Primary drive not recognized with secondary on auto

CD player died, and now the XP PC won't recognize anything other than the primary drive, and that only if all the secondaries are set to "off" in BIOS. Setting to "auto" results in even the primary HDD listed as "not found." Any ideas?
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  1. What is your mix of HDDs and CDROMs? How many of each are SATA? How many of each are IDE/PATA?
  2. no SATA devices. 1 primary HDD on IDE set as master in the master slot, new CD/DVD on primary set as slave an in the slave slot on cable, 1 secondary HDD on secondary IDE, set as cable select.

    If everything but the primary HDD is set to "off" it sees the HDD and boots fine; if anything else is set to auto, it won't find anything. Setting primary cable devices to cable select has no effect.
    any insight is appreciated!
  3. You must use cable select for all the drives, on both ribbons, or don't use it at all.
    I for one have never been able to get it to work correctly with more than a couple of drives.
    Cable select is useless (was useless any way in my book, I have upgraded to all SATA devices now though)

    So, here are the non-cable select basics: (which usually will get everything working)
    1 drive on a ribbon, it must be on the last connection of the ribbon and set to Master.
    2 drives on the ribbon, drive hooked to the end of the ribbon must be set to master, drive hooked to the middle connection must be set to slave.
    Make certain the cable is orientated correctly, some don't have the tab or notch and will plug in either way, in which case the side of the ribbon with the red stripe is always plugged in with the red stripe towards pin #1 on the device, or motherboard.
  4. jtpublisher is exactly right. I always prefer to set Master and Slave, not using Cable Select. One additional hint that avoids trouble in some cases: When you put both a HDD and an optical drive on one channel, make the HDD the Master and the optical unit the Slave. You say that is already what you have set on Primary Channel.

    To use Cable Select you must have a 80-conductor ribbon cable made for this purpose - it involves a few special connections that are not obvious to the eye. Also in Cable Select, the Master IS the device on the END of the cable. Hence to use Cable Select with only one device, it MUST be on the END connector.
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