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Yesterday, I was the unfortunate victim of an icy sidewalk. I slipped while carrying my HP dv6780se laptop hibernating in its case. I didn't think anything of the laptop until I got home, noted that it had rebooted, and gave me the dreaded "Operating System Not Found" message. I restarted, and this time, the pc hung for about 3 minutes at the HP Invent screen before telling me I was screwed (I assume it was trying and failing to locate any hdd). I restarted it into the bios to try and run the hdd test, but it spit back "No IDE Device" instead. I naturally assumed I physically harmed the drive when I fell.

Before pronouncing the drive dead, I transplanted it into my girlfriend's computer, which is just a generic dv6000 model. It worked (kind of)! The drive was recognized, but failed to boot. My knowledge of system configurations ends here, but I assume that it failed due to a different config for this PC. The upside was that I was able to access the drive (no data loss, phew), chkdsk it, and run all sorts of vista repairs on it to try and fix it. I was never able to get it to boot from that PC. It would get to the windows splash screen, then immediately blue screen and restart. Couldn't boot from safe mode either.

So, then I felt compelled to check the much worse scenario: the IDE controller on my PC was toasted. I swapped in my girlfriend's hard drive, and like magic, it showed up in the bios. Again, it was unable to boot, this time just hanging at a blank screen with the HDD activity light fully lit. But again, I was able to access all of the data on it through a Linux Live disc while also being able to see it in the vista recovery console.

As a recap, HDD1 + PC1 = No IDE Device; HDD1 + PC2 = Found, accessible, not bootable; HDD2 + PC1 = Found, accessible, not bootable; HDD2 + PC2 = Everything works perfectly;

So, I'm stumped. I know my original hard drive is not fried, but I'm not really sure what to check next. I should also note that the drive cannot be accessed at ALL in its original PC. The Live CD and every other tool I've tried to run from the original box shows no sign of it.

Thanks for any help, even if it's a bad scenario.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

HDD1+PC2 (and HDD2+PC1) does not work because of a security check Microsoft implemented; if the OS detects radically different system components, it will fail to boot. However, its possible that something happened to MBR, and this is why its failing.

I can't suggest anything to fix your problem other than buying a new laptop, and porting over data. I know that sux.

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Did you ever try just putting the drive back in your original computer? There's a good chance your fall just knocked it loose from it's connector (possibly breaking part of the mount to do so), and it just needs to be re-seated (and then treated careful because of the broken mount) to work again.

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Yes. That's the first thing I tried, actually. Still doesn't show up. –  HoldenHill Jan 20 '11 at 22:18

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