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Xp primary slave drive failed

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March 23, 2012 2:07:26 PM

Hello,
I have a rather strange situation, I will give as much detail as I can right now.
Im running Windows XP sp3 on an older Sony Vaio PCVR-X860, I installed an additional Maxtor 120 GB HDD as primary slave. I previously had a 70 GB seagate drive. Anyways, now when I boot upi I get this message at post.
Primary slave drive failed.
f1 to continue or f2 and go to hardware monitor for details.
Well when i got to hardware monitor there is nothing there that had anything to do with the HDD just temps and fan speeds.
And when I hit f1 to continue the Comp boots up and seems to run just fine. The drive is detected,listed, accessible, usable and seems just fine. So this error message at post is more annoying than anything. Anyone who has any ideas about this "Come on down" (Sorry, just a little Price is right refference)
Any help is appreciated.
a c 329 G Storage
March 23, 2012 2:40:58 PM

It appears that the F2 key is taking you directly to a particular part of the BIOS Setup screens known as the Hardware Monitor screen. That screen will show you items such as you describe. But to see how the HDD's are being detected, you need to look at another screen - probably the Home screen that shows date/time and the status of drives.

That said, your post suggests that the problem of "failed drive" happens only when first stating up. It appears that, after you have examined the BIOS screen and exited out of there to finish the boot sequence, everything works just fine. That suggests to me that the real problem is that the Maxtor is slow to complete its start-up so the BIOS reports an error because the drive simply has not "replied" quickly enough.

First, check that you have all the jumpers etc. correct. Your post suggests this is an IDE drive. I presume it is on the same ribbon cable as the Primary Master unit. (That is, the Maxtor is NOT connected to a separate IDE port via its own cable.) The jumper on the Master device should be set to Master - OR, if there are separate settings, to Master with Slave Present. The Master device should be plugged into the END of the ribbon cable. The second HDD should have its jumper set to Slave, and be plugged into the middle connector.

If you choose instead to use the "CS" (for Cable Select) jumper setting, BOTH units MUST be set that way, and then the one on the END of the cable WILL be the port Master.

I am suggesting you check these because many mobos CAN find and adjust for incorrect settings, BUT it takes extra time, and your description looks like something it taking too long to complete its normal start-up.

If all this is correct and the machine is still doing this, check in the BIOS Setup for the drive systems whether you have an option to delay or stagger HDD start-ups. That sometimes is done to reduce power demand for starting HDD's, and might help you.
March 23, 2012 3:07:00 PM

Thanks for the reply. You are correct in you assumptions. IDE drives on single ribbon cable.
I have checked that jumpers are correct and I also rearranged the drives to have the master drive connected to the end of the cable. Have not tried cable select yet. as far as the bios goes, On the main bios page the primary y master is listed with its name {Samsung sv800h4} and the primary slave just says auto so I left it as is.
I couldnt find anything in BIOS to delay HDD start up.
I will try the CS jumpers and repost with results.
Thank you again.
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March 23, 2012 3:21:20 PM

OK, Switched jumpers to CS, but also changed drive order on cable just too see something, and sure enough, now the error says primary MASTER failed,.
So it sounds like you were right the Maxtor drive is just slow starting up. Guess I'll just have to deal with.
March 23, 2012 4:57:02 PM

New problem now. AND ITS A MAJOR ONE. Now after boot into Windows, chkdsk starts and virtually all file record segments are unreadable. Dont know how this could have happened within 3 minutes and by merely changing jumpers...
After chkdsk finished its thing lots, of data lost but thats okay I plan reformatting anyways.
Going to perform full format of the drive in question first and see what results from that.
The drive was not new but came out of a different pc.
Ultimately as Paperdoc had mentioned the drive is just slow to start up, so I will just deal with that aspect of it if everything is kosher after format.
Thanks Paperdoc for your input.
As this problem has stemmed into something else I suppose this topic can be considered closed
a c 329 G Storage
March 24, 2012 2:14:58 AM

I would advise you NOT to use this drive further. What you say is that its most recent performance shows large numbers of bad sectors. THAT may be why it was so slow to start up in the first place - when it was accessed, it kept on getting read errors and re-trying to get data from the disk. If it has that many bad sectors AND the problem is getting worse, its reliability is very poor, and you risk losing whatever you put on it.
!