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Chapter 7. Understanding and Supporting Hard Drives. You Will Learn…. About hard drive technologies How communication with hard drive BIOS is accomplished How a hard drive is logically organized to hold data How to install a hard drive How to troubleshoot hard drives. Hard Drive Technology.

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Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Understanding and Supporting Hard Drives


You will learn
You Will Learn…

  • About hard drive technologies

  • How communication with hard drive BIOS is accomplished

  • How a hard drive is logically organized to hold data

  • How to install a hard drive

  • How to troubleshoot hard drives


Hard drive technology
Hard Drive Technology

  • Technology of how the hard drive interfaces with the system

  • Technology used within the hard drive to read and write data to the drive


Types of hard drive interfaces
Types of Hard Drive Interfaces

  • EIDE standards

  • Other interface standards

    • SCSI

    • IEEE 1394

    • Fibre Channel



How hard drives work
How Hard Drives Work

  • Platter(s) are stacked together and spin in unison

  • Read/write heads are controlled by an actuator and move in unison across disk surfaces as disks rotate on a spindle

  • Require hard drive controller for instructions



Ide technology
IDE Technology

  • Most hard drives use IDE standards


Tracks and sectors on ide drive
Tracks and Sectors on IDE Drive

  • Older MFM and RLL technologies

    • Have either 17 or 26 sectors per track over entire drive platter

    • All tracks contain same number of bytes

  • IDE drives use zone bit recording formatting system

    • Number of sectors per track is not the same throughout the platter

    • Tracks near center have smallest number of sectors per track




Ide drives
IDE Drives

  • Low-level formatting

    • Track and sector markings are written on hard drive at the factory

  • High-level formatting (OS formatting)

    • Executed by the OS

    • Creating a boot sector, FAT, and root directory



Communicating with the hard drive bios
Communicating with the Hard Drive BIOS

  • Calculating drive capacity on older drives

  • Adjusting for more complex hard drive organization

  • Calculating capacity on newer drives

    • CHS or normal mode

    • Translation methods

      • ECHS mode or large mode

      • LBA mode



Installations using legacy bios
Installations Using Legacy BIOS

  • Let the BIOS see the drive as a smaller drive

  • Upgrade the BIOS

  • Upgrade entire motherboard

  • Use software that interfaces between older BIOS and large-capacity drive

  • Use an adapter card that provides the BIOS to substitute for system BIOS


How system bios helps manage data transfer
How System BIOS Helps Manage Data Transfer

  • Provides interrupt handler for software interrupts

  • Automatically detects/configures hard drive

  • Helps manage data transfer over I/O bus between hard drive and memory

    • Using PIO mode, CPU is in charge

    • Using DMA with DMA controller in charge (no CPU involvement)

    • With bus mastering using DMA, hard drive BIOS controls data transfer


How a hard drive is logically organized to hold data
How a Hard Drive Is Logically Organized to Hold Data

  • Requirements to boot from hard drive and get to a command prompt:

    • Drive must have track and sector markings written on it

    • A file system must be installed

    • Files needed to boot the PC must be copied to root directory of drive


How a hard drive is logically organized to hold data1
How a Hard Drive Is Logically Organized to Hold Data

  • Steps for preparing a hard drive to hold files (after physical installation)

    • Low-level format

    • Partition hard drive

    • High-level format


Hard drive partitions and logical drives
Hard Drive Partitions and Logical Drives

  • Partitions

    • High-level divisions

  • Logical drives (volumes)

    • Further division of partitions

    • Have letters assigned to them

    • Each has its own file system (eg, FAT16, FAT32)





When to partition a drive
When to Partition a Drive

  • When installing a new hard drive

  • If existing hard drive is giving errors

  • If you suspect a virus has attacked the drive

  • To wipe hard drive clean and install new OS


What happens during formatting
What Happens During Formatting

  • OS format for each logical drive creates these file system items at beginning of each logical drive:

    • OS boot record

    • FAT

    • Root directory




Installing a hard drive
Installing a Hard Drive

  • Set jumpers or DIP switches on drive; physically install drive inside case; attach power cord and data cable

  • Inform CMOS setup of new drive, or verify that autodetect correctly detected the drive

  • Use Fdisk utility to create partition(s) on drive; divide extended partition into logical drives

  • Use Format command to high-level format each logical drive

  • Install OS and other software


Prepare for installation
Prepare for Installation

  • Read documentation

  • Plan drive configuration

  • Prepare work area and take precautions





















Format each logical drive
Format Each Logical Drive

  • Format C:/S

  • Format D:

  • Format E:


Managing and troubleshooting hard drives
Managing and Troubleshooting Hard Drives

  • Error messages

  • Tools for troubleshooting and maintaining hard drive

  • Solving common hard drive problems

  • General troubleshooting guidelines


An ounce of prevention
An Ounce of Prevention

  • Make backups and keep them current

  • Run antivirus software regularly

  • Defragment files; scan hard drive occasionally

  • Don’t smoke around the hard drive

  • Don’t leave PC turned off for weeks/months at a time

  • High humidity can be dangerous for hard drives

  • Be gentle with a hard drive


Commands to use with hard drives
Commands to Usewith Hard Drives

  • Fdisk

  • Format

  • Defrag and Windows Disk Defragmenter

  • ScanDisk to correct cross-linked and lost clusters



Scandisk from command prompt
ScanDisk fromCommand Prompt



Resolving common hard drive problems
Resolving CommonHard Drive Problems

  • Computer recently moved?

  • New hardware recently installed?

  • New software recently installed?

  • Software recently reconfigured or upgraded?

  • History of similar problems?


Common hard drive problems
Common Hard Drive Problems

  • Computer will not recognize newly installed hard drive

  • Hardware problems

  • Hard drive not found

  • Invalid drive or drive specification

  • Damaged boot record

  • Damaged FAT or root directory or bad sectors

  • Cannot boot from hard drive

  • Drive retrieves and saves data slowly


Getting technical support
Getting Technical Support

  • Before you call:

    • Drive model and description

    • Manufacturer and model of computer

    • Exact wording of error message, if any

    • Description of problem

    • Hardware and software configuration for the system


Chapter summary
Chapter Summary

  • Hard drive technology

  • Communicating with hard drive BIOS

  • Logical organization of a hard drive

  • Installing and troubleshooting hard drives

  • Importance of good backups


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