Primary master hard disk fail message

Hi Everyone:

       I recently received a replacement hard drive from the Maxtor Corporation for a drive which failed the S.M.A.R.T Test using the Maxtor Diagnoistic software.  Upon receiving the new, replacement drive, I installed it and started the pc.  To my surprise, I ran into some serious problems.  Once odd thing I noticed was how the harddrive was identified by the BIOS.  The screen showed the Primary Master ad Ed@t and a lot of $ and @ symbols where it displayed Maxtor and the model number.  After all of the IDE devices where shown on the screen, I go an error message indicating the following:  Primary master harddisk fail.  

         It is almost as if the replacement drive is also bad.  
Or, could I possibly be doing something wrong?  

        Any suggestions and tips will certainly be appreciated on this one.  I really do not  know what directiion to go in.

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this sounds like you have a corrupted PCB on the drive.
this is the controller card on the bottom of the drive.
If this is a replacement then I would act immediately to have the replacement replaced !
As it is a new drive there is no point trying to fix it just have swapped.
good luck
George was it shipped to you or did you pick it up?
If it was shipped I would change couriers ......just in case
Adrian DobrotaNetworking EngineerCommented:
Hi George.
  If I were you I'd check the IDE cable (switch with the secondary's cable) and then check for kneed pins on the drive. Probably none will prove to be the issue, so the bad news is that was the only things you could check so ...BAD news : failing drive.  Good news: is still under warranty.

Good Luck


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Send the hdd back for warranty again.
I think they have send u a not working HDD also.
Make a complain.
hi George,

you should go to for the warranty. i'm sure you get a faulty HDD. was it new HD or old?? anyway you could not fix the HD and could not be fix yourself. send it back for warranty, if your warrannty is out, then get a new one.
sorry if it is hard on you, but the HD is ' KO '


You can run some tests to see if the drive is bad, bad this is pointless if the HDD is not connected correctly or something else. Check the jumper on the back of the HDD, try changing the IDE cable and/or moving the HDD to another channel just to test it, put it as the master on the secondary controller.

they may be, right try swapping with the cd drive cable, maybe a controller issue...

or if possible, try formatting using your os cd... it may not be formatted, does it say primary hdd not found or is it another error?

try also removing the cd drive completely as well
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone:

       I "think" I have found the culprit.  But, I need a little more follow up before continuing.  Basically, Maxtor Corporation says the HDD requires an Ultra IDE Cable (80 wire IDE cable).  At this point, I feel a little nervous because the cable connected to this drive appears to be a 40 pin IDE cable.  Did I possibly damage this replacement drive by connecting the 40 pin IDE cable to it?
And, secondly, what about IDE motherboard controller issues? Will the Primary Master Controller on the the motherboard be compatiable with the Ultra IDE Cable?  

      Any follow information will certainly be appreciated to this post.  

      Thank you

Yeah George the 80 pin lead is a standard IDE plug fitting.
It will fit the Mobo & the HDD & no you haven't done any damage to the drive by hooking it up with  a 40 pin.
But i would be amazed if this is the problem. I have installed drives of all types & I have never seen a 40 pin lead cause your error.
This is usually what happens when the PCB is not "tuned " to the drive platten properly.
Anyway I hope it works for your sake
Adrian DobrotaNetworking EngineerCommented:
George ... unless you damaged the pins (by not plugging the cable carefully) , there's nothing that can damage the drive. 80 conductor or 40 conductor cable, doesn't matter, it shouldn't fail. What if you RMA the drive? since I don't think you damaged it.
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone:

       I am trying to run PowerMax, but, I am unable to boot from the floppy despite of the fact that the first boot device is selected as "a".  I have not tried running the HDD from the Secondary Master Controller yet.  I will try this out tonight.  Even if the Primary Master Controller is bad, I am thinking I should still be able to boot from a floppy.  This part is confusing.  After all, the PowerMax software needs to be run on this replacement HDD.

       Any thoughts on why I can't boot from the floppy and run PowerMax will greatly be appreciated.  

       Thank you.

Adrian DobrotaNetworking EngineerCommented:
What do you mean by unable to boot from floppy? What's the err message?
Is it possible that the controller to be bad? Wasn't it working before?
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone:

      I finally got rid of the mislabeling of the HDD by BIOS when I switched the connection from Primary Master to Secondary Master of the motherboard to the HDD.  Now, at this point, I need to prep the HDD by creating a partition, formating the HDD, and loading the OS with drivers.  Unfortunately, at this point, I can not get the IDE cable to stretch from the HDD to the CDROM.  In any case, I will open this concern on a new question.

     Thanks again everyone for your help.

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