PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM/BIOS doesn't recognize slave drive


Hi and thanks for your time!!
I have a new Lenovo H430. When I first bought it last month I had my tech take out the HDD with Window 8 and put in two other HDD: one with Win7 and the other my old HDD with my data on it. The BIOS recognized both drives.
I won't go into the whole gory story, but now I have put the Windows 8 drive back and loaded all of my data.
I want to install a slave drive but the BIOS will not 'fully' recognize the slave drive. The first tab of the BIOS gives a system summary which shows a slave drive, however the tab dealing with the starup boot order doesn't see the drive.
I can boot through to Windows 8, however I can't see the drive in Windows Explorer (now file explorer), Disk Management or Device Manager. Nor can Seagate's Disk Wizard 'add a disk' utility see the drive.
I've tried three different drives: one SATA with data only 325GB; one SATA with Windows 7 2TB; and one SATA Windows XP 1TB. All produce the same results.
I switched the SATA cable to see if that was a problem. Nope...
I don't even know which way to turn next.There are four ports on the motherboard: three colored and one black. The colored have the boot HDD, the floppy drive, and my intended slave drive. Do you know what the black one is for? Perhaps my slave should be plugged into that one?
I am out of things to try. :-(   I know the motherboard will recognize two HDD because we had that setup first. ...of course perhaps it has a problem now because of something I've done.
The BIOS doesn't care what the OS is does it? ...so it shouldn't be a Windows 8 problem.
Well, any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Jim, this question was pulled from the Question Pool, so apologies about the late response (and if it's been covered by another expert already).

I'm somewhat unsure what you mean about the "floppy drive" here - diskette drives do not connect via SATA, they use their own interface:

And connect to power via Berg connectors:

So I'm unsure what kind of interface we're specifically dealing with there.

Regarding the hard-drives and this computer:

- You cannot swap hard-drives with Windows installations on them, it both violates the Windows EULA, and Windows itself is generally incompatible with the operation (it often results in system instability, poor performance, and other myriad issues). Per Microsoft's licencing requirements and installation directions, the best route to putting your chosen version of Windows on a machine is a clean reformat and install for the partition you'd like to have Windows loaded onto (and once Windows is installed on a drive, that does not mean the drive is forever "lost" to Windows - you can simply reformat the partition Windows is installed on, using either the Windows installer utility (for whichever version of Windows you'd like), or various disk utilities).

- However, you are correct in that the BIOS generally does not "care" - the only issue you would likely run into would be that you're putting in disks that contain data that is formatted in a way that your computer cannot read (e.g. if you removed hard-disks out of an Apple or Sun computer, which do not run Windows; with a low level formatting utility (like the Seagate tools) you could wipe such a disk, but Windows itself will not use those disks, and the operating systems associated with those makers likely will not support the Lenovo hardware).

- When connecting the SATA disks, are you ensuring they are connecting to both an appropriate SATA port on the computer (and it is enabled, or more accurately, that the controller associated with it is enabled), and that you are also connecting appropriate power for the disks? (Either a 4-pin Molex or a SATA power connector (not both)). Do you hear (or feel) the disks physically spin up? (You will feel/hear the vibration of the motors starting when the machine starts; or at least should).

What it sounds like is happening is the disks themselves are not at all being recognized by the computer itself, which is likely due to them not receiving power, or due to the controller associated with those disks being disabled in the BIOS (many motherboards have multiple SATA controllers, and secondary/tertiary controllers are often disabled if the default configuration does not require them to be used, as they will add a few seconds to the machine's boot time (which is annoying if they aren't providing any resources to the system)). It may also be possible that the disks you're attempting to add are damaged in some way, for example by ESD. If you power the machine off and disconnect the drive included from Lenovo (which I'm gathering works), and connect one of the additional drives you'd like to add (via the same connections the factory disk was hooked up to), does the machine recognize that drive in the BIOS?

Finally, if you could provide an image of the motherboard and connectors in question, so I can better understand what's hooked up, that would be very helpful.

As far as the drives and hooking them up to the machine:

- The drives that have Windows already installed on them will be mountable as additional volumes, but the Windows installations will take up a relatively large amount of space (which serves no function, as you cannot boot those partitions). You can delete those directories/files as needed (and I would suggest that you do so).

- The files contained on disks/partitions created by Windows Vista and Windows 7 (and in some cases by Windows XP) may generate UAC errors when you attempt to read them, which requires you to "take ownership" of the files. See here for more about that: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/add-take-ownership-to-explorer-righ

(Quite honestly I'd use the HowToGeek registry hack method - it will save you a lot of time).

If you have further questions, feel free to ask.


PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM

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