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Computer Drops Hard Drive and shows it as NOT installed, then as insta

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Computer Drops Hard Drive and shows it as NOT installed, then as installed:

My Dell Dimension 4100 Computer has a very strange problem that I have finally isolated. At first I could not get to cmos (bios) setup, but only got message that I needed a boot floppy which I made and it did nothing. Finally I got into setup and found it was dropping the hard drive, i.e., it would first show it was there, but the next time when I ran setup, after unit failed to work, it showed that hard drive was not there. I changed memory sticks, but to no avail. Any ideas of how to correct?

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    motto - Just get-er-done

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First replace the IDE data cable to see if it is bad. Then try running a manufacturer diagnostic program to see if the drive is going bad. Last thing to think about is a bad motherboard.

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