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Primary Slave Hard Disc Error


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#1
sanddancer

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:) ...please also see other postings regarding this ongoing issue.
Here are the links:-

http://www.geekstogo...or-t226507.html

http://www.geekstogo...at-t228921.html

On boot up a black screen appears with the following notations on:-

"PT84520A.10A.0018.P03.0207181331
Dell Dimension 4500 series
BIOS Version A03
Intel ® Pentium ® 4 processor 2 GHz

1024 MB System RAM
Legacy keyboard. Detected
Legacy Mouse. Detected
USB Legacy. Enabled

Fixed Disk 0: ST340016A (ultra DMA Mode ATA/100)
ATAPI CD-ROM GCR-8481B
ATAPI CD-ROM _NEC CD-RW
ATAPI NR-7900A to enter Utility Mode

Primary Slave Hard Disk Error
Press (DEL) to RUN SETUP "

Unfortunately couldn't do a screen shot of the above.

I press "DEL" which takes me to "Set Up" screen on which I'm not able to make & save any changes. My only option is to "Exit" discard changes which then allows windows to run. This happens every time I reboot. :)
System works fine, however very slow. System programs all appear to function.

Look forward to suggestions...other than throw it away! :)
Thanks in anticipation
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#2
isimaster

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A couple of Possibilities:

1. The Ribbon Cable connected to your second Drive is Loose.
2. The Ribbon Cable is Bad.

Oepn the PC case and try reseating the cable.
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#3
sanddancer

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Hello isimaster,

thanks for speedy response.

I have made sure all the plugs/cables are located firmly & not loose.

I've also disconnected both CD drives and the floppy by disconnecting their respective power and ribbon cables. On reboot same screen and notations were displayed.
I'll certainly open it up and take another look at the ribbon cables.

In my ignorance what is the second drive? Also what is the best way to check the cables apart from doing a visual?

Regards
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#4
isimaster

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A second drive would be, a second physical drive in your system.
I assumed you had more than on, because your error said Primary Slave disc error.

If you only have one drive. The error should have been, Primary Master disc error.
Which means the jumpers on your drive aren't set correctly.

When you have a system with one drive: It is the Master.
If you add a second Physical drive, you change the Jumper, (Tiny little black piece of plasctic on the same end where you plug in the power to the drive. It would be set to slave.

There is no easy way to check the ribbon cables other than eyeball them.

Edited by isimaster, 24 February 2009 - 06:37 AM.

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#5
sanddancer

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Hi isimaster,

thanks for the info. I've checked all the cables and plugs again and all looks ok.

The IDE drive unit is set to "slave" and also there is another unit linked to it which
says on it something about being antistatic protection. I should have noted down
exactly what was written on it. I can pull this out again if needed.

Nothing has been physically done to the PC since we purchased it from Dell therefore the way it is
all assembled is as original.

When the PC is booted up there is a lot of noise heard from within...like a lot of "clicking" sound.
Could this be a physical problem with the hard drive? How do I check this out?

Any suggestions, once again greatly appreciated, thanks
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#6
isimaster

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OK, looks like the assembler at dell was asleep that day.
Since you only have a single drive. It's not going to cause a problem, other than sending some confusing information to me... lol

The clicking could be a sign,there is a physical problem.
Without being able to hear it, before, and after the problem started it's hard for me to tell.

You can run chkdsk, it's a disc checking tool. It's part of MS
To run. Click start. Then Run. Type cmd
A window will open. Type chkdsk /R
There are three phases to the test.

The /R switch will attempt to recover any data on bad spots on the disc.

You will get a message that the volume is in use by another process,.
Would you like to schedule this the next time the system starts.
type in Y

then reboot your machine.

If you want to read more about the options with chkdsk.
When the window opens (after you type cmd) type help chkdsk.

Edited by isimaster, 24 February 2009 - 02:17 PM.

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#7
sanddancer

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Hi isimaster,

have run "chkdsk" on a few occassions recently and just run it again...nothing showed up. :)
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#8
123Runner

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Look at THIS for a description of how the drives should be configured.

The master (primary boot drive) should be on the end of the cable.
The slave should be in the middle.
Depending on the cable used (40 wire or 80 wire), the jumper can be CS (cable select), M (master), S (slave).
If the cable is 80 wire (real thin as compared to 40 wire), the rule of thumb is CS. BUT NOT ALWAYS.

You can't have a primary drive set to slave.

And yes, as indicated the clicking could be a failing drive.

In 1 of the other posts you indicated a floppy, C drive and 2 cd drives.
It sounds like something has changed on the drive.

Remembering where the jumper is, I would change it to CS and try. If that does not work, I would then try Master.
The page I linked to shows the jumpers for your specific drive. Sometimes the jumpers are on the label of the drive also.
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#9
isimaster

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Take a look at this site.
http://www.buildyour...-configuration/

Which one of these pictures does your system match.
or as I see in the reply above you may have two CD Rom Drives which would make your
System look like a combination of Picture one (Primary IDE (IDE0)) on the left side and picture two (Secondary IDE(IDE1)) on the right side.
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#10
isimaster

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OK, I have to Slap myself for not seeing this.
Now that, that's done.

Your Configuration.

SeaGate Drive
Hitachi 48X CD Drive

NEC 32X CD Drive
NEC 24X CD Drive

Since you said your Seagate drive was Slave, The CD Drive that is on the same cable is
also set to Slave. When you first boot, the Bios chokes because it see's two Slaves.
That's a NoNO. Your forced into the Bios, this time it looks at the second slave Ie. your Seagate drive, and lets the system boot.

I Don't like useing the Cable connect method, I prefer setting the jumpers.

Set the Jumper on your SeaGate drive to master, Set the CD Rom drive thats on the same cable as your seagate, to slave.

Plug it all back in and let me know how you made out.
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#11
123Runner

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isimaster,

Now that I have slapped myself, I see the 3 cd drives and the 1 hard drive. I missed that at the top of this post. I was going off his other post that said a floppy, HD, and 2 CD drives.

His answer as we finally figured out is he has 2 devices on the same cable set as slave.
He needs to set the hard drive as master and the cd drive as slave.
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#12
isimaster

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I missed it too, my brain was in complicated mode.
I'm sure you already know the info below, just putting it in for those who may not.
Might help someone out, down the road.

The simple way to have figured out the problem should have Been.
(It's too bad hind sight, isn't future sight.)

Disconnect, the Ribbon cables from Everything except the seagate drive.
Boot the system. Depending on the Bios, it may choke on devices it had already found.
I forget which key it is to continue.
Reboot the system again, if the Bios choked the first time, it shouln't the second time.

If it does, use the other ribbon cable. Connect it to the Primary IDE Channel (IDE0)
(eliminate Bad ribbon cable possibility)

Reconnect the second device on the seagate ribbon, if the Bios chokes, bang.
Conflict with master or slave settings. (both are the same)

For anyone trying to understand how this works.
Simple Analogy:

The town you live in can only have two roads.
They are called Primary and Secondary.

Each road can only have two houses.
They are called Master and Slave.

Each house sits directly across from each other.

Note: When the ATAPI standard, commonly called IDE, EIDE,ATA, PATA today,
was developed (a Long Time ago). It didn't need to be very smart. To keep things
simple, lets say you can only Fit four devices in your system.

The Postman needs to deliver the mail.
He has been told to go to the Street called Primary first.
He has been told to delivery to the house called Master first. Then the house called Slave.

He has been told to repeat, in the same order on the street called Secondary.

All is well , the mail is delivered.

A new postman takes on this route.
He is told to Deliver to the Street called Primary, then the street called Secondary.
He has been told, he is NOt allowed to make any choices on what to do, call the office.
They forgot to mention to him, there are two houses on these streets. He calls the office.

The Office says, Look at the houses, one says Master on it, the other says Slave.
Deliver to the one that says Master first, then SLAVE. When you get to the Street Called
Secondary do the Same thing.

The postman looks at the houses, but, they both say SLAVE. Calls the office.

In this analogy, the postman seeing slave on both houses is equivalent to the BIOS
(Basic Input Output System), seeing both devices with the same address.

Calling the Office is equivalent to the Bios returning you back to itself.

The difference between cable connect and setting Primary And Master Jumpers.
Cable select was suppoesd to make life easier.
If everybody used cable select. The System would do the following.
Go to the connector at the end of the cable first, on the way back, check the other one.
All is as is should be, there can't be any conflicts.

The Problem: We Humans can do whatever we want.

If you make a mistake and set a Jumper on the the drive,at the end connector to slave.
Then set a jumper to cable connect on a new device at the middle connector.

Now there is A conflict. Both are seen as Slave devices.

In the analogy, it's equivalent to the postman seeing both houses with the same name.

If I am installing a new device, I'm going to check which way the original device was set.
Why, because I don't know which method somebody else used.
Since I'm already there checking, I use the Master/Slave Jumpers.

I'm just Old School I guess. Either way works.

I Hope this helps somebody out there. Have a nice Day!
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#13
sanddancer

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:)
Hi guys, thanks for all the info/advise, much appreciated once again. :)
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

I've carried out all you described re: removing all the ribbon cables etc...it booted up all ok with just the Seagate drive (my ST 340016A) connected.
When I disconnected the Seagate & connected up just the other drive (my WDC WD200BB) on reboot got a message

"Reboot and select proper boot device
or insert boot media in selected boot device"

Having reconnected everything again my boot up problem returned along with the noise and "clicking" sounds. The noise is coming from my WDC WD200BB. From this I assume that there is a boot up problem with the WDC...? How does this affect the overall operation of the pc once its up and running?
What I suppose I'm saying is should I go ahead and replace the noisy drive? Also would this "faulty drive" affect the PC's performance?

Thanks a lot.
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#14
sanddancer

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Hi,

I also noticed and forgot to mention that when rebooting and the screen showed " Primary Slave Hard Disc Error" only three of the four (A,B & C) diagnostic lights on the rear of the PC shone green and the fourth one (D)
shone amber. Once I came out of this screen and windows proceeded to load the amber light changed to green.

Regards
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#15
isimaster

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From the test 's you did the Seagate is fine the WDC is headin south. (about to die)
One thing to clarify (FYI, your WDC isn't a boot device, Doesn't have windows on it, so those error meaasge are what would be expected.)

Yes it is time to replace the WDC.
Yes it could be a cause for your system to run slow.

I'm not sure what you have on it, but, if you want to test for a slow running because of it. Shut down the system and unplug the power connector. Reboot and see how the system behaves.
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