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Last reply by 01-26-2012 Solved
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Dell XPS 9100 not reading second hard drive

Hello

First of all before I say anything I'm not a computer expert what so ever. I've had my Dell XPS 9100 for over 2 years now and I've never had a problem with it. Recently I bought a new hard drive a Western Digital 2TB and I've put it into the second hard drive slot connected the sata cable and the "P4" cable (sorry don't know the official name) and when I started up my computer it's not reading the second hard drive. What should I do? Thanks for the help.

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7 Plutonium
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Why does your "new" disk have an EFI System Partition on it?  Was this previously used in a system as a boot drive?  or is it a specialized drive?  Brand?  Model?  You should be able to delete both partitions, then create a new single partition - formatted, and assigned a drive letter.

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6 Thallium
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Most likely you need to partition and format the drive.  Until that is done, Windows will not assign a drive letter to the drive and it will not show up in My Computer or in Windows Explorer.  This instruction is for Windows XP, but the process is similar in Vista and Windows 7:  How to Use Disk Management to Configure Basic Disks. 

After installing a new hard drive I normally go to System Setup (F2 after starting the computer while the Dell logo is seen on the screen) to make certain that the port is enabled (many Dells now default to Auto) and that the hard drive is reported on the BIOS screen.  To see the hard drive data on the screen it is sometimes necessary to restart the machine and open System Setup a second time so that the newly enabled port will read the data from the drive.  If the model of the drive and its capacity is properly shown you can feel comfortable that the hard drive is working.  Once you've done that you can use the procedure given in the link above.

Dell Forum member since 2005

7 Plutonium
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Make sure to turn on the second port in the BIOS Setup F2.  Once it is turned on, you should at least be able to see it in Windows Disk Management (right-click [My] Computer, Manage, Storage) to format and use it.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
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When I get to the the Disk Management section and right click the hard drive the only selectable options are "delete volume..." and "help" This is what I see

What should I do now? Thanks

6 Thallium
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Are you sure you purchased a new hard disk drive?  What you have on Disk 1, which should be your second disk, is a GPT partitioned hard drive.  This is the type of partitioning you have when you are using a computer with the Extensible Firmware Interface type of BIOS.  As computers begin to use hard drives larger than 2 TB you will see this more and more often.  Vista and Windows 7 can use a GPT partitioned drive as a data drive, something that is handy if you are using one of the new 3 TB drives.  You don't need to use the GPT system on a 2 TB drive, however, but you do need to decide what you wish to do with it.

From what I see on your graphic, the drive has two partitions, one for the EFI boot data, the second having 2 TB for storage.  What operating system are you using?  If Vista or Windows 7 you should be seeing a second drive in your operating system.  If Windows XP 32 bit, you will need to use the option to delete all partitions so that you can partition again using the Master Boot Record type of partitioning scheme.  Windows XP 32 bit, you see, cannot understand GPT partitioned disks.  I think Windows XP 64 bit can use such a drive, but that OS is not easy to come by, and it is my understanding that drivers are not easy to find either.

Dell Forum member since 2005

7 Plutonium
661

Why does your "new" disk have an EFI System Partition on it?  Was this previously used in a system as a boot drive?  or is it a specialized drive?  Brand?  Model?  You should be able to delete both partitions, then create a new single partition - formatted, and assigned a drive letter.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
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Thanks that did the trick I just deleted the volume and then I was able to reassign a letter to the hard drive.

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