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Checking the Drive in the computer BIOS or CMOS

Once you reboot your computer (must be 'cold reboot'!), you may see a screen like this:

Hard drive model number in CMOS/BIOS screen on boot
  • Try to press a Pause/Break key in order to "freeze" the screen - on some computers it works to pause the booting process and see this screen

Another way to check if the drive is properly identified by computer is to get directly into BIOS setup menu. So, if you cannot catch the booting info on the screen similar to the one above, check your computer / motherboard manual to find out on how to access BIOS setup. Normally, Del or F1 key needs to be pressed right after the computer start up to access BIOS setup interface. Once you are in BIOS setup, you will be able to get the same information about all connected hard drives - identical to the booting echo shown on the picture.

Then you need to compare HDD model number from BIOS to the number from your drive's label. If it is not there or not matching with numbers from the drive's label, then your drive is definitely failed. The failed hard drive in BIOS is the conclusive sign that the drive foremost needs to be repaired at least to the extent when it becomes accessible for reading the lasted data from platters to further data reconstruction.

Checking drive in your computer's CMOS/BIOS is not providing a 100% accuracy to diagnose the hard disk's condition. However, it helps to pick out the evidently failed hard drives, and make a proper decision to apply for the professional data recovery service.

Note: Some failed hard drives may pass to computer's CMOS/BIOS screen some internal techno-name related to the firmware on electronic board. You should verify the name on the screen with the true model number on the label of the failed hard drive. They must be equal, otherwise the hard drive is not functional and HDD repair is required to get access to data on disks.

EXAMPLE: True and false Maxtor HDD names in CMOS/BIOS

The table below demonstrates how it works for Maxtor hard disk drives

True Drive Name in BIOS (as on lable)

False name in BIOS (drive repair needed)

Hard Drive Family
6E020L0 6E030L0 6E040L0 Maxtor N40P Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 8
2R010H1 2R015H1 2R020H1 Maxtor Nike Maxtor 531DX
2B010H1 2B015H1 2B020H1 Maxtor Athena Maxtor 541DX
2F020L0 2F030J0 2F030L0 2F040L0 Maxtor Ares Maxtor Fireball 3
6Y060L0 6Y080L0 6Y080P0 6Y120L0 6Y160L0 6Y160P0 6Y200P0 6Y250P0 Maxtor Calypso Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9
4D040H2 4D060H3 4D080H4 Maxtor Romulus DiamondMax D540X-4D
31024H1 31535H2 32049H2 33073H3 34098H4
Maxtor Proxima DiamondMax VL40
5A250J0 5A300J0 4A160J0 4A250J0 4R060J0 4R060L0 4R080J0 4R080L0 4R120L0 4R160L0 Maxtor Falcon Maxtor DiamondMax 16
4W030H2 4W040H3 4W060H4 4W080H6 4W100H6
Maxtor Vulcan DiamondMax Plus 536DX
5T010H1 5T020H2 5T030H3 5T040H4 5T060H6

Maxtor Rigel DiamondMax Plus 60 Ultra ATA 100

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