The DELL Bios screen loads fine with F2 going to setup and F12 going to the boot menu, but right after that screen loads I just get:
A disk read error occurred
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart.
Obviously I press that and restart but it just keeps happening over and over again. So then I press F12 and go to the boot menu and put in my Windows XP CD, and I boot from the CD-ROM because I figure I can just repair or reinstall. I press any key to boot from the CD and then across the top of the screen comes up: "Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration..." but then the Windows installer never loads. I even let it sit their for a good 15-20 minutes just to make sure.
So I figured it might be the CD, so I thought if I had to do a repair I could try to use the XP CD from my computer upstairs just to make sure. I repeat the same process and no luck, after it inspects the hardware configuration nothing happens.
So I'm not great with hardware but I figured out with the help of the Dell instruction manual how to install the secondary drive (from my OLD computer...its only like 20GB) and then I made that the primary drive and was able to load Windows and at least get my documents etc off of the one that wont boot (Western Digital 500GB hard drive) so at least if I had to reinstall Windows I wouldn't care that much. That hard drive is now taken out and I'm pretty sure that the 500GB one is now back to the main hard drive and it's the only one in there.
Since then I have tried to use the Windows XP disk again with zero luck (I also tested it on my other computer and it loads just fine).
I also have a Ubuntu 10.04 disc that I tried booting with and it seems to work just fine. I can get into Ubuntu and could probably even install it if I wanted. When I go to install it even says that Microsoft Windows XP is on it at /dev/sda1 taking up the whole disk. I can run Ubuntu off the CD as well, so if there is anything I can do in there with that I'm up for trying that.
In the BIOS the Primary Drive 0 is Hard Drive and if I press enter on that it says.
Model: WDC WD5000AAKB-00H8A0,
Drive Type - Auto
Capacity - 500 GB
I performed the IDE Drive Diagnostics and these were the results (Pressing F12 and then selecting the option during boot):
IDE Drive Diagnostics running, please wait...
Drive O: WDC WD50000AAKB-00H8A0 - Pass
Drive 1: No IDE Device
Drive 0: TSSTcorpCD/DVDW SH-S182M - Diagnostics not supported
Drive 1: SAMSUNG CDRW/DCD SM-332B - Diagnostics not supported
Test complete, pRess ENTER to reebot.
Any help is greatly appreciated!