Primary Drive 0 not Found - Primary Channel shows HD info - does boot to XP Pro

Posted on 2009-05-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I am confused and need some guidance....  I have a Dell Dimension 2400 - when I boot up the computer is shows Primary Device 0 not found and then Hit F3 for Configuration Utility...  after this shows up:  
Primary Channel - WDC WD360GD-50GHA2
Secondary Channel - not found
The computer does eventually boot into Windows XP.
If I go into the BIOS settings the hard drive is not shown -- it lists "unknown"
First, I can't understand how I can have no Primary Device 0 but still boot into windows.  I have reseated all cables to the hard drive.  The drive is connected by a blue cable to a board that is in one of the available slots on the motherboard.  I thought the hard drive usually connects directly to the motherboard.  Anyway, I would like to wipe out this drive but it seems not to be recognized even though it boots to windows???  Any info you could provide would be appreciated.  Also, I have tried hitting F12 during boot up - and selecting "Boot to Utility Partition" as suggested by Dell Chat Support.  After selecting this the computer just booted into XP...
Question by:mmj1

Accepted Solution

univision-computers earned 800 total points
ID: 24487920
Most Dell computers allow you to specify (Enable/Disable) the IDE channels that may be connected to a device.  There are 4 total, 2 per cable, although you may only have a single cable attached to the drive. Some IDE cables allow for 2 devices on the same cable.  Dell sometimes uses cables with only one connector.

Most likely you only have your hard drive attached, and no secondary IDE device.  If the second IDE device is enabled in the BIOS it will tell you that the "device" is not found.  You should have only the primary IDE channel enabled for the first cable and if you only have one CD/DVD drive then you should only have one channel enabled there also.

It should look like this:
Disk 0 Enabled (your HD)
Disk 1 Disabled (None attached)

Disk 2 Enabled (CD-ROM)
Disk 3 Enabled (If you have a second CD-ROM) or Disabled if not

Assisted Solution

sime1981 earned 800 total points
ID: 24497093
from reading your discription it sounds like you have a SATA hard drive ( the blue cable is normaly for SATA's with Dell products )  that is plugged into a card that is plugged into your motherboard, if i am correct, what you are seeing is one of two things,

First is that your computer is setup to look for something plugged into the either IDE/SATA connection on your motherboard, which you are not using, which is why it is telling you that the primary device is not found.  - Most likely the problem if you had any hardware problems, or changes

Or Second, which is that your CDrom drive has failed which is why you are getting that error message.

Most likey if you are able to boot into windows and your CD/DVD drives are functioning properly, for some reason your computers BIOS is looking for an additional drive that is not there, if you go into your computers BIOS again, you will most likely see it set to look for SATA drives and IDE drives, i would mark how they are currently set, and then try disabling them one at a time to see if the error goes away and you are still able to boot to XP and your CD/DVD drive still function.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31586008
Thanks to both of you for your input and assistance.  I believe the BIOS is looking for an additional drive that is not there as sime191 advised.  I have tried disabling them one at a time but the error does not go away.  I am going to have another IT person take a look at this since I can't resolve.  Thanks again....

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