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help with boot HDD error

Posted on 2003-03-20
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
Hello,

I'm currently trying(emphasis on try) to help a friend with a problem.  She has a win98 system, with a newly installed cdrw drive and an old cdrom drive.  The following error occurs on boot:

PRI Master HDD error
Run SETUP
Press F1 to resume

I have no way to reset the bios as I can not get past this message.  If I press F1 it asks me for a boot disk for drive A which I also do not have.  This is the very first thing I see except for a prompt to wait for what I assume is a drive check.  Everything I have read points me in the direction of a bad hard drive, but the error occuredd directly after she installed the new cdrw drive, so I think that's the problem.  Although, I took both cd drives out...same problem.  I switched IDE cables to the hard drive...same problem.  The only other thing I can think of is if she switched the hard drive to a slave position or something.  I can not take out the hard drive right now(due to lack of tools) and can't see which slot is which for hard drive specification.  I know it's set to the third from the left slot out of four possible settings.

Any help would be much appreciated.
thanks,
Yoshi
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Question by:yoshi78
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17 Comments
 
LVL 59

Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 8178292
You can download the makings for a boot disk here:

www.bootdisk.com

or, on any working Win98 computer, go to Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs -> Startup Disk tab.
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 8178301
Greetings, yoshi78!
   You should be able to get to the BIOS before the error message occurs. Is F1 the key for entering the BIOS? Different computers use different keys. Try F2 or Del.
   To make a boot disk, go to www.bootdisk.com and download the Windows 98 OEM boot files.

Best wishes, war1
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:cumbo
ID: 8178406
yoshi78,

Sounds like a jumper setting is wrong. Do you know what the brand of hard drive is in the system?

Did you slave either CD to the Hard Drive? Was either Cd connected to the same ribbon cable as the hard drive?

Did the hard drive ribbon cable come loose from the motherboard? If you remove just the new Cd does the system boot?

Cumbo
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Author Comment

by:yoshi78
ID: 8178410
ok i'm able to get into the BIOS when i manually reboot and hit delete at start up now i'm looking at pri master and sec master and the others...should i auto detect them if they are not listed...I now have both cd drives back in.
thanks again,
yoshi
0
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 8178414
If HD was not removed then I doubt if it was changed from master to slave, maybe the IDE cable got reversed, make sure the red line (if there is one) aligns with the #1 pin on the MB and the #1 pin on the HD.
For the moment unhook the CD-Roms and leave then unhooked and see if it will boot.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:yoshi78
ID: 8178530
cumbo I know I know have the correct jumper setting for the hard drive and the drive is the only thing connected to the MB right now.  I'm still getting the same error so i'm trying each cable both ways as i can't see the MB where they are attached.

I did get into the BIOS but ended up shying away(as usual) due to inexperience.  The only thing I did notice is that something showed up as
[Primary master: USER somenumbers]
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:yoshi78
ID: 8178540
also for cumbo:Brand of hard drive is western digital
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 8178564
>> Everything I have read points me in the direction of a bad hard drive

Yoshi78,
   Boot th DOS and do a scandisk of your hard drive in thorough mode. This will take awhile. Use the boot disk from the site www.bootdisk.com.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:MichalJ
ID: 8178582
So drives are not listed that means they were not detected. Ribbon cable is bad or connected upside down or two masters (or slaves) are present. Start with simple thing: verify m/s jumpers and alignment of cable- red to pin 1 and notch on the plug matches other side. If it doesnt help try different ribbon. make sure that it is plugged firm. Bios setup should be: both ide enabled, detect set to auto. Dont forget to "save and exit" BIOS.

Some BIOSes display what was detected during POST. It is usualy right after video bios info (if any) together with memory test. It last about a second only. Try to hit Pause/Break key on a keybord. It should freeze this display and you should see all hard drives and cds detected.

One more: be sure power cables are plugged in.    
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Author Comment

by:yoshi78
ID: 8178625
i set the bios to auto detect insted of user and it detected an ide hard drive for primary master and proceeded to boot up nicely, now i have to get the two cd drives to work.
thanks to the group and esp. MichalJ
yoshi
0
 

Accepted Solution

by:
MichalJ earned 500 total points
ID: 8178644
If you cannot see hard drive sticker with jumper configuration go to western digital site and find this info by model.

Dont be shy with BIOS. You are looking for "IDE Primary Master" (4 entries, primary/secondary-master/slave) usualy in Standatr CMOS Features. You use del to enter BIOS, so you probably have Phenix-Award. Using pageUp pageDown set all four to AUTO. Hit Esc. select "save and exit/Y"

p.s. bootup floppy is useless at this stage since there is no contact with hard drive. I think it is probably fine, just contact with hard drive was lost.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:MichalJ
ID: 8178664
I was writing when you posted. As I may suggest: one cd at a time. Be sure it works. Add second. If they are going to be on one cable be sure one is master and one is slave. When BIOS can detect them correctly then system shoud too.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:bjorndahlen
ID: 8178670
yoshi78,
good thing shying away when you are uncertain,
lot's of people don't..
However, I noticed you observed
>>[Primary master: USER somenumbers]<<

I don't know what bios you have,
but for many bios you have a choice
of user,auto, or none. Setting it
to user means you have to manually enter the logical drive parameters. Eg cyls, heads etc. This values are usually
printed on the label of the drive.
Setting it to none means ignore this drive.

Setting it to auto means autodetect which
is probably what you want to do.
So, you may want to get back into the bios
and see if you can change USER to AUTO (or something
very similar), either in the screen where you saw this or in some other screen in the bios (advanced or something along those lines).
If you are careful while going around in the
BIOS setup screens you should be fine.
If you inadvertently change something and
you are unsure where you are at, exit the bios
without saving and try again :-)
Bjorn    
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:bjorndahlen
ID: 8178675
add-on,
some bioses have a screen for explicitly requesting
an autodetect of the drives.
If that is the case, do that.
Bjorn
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:bjorndahlen
ID: 8178700
Well, look like the problem got solved while I was off
doing something else before finishing up my posts :-)
Cheers, Bjorn
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:cumbo
ID: 8179204
Very good, yoshi78!!!!Glad you have it working.
The points should go to Michalj......

Cumbo
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:yoshi78
ID: 8181146
right on the money
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