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:) I bought a used Dell C600 Laptop for my husband on Ebay................ eeks, have had it 1 month and now it will not boot up and says that the primary hard drive cannot be found. Tried the F2 and F12 on reboot and it says there is no primary ( or otherwise) hard drive. :)

We are true novices. Followed a suggestion on a message board to disconnect the BIOS battery for 15 min +. It changed nothing.... except date and time.

When this problem began, when you turned it on, it squeaked and squawked, like a wheel that needed oiled! :)

Also: if the hard drive is kaput, does that also mean we would need to purchase an operating system if we need a new hard drive? GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR should have bought a new laptop!

Any suggestions would be so appreciated! :)

Thanks R & D Yahrmatter
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Welcome to G2G, randiane

If the hard drive has died, and the laptop didn't come with a copy of windows (on CD) or a recovery CD, then yes, you will need to purchase a copy. You should be able to get a copy fairly cheap on Ebay (assuming you haven't been too put off by your previous experience). Just make sure you buy from a reputable seller.

First though it may be worth checking that there's nothing obviously wrong with the old drive (ie a loose connection). If you disconnect the battery, you can pop the hard disk caddy out - this located on the left side of the laptop. If you turn the laptop upside down, you can remove the screw that holds the caddy in place. After that, the whole caddy just slide out. Check that there's no obvious damage to the caddy. (This is unlikely but worth checking just in case). The drive should also be securely held in place in the caddy by 4 screws.

If you do require a new hard drive, make sure you look for an IDE (not SATA), 2.5 inch hard drive. I'd advise you get one that's 120GB or smaller, as older systems will have a problem recognising anything larger than that.
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