HELP! Laptop doesn't see HDDs after BSOD

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:43 am
Location: Germany

HELP! Laptop doesn't see HDDs after BSOD

Post by Anatorax » Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:08 am

Hi, guys. Somehow I cannot post at Tom's Hardware, where I usually post whne I have general problems, so I ask for your help.

I have a Dell Vostro V13 with Kingston SSD (V 100 G2 64 Gb). At work I was doing some programming when my laptop froze and I got a BSOD. After that my attempts to start it result in the following error:

For Realtek RTL8110S/8169S Gigabit Ethernet Controller v1.01 (030820)
PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable

I have messed around with BIOS configs, took the laptop apart, did a shaman dance in front of it, but nothing helped. I have managed to figure out the following:

1) The error is doe to the laptop trying to connect to network, since all other boot options (HDD, USB, CD) are not working (it is when nothing is connected).

2) I swapped HDDs and none of them worked in the laptop, but all worked on the other PC, so it is the error with the laptop.

3) I have never dropped it or anything, so I am pretty sure it is a software error.

4) When I try to reinstall Windows 7, it sees no drives and suggests to install HDD drivers. I don't know what driver that should be. I tried AHCI driver from Dell's page, but Windows 7 ignores it. Most likely this is the solution. But I need you advice regarding the drivers and how to install them.

I have also tried flashing BIOS with newer version (A5 instead of A2), by starting a special .exe file from under DOS or RIP Linux booted from flash drive, but have failed, since I have absolutely no clue about either of them and they were not as intuitive as I expected.

I have to work on Monday again, therefore really hope you could help me out with my laptop. Sending it to Dell's support is not really an option, since I bought it the other country.

Posts: 1753
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Location: Switzerland

Re: HELP! Laptop doesn't see HDDs after BSOD

Post by HFat » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:14 am

Software? You tried to reinstall and failed...
BIOS settings maybe. You could try to reset all BIOS settings. Maybe that would fix your problem. But don't count on it.
There's something which isn't clear in your post though: you say that you tried other drives and they don't work but how do you know? If you only tried to boot from these drives, the boot failures you got could come from a wrong BIOS setting or some sort of sillyness on the OS's part. But if you made sure the drives were seated properly and they weren't even recognized, well, electronics fail you know.
There's perhaps a workaround though: If your CD drive can be replaced by a hard drive (some laptops have that feature), that should work since your CD drive is apparently working.

Dell support is indeed where you should go. Get in touch with the support in the country where the laptop is supported if it doesn't have international support.

There are two lessons here:
-have spares of whatever you need to get work done (including laptops) if there are going to be times when you need to get work done without delays
-unless you want to support yourself, get a laptop with international support if you're going to use the laptop in another country or buy a grey import

Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:43 am
Location: Germany

Re: HELP! Laptop doesn't see HDDs after BSOD

Post by Anatorax » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:42 am

Hi, thanks for the reply. To clarify a couple things:

1) I have messed around in BIOS, made a reset, it didn't help. I tried to flash it an update it, but failed, because could find proper instructions yet;
2) I know that other drives are not recognized, because I tried to install Windows 7 on them from a USB and it didn't see any drives as well. Instead it suggested to install some a driver (did not which exactly, though);
3) Thanks for the workaround, but I don't have a DVD drive there at all. I can connect the drive to it externally though, but it would suck to carry that thing around.

Well, gotta try Dell's service in Germany, hope they help.

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