HD as Primary or Secondary Drive

Posted on 2003-03-18
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
A HP Pavilion (6653C) BIOS shows HD as Secondary drive. CD-ROM as Primary. Is this correct? I pressed F10 to get Default setup and that's what it shows. The PC rebooted, but not past the HP screen, at which point I pressed ESC and was presented with a Boot order screen. I selected the HD. Now PC boots to HD ok. In Windows Explorer the CD-ROM drive used to show up as the "M" drive. Now it shows "D."

Some of HP's not so helpful info says that the HD is the Primary drive. Hence my question.

Windows Me, 256 MB RAM

Question by:ehundrieser
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Christopher McKay
ID: 8162389
Are you certain that it is not showing you the boot order?
In all PC's I've seen, the HD had to be on the primary master in order to function correctly. This may be different with ME (I refused to work with ME after about 2 months of difficulties with it, so haven't really gotten to know it). The only other thing I can think of that you may be seeing is the boot order which could be set to boot from CD before the HD (If there isn't a bootable CD, then it automatically jumps to the next bootable device in line, the HD)



Author Comment

ID: 8162617
In PhoenixBIOS Setup the "Boot Device Priory is as follows:

+Removable Devices
   Legacy Floppy Drives
+Hard Drive
   WDC WD153AA-(SM)
   Bootable Add-in Cards
Network Boot

BIOS Boot Menu
1. Removable Ddevices
3. Hard Drive
4. Network Boot

I did change the function of the PC to Network, even though it's not connected to any other computers -- other than a DSL Internet connection.

LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Christopher McKay
ID: 8162682
This shows that the computer will attempt to boot from the removable devices first, if those fail, then it will attempt to boot from Legacy floppy drives, if those fail, then CD ROM, if that fails.... etc etc etc.

This doesn't have anything to do with the setup of the drives on the system.
(In this scenario, it is still quite possible for your system to have the HD as Primary Master, and CD-ROM as either Primary slave, Secondary Master, or secondary slave.)


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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Christopher McKay
ID: 8162717
You should have an area in your BIOS that shows something along the lines of the following:

Primary Master (Could also be listed as Primary IDE 0, or First IDE Device, etc) which should show as your HD,

Primary Slave (Or Second IDE 0, second IDE device etc)

Secondary Master (primary IDE 1, third IDE device etc)

Secondary slave (secondary IDE 1, fourth IDE device etc)

This area will tell you how the drives actually are setup on your system. Look for your Hard drive listing, and it should tell you where it is on your computer. Post the exact wording of the listing here, and I'll be able to tell you exactly what is connected to where on your system (for drives anyway.).



Author Comment

ID: 8163080
System Time:
System Date:

Legacy Diskette A: [1.44 Mb 3½]
Primary Master [CD-W54E-(SM)]
Primary Slave [None]
Secondary Master [WDC WD153AA-(SM)]
Secondary Slave [None]

LVL 22

Accepted Solution

Christopher McKay earned 1000 total points
ID: 8163158
In the information you list here, it does indeed list the CD-ROM as being master on the first channel. This is definitely quite different from any setup I've used or seen used. Based on what you've shown me here though, it shouldn't adversely affect the system for you to swap the cables for the two drives. (Thereby putting the HD on the Primary, and the CD-ROM on the secondary.)
Easiest means of doing this is to remove the cable from the back of the drives themselves (leave the other end attached to the motherboard), one side of the cables should have red on the first strip. (identifying the first pin) When you swap the cables and re-attach, make sure the red strip is facing the same way.
I would recommend changing the cables, as most technical assistance will automatically assume the setup is with the HD as Primary Master. (As I did)

Hope this helps!



Author Comment

ID: 8163339
Bartender_1:  Your fine advice solved this issue. It was, as you suggested, having to switch the cables to the other channel. I had previously tried it, but to no avail. It didn't work previously because I hadn't yet discovered that you can ESC from the HP BIOS screen and select the boot device from the Boot Menu. Sounds confusing? It is :)

Now when I switched the cables, I went straight into BIOS, checked the setup, F10'd to save changes, automatically rebooted into the blue HP BIOS screen, pressed ESC, selected HDD, rebooted into Windows Me. Even the CD-ROM drive shows up as as before (drive 'M'). Back to BIOS to double check settings and PROBLEM SOLVED.

My greatful thanks to you.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Christopher McKay
ID: 8163363
Glad I was able to assist.




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