HDD trouble

I hope someone has more clue than I on this one.
This PC has a mix of SATA & PATA HDDs: 2G for data Something with a 64G partition for OS, linux mint And an old 250G used now & then for a partial backup - other backup HDDs ar e larger.
All working well. I fit a 500G HDD from a PVR on SATA, gparted format it, k eeping it as FAT32. After this the pc won't even try to boot. Setup shows t he correct HDD is still flagged for first boot attempt, but nothing. It doe s its hardware checks, reports the HDDs then hangs.
Remove the new 500G and everything works again.
Er, what's going on?
NT
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On 00:47 15 Jun 2019, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Are all 4 drives connected to the mainboard's IDE ports or is a SATA PCI adapter card used to attach the PVR HDD? If so, does the BIOS see the PVR HDD?
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How did you gpart it and format it if the PC hangs at boot with the 500gb drive attached?
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On Fri, 14 Jun 2019 23:47:10 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@tesco.net wrote:

Possibly, because before it was initialised it wasn't 'seen' by the system as a potential boot / required drive?
Cheers, T i m
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It only hangs after that has been done.
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On Saturday, 15 June 2019 07:47:12 UTC+1, snipped-for-privacy@tesco.net wrote:

Formatted it using a live cd, different os
NT
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Out of date bios or whatever its called these days? I've even had this happen with a particular ram stick in a usb on one machine. Reason? Not the foggiest, it is fine in a newer pc. Brian
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On 15/06/19 00:47, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No idea. Can you put the 500G disk in a USB caddy, plug that into an already-working Mint computer, run"Disks", and look at what it sees when it interrogates the 500GB disk?
I've read somewhere that PVR HDs have a setup of their own - particularly one which used to avoid error checking as it took too long when writing to the disk. Does gparted get round this, or is it possibly integral to the disk controller?
Anything of interest here? <https://www.pcreview.co.uk/threads/wd-av-drives-not-for-desktop-use.4037903/
--

Jeff

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It's inside the disc. gparted doesn't touch that, but it's only likely to come into play if you are doing large amounts of writing - in the way that a security camera does. Most of the time an AV drive will be fine, although I would be wary about storing valuable data on it.
My guess would be the OP has formatted the HDD as bootable in some way that's confusing the boot process.
If in doubt, a complete wipe (with dd or a similar tool) should erase any partition tables on it, and then just make a new partition table from scratch.
Theo
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On 15/06/2019 10:22, Theo wrote:

A bit of reaearch ssuggest bootiong te machine without the drive, then plugging in the drive, then using hdparm to unlock it.
It seems the problem is the bios scan of the drive
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On Saturday, 15 June 2019 10:22:59 UTC+1, Theo wrote:

I'll bet that's it, I didn't touch the partition or flags. Will redo it.
NT
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Marking a partition as active only serves to tell the BIOS that if it passes control to that drive then control should pass direct to the boot loader in the active partition.
That shouldn't affect a drive not specified in the boot sequence. Most of my hard drives have an OS and an active partition (for hot recovery) but it doesn't affect normal booting from another drive.

This seems possible although the earlier FAT32 formatting should have set up the partition table correctly.
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Quite often what happens is a drive which used to have an OS is reformatted in a way that doesn't touch the boot sector. In a BIOS boot (ie not UEFI), the process is that the BIOS looks for the boot sector (which is 512 bytes only). If it finds something that looks like a boot sector it loads it into RAM and jumps to it. The tiny amount of code there is supposed to chain a secondary bootloader (like GRUB).
The problem comes if it can't find the secondary bootloader, perhaps if that partition has been deleted. There's not enough in 512 bytes to do anything about that, which means it just hangs at a black screen/flashing cursor.
If the BIOS is set to boot USB drives first, it might pick this up if booting with a USB drive plugged in.

The boot sector can survive reformatting of partitions which causes the above problem.
Theo
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On Sunday, 16 June 2019 01:35:21 UTC+1, Theo wrote:

I didn't touch the partitions at all, just formatted. There were some other megabytes I forget the details of. I need to delete the partitions & start again.
NT
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On Sunday, 16 June 2019 09:41:27 UTC+1, tabby wrote:

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er megabytes I forget the details of. I need to delete the partitions & sta rt again.

I checked it for flags, boot not ticked. I removed partitions & set it up a s 1 partition for the whole disc, formatted it. Same problem. Mint 7 will w ork with it, Mint 17 won't, just hangs at boot time. BIOS boot settings han d't changed, the same named HDD there. Dunno. So I took the easy solution & USBed it. It works ok like that.
What's the issue with using ex-PVR HDDs for data? I've not found any concen sus from searching on that.
NT
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On Tue, 18 Jun 2019 03:06:07 -0700, tabbypurr wrote:

Boot a live (cd/USB/DVD) without the disk fitted. Use gpart or similar to inspect the numbers assigned to existing disk(s).
Then shut down, add the new disk and do the same again. See if the disk numbers have shifted.
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On Tuesday, 18 June 2019 11:23:19 UTC+1, Bob Eager wrote:

What numbers are those?
NT
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On Tue, 18 Jun 2019 15:28:47 -0700, tabbypurr wrote:

The actual device numbers/names in /dev.
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On 18/06/2019 11:06, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote: 8<

I could tell you but as you won't actually believe me you will have to investigate what background process go on on HDDs yourself.
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wrote:

Some don’t bother with repeatedly retrying with errors because the occasional bad sector with a PVR is just a minor glitch when you replay the recording but can be a major problem with other data.
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