Error encountered initializing Hard Drive

Error Encountered Initializing Hard Drive

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Explanation: The BIOS POST process has detected a failure with one or more of the IDE/ATA hard disk drives in the system. The error appearing on the screen may provide you with some idea of a specific device (“drive 0” or “primary master”) depending on the BIOS type.

Diagnosis: This is usually a problem related to the hard disk or disks themselves, and does not necessarily mean that the hard disk is bad. It could mean incorrect cabling, damaged cable or another issue making it impossible for the system to locate the hard disk on the bus. The controller or interface to the hard disk could also be at fault.


  • Begin your troubleshooting with the hard drive. Ensure that the ribbon cable is attached in the correct manner and is firmly seated into the socket on the motherboard and the hard drive. Inspect the ribbon cable to make sure that it is not pinched, torn, broken or otherwise damaged.
  • If the above inspection does not provide positive results, then begin troubleshooting the hard disk controller, which can be a separate card in older systems or on the motherboard in newer ones. Attach the cable to IDE #2 and see if the BIOS finds the drive. If it does, switch it back to IDE #1. If, after switching back, you lose the drive again, then in all probability the controller has gone bad.

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