having physically installed a new W/D 320GB HDD to my Dell Optiplex Gx280, the BIOS says "error autosensing secondary hard disc drive". The SATA and power cables are OK, and the original 40GB drive is still there. The BIOS gives neither the new drive ID nor capacity. Is there something I should be telling the BIOS and if so what?
I assume you are correct in saying it is a SATA drive, not IDE. One unfortunately common problem is that some new SATA II drives fail to adjust their settings when connected to an older SATA controller that is communicating at the original SATA slower speed of 1.5 Gb/s. If that is your situation, check the WD website for information how to set a jumper on pins on the back edge of the drive to force it to the old slower speed. This is the only jumper setting you should ever need on a SATA drive - there are NO settings for old IDE Master and Slave designations.