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Detecting Primary Master: --none

Upon startup, the boot screen indicates no Primary or Secondary Master hard drives detected. I use auto detect in the BIOS. (My primary is a WD 100 GB and Secondary a Maxtor 60 GB. I then cycle power and on the second or third try, it boots as normal. It does this maybe every third startup.  The system runs W2k and its an Asus A7M266 motherboard with 1.33GHz Athlon uP and 512 MB of DDR.  I have not dicked with any of BIOS settings or voltages and do not overclock.
Any ideas??
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CubicalQuad
Asked:
CubicalQuad
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1 Solution
 
BaddogCommented:
Cubical,,,
     You may have to go into your BIOS and if quick POST is enabled, disable it.  POST will do a long memory check and it will give your hard drives the time needed to synchronize prior to being auto detected. Try this and let me know what happens.

BDog
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Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
I seem to recall reading some reports of conflicts between certain Maxtor and WD drives, but not recently...Are you using the 80wire cables on the drives (for ATA66/100/133 speeds) and if so, have you tried a different cable?  I assume you're not using Cable Select mode on the drives...?  Have you updated your BIOS?  Also, check your BIOS for an option "Wait for IDE HDD Seconds" (or something to that effect) and increase the number by 1 or 2; this makes the system pause a few seconds while starting so that the IDE drives can get fully spun up.  Have you tried connecting either drive as Master on the secondary IDE channel?

If none of that seems to help, I might suspect your mobo is failing or possibly even a power supply issue if the drives aren't getting enough power from your power supply.

-dog*
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lekanCommented:
Cehec if Yr drives have jumpers which determine master/slave function. For the speed reason, i do connect each drive as a master on separate  ide channel, and slave positons are used for cdr/dvds. The factory setup on HDD is normaly as the master, so if You connect both drives on the same channel/ cable there is high probability of the confilict between hdds and Y'll get proper detection only if the primary positoned master starts before the wrong hdd. I beleive that Y'll correct the problem using both hdds as masters but on two different IDE channels as I described above

lekan
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lekanCommented:
P.S. Have You installed large HDDS drivers in accordance with the factory instructions ?
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kiranghagCommented:
>>>P.S. Have You installed large HDDS drivers in accordance with the factory instructions ?
this would not change the bios behaviour at startup...
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ethang5Commented:
Cubical,
  There is a pin setting on your HD that controls delayed start. (Usually the 4th set on the 5 pin set. Your bios is polling the HD while it's disks are still motionless-before it has gotten the command to start. The HD cannot get the disks up to operating rev speed in time.
It works after the 3rd or 4th try because by then the HD disks are still turning when you turn the unit on again and it takes less time to get up to speed then.
Answer 1; disable the delay feature on your master HD by removing the pin. If this feature is default, you will have to place a pin. Find out from your manufacturer which pin it is.
Answer2; Increase the POST time. Just disable the "Fast Post" option in your bios.
Good Luck!
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patrickabCommented:
If the bios is only allowing the m/c to boot up the second or third time of trying I suggest that cmos battery is retaining just enough charge after several goes at starting but not long enough between each time the m/c is switched on to work first time. Try replacing the cmos battery - costs about USD3. If after that your m/c boots up OK then you won't need to up-date your bios but if not then you will need to specify in it how your machine is configured.



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CubicalQuadAuthor Commented:
Sorry for delay getting back....
I can state what it is NOT...
it is not cable select, it is not cmos battery,
it is not the HD since my original C drive was the 60GB Maxtor (by itself) and I thought it was failing, which is why I got the 100 GB WD ($89 @ BestBuy). Both HD's are not found in autodetect mode when it happens.  Based on a sampling of one cold boot, the disabled fast POST worked, but I don't like it because I must esc. memory check and then select which device to boot from....very klutzy.  

Haven't tried ethang5's suggestion of disabling delayed start.  

..jury is still out.
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Jimbo99Commented:
Seen this before.  Just ensure that the jumpers on the drives show one as master and the other as slave.

Best bet is to move one of the drives to a different channel.  If you have a burner on  your 2nd channel put it to master and the hd to slave.
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lekanCommented:
I cannot see if You tried to connect HDDS on two cables as master drives. As I suggested earlier. Have U tried to work with a single HDD, and do U have the same detecting problem ?


lekan
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CubicalQuadAuthor Commented:
I think Dogztar has gotten it, but want to try one more day on a cold start.  The solution was simple....I flashed an update on my BIOS from Asus.  
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Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Just let us know...

-dog*
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CubicalQuadAuthor Commented:
Updating the BIOS was the answer...I didn't consider it because the system was stable for over a year, but don't knock success.
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Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
So that fixed your problem...why the C grade???

-dog*
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CubicalQuadAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the help, and I don't want to seem ungrateful, but you offered 7 possible solutions, of which 6 were N/A or already ruled out by myself. Updating the BIOS isn't rocket science, but I DID overlook it, so thus the "Average" grade.  
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Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Hmm, well sorry for providing more than one option.  Next time I'll just propose one wrong answer at a time and suggest a new one after it is ruled out.

-dog*
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