Computer only boots without HDD connected?

My computer only boots past the Bios when there is no hard drive (or CD drive) connected via the IDE connectors. When something is connected it sits at the Gateway screen and will not enter setup or the boot menu. My first hard drive is set to master and the second is set to slave. I have tried putting them on cable select, with no luck. I tried with the hard drives on the secondary IDE connector, no luck. I was, however, able to boot into Ubuntu 9.04 by putting a live cd I had laying around into a USB cd drive. Once in Ubuntu I could not recognize the hard drives when they were plugged back in. In the Windows XP setup CD, I got a bluescreen. This is an old computer that was just being used as a server, but I would still like to fix it. I am not sure whether or not the drives are dead because my only other desktop only has SATA, but they both seem to spin up.

Gateway 500X (yorktown motherboard)
Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz
1024MB ram (2x512mb)
Maxtor 80GB IDE drive (master)
WD 160GB IDE drive (slave)
(Intel IDE controller on Motherboard)
ATI Radeon X850 AGP video card.

Thanks For Your Help!
2 answers Last reply
More about computer boots hdd connected
  1. Look in th BIOS and make sure IDE is enabled
  2. +1 Above, though it shouldn't have changed. Try unplugging the computer, take the cmos battery out for 10mins, put back in and powerup.

    First without HDD's, check the BIOS settings F10 (Save & Exit)

    Power off fit just the CD Rom drive, power up and check if it's detected. If it is leave it in, if not power down and take it out.

    Do the same with one of the HDD's (Boot one first)

    And see what happens :)
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