Computer and Internet Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Loading...