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No harddrives recognized by BIOS


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#1
webweazel

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Hi all! I had posted this question to a Yahoo board, and somebody suggested to ask it here. I don't know what details would be pertinent, so, sorry, it's long........

Somebody gave us this computer. Dell Precision 410. (1999-2000 vintage)

System config:
http://support.dell....ervicetag=9s0ny

It had two drives in it, one hooked up, the other just sitting in the slot in the case. One is 9G SCSI (original-hooked up), the other is 20G EIDE. We were having trouble getting it to start. (not boot) Message: DRIVE 0 NOT FOUND; PROCESSOR OR TERMINATION CARD NOT INSTALLED We diagnosed it and switched the processor card (SECC) and terminator cards in the slots, (able to run dual processors) and at least got to the BIOS screen, finally. But it will not recognize either harddrive. I dug out 4 old drives for testing, and it won't recognize those, either. (They ALL spin up.) We moved them around to different plugs, tried one, then the other, tried jumpers, disconnected the CD-ROM, checked cable/mobo connections, fooled around with the BIOS settings, etc. Still DRIVE 0 NOT FOUND.

It's been sitting for a while, and the battery is toast, so everytime it has power put to it after sitting for more than 10 minutes, the BIOS is reset, I assume to defaults. The BIOS is very primitive. Whenever I research on the net and I read suggesting a setting to recognize the drive, I go to try it, the BIOS doesn't even have it.

Also, I cannot get to a DOS prompt. After the DRIVE 0 NOT FOUND it goes either to a "system halted" or "run system config and press F? to continue". I press the function button, and the message just repeats. And repeats. And repeats.

It has some sort of SCSI (BIOS-like) utility that shows the adapter at #7 out of 16 (?) I believe. (I don't really fully understand SCSI, myself.) If the drive is hooked to the cable, it shows the host adapter, and nothing else.

The BIOS cannot be flashed if I can only get into BIOS and no further, correct? (I've only done it once before, YEARS ago.) The only thing I can guess is that the motherboard is bad. The odds of BOTH IDE AND SCSI cables and/or 6 harddrives being bad at the same time, I would think is statistically pretty low.

Any ideas? Did I miss anything? I'm the software person in the family, not the hardware person, and the hardware person doesn't feel like fooling with it when the going gets tough, so I'm trying it out as an opportunity to learn. I was hoping to set it up and give this to a friend in need to surf the net, but if it ends up as parts, it'll have to do.

It IS really cool, though. The video card is as big as a keyboard!

Thanks for any help you can provide! It's late here, I'll check back in the morning!
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#2
Samm

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Wow, I haven't had to work with a system this old for a little while. Brings back memories....

Lets concentrate on the SCSI first (far more interesting than IDE!). The SCSI adapter should be at position 7 by default, so this is perfectly normal.

The things to check with the SCSI are:
1) That the SCSI drive is correctly configured. You may need to look the jumper settings up on the internet but they should be marked on the drive itself somewhere. Set the SCSI ID to 0. Set the termination to AUTO (assuming it has this setting). As for other settings, let me know what they are first but most of them shouldn't be jumpered.

2) Next check the SCSI cable. This should be actively terminated i.e. have a plastic rectangular block at one end. Attach the drive to first connector after the scsi adapter.

Check the SCSI bios settings as well. Probably best to reset them to defaults. Any that you not sure of, just ask.

Does the drive spin up? Does the scan in the scsi bios detect the drive?
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#3
webweazel

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Thank you for the reply. I did some more digging:

""1) That the SCSI drive is correctly configured. You may need to look the jumper settings up on the internet but they should be marked on the drive itself somewhere. Set the SCSI ID to 0. Set the termination to AUTO (assuming it has this setting). As for other settings, let me know what they are first but most of them shouldn't be jumpered.""

The best documentation I found is here:
http://support.dell....48p/Jumpers.htm

There are the regular, expected jumpers on the back, and option jumpers on the front. The SCSI drive was the "installed" one, and I have no reason to believe any jumpers were removed for any reason before we got it, so I assume it's the way its supposed to be. If I'm reading it right, setting the drive to 0 means no jumpers on any of the 4 pins setting the (X) drive. Yes? And most of the other option settings would be used if there was more than one drive on the chain, yes? (The label on the drive only shows the option jumpers.) As for the regular back jumpers, there are none. These set master and slave, and none usually sets it as master, correct? But if it's the only one installed, it should fall to master, irregardless of jumpers, if there are no other drives found, yes? (I'm still learning.)
I DID put a jumper on the TERMPWR for termination(?) no change.

""2) Next check the SCSI cable. This should be actively terminated i.e. have a plastic rectangular block at one end. Attach the drive to first connector after the scsi adapter""

Yes, the terminator is there on the end of the cable. Thankfully, without sunglasses and big guns.

""Does the drive spin up? Does the scan in the scsi bios detect the drive?""

Yes, it spins up, and I can hear the drive heads working for a few seconds, then, just spins until I shut it off.

A tidbit from the BIOS, if I attach the SCSI, (not sure if it is also with the other drives) in the auto-detection routine for the drives, "AUTO" drive 0 is coming up as the CD-ROM. (??) Perchanse might this be something?

Any hints in any of this? Does it seem to be leaning towards a SETTINGS issue, or a BUSTED HARDWARE issue? I'll go dig some more.

Edited by webweazel, 03 December 2009 - 07:43 PM.

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#4
webweazel

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The info you gave was helpful. I thought about what you said, and decided to concentrate ONLY on the SCSI drive, and take all other parts out of the loop of consideration. The BIOS settings, and the drive itself is what I would concentrate on.

Okay, I disconnected the CD-ROM, Zip Drive (ha!), I installed the SCSI drive again, and closely scrutinized the BIOS settings. There was one for SCSI: primary, secondary, off, etc. I found that if I put it to primary, all of a sudden, it read it! Went into the SCSI BIOS- checked the drive, checked out okay, went back into the "press F1 to continue or F2 for setup" screen. I pressed F1, and Windows started! Woohoo! I plugged the CD-ROM back in, rebooted, and it came up as "new hardware" in Windows, so I know that works now, too.

I still can't get the second drive to show up, but at least if I'm this far, it shouldn't be too bad. Now, at least I have a nominally working test bed to wrestle with drive #2.

Thank you so much for your help. It gave me the answer and thought process I needed, and I learned something new along the way!
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#5
KevinMartin

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Follow the below steps.May be it will help you:
Check master/slave/CS jumper position.Check IDE cable to ensure it is securely plugged in to both motherboard and HDD connectors.Try a different IDE cable.
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#6
Samm

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Glad to hear you've managed to get most of it working. Let us know if you have any further questions :)
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