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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting Specific Components | Troubleshooting Hard Disk Drives | Configuration Issues ]

I need to set up an IDE/ATA hard disk on my PC, but my BIOS doesn't have autodetection capability and I don't know what the disk geometry is

Explanation: You are trying to configure a new (or old!) hard disk on your system. You don't know what the drive geometry is, and your BIOS is old and doesn't provide autodetection capabilities.

Diagnosis: Usually you can find the information you are looking for (cylinders, heads, sectors) by looking on the web page of the manufacturer of the drive.


  • Look on the web page of the manufacturer of the disk for setup parameters for the drive.
  • If you have access to another PC that does have the ability to autodetect, you can "borrow" it, autodetect to see what the parameters are, and then enter them manually into your BIOS.

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