"Primary master hard disk fail"

Posted on 2000-04-17
Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I just recently bought a new Seagate 8GB HD and it has worked fine for a week then, he last 3 times my computer booted up it hung up and said: "Primary master hard disk fail". When I reboot it goes away and the computer works fine until I reboot the next time (after it cools down). How do I fix this?

The two suggestions that I received were to check for loose connections
which I did, and; to go in your computer's CMOS settings you may find an entry for Hard Drive Delay or Hard Drive Latency. Try increasing the value. If it happens. These are seconds of delay waiting for the hard drive to spin-up and initialize.

I could not find the above but did try this: In CMOS setup, I went to,
Integrated Peripherals, then IDE Primary Master P10 and changed it from; AUTO to; Mode 4. I also tried changing the Bootup System Speed from; fast to; Low.

So far it is still doing the same thing, no change, except that it will shut down and reboot everytime, unless I don't use it for a while then it freezes again when I boot up.
What now?

Question by:moskovita
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LVL 13

Accepted Solution

oldgreyguy earned 100 total points
ID: 2725181
I think your drive is trying to do itself in, return it for an exchange, or seagate for a replacement.

Author Comment

ID: 2725205
I don't like this answer, but you may be right!


Expert Comment

ID: 2725219
You may have bad sectors in the area where system files are stored.  Have you run a complete scan including a surface scan?  While most hard drives have some bad sectors, if they are in the system file area I don't think it can be fixed.  The place you bought it from should replace it just because you're having problems and they can return it to Seagate as defective.  If they won't, I'd get Seagate to replace it and never do business again with the place you bought the HD from.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 2725263

download the diagnostic tool from seagate:

it may save you some troubles


Expert Comment

ID: 2730153
Hold on. Is the new hard drive the primary master? You didn't say. The primary master will be listed as drive C in the system. Run the tool oldgreyguy spoke of and see how it turns out. If there are any bad sectors return the drive.

You may also be dealing with a drive that takes so long to spin up that the system is trying to use it before it is ready. There may be a IDE spin up delay or something like that setting in the BIOS. Try setting it to 2 seconds and see how it works.


Author Comment

ID: 2733268
Thanks for the help! I just downloaded the diagnostic tool and will try it at home. Then I will return and let you all know what happen. It will be after Easter, and Happy Easter to all of you!


Expert Comment

ID: 2737799
I agree with jjeff1 on this one.  The company I work for had this problem with a batch of tills we bought, due to a jumper being incorrectly installed on the hard drive itsself.  This caused a spin up delay.  There are 2 ways round this.

1.  Remove the jumper.

2.  Keep tapping escape as your PC boots up.



Author Comment

ID: 2739337
Where/how in CMOS setup to find and set my delay time? I have looked and can't seem to find it? Thanks!

Author Comment

ID: 2739338
Where/how in CMOS setup to find and set my delay time? I have looked and can't seem to find it? Thanks!

Author Comment

ID: 2742611
Thank you oldgreyguy! You were right. I now have a new replacement hard drive.

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