I recieved a ThinkPad T43 that was exhibiting an odd set of symptoms. Windows was crashing and displaying a blue screen, but was able to boot at least to one point. After some time, the only message that appeared was "No operating system found".
So, I've opened the boot menu and found out that BIOS doesn't even recognize hard disc as a boot device. Booting from our DVD ROM didn't help either (again, no hard disc found).
Next I tried putting the hard disc into an external USB enclosure which worked - no bad sectors found, so obviously there is no damage on the HD itself.
Is there some way of solving this issue without replacing the drive or other components of the system?
Try the following to test the HDD for proper functionality:
a) Make sure that the drive is inserted properly (label down), and completely secured in its caddy with all four screws and cover. Sometimes corrosion or oxidation or simply a loose connection could result in intermittant operation of the drive in the system. After reseating, try to reboot and see if the drive is now seen properly in BIOS.
b) Boot from a "live" Linux CD or PC Doctor for DOS bootable CD, and check whether the drive is "seen" there.
These must be burned as ISO files in order to be bootable.
C) Try to remove the HDD, battery and Power connection. Press and hold the power button for several seconds - repeat this several times to drain capacitance. Next reconnect battery and AC and reboot. Go to BIOS and reload defaults, save and exit. Shut down, re-attach HDD, and restart. Re-check BIOS to see if drive is recognized.
If the drive is still not recognized on T43, but operates fine in an external enclosure, and other HDDs alos are not recognized in the T43, it may require a system board replacement.