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The hard disk won't autodetect at boot time
Explanation: The hard disk is supposed to be dynamically autodetected by the BIOS when the system boots, but the system does not detect it. It either hangs the boot process at the stage where the IDE drive should be autodetected, or it says that there is no disk connected (possibly after a long pause while it searches for the device.)
Diagnosis: One possibility is that the BIOS settings to enable boot-time autodetection are not correct. If the settings are correctly entered, then there is a problem either with the hard disk or with its connection to the hard disk controller or motherboard. (Note that some older drives will not autodetect properly at all, but we're talking very old equipment here.)
Note: SCSI hard disks are
detected and set up differently. You will need to consult your SCSI controller
documentation for help with problems related to SCSI devices.