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Help "Primary hard disk drive 0 not found"

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by burnout, Jan 7, 2006.

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  1. burnout

    burnout Private E-2

    Hi guys,

    I think I'm in big trouble, I have a Dell XPS Lap Top Pentium 4HT 3.40GHz and on boot up it doesn’t see the Hard Drive, it say’s "Primary hard disk drive 0 not found" I took out the single screw removed and reinserted the hard drive hoping it was just a bad connection but no luck, before this problem I could not get the CD/DVD bay to open but I think that is a separate issue but not sure, this is a big laptop that I use for my work and I move it around allot, I try to be careful but it has gotten banged a couple of times but nothing big, say something equal to like a drop of only 1 inch or so could that be the cause?

    I make my living with this thing and have allot of stuff in the HD some backed up but some not so what I'm asking is what should I do? Am I screwed? The hard drive is a Hitachi Travelstar model HTS726060M9AT00 60GB 7200RPM ATA/IDE the rest of the info is as follows:


    BIOS Version: A05
    Application CPU: Enabled
    Level 2 Cash: 1024KB
    System Memory: 3.4 GHz 1024 MB @ 400 MHz
    video controller: ATI Radeon 9700
    Video Memory: 128 MB
    Panel Type: 15.4" Wide UXGA
    Audio Controller: sigmatel 9750
    modem Controller: Conexant D480 MDC
    Primary Hard Drive: None
    Modular Bay: DVD+/-RW
    System D-Bay: Not Installed

    Really appreciate any help, thanks.
     
  2. DCO57

    DCO57 Private E-2

    Burnout- First isolate the software possibilities. Go into Bios (tap F2 at boot up) and check "Drives". Make sure its enabled.Try resetting the BIOS (turn on all 3 lights:numlock, caps, and scroll, then hit ALT + E, then ALT + F, then ALT + B) it'll reboot automatically. If still no HDD, run system diagnostics (tap F12 and choose "diagnostics") start with "custom tests/ HDD/ confidence test" that a fairly quick test, but you can do a full scale HDD test by just choosing "all tests" under HDD catagory.
    Or you can use the "Resource CD" that came with the PC, put it in the drive and boot from it (tap F12 and choose CD/DVD drive) and run diagnostics from that.
    I also think maybe if theres a RAM problem, it won't find the HDD, Open the memory door on the back and reseat the RAM.If you have two Ram modules, try removing one and boot. Then try the other.
    Try using a soft pencil eraser and cleaning the HDD connector on the HDD. Clean off any crumbs afterwards, reseat and boot.
    Let us know how you make out.
    DCO
     
  3. burnout

    burnout Private E-2

    Thank you DCO57 for the reply, I tried your suggestions but unfortunately nothing is working with this thing and I'm not having any luck getting true to "dell support" and the frustration level is just getting to me too much, I'm going to take the thing to the local PC Connection store and see if they can diagnose the problem, I have a feeling I’ll be buying a new HD, I will never ever buy another Dell.

    Again thank you for your help.
     
  4. DCO57

    DCO57 Private E-2

    Burnout,
    I repair and rebuild Dell laptops all the time, so before giving up, just try a few things. First...Can you get into the BIOS? Does it show your HDD?
    DCO
     
  5. burnout

    burnout Private E-2



    DCO,

    I can get into the BIOS and under "Primary Hard Drive" it shows "None" I tried to turn all 3 lights on but only the "num lock" light is on and it is on with out me doing anything the cap lock button will not turn on the cap lock light and same with the scroll lock which is Fn + Num Luck, no light when I try to turn it on, but I did go true the motions as if they did come on and hit the hit ALT + E, then ALT + F, then ALT + B several times but no reboot only the time and date was reset. on top of all that my CD Drive bay will not open to put a CD in but I had that problem before this one.

    I did run the "Thorough" test and the hard drive test failed, with the lights and beeping to warn about the failure, also removed and cleaned connections of the HD as you suggested, still not seeing the HD and I did remove the two Ram modules, one at a time and boot then try the other and boot and still no go.

    So this is where I am right now, what do you think my next step should be? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    burnout
     
  6. DCO57

    DCO57 Private E-2

    Burnout,
    You definately are giving this alot of effort and I know how frustrating is it. I've heard of a proposed "computer toss" event where frustrated PC owners compete to see how far they can throw their computers.
    Whats the warrenty situation with your PC? Some Dell owners I work for have a 3 year warrenty, others just 1 year.
    If it is a bad HDD, its easy to swap and check. You may be able to use a HDD from several different Dell models, not just an XPS. If you can contact Dell and see what other laptop HDDs are interchangeable with your XPS, then you can ask around to see if you know anyone with one of those models. Then simply plug in the good HDD and see if your BIOS sees it, and it may even boot (if its loaded with enough similar drivers). This would rule out the MOBO. IDE HDDs have the controller on the drive itself, so its not an issue of the MOBO having a bad HDD controller. However theres other components on the MOBO that support the HDD, including the chipset, memory controller (which may not be addressing the HDD correctly), and others.
    If it is the MOBO, well thats obviously a big job. I replace laptop MOBOs a few times a week and its no picnic.In which case be prepared to spend about $300 just for the labor (I'm not sure of the MOBO price).
    Good Luck,
    DCO
     
  7. Adrynalyne

    Adrynalyne Guest

    Just keep in mind if there is a warranty, cracking open the laptop and fiddling with the hard drive will almost certainly void it.
     
  8. rtminc

    rtminc Private E-2

  9. DCO57

    DCO57 Private E-2

    The HDDs on laptops just slide into a bay on the side of the unit, so you won't have to open the case at all.As long as the drive is interchangeable, the "teeth" will slide right into the socket.
    And if it is under warrenty, then just call Dell. Most Dell laptop warrenties are "next day-onsite". I do on average 20 Dell warrenty calls a week (the company I work for handles 1000 Dell warrenty calls a day nationwide).
    And I agree...if it is under warrenty, its probably best not to work on it all all, just call Dell.
    DCO
     
  10. Adrynalyne

    Adrynalyne Guest

    My bad, thinking of my powerbook, which requires you crack open the case.

    Thanks for the correction, don't know what I was thinking, considering my wife's HP is the same way.
     
  11. burnout

    burnout Private E-2

    DCO57, Adrynalyne, rtminc thanks for the help and suggestions I really appreciate it.

    Ok guys here is where I am with this thing, I bought a new Hitachi 80GB 7200 RPM hard drive to replace the 60GB 7200RPM that was bad, replaced it booted up (nervously) seems to work fine, Bios sees it went true the on screen instructions (thank god since I would not had a clue about all that had to be done) it did the formatting thing then I installed the Windows XP Pro Reinstallation CD that included the Service Pack 2 witch came with the laptop from Dell, same with the “System Software” CD and a couple of others like the printer CD, DVD+R CD, and so on, but when it was installing it said “Installing Windows XP Home” and I checked after the installation and in fact it was the Home version not the Pro that it says on the CD, is there a code needed or registration procedure that turns on the “Pro” version?

    Also I can’t get it to see the wireless single or to get on the net, can you guys point me in the right direction on this? I’ve never done anything like HD R&R or a clean install before this so I’m a newbie at this. I tried to look for help on google, D-Link, and a few other places but all I found was step by step instructions on how to add a 2nd HD or to back up an working HD or where to buy books on building PC's. Thanks for the help in advance.
     
  12. Adrynalyne

    Adrynalyne Guest

    No code will change XP Home to Pro. Thats very odd. Are you certain that XP Pro was installed before? Because if it was, they shipped you the wrong reinstallation CD. Back to calling Dell again. :(

    As for the wireless, what does Device Manager show for Network adapters?

    Any bangs !, or question marks?
     
  13. thesunscreen

    thesunscreen Specialist

    To find out what your system came with flip the laptop over and check the "certificate of Authenticity" on the bottom, it will say XP home or Pro, and if the disk says home and the COA says pro, then dell screwed up in the shipping, and they are usually pretty good about shipping the correct version. The wireless signal, as long as the wireless icon comes up to show you it is transmitting, then you may need to tweak your browser settings, turn off proxy or what have you.
     
  14. burnout

    burnout Private E-2

    tss, the "certificate of Authenticity" confirms that I should have the Pro version of XP and the "Reinstallation CD" Dell sent is labeled XP Pro but it installs the XP Home, kind of a strange thing, and I'm not getting a wireless icon so probably a hardware or driver issue.
     
  15. burnout

    burnout Private E-2


    Adrynalyne, I just had a "Dell Chat" online and they are going to send me a XP Pro CD, 2nd day (at least that is what they said) as for the wireless, in Device Manager I have question marks (?) for "Other devices" and under that I have (?)'s for
    ?"Ethernet Controller",
    ?"Multimedia Audio Controller",
    ?"Network Controller",
    ?"PCI Modem",
    ?"Video Controller (VGA Compatible)"

    I have no wireless icon in the taskbar, and the "Stand By" option in the logout window is grayed out, any thoughts?
     
  16. Adrynalyne

    Adrynalyne Guest

    All driver issues.

    Can you post your exact Dell model?

    Also, PM me your service tag number. That would help a ton.

    I'll get to it as soon as I can. I have classes starting tommorow, so I'll be getting on here less.
     
  17. InfinitePulse

    InfinitePulse Private E-2

    I'm gonna bump this thread because I'm having the same problem... sometimes it just shuts down on it's own after a while and gives me the "Primary hard disk drive 0 not found" error message... I was finally able to get it to boot up using safe mode, but I've been able to use normal mode for quite some time... is there any reason why my laptop would just stop recognizing the HD? This is the 2nd HD that's in here...
     
  18. DavidGP

    DavidGP MajorGeeks Forum Administrator - Grand Pooh-Bah Staff Member

    Hi and Welcome

    Please start a new thread on your issue and give us some details as to Windows version used and some hardware specs ( make and model of PC ), when did it first happen and had you installed any new software before this started.

    many thanks
     
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