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486 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 29


Topic # 60662 29-Apr-2010 21:28
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Following on from a somewhat successful attempt to install a 2.5" SATA HDD into a thin client I have a number of what I think are peculiar issues I was hoping to get some opinions on.

Initial inspiration:http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=50&TopicId=41104

Used similar hardware as Pico in above thread:

"1 x thin client HP T5710  - I'm using a T5720
1 x 500GB 2.5" SATA HDD - using Brand new WD
1 x SATA to PATA adapter
1 x 44pin to 40 pin IDE cable"

Ok so initially I tried to install Windows Home Server (WHS) but it wouldn't initially install - error when starting to copy files to HDD. Solved by first formatting HDD to NTFS in external dock then trying again.

My main issues arises when I switch off the unit and close up the case (which up to this point has been open, disassembled the entire time) the OS won't boot despite just having rebooted after install completion.

Later on I discover if the case is open everything works, if case is closed = NTLDR.exe error. Simple and effective remedy is to open case and reboot.

At this stage I need to do some more testing, so I wipe the HD and proceed to install XP PRO. Exactly the same thing happens. XP PRO install begins, then when it tries to format partition it can't. Turn off, open case and repeat. Install goes ahead full steam.

It appears that a hardware issue is caused by the closing of the case. IDE ribbons contacting somewhere they shouldn't? Adaptor being pushed down by ribbons severing connection?

Have a series of photos that attempt to show how things look internally as case is closed up.

1:[url=http://j.imagehost.org/view/0446/1_17][img]http://j.imagehost.org/t/0446/1_17.jpg[/img][/url]

2:>[url=http://j.imagehost.org/view/0446/1_17][img]http://j.imagehost.org/t/0446/1_17.jpg[/img][/url]

3:>http://whatimg.com/images/67605197586758500179.jpg

What could be going wrong?


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486 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 29


  Reply # 324992 29-Apr-2010 21:47
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Sorry problems with image links, try again below, can't seem to edit my original post either.

Picture 1:

Picture 2:

Picture 3:

Cheers

54 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 325206 30-Apr-2010 11:52
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Hi Garry,

I've no problems with you adding any additional information from our PM discussion - especially if it helps you solve your issue.

The things that come to mind that may be causing your issues are:

1. getting some sort of short occuring when everything is brought together. You've probably looked at this issue thoroughly however.

2. there may be some kind of trip switch that is triggered when the case is opened/closed. Normally this would shut off the power or something if the case is opened. However if the BIOS loads then its probably not likely to be that.

3. that you are getting interference in your IDE cables when everything is squashed up. So what you'd get is the cable wouldn't be able to carry the data to/from the HDD and MB. You might be able to check this by just bringing the IDE cable together but without the case. If you end up with an error (or being unable to boot) then this might be what is happening.

When the case is closed, can you hear the HDD spinning (ie is it getting power)?

When the case is open, try connecting a wire between two bare metal parts of the cases to see if its a problem when the case is properly earthed.

54 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 325208 30-Apr-2010 11:55
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I guess one thing to be happy about is that you obviously have all the right parts and have wired everything around the right way or you wouldn't be able to get this far!



486 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 29


  Reply # 327136 5-May-2010 22:05
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Ok so I've done a bit more testing over the weekend.

Did lots of case open vs case closed tests, I have ended up taping the metal chassis of the case at the points where the cases make contact, this had zero effect.

It's something to do with the cables/adapter, pulling on the adaptor a certain way would result in the boot up stalling.

Today I received new cables: http://www.dove.co.nz/jump/3934
I bought these ones as mine were dirt cheap and the build quality on the ones you used seem much better quality.

Unfortunately the same result.

To clarify things, whatever is happening doesn't really render the HDD inoperable or inaccessible.

To explain, during the install process the HDD is detected and the OS begins formatting the partition, it is only when it attempts to copy files across to the HDD does it detect errors.

On the other hand, when an OS is installed (by leaving the casing open) when I close and reboot, the OS cites a NTLDR.EXE error, a error that could caused by any number of hardware issues.

The only other thing is to try a new SATA-IDE adaptor.  As I previously said, my combination of adaptors resulted in the molex power adaptors being both male, therefore no power connection. I had to make a female to female molex adaptor to bridge the power connections.
I'll buy one of these and see if it makes any difference:
http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Components/Hard-drives/SATA/auction-286165761.htm

I think at this stage I'm clutching at straws as to what is going wrong. As to your questions:

1> I have no idea if indeed there is any type of short occuring, I guess though, because the OS does boot up and formats the HDD then this should suggest there aren't any such issues.

2> Unsure about a trip switch, but have heard about such things, like you say if BIOS loads then unlikely to be an issue.

3> I guess this is probably the most likely cause, however on googling "IDE cable folding", it appears that general IDE cables can withstand some serious folding and the like, not entirely sure about this though.

The only other thing that springs to mind, and that I haven't tested is jumper settings on the SATA HDD. @Pico, I have no jumper, but wonder if you had any jumper on your HDD?

Lastly, I did try connecting a wire to the two sides of the chassis, but this didn't have any effect.

pico: Hi Garry,

I've no problems with you adding any additional information from our PM discussion - especially if it helps you solve your issue.

The things that come to mind that may be causing your issues are:

1. getting some sort of short occuring when everything is brought together. You've probably looked at this issue thoroughly however.

2. there may be some kind of trip switch that is triggered when the case is opened/closed. Normally this would shut off the power or something if the case is opened. However if the BIOS loads then its probably not likely to be that.

3. that you are getting interference in your IDE cables when everything is squashed up. So what you'd get is the cable wouldn't be able to carry the data to/from the HDD and MB. You might be able to check this by just bringing the IDE cable together but without the case. If you end up with an error (or being unable to boot) then this might be what is happening.

When the case is closed, can you hear the HDD spinning (ie is it getting power)?

When the case is open, try connecting a wire between two bare metal parts of the cases to see if its a problem when the case is properly earthed.

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