Common hard disk drive (HDD) problems

My 5-year-old desktop PC’s SATA hard disk drive failed and I replaced it with a 1TB SATA drive, but on booting it gives this error message: “Hardware BIOS Initiate Failed, Press ‘G’ to continue”

Hard disk drive problem

My 5-year-old desktop PC’s boot SATA hard disk drive failed. I’ve kept the failing SATA drive installed on another SATA port on the PC’s motherboard because, although it won’t boot into Windows XP, it still allows me to transfer files to it. I swapped the new SATA drive – a Samsung 1TB model – with the failing drive. Now when the PC boots it produces a “Hardware BIOS Initiate Failed, Press “G” to continue” error message and the drive doesn’t show in the BIOS or in Windows XP. I’ve tried changing the SATA data cable without success.


You should not keep a failing hard disk drive working in your computer and save files to it because you won’t be able to recover them if it fails completely unless you have made backup copies elsewhere.

Does the BIOS support 1TB drives? – Being 5 years old, it is unlikely to support drives of that size and will require a BIOS update that provides the required support (if an update is available, which is unlikely to be the case given the age of the computer). You will have to identify the make/model of the PC’s motherboard and then visit its manufacturer’s website for a BIOS update. The free CPU-Z utility can be used to identify the motherboard. Otherwise, the only way to use the drive is from a PCI or PCI Express SATA controller card that provides that support.

I had a similar problem when an ASUS A7N8X-E motherboard refused to detect a Hitachi 1TB hard disk drive, in spite of using the latest firmware that Asus provided. I bought a PCI SATA controller, which works perfectly with the 1TB drive.

If a PC’s motherboard only supports SATA I/150, which is no doubt the case because SATA II drives weren’t available when you bought that PC, and the new drive is a SATA II drive, which is also no doubt the case, there should be a jumper on the drive that forces it to work as a SATA I drive.

You should always check the hard-drive manufacturer’s website for issues and a firmware update if you have problems getting a hard drive to work if the BIOS supports drives of its capacity and the motherboard also supports the make/model of drive (SATA II). Here are some examples concerning Seagate hard drives.

Seagate fixes 7200.11 drives–except when it doesn’t – “Seagate on Tuesday released a fix to a bug in its current generation of drives that caused them to become undetectable by a computer. Users have found, however, that the fix breaks 500GB drives–the fix has since been retracted.” –

About Eric Legge 269 Articles
I am an experienced PC technician who has been the owner and sole writer of the PC Buyer Beware! website since 2004. I am learning all the time in this very dynamic, ever-changing field.