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primary slave hard disk fail when none are plugged in

Last response: in Windows XP
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October 19, 2011 2:39:48 AM

Why would my computer say primary slave hard disk fail when I have the second hard drive unplugged.. I recently installed xp on a new "master" hard drive and the other one that is secondary has always been secondary but was getting that message so I unplugged it. Its not listed in the BIOS and also isn't in my boot order... On a side note though, I'dr eally like to get the data off of the second one!!!
October 19, 2011 3:21:40 AM

What is the make & model of both drives? (I have hundreds of pictures of the jumper settings)

Do you have the Master/Slave jumpers selected properly at the drive(s)?

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October 19, 2011 2:32:47 PM

Both Western Digital...set to cable select, but like I said the second drive isn't even plugged in right now and it still says secondary fail
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October 19, 2011 5:34:44 PM

You are using a CS cable. Pin #28 is the sensing wire that chooses the drive to be addressed. If a drive sees this signal as grounded, it's the master, but if it floats (unconnected), it is the slave (when pinned to use CS). So on the ribbon cable, one connector will have pin #28 connected (grounded at the computer), the other connector pin #28 just floats. Normally, the far end connector has pin #28 grounded making the last drive on the cable Master, so if only one drive is present, plug it into the last connector.

If you actually set the drive jumpers to Master or Slave, they will ignore pin #28 and obey the drive selector pins and be what you make them.

You should assign the Master/Slave designation of the drive rather than CS if only one drive is present just to avoid a conflict if the cable was made backwards (first drive pin #28 grounded instead of the end connector).

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October 19, 2011 11:29:55 PM

Thank you, I will eventually have a second drive on there if I can recover the data fro the failed drive..Now another thing, (unless this sould be posted in a new thread then i'm sorry, new here).. but now after start up and the asus screen (before the xp screen) it asks me to press f1 to continue or del to enter set up.. whats with that? Thanks and if I should post it somewhere else lmk!
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October 20, 2011 2:46:13 AM


That message could be any one of many things. The system clock may invalid, it didn't find a boot device, a memory change was detected (real or otherwise), the list can go on and on.

You already know there is a problem with the CS setup you are using. This may be it. If you are going to add a second drive "someday" then you should get the drive jumper set to 'single' or 'Master' depending on what the nomenclature may be for the drive remaining in the system. You can change back to CS when the second drive is present.

If you wish to attempt a data extraction on the maybe failed drive, set it to slave and get past the CS issue. Just don't have one drive be set to CS and the other to a fixed position of Master or slave.
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