BIOS not recognizing any drives but Win7 is


Oct 17, 2011
Hello, I'm new to Tom's Hardware site and hopefully I can find solutions to my computer issues.

I'm currnetly having an isssue with my BIOS setting. As far as I can tell, it's up to date. The issue is that my BIOS fails to recognizes any drives other than the primary HDD. It fails to recognize the internal optical drive and any external HDDs. When running in Windows, all drives are recognized and accessible. This was quite confusing.

My laptop is a Dell Studio 17. When I hit F12 to launch the Boot Setup; everytime I select HardDrive or CD/DVD or Removable Devices, it brings me the Windows 7 Startup Repair service/program. Each time the program attempts to repair the error and everytime it requests for a system restore. After a restore, the problem continues to persist. This proves to be problematic when I want to do a clean install of Windows 7 using an installation disk.

I was wondering why is the BIOS not recognizing any drives except for the primary HDD but my windows is? Are there any methods to solve this issue?

Any help would appreciated; thanks!
I had this problem once when changing the bios setting from ide to achi. If you require a fresh windows installation, be sure you have a backup of your old files. Windows can do this. You may also try using just the dvd drive. If your windows dvd won't boot, then try disconnecting the other drives and reconnect them after the windows cd is detected and loading the files, before it examines the system. Windows 7 can take awhile to start loading files with some systems. Otherwise, I would use dell's tech support if your system is still under warranty. Under no circumstances would I flash the motherboard bios. It's not worth the risk of a dead motherboard. They are too expensive with oem systems.