Dell 4550 hard drive error - Help ASAP, please!

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

Hi-

One of my clients is getting a "Primary hard drive not found" error on
a Dell 4550. They don't have any of the original disks. It was bought
and recently shipped from Singapore. Does the 4550 have a set of
diagnostics I can download, or does F12 start the diags, if you know?
I already suggested they re-seat the hard drive, and apparently that
didn't help. I've never seen the machine (or the client<g>!). The only
Dell CDs I have are for my D800 laptop, but I don't think those will
do any good.

I'm assuming that if re-seating the HD doesn't help it might have been
damaged in transit, but I'd like to have some diags to try
nonetheless. So should F12 start them up on this? It does have a
floppy drive, so I'll at least take along a boot floppy and CD. Seat
o' my pants, here (this happens tomorrow)! I'll do some more research,
but if anyone can help in the meantime, that'd be great!

TMIA-

Susan
10 answers Last reply
More about dell 4550 hard drive error asap please
  1. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Susan wrote:

    > Hi-
    >
    > One of my clients is getting a "Primary hard drive not found" error on
    > a Dell 4550. They don't have any of the original disks. It was bought
    > and recently shipped from Singapore. Does the 4550 have a set of
    > diagnostics I can download, or does F12 start the diags, if you know?

    Pressing F12 during booting takes you to a screen which offers HDD
    diagnostics.
  2. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Thanks much, Sparky!

    -Susan

    On Tue, 07 Sep 2004 05:23:16 GMT, Sparky <nemo@moon.sun.edu> wrote:

    >Susan wrote:
    >
    >> Hi-
    >>
    >> One of my clients is getting a "Primary hard drive not found" error on
    >> a Dell 4550. They don't have any of the original disks. It was bought
    >> and recently shipped from Singapore. Does the 4550 have a set of
    >> diagnostics I can download, or does F12 start the diags, if you know?
    >
    >Pressing F12 during booting takes you to a screen which offers HDD
    >diagnostics.
  3. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    I didn't remember the 4550 supporting F12. If it doesn't, then when you see
    the Dell logo, press CTR+ALT+D. I know it supports that (just did it last
    week). Make sure the drive is plugged in 'tight'.

    As for disks, is the Windows sticker still on the side? If so, any disks
    for the same operating system will work and all the drivers can be
    downloaded from Dell's site, so you're probably OK. If the D800 is the same
    operating system, then the disk will work and it is legal as long as you
    have that sticker.

    Tom
    "Susan" <smg@bestweb.net> wrote in message
    news:c2475f2c.0409061948.6640b2c3@posting.google.com...
    > Hi-
    >
    > One of my clients is getting a "Primary hard drive not found" error on
    > a Dell 4550. They don't have any of the original disks. It was bought
    > and recently shipped from Singapore. Does the 4550 have a set of
    > diagnostics I can download, or does F12 start the diags, if you know?
    > I already suggested they re-seat the hard drive, and apparently that
    > didn't help. I've never seen the machine (or the client<g>!). The only
    > Dell CDs I have are for my D800 laptop, but I don't think those will
    > do any good.
    >
    > I'm assuming that if re-seating the HD doesn't help it might have been
    > damaged in transit, but I'd like to have some diags to try
    > nonetheless. So should F12 start them up on this? It does have a
    > floppy drive, so I'll at least take along a boot floppy and CD. Seat
    > o' my pants, here (this happens tomorrow)! I'll do some more research,
    > but if anyone can help in the meantime, that'd be great!
    >
    > TMIA-
    >
    > Susan
  4. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Remove the hard drive from the system, determine its manufacturer and model,
    download the HARD DRIVE manufacturer's DOS-mode diagnostic software, and run the
    diagnostics. This approach tests the drive as close to the hardware iron as can
    be done and provides reliable accurate results.

    Attempting to run either built-in Dell diagnostics or the Windows SCANDISK toy
    assumes that the drive itself is at least accessible, which does not seem to be
    indicated by the symptoms.

    Consider changing out the C2032 3v lithium battery, which can give all sorts of
    false indications when failing or failed.

    Last of all, hope and pray that the system was packed well for shipment from
    Singapore. A real jolt in transit could have caused a head crash. But the
    drive manufacturer's diagnostics will tell all... Ben Myers

    On 6 Sep 2004 20:48:33 -0700, smg@bestweb.net (Susan) wrote:

    >Hi-
    >
    >One of my clients is getting a "Primary hard drive not found" error on
    >a Dell 4550. They don't have any of the original disks. It was bought
    >and recently shipped from Singapore. Does the 4550 have a set of
    >diagnostics I can download, or does F12 start the diags, if you know?
    >I already suggested they re-seat the hard drive, and apparently that
    >didn't help. I've never seen the machine (or the client<g>!). The only
    >Dell CDs I have are for my D800 laptop, but I don't think those will
    >do any good.
    >
    >I'm assuming that if re-seating the HD doesn't help it might have been
    >damaged in transit, but I'd like to have some diags to try
    >nonetheless. So should F12 start them up on this? It does have a
    >floppy drive, so I'll at least take along a boot floppy and CD. Seat
    >o' my pants, here (this happens tomorrow)! I'll do some more research,
    >but if anyone can help in the meantime, that'd be great!
    >
    >TMIA-
    >
    >Susan
  5. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Hi-

    That's excellent info all, thanks! I have a 1-day reprieve, so if
    anyone else wants to chime in, by all means, feel free<g>!

    I wish I could download the drive diags before I go there, but I won't
    know what model it is until I see it. I'm not sure how I can download
    it to her PC since even if it boots to a floppy I won't have internet
    access from that machine. My laptop doesn't have a floppy, so I guess
    I'll have to take along my CD-burner, download & burn it from there,
    then run the diags from that CD in her machine (after booting from a
    floppy)?

    I'm by no means a hardware person (obviously!), so I'm seriously
    hoping it's just loose cabling (or ding-dong the drive is dead).

    I'm taking along a bootable floppy and a bootable CD with some
    "generic" diags, but I feel a Catch-22 coming on. Am I missing
    something obvious?

    Thanks again!

    -Susan
  6. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Susan G" <smg@bestweb.net> wrote in message
    news:kslsj0dtb6ud9kegmknjien93vt5d7uu0n@4ax.com...
    > Hi-
    >
    > That's excellent info all, thanks! I have a 1-day reprieve, so if
    > anyone else wants to chime in, by all means, feel free<g>!
    >
    > I wish I could download the drive diags before I go there, but I won't
    > know what model it is until I see it. I'm not sure how I can download
    > it to her PC since even if it boots to a floppy I won't have internet
    > access from that machine. My laptop doesn't have a floppy, so I guess
    > I'll have to take along my CD-burner, download & burn it from there,
    > then run the diags from that CD in her machine (after booting from a
    > floppy)?
    >
    > I'm by no means a hardware person (obviously!), so I'm seriously
    > hoping it's just loose cabling (or ding-dong the drive is dead).
    >
    > I'm taking along a bootable floppy and a bootable CD with some
    > "generic" diags, but I feel a Catch-22 coming on. Am I missing
    > something obvious?
    >
    > Thanks again!
    >
    > -Susan
    >


    Susan,

    If she has her "Dell Dimension Resource CD", you won't need to download
    anything. It's bootable and has multiple hard disk diagnostics. Any error
    messages generated would be helpful in drive replacement if she has
    remaining hardware warranty.

    Aside from that, you can also run the short/quick HDD diags by pressing F12
    at the Dell splash screen when booting.

    3-5 minutes and you'll have a result that will give you some idea as to the
    status of the hard drive.


    Stew
  7. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Hi Stew-

    >If she has her "Dell Dimension Resource CD", you won't need to download
    >anything. It's bootable and has multiple hard disk diagnostics. Any error
    >messages generated would be helpful in drive replacement if she has
    >remaining hardware warranty.
    Unfortunately, she says she doesn't have *any* of the original CDs --
    I'm hoping she does and just doesn't know it<g>! [I can almost see
    tossing docs, but not original CDs -- seems to me the less you know
    about something, the *more* you'd want to keep, but maybe that's just
    me -- I've kept *everything* that ever came with *anything* I ever
    bought<g>!]

    The only Dell Resource CD I have is for my Latitude D800, but IIRC,
    when I swapped a Latitude C Series machine for the newer one, the same
    CD didn't work -- it was machine-specific.

    Thanks!

    Susan

    On Tue, 7 Sep 2004 20:20:20 -0500, "S.Lewis"
    <stew1960@cover.bellsouth.net> wrote:

    >
    >"Susan G" <smg@bestweb.net> wrote in message
    >news:kslsj0dtb6ud9kegmknjien93vt5d7uu0n@4ax.com...
    >> Hi-
    >>
    >> That's excellent info all, thanks! I have a 1-day reprieve, so if
    >> anyone else wants to chime in, by all means, feel free<g>!
    >>
    >> I wish I could download the drive diags before I go there, but I won't
    >> know what model it is until I see it. I'm not sure how I can download
    >> it to her PC since even if it boots to a floppy I won't have internet
    >> access from that machine. My laptop doesn't have a floppy, so I guess
    >> I'll have to take along my CD-burner, download & burn it from there,
    >> then run the diags from that CD in her machine (after booting from a
    >> floppy)?
    >>
    >> I'm by no means a hardware person (obviously!), so I'm seriously
    >> hoping it's just loose cabling (or ding-dong the drive is dead).
    >>
    >> I'm taking along a bootable floppy and a bootable CD with some
    >> "generic" diags, but I feel a Catch-22 coming on. Am I missing
    >> something obvious?
    >>
    >> Thanks again!
    >>
    >> -Susan
    >>
    >
    >
    >Susan,
    >
    >If she has her "Dell Dimension Resource CD", you won't need to download
    >anything. It's bootable and has multiple hard disk diagnostics. Any error
    >messages generated would be helpful in drive replacement if she has
    >remaining hardware warranty.
    >
    >Aside from that, you can also run the short/quick HDD diags by pressing F12
    >at the Dell splash screen when booting.
    >
    >3-5 minutes and you'll have a result that will give you some idea as to the
    >status of the hard drive.
    >
    >
    >Stew
    >
  8. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Susan G" <smg@bestweb.net> wrote in message
    news:ghosj0ps0h83g53d8pinoaaj0v3v7gdg4q@4ax.com...
    > Hi Stew-
    >
    >>If she has her "Dell Dimension Resource CD", you won't need to download
    >>anything. It's bootable and has multiple hard disk diagnostics. Any
    >>error
    >>messages generated would be helpful in drive replacement if she has
    >>remaining hardware warranty.
    > Unfortunately, she says she doesn't have *any* of the original CDs --
    > I'm hoping she does and just doesn't know it<g>! [I can almost see
    > tossing docs, but not original CDs -- seems to me the less you know
    > about something, the *more* you'd want to keep, but maybe that's just
    > me -- I've kept *everything* that ever came with *anything* I ever
    > bought<g>!]
    >
    > The only Dell Resource CD I have is for my Latitude D800, but IIRC,
    > when I swapped a Latitude C Series machine for the newer one, the same
    > CD didn't work -- it was machine-specific.
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > Susan
    >
    > On Tue, 7 Sep 2004 20:20:20 -0500, "S.Lewis"
    > <stew1960@cover.bellsouth.net> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>"Susan G" <smg@bestweb.net> wrote in message
    >>news:kslsj0dtb6ud9kegmknjien93vt5d7uu0n@4ax.com...
    >>> Hi-
    >>>
    >>> That's excellent info all, thanks! I have a 1-day reprieve, so if
    >>> anyone else wants to chime in, by all means, feel free<g>!
    >>>
    >>> I wish I could download the drive diags before I go there, but I won't
    >>> know what model it is until I see it. I'm not sure how I can download
    >>> it to her PC since even if it boots to a floppy I won't have internet
    >>> access from that machine. My laptop doesn't have a floppy, so I guess
    >>> I'll have to take along my CD-burner, download & burn it from there,
    >>> then run the diags from that CD in her machine (after booting from a
    >>> floppy)?
    >>>
    >>> I'm by no means a hardware person (obviously!), so I'm seriously
    >>> hoping it's just loose cabling (or ding-dong the drive is dead).
    >>>
    >>> I'm taking along a bootable floppy and a bootable CD with some
    >>> "generic" diags, but I feel a Catch-22 coming on. Am I missing
    >>> something obvious?
    >>>
    >>> Thanks again!
    >>>
    >>> -Susan
    >>>
    >>
    >>
    >>Susan,
    >>
    >>If she has her "Dell Dimension Resource CD", you won't need to download
    >>anything. It's bootable and has multiple hard disk diagnostics. Any
    >>error
    >>messages generated would be helpful in drive replacement if she has
    >>remaining hardware warranty.
    >>
    >>Aside from that, you can also run the short/quick HDD diags by pressing
    >>F12
    >>at the Dell splash screen when booting.
    >>
    >>3-5 minutes and you'll have a result that will give you some idea as to
    >>the
    >>status of the hard drive.
    >>
    >>
    >>Stew
    >>
    >


    Okay, so you'll still have the F12 90-90 quick diags.

    Brand-specific diags can be found at the manufacturers site, though making a
    bootable CD from them might be fun :)

    Good luck.


    Stew
  9. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    If you find yourself doing troubleshooting and repair a lot, a modest investment
    in a USB floppy drive would save tons of time and make you more effective. A
    USB floppy does not need to be a Dell branded one. They are all pretty much the
    same, as long as your laptop has a USB 2.0, which provides power to a external
    USB device. (You don't need to lug around a separate power supply for an old
    USB 1.1 floppy diskette drive.)

    Let's hope you are right. Check the data and power cables to make sure they are
    connected snugly at both ends. Long distance shipping has been known to loosen
    up cables, screws, and even CPUs, if the system is not packed for fairly secure
    shipping... Ben Myers

    On Tue, 07 Sep 2004 21:03:15 -0400, Susan G <smg@bestweb.net> wrote:

    >Hi-
    >
    >That's excellent info all, thanks! I have a 1-day reprieve, so if
    >anyone else wants to chime in, by all means, feel free<g>!
    >
    >I wish I could download the drive diags before I go there, but I won't
    >know what model it is until I see it. I'm not sure how I can download
    >it to her PC since even if it boots to a floppy I won't have internet
    >access from that machine. My laptop doesn't have a floppy, so I guess
    >I'll have to take along my CD-burner, download & burn it from there,
    >then run the diags from that CD in her machine (after booting from a
    >floppy)?
    >
    >I'm by no means a hardware person (obviously!), so I'm seriously
    >hoping it's just loose cabling (or ding-dong the drive is dead).
    >
    >I'm taking along a bootable floppy and a bootable CD with some
    >"generic" diags, but I feel a Catch-22 coming on. Am I missing
    >something obvious?
    >
    >Thanks again!
    >
    >-Susan
    >
  10. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Hi Ben-

    >If you find yourself doing troubleshooting and repair a lot, a modest investment
    >in a USB floppy drive would save tons of time and make you more effective. A
    >USB floppy does not need to be a Dell branded one.
    Point taken, thanks -- I'll find out tomorrow! I've never represented
    myself as a hardware person, and this started out as basically a favor
    for a friend of a friend, but this "friend" of a friend is now going
    the "why can't you just fix it over the phone?" route, and "why do I
    have to pay you such much"? Let's just say she doesn't seem like an
    extremely "patient" person.

    I've tried to explain a few things to her over the phone. We'll see
    how it goes tomorrow<g>!

    Thanks!

    -Susan


    On Wed, 08 Sep 2004 03:43:27 GMT, ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net
    (Ben Myers) wrote:

    >If you find yourself doing troubleshooting and repair a lot, a modest investment
    >in a USB floppy drive would save tons of time and make you more effective. A
    >USB floppy does not need to be a Dell branded one. They are all pretty much the
    >same, as long as your laptop has a USB 2.0, which provides power to a external
    >USB device. (You don't need to lug around a separate power supply for an old
    >USB 1.1 floppy diskette drive.)
    >
    >Let's hope you are right. Check the data and power cables to make sure they are
    >connected snugly at both ends. Long distance shipping has been known to loosen
    >up cables, screws, and even CPUs, if the system is not packed for fairly secure
    >shipping... Ben Myers
    >
    >On Tue, 07 Sep 2004 21:03:15 -0400, Susan G <smg@bestweb.net> wrote:
    >
    >>Hi-
    >>
    >>That's excellent info all, thanks! I have a 1-day reprieve, so if
    >>anyone else wants to chime in, by all means, feel free<g>!
    >>
    >>I wish I could download the drive diags before I go there, but I won't
    >>know what model it is until I see it. I'm not sure how I can download
    >>it to her PC since even if it boots to a floppy I won't have internet
    >>access from that machine. My laptop doesn't have a floppy, so I guess
    >>I'll have to take along my CD-burner, download & burn it from there,
    >>then run the diags from that CD in her machine (after booting from a
    >>floppy)?
    >>
    >>I'm by no means a hardware person (obviously!), so I'm seriously
    >>hoping it's just loose cabling (or ding-dong the drive is dead).
    >>
    >>I'm taking along a bootable floppy and a bootable CD with some
    >>"generic" diags, but I feel a Catch-22 coming on. Am I missing
    >>something obvious?
    >>
    >>Thanks again!
    >>
    >>-Susan
    >>
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