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BIOS will not recognize hard drive.

Last response: in Motherboards
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January 7, 2011 5:19:48 PM

My PC was running fine. Then, a few weeks back my Dell 4600 with XP began doing strange things (not all at the same time)...not recognizing the CD drive, monitor blinking on and off, clicking sound from CD drive and the 200 GB Maxtor hard drive. We'd had several power surges and even though my equipment was on surge protectors, I do believe it zapped my PC. One morning I turned on the PC and I heard 2 beeps, then got this message: "Primary drive 0 not found". I purchased a Spotmau boot CD and got this error: "Stop Error: 0x00000000, 0x00000000, 0x00000000, 0x00000000. A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer." The next time I tried booting the Spotmau CD opened but it cannot find the hard drive either. The hard drive was partitioned into C and D drives so that if C got corrupted I would still have my files on the D partition. What is the best way to get them off now that I cannot boot to the hard drive? OR how do I get the bios to recognize the hard drive? If I can get the hard drive recognized I may be able to save my files. Thanks.
a c 227 V Motherboard
January 7, 2011 5:53:38 PM

Sounds like you old Dell's mobo is shot (or at least dying). Since it uses an IDE HDD, the easiest way to retrieve the data from the HDD is to slap it into an external IDE enclosure and then connect the enclosure (via USB) to another PC.

If you really want to keep the ol' 4600 around, cruise on over to txcesssurplus.com and see if they have a replacement mobo available. These guys are great for "recycling" Dell parts at VERY reasonable prices.

Good luck!
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January 7, 2011 10:45:03 PM

Thank you.
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a b V Motherboard
January 7, 2011 11:23:51 PM

I disagree with COLGeek the chances are that the fault is down to a faulty power supply. Substitution of the power supply is the only test. Unfortunately the power supplies on older Dell computers are non standard with different voltages on the 20 pin connector. Good computer repair shops often have a supply of second hand Dell power supplies but check the colours of the wires going to the 20 pin connector.
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a c 227 V Motherboard
January 7, 2011 11:45:12 PM

Pjmelect has a point with the PSU and the possibility of its demise, but since you are able to boot the system (sort of) I ruled that out initially. Worth thinking about though.
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January 16, 2011 1:22:08 PM

At first, I thought it might be the power supply but ruled that out by trying the hard drive in another working Dell PC. It's BIOS could not find the hard drive either. Thank you for your replies
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February 26, 2012 1:28:21 AM

NawTqT said:
My PC was running fine. Then, a few weeks back my Dell 4600 with XP began doing strange things (not all at the same time)...not recognizing the CD drive, monitor blinking on and off, clicking sound from CD drive and the 200 GB Maxtor hard drive. We'd had several power surges and even though my equipment was on surge protectors, I do believe it zapped my PC. One morning I turned on the PC and I heard 2 beeps, then got this message: "Primary drive 0 not found". I purchased a Spotmau boot CD and got this error: "Stop Error: 0x00000000, 0x00000000, 0x00000000, 0x00000000. A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer." The next time I tried booting the Spotmau CD opened but it cannot find the hard drive either. The hard drive was partitioned into C and D drives so that if C got corrupted I would still have my files on the D partition. What is the best way to get them off now that I cannot boot to the hard drive? OR how do I get the bios to recognize the hard drive? If I can get the hard drive recognized I may be able to save my files. Thanks.

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