I recently had to replace my original hard drive on my N7110. The Bios and the diagnostics program did not detect a HD. I purchased a new Samsung SSD, and installed it. The bios and the diagnostics program does not detect the new SSD eithier.
I hooked both of the drives to a usb dock on another computer and it can see the drives. When re installed on the N7110 and I tried to load a new windows 8.1 onto the old drive it could see the drive but would not write over the Dell recovery partitions. When I ejected the windows disc, Bios wouldn't detect the HD.
When the new SSD is installed in a cd carrier drive dock only the diagnostic program would read it as a cd drive and then continue to test it as a hard drive. And the test would finish as Ok. But when installed back in the laptop Bios does not detect it. Am I missing something here ? Why does all test on the laptop componets pass, but nothing will see a installed HD or SSD ?
I would examine the hard drive installation carefully to see if any connectors are not seating properly. But it can't hurt to update the BIOS. There's a DOS version you can run from a bootable flash drive.