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Error auto-sensing secondary master hard disk drive

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Every time I turn off my Dell XPS (which is rare, because I hate having to face this issue), then turn it back on, it gives me a loading screen with the big word "Dell" over a gray progress bar, and a "F2 ____ and F12 Boot Menu" (something I can't remember) in the top right hand corner. Then it moves on to the next screen with a blinking "_", gives a loud beep and says:
"Error auto-sensing secondary master hard disk drive
Strike the F1 key to continue
F2 to run the setup utilty
Press F5 to run onboard diagnostics"

It used to turn back on after about 10 minutes of cool down time, but it has been tested on and off for about 2 hours now and nothing's worked. First, it was a lot of testing for about 10 minutes, then a 10 minute cool down time and test, then a 45 minutes testing time and it still hasn't gotten past the issue.

I've tried taking out the battery, waiting 5 minutes, disconnecting the USB items, and all but the power cord as well. Nothing seems to work. Help!
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Do you have a "secondary master hard disk drive"? If not, go into the CMOS/BIOS Setup and change the option for the "secondary master hard disk drive" from "Auto" to "Disabled", (or "None", "Off", or similar).

If you do have a "secondary master hard disk drive", sounds like it may be either disconnected (loose connection), or dead. :)
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