How can I test if my hard drive is installed/working before installing an OS?

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QUESTION :

I’m have a Raptor 10K 300gb drive.

I built my system, and I can’t seem to hear the drive at all!
I’m trying to install Windows 7, but it complains about some CD Rom driver in the beginning of the install.

Anyhow, I want to make sure it is not my hard drive that is the problem, because frankly I can’t hear it at ALL and that makes me nervous.

Is there a way for me to test the drive and ensure it is working/connected properly?

ANSWER :

If it asks you for drivers at the beginning of the installation, that usually means it was a bad burn. Try burning the ISO again at a lower speed.

After you have done basic tests with your BIOS bootup,

  1. Pickup a Ubuntu LiveCD and boot from it — this will check your CD-ROM and system bootup
    • Install Ubuntu on a USB drive (something like a 2-4 GB flash drive would do)
    • boot from the USB drive
      • this will work if your system can boot from USB (most recent motherboards can)
    • you can check your harddisk from Ubuntu

If you know your system boots from USB, you could just build Ubuntu boot USB on some other machine and directly check the HDD after confirming a successful boot.

You can check if it is detected in BIOS. Usually, if it’s there, then it’s working. Just press delete several times while your PC boots up to go to the BIOS screen. It depends on the version, but your drive list should be somewhere in the “Standard CMOS Features” or something alike (usually, the first option in the list).

And as far as I know, raptors are quite silent. So it should be OK :]

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