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[ Home > Frequently Asked Technical Support Questions ]



Frequently Asked Technical Support Questions


Frequently Asked Tech Support Questions

 

Q: My drive is not detected in the BIOS setup screen
Q: My new hard drive does not show up in My Computer
Q: Windows installation does not see my Serial ATA hard disk
Q: I can only access 137GB of my 200GB hard drive
Q: My new motherboard does not power on; the fans just spin
Q: I have upgraded my motherboard and Windows blue screens / restarts
Q: My system reports the wrong amount of memory
Q: My DVD or CDRW drive did not come with any software
Q: How do I boot from my CD-ROM to install Windows?
Q: Where can I get updated software drivers for my item?
Q: I have tried the suggestions on this web page but still cannot get my item to work, or my problem is not listed

 

Q: My IDE drive is not detected in the BIOS setup screen

When more than one IDE drive is on the the same cable, their transfer timings are determined by jumpers. These are small plastic tabs that cover pins on the back of each drive. The bootable hard drive must be on the primary controller and have its jumpers set to "master". A secondary hard drive on the same controller must be set as "slave". There is also a "cable select" setting, which makes the system attempt to auto-configure. Some CD-ROM drives prefer cable select. Jumper setting diagrams are often printed on the top of the hard drive.

 

Q: My new hard drive does not show up in My Computer

For Windows 98 and ME:

Open Programs->Accessories->MS-DOS Prompt
Type FDISK and press ENTER:
Click #1. Create DOS Partition or Logical DOS drive and press ENTER.
Click #1. Create Primary DOS Partition and press ENTER.
Follow the instructions to create a primary partition.
Exit FDISK and reboot your computer.
Open the MS-DOS prompt again
Type Format X: (where X: stand for the drive you want to format, usually D) and press ENTER
Follow the instructions and enjoy your new drive.

For Windows 2000 and XP:

Right click on My Computer.
Choose Manage (This will open the Computer Management window).
Go to the Storage category and select Disk Management
Right click the new drive (usually listed as Hard Disk 1) and "initialize"
You now have the option to partition and format the drive.
The default settings of Primary Partition and NTFS- Quick Format are recommended for most users.
Enjoy your new drive.

 

Windows installation does not see my Serial ATA hard disk

SATA technology is very different from older drive interfaces, and sometimes requires a device driver for your motherboard's Serial ATA controller before it can recognize it.  When Windows XP installation first starts, press F6 to Install a Third Party SCSI or RAID Controller.  A few moments later, Windows will prompt you for the driver floppy disk that came with your motherboard.  If you did not get a driver floppy, search your motherboard driver CD for the SATA driver.  The folder with the driver will include a file called TXTSETUP.OEM  Copy all the files from this folder to a floppy disk.  Once Windows has the driver loaded, it will recognize your hard drive. Windows Vista makes this process easier and lets you use a USB travel drive instead of a floppy.

 

I can only access 137GB of my 200GB hard drive

Originally IDE drivers were limited to a maximum of 137.4 gigabytes. Most newer motherboards BIOS use 48 bit Logical Block Addressing (LBA), which supports larger hard drives. In order to see the full capacity of your drive you must have an IDE controller and an Operating System that supports large drives. You will need at least Windows XP with Service Pack 1, Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4, or Vista. If you have installed an earlier version of Windows XP, then upgraded to Service Pack 1, and still cannot see the full capacity of the drive, you may need to make a few minor software changes. Please see http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;303013 for details.

If your Operating System or Motherboard do not support 48 bit LBA, you will need to download drive setup software from the hard drive manufacturer's website. This will work around that limitation and allow you to access the full size of the drive.

 

Q: My new motherboard does not power on; the fans just spin

In order to boot, motherboards require a processor w/ heatsink, RAM, and a video card. (If you have onboard video, a video card is not required.) If any of these are not installed or not making good contact with the board, the fans might spin but the system will not post. Try reseating your components in the slots, and remove any non-essential parts like modems or drives. Also, try clearing your mainboard's CMOS settings according to the product manual. In most cases, this is accomplished by moving a jumper for ten seconds, then placing it back in the normal operation position.

Finally, Intel Pentium 4, AMD Athlon 64, and many newer AMD Athlon XP motherboards require a four pin +12V connector in addition to the 20 pin ATX power connector. Your motherboard may not power up completely if it is not connected; check your motherboard manual to see if you need the ATX +12V.

 

Q: I have upgraded my motherboard and Windows blue screens / restarts

Windows customizes certain core files for the motherboard it was installed on. If you change your motherboard, you will probably have to run a "Repair Installation." This starts out like a new Windows installation, but when Windows realizes that it has already been installed, it asks you if you want to Repair instead. This keeps your saved files intact while it updates the Windows installation for use with the new motherboard. You can read more about this process at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;82412

 

Q: My system reports the wrong amount of memory

There might be two things causing this. 1) If you are using onboard video, the system reserves part of the RAM for graphics processing. As a result, your system might see 448MB of your 512MB of RAM, with 64MB being used for video, for example. Newer motherboards might use up to 256MB for video. The motherboard BIOS usually lets you increase or decrease the amount of RAM set aside for the video.

Or 2) If you have 4GB or more installed, a 32 bit version of Windows (eg Windows XP or Vista 32 bit) will only see 3.25GB. This is an architectural limitation with Windows. In order to use more than 4GB, you will need Windows XP Professional 64 Bit Edition or one of the 64 bit versions of Vista.


Q: My DVD or CDRW drive did not come with any software

Many of our drives are OEM drives and do not come with any software. In order to watch a DVD movie on Windows XP you will need software such as Cyberlink PowerDVD, InterVideo WinDVD, etc. Windows Vista includes playback software. To burn CDs and DVDs you can use the CD burning Wizard in Windows XP / the CD and DVD burning wizard in Vista, or software such as Ahead Nero Burning ROM orDVD Shrink. There are also free alternatives or demo versions available at download.com

 

Q: How do I boot from my CD-ROM to install Windows?

You can change the order in which the computer searches for boot devices in the BIOS. By default, most motherboards will have floppy or (A) as the first boot device and the hard disk (C) as the second. Enter the BIOS (usually by pressing delete or F1) and look for a Boot Sequence option. On the Biostar M7VIG-400, for example, it is under the Advanced BIOS Features menu. Change the boot sequence so your CD-ROM drive is before your hard disk (Hard Disk 0). Save your settings and reboot.


Q: Where can I get updated software drivers for my item?

Drivers for many of our products can be downloaded directly from the manufacturer. If you do not know who the manufacturer is or cannot find drivers on their website, e-mail support@3btech.net . If we have or know of a driver for your hardware, we will send you a link where you can download it. We do not have replacement driver CDs or floppy disks.

Manufacturer websites:

BIOSTAR motherboards: http://www.biostar.com.tw
MSI motherboards: http://www.msi.com.tw
nVidia chipset video cards: http://www.nvidia.com
ATI chipset video cards: http://www.ati.com

 

Q: I have tried the suggestions on this web page but still cannot get my item to work, or my problem is not listed.

Please contact our technical support staff. E-mail support@3btech.net or call 877-328-3248 Monday-Friday 10:00am - 5:00pm. If tech support is unable to solve your problem, or if you are confident that your item is defective (e.g. you are an experienced reseller), fill out the Online RMA Form at http://3btech.net/rmaform.html  . Be specific as to the problem you are having and the steps you have taken to troubleshoot it. You will be contacted within one business day with a response. If your item meets the requirements for RMA service, you will be e-mailed an RMA number and instructions on how to return the item for testing.



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