Why won’t my laptop read its hard drive?

Chris Rod November 11, 2014

I have an Acer Aspire 7551G notebook and it went out on me some time ago.

When I go into the BIOS it reads everything but the Hard Disk Drive. I have tried a spare HDD I had laying around and formatted it to prepare for fresh installation, but when it asks: “Where do I want to install Windows” there is no HDD to install it to.

I have tried searching for this type of problem by Googling it but came up short.

What should I do….What can I do?

  1. Doc
    November 11, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    @ha14: The poster mentioned that the hard disk is not showing up in the BIOS.

    Which version of Windows are you trying to install? The situation you are reporting looks very much like trying to install an older version of Windows XP on a system with a SATA hard disk, and Windows XP did not ship with SATA drivers, so it does not recognize your SATA hard disk.

    I strongly recommend getting a copy of Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows Vista (in that order); all of these will recognize a SATA hard disk and install properly, and will protect you much better than Windows XP, which is no longer receiving security updates, and will likely soon be unsupported by antivirus vendors as well.

    • ha14
      November 12, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      quite right this is why
      Check your BIOS settings:
      -SATA configuration -> Enhanced
      – Configure SATA -> AHCI

    • Doc
      November 13, 2014 at 2:29 am

      @ha14: Completely irrelevant to the poster's problem. Windows will have better SATA performance if AHCI is turned on (XP and earlier will likely not work with AHCI on), but Windows will see the drive and install successfully whether AHCI is turned on or not.

  2. ha14
    November 11, 2014 at 9:51 am

    can you install linux on it?

    1) open cmd(command prompt) through windows installation cd
    2) type diskpart
    3) then type select disk where the is the drive
    4) type clean
    5) If the status of the selected disk shows as Offline, type: online disk

    1) In the CMD window, type in Each Command and Press Key as follows:
    -list disk
    -select disk 0
    -clean all (Will Take a While)
    -create partition primary align=1024
    -format fs=ntfs (Will Take a While)
    2) Click Out On Top X, TERMINATE Installation Process and Reboot.
    3) Click “Install Now.”
    7) choose “Custom (advanced).”

    Check your BIOS settings:
    -SATA configuration -> Enhanced
    - Configure SATA -> AHCI