Question why wont my pc detect my 3rd hard drive

ragez0r

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Mar 9, 2012
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im using a dell intel i5
with 14 gb of ram
psu is 500 watts
i currently have 1 ssd and 1 hd connected but when i plug in a 3rd 1 it doesnt show up in Windows 10.... in disk management.... not there either
went to bios looking for disk controller (and btw the hard drive isnt detected there either) cant find disk controller....
so i enabled legacy mode something called ahci (i think)....
the only way i can access the hard drive is through an external HD dock... so i know it works..... but the dock cable is flimsy and disconnects alot so i want the hd connected to the pc all the time...

please help
 
Nov 7, 2021
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Dell systems are notorious for only supporting 2 drives natively. In the BIOS, they used to have an option in the "Drives" listing that need to be set to AUTO. The default is disabled.

Which Dell model?
 

Pimpom

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Is the SSD M.2 NVMe? Many motherboards share lanes between M.2 and a SATA port. You cannot use both at the same time. Have you tried changing the SATA port for the third drive?
 

TommyTwoTone66

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On the front of the PC there will be a badge and it will give the model number. Alternatively it is displayed in the BIOS. We will need to know the model number to help further.
 

TommyTwoTone66

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So there are four different different versions of the Optiplex 7010, mini tower, desktop, SFF desktop and USFF desktop.

only the mini tower has 4x SATA connectors and supports 4x HDD/SSD. The other form factors have 3x SATA connectors, one of which is reserved for optical drives and cannot be used for HDD/SSD.

I would guess you have the SFF desktop.
 

Karadjgne

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Unplug the data connection for the working hdd, and plug in only the non working hdd, leave the ssd alone. See if it boots and is recognised.

The black/blue slots are Intel slots and should be default, full value, the 2x white slots will be used through the on board Sata controller. If the driver for the Sata controller is missing (it's usually Marvell or Renesas) or is not implemented properly in bios (meaning it's disabled), then you'll get nada from the white slots.

My guess would be the mini-tower, not SFF version as the SFF doesn't have room for a second hdd mounted. But thats a good point. Only the optical will already be installed, so Op would have to disable the optical and replace the data with the hdd, which isn't mentioned. Also, there's no difference. Hdd and optical is the same Sata 3G, can't dedicate a Sata port to only optical drives.
 
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ragez0r

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So there are four different different versions of the Optiplex 7010, mini tower, desktop, SFF desktop and USFF desktop.

only the mini tower has 4x SATA connectors and supports 4x HDD/SSD. The other form factors have 3x SATA connectors, one of which is reserved for optical drives and cannot be used for HDD/SSD.

I would guess you have the SFF desktop.
only 3 sata connectors
 

ragez0r

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Unplug the data connection for the working hdd, and plug in only the non working hdd, leave the ssd alone. See if it boots and is recognised.

The black/blue slots are Intel slots and should be default, full value, the 2x white slots will be used through the on board Sata controller. If the driver for the Sata controller is missing (it's usually Marvell or Renesas) or is not implemented properly in bios (meaning it's disabled), then you'll get nada from the white slots.

My guess would be the mini-tower, not SFF version as the SFF doesn't have room for a second hdd mounted.
okay ill try
 

ragez0r

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Unplug the data connection for the working hdd, and plug in only the non working hdd, leave the ssd alone. See if it boots and is recognised.

The black/blue slots are Intel slots and should be default, full value, the 2x white slots will be used through the on board Sata controller. If the driver for the Sata controller is missing (it's usually Marvell or Renesas) or is not implemented properly in bios (meaning it's disabled), then you'll get nada from the white slots.

My guess would be the mini-tower, not SFF version as the SFF doesn't have room for a second hdd mounted. But thats a good point. Only the optical will already be installed, so Op would have to disable the optical and replace the data with the hdd, which isn't mentioned. Also, there's no difference. Hdd and optical is the same Sata 3G, can't dedicate a Sata port to only optical drives.
i tried that and the haed drive does not show up in my computer or disk management... is it broken ?
 

Karadjgne

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Huh, OK. With 3 Sata, that's the Desktop version or SFF, both have 3 Sata, both have 1x 3.5 drive bays, both have 2x 2.5 drive bays, but the Desktop has a full 5.25 external, the SFF doesn't.

Ok, try all 3 drives plugged in. Boot up windows. Open up the start menu and look for Command Prompt with Administrator, it's in there somewhere, depending on version. Open that up. At the prompt, type in DISKPART, and that'll open up the disk partition manager. See if the drive is located there.

You can also use Windows to find the disk instead of the older DOS based diskpart.
  1. To do so, in the search box on the taskbar, type Disk Management, select and hold (or right-click) Disk Management, then select Run as administrator > Yes. If you can't open it as an administrator, type Computer Management instead, and then go to Storage > Disk Management.
  2. In Disk Management, right-click the disk you want to initialize, and then click Initialize Disk. If the disk is listed as Offline, first right-click it and select Online.
 
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ragez0r

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Huh, OK. With 3 Sata, that's the Desktop version or SFF, both have 3 Sata, both have 1x 3.5 drive bays, both have 2x 2.5 drive bays, but the Desktop has a full 5.25 external, the SFF doesn't.

Ok, try all 3 drives plugged in. Boot up windows. Open up the start menu and look for Command Prompt with Administrator, it's in there somewhere, depending on version. Open that up. At the prompt, type in DISKPART, and that'll open up the disk partition manager. See if the drive is located there.

You can also use Windows to find the disk instead of the older DOS based diskpart.
  1. To do so, in the search box on the taskbar, type Disk Management, select and hold (or right-click) Disk Management, then select Run as administrator > Yes. If you can't open it as an administrator, type Computer Management instead, and then go to Storage > Disk Management.
  2. In Disk Management, right-click the disk you want to initialize, and then click Initialize Disk. If the disk is listed as Offline, first right-click it and select Online.
i already used the hd in a dock so its been initialized and that indicates that it isnt broken too
 
Nov 7, 2021
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In the BIOS, go to the menu that shows the System Setup Options.

There will be a option "Drives" that will show what is attached to the SATA ports. It will either show the drive that is attached or the word "AUTO". If it says "Disabled", select them and change to "Enabled" or "Auto"

If the BIOS still doesn't show you the drive, check the connections. Also note the PSU for that model of dell is only 275w MAX so if you have added any additional expansion cards, the system may not have the juice to power it all.
 

ragez0r

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Mar 9, 2012
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In the BIOS, go to the menu that shows the System Setup Options.

There will be a option "Drives" that will show what is attached to the SATA ports. It will either show the drive that is attached or the word "AUTO". If it says "Disabled", select them and change to "Enabled" or "Auto"

If the BIOS still doesn't show you the drive, check the connections. Also note the PSU for that model of dell is only 275w MAX so if you have added any additional expansion cards, the system may not have the juice to power it all.
ive looked all over the bios for that but cannot find
 
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