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DELL DIMENSION 8200 MID-TOWER DESKTOP WORKSTATION STOPPED RECOGNIZING HARD DRIVES

Posted on 2008-10-14
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Last Modified: 2010-10-05
I have a Dell Dimension 8200 that I use as a backup system and server, with 2 hard drives plus some USB external drives.  The system suddenly stopped seeing the 2 internal hard drives, after my W.D. MyBook USB external drive died.  Neither the system nor the BIOS sees ANY hard drives, nor does any rescue software I have (Acronis and others) or Linux.  Both drives test good in other systems.  So far I have replaced the CMOS battery, and re-set the BIOS and re-flashed the BIOS (twice) to no avail.

Is it possible I need to take further steps to ERASE the CMOS?  When I try to boot I get the beep and "hard drives not found" error message, and then choice of F1 to continue or F2 to go into setup.  In the BIOS sometimes the drive status says "OFF" and sometimes "UNKNOWN."

All other BIOS settings appear correct as before, and the system appears to function normally except for the inability to access hard drives (floppy and CD access is fine).

Any suggestions on diagnostics would be appreciated!

Thanks
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Question by:sparker_9
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by:PUNKY
ID: 22718027
Remove cmos battery to reset bios see if it helps?
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by:tenaj-207
ID: 22718124
I had a client that bought 10-15 Dell Dimension 8200.  After 2 or so years the hard drive controller stopped working on not half but quite a few of the systems.

I don't think you'll have any luck bringing this system back to life, but the hard drives are probably still good.
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nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 22718911
it can be the disk controller  - onboard - died
does it support booting from usb? then you can try that


you can also check the motherboard for bad capacitors as shown here :   www.badcaps.net
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Author Closing Comment

by:sparker_9
ID: 31506191
Thanks.  Having ruled out all else, I have to assume you are correct and it's the disk controller.  The caps look good--thanks for that, did not know about that possibility.  I'm going to try a mobo replacement.
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by:nobus
ID: 22740954
ok- good luck !
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