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Hard drive suddenly not showing up

Tags:
  • Dell
  • Hard Drives
  • Dimension
  • Systems
  • Windows XP
Last response: in Systems
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December 29, 2013 3:01:34 PM

I have a 2004 Dell Dimension 3000 series, with Windows XP SP3 OS. It's used and had already had its issues when I got it. I'd done a format and reinstall on it a few weeks ago and that seemed to fix it up. But now, it will boot and then it says "Primary drive 0 not found," and I've tried booting it from the disk, but it also says it has no hard drive. Why is this, and what can I do?

More about : hard drive suddenly showing

December 29, 2013 3:15:39 PM

dazedandconfused93 said:
I have a 2004 Dell Dimension 3000 series, with Windows XP SP3 OS. It's used and had already had its issues when I got it. I'd done a format and reinstall on it a few weeks ago and that seemed to fix it up. But now, it will boot and then it says "Primary drive 0 not found," and I've tried booting it from the disk, but it also says it has no hard drive. Why is this, and what can I do?


Could be that the drive itself is dead. What you can try is to boot with an Ubuntu live disk and see if the drive can be mounted and the contents explored, if not then you may want to remove the drive from the laptop and insert the drive into another system or into an external enclosure and connect to another desktop etc.

If no joy then a new drive is required.
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December 29, 2013 4:16:41 PM

Get into the BIOS on power up. Look to see if the BIOS can detect the drive.

If the drive shows up in the BIOS display then at least some of the drive's ahrdware is working. You may have minor problems on the drive (e.g. broken master boot record repairable with one command). Post if the drive is visible in the BIOS but not in windows.

If the BIOS can not see the drive then you have hardware issues. Start by re-seating the power and signal cables at both end of the drive (with PC powered down). Try to see drive again in the BIOS. Listen for the sound of the drive spinning up. If you do not hear the drive spin, or it makes ugly clunking sounds you have a dead drive. Dead drives are not uncommon.

A new drive is a fairly cheap thing. Post if you need instructions for replacing a drive. To get a new copy of Windows XP for "2004 Dell Dimension 3000 series, with Windows XP SP3 OS" call up Dell support an order a copy of the recovery disk for that PC. It'll probably cost you $20. (or restore a backup if you made backups).
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