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Hard Drive and Computer BIOS

Basic input/output system (BIOS) is a program built into personal computers that starts the operating system when you turn on your computer. It is also referred to as system firmware. BIOS is part of the hardware of your computer and is separate from Windows.

The following detail is provided as general information the detail may be inaccurate but the principals remain.

You can view general information about your computer's BIOS in System Information.

Open System Information by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking System Tools, and then clicking System Information.

Click System Summary in the left pane, and then look under BIOS Version/Date in the right pane to view the BIOS manufacturer, version number, and the date the BIOS was released. For specific information about the BIOS used by your computer, check the information that came with your computer or go to the computer manufacturer's website.>

HDD Not Recognized:

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Access to BIOS.

Procedures vary depending on the BIOS manufacturer. Usually, you must press a key (such as F2, F12, DEL, ESC) or a key combination immediately after you turn on your computer but before Windows starts. For more information, check the information that came with your computer or go to the computer manufacturer's website. To use BitLocker Drive Encryption with Trusted Platform Module (TPM) security hardware to protect your operating system drive, your computer must have a compatible BIOS. If BitLocker and the TPM Management snap-in do not appear to work with your TPM security hardware and BIOS, contact your hardware manufacturer for specific configuration and troubleshooting information.

Installing A New Hard Drive.

If you've installed a new hard disk correctly, your computer should recognize it. When you turn on your computer, the basic input/output system (BIOS) will automatically detect any new correctly installed new hard disk.

If you plan to use the new hard disk as the primary partition that contains Windows, then you'll have to install Windows on the disk before you can use your computer. You'll need a Windows install disk to do this.

If you plan to use the new hard disk as a secondary disk (one that does not contain Windows), you should be able to see the new hard disk drive the next time you start your computer and log on to Windows.

After Windows starts, click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click Computer, and then look for your new drive. The letter assigned to the drive will depend on your computer’s config. If you don't see the new hard disk drive, try looking for it in Computer Management.

Install and Troubleshoot Serial ATA (SATA)

Serial ATA interface disk drives are designed for easy installation. It is not necessary to set any jumpers, terminators, or other settings on this drive for proper operation. The jumper block adjacent to the SATA interface connector on SATA drives is for factory use only.

With a Serial ATA interface, each disk drive has its own cable that connects directly to a Serial ATA host adapter or a Serial ATA port on your motherboard. Unlike Parallel ATA, there is no master-slave relationship between drives that use a Serial ATA interface. You can use a Serial ATA drive in the same system with Parallel ATA drives as long as both interfaces are supported on the motherboard or with a host adapter. This makes it easy to add Serial ATA compatibility to your existing system without removing existing Parallel ATA disk drives.

Installing an Operating System What you need:

• A Serial ATA interface cable.

• A Serial ATA-compatible power cable or adapter.

• A version of Windows with FAT32 or NTFS file system.

• A system with a motherboard that has a Serial ATA connector on it, or a Serial ATA host adapter and available PCI slot in which to install the adapter.

Refer to your computer system documentation to locate the Serial ATA on the motherboard and to locate the Serial ATA connector.

Handling Precautions.

• Disk drives are fragile. Do not drop or jar the drive. Handle the drive only by the edges or frame. Keep the drive in the protective anti-static container until you are ready to install it to minimize handling damage.

• Drive electronics are extremely sensitive to static electricity. While installing the drive, wear a wrist strap and cable connected to ground.

• Turn off the power to the host system during installation.

• Do not disassemble the drive. Doing so voids the warranty.

• Do not apply pressure or attach labels to the circuit board or to the top of the drive.

Attaching Cables and Mounting the Drive.

• Attach one end of the drive interface cable to the Serial ATA interface connector on your computer's motherboard see the User Guide or Hardware Maintenance manual for connector locations.

Note: Serial ATA connectors are keyed to ensure correct orientation.

1.Attach the interface and power cables to the drive.

2.Secure the drive In Accordance with the Users Guide or Hardware Maintenance Manual.

3. Close your computer case and restart your computer. Your computer may automatically detect your new drive. If your computer does not automatically detect your new drive, follow the steps below.

4.Restart your computer. While the computer restarts, run the system BIOS setup utility. This is usually done by pressing the F1 key during the startup process.

5.Within the BIOS setup utility, check the system summary to see if the SATA HDD is detected.

6.Using the F10 key Save settings and exit the setup program. When your computer restarts, it should recognize your new drive.


BitLocker can be used to protect the operating system drive of computers without compatible TPM security hardware. In this case, the user must insert a USB flash drive containing a BitLocker startup key into the computer before starting the computer. To use BitLocker without a TPM, your computer system BIOS must support using USB flash drives during the early startup process.

By default, when you start the BitLocker setup wizard on an operating system drive from Control Panel or Windows Explorer, it checks for a compatible TPM before enabling BitLocker. To use BitLocker on computers without a compatible TPM, you must modify the Require additional authentication at startup Group Policy setting and select the Allow BitLocker without a compatible TPM check box. This allows BitLocker to use key information stored on a USB drive to encrypt the contents of the drive. When the drive is encrypted by using this method, you must insert the USB key every time the computer is started to authenticate that you are permitted to access the contents of the drive.
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