Solved Primary IDE not working

October 16, 2013 at 11:23:43
Specs: Microsoft Windows NT 3.51, Pentium 133 Mhz / 64 MB Ram
I have a 1996 Gateway 2000 P5-133 full tower system, and the primary IDE will not work at all.
I used this system not to long ago, and it worked fine. But now when I turn it on, only the secondary IDE port will work. The primary won't detect, or do anything. I checked the connections and they are all tight and secure, and I also set the BIOS to factory setup defaults, but still nothing. I am wondering if it is a jumper or dip switch setting gone kerflunk, but I wouldn't know because I don't have a motherboard diagram for it. Can someone help me figure this out? Thanks -486guru

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✔ Best Answer
October 19, 2013 at 23:05:16
Try both AUTO DETECT and manual configuration for the drives in bios setup. For manual you need to enter the cylinders/heads/sector (C/H/S) info found on the drive label. Make sure both IDE ports are enabled.


#1
October 16, 2013 at 12:39:16
If it used to work okay before with 2 drives installed, it's hard to see how an incorrectly positioned jumper or other switching mechanism can be the cause, they don't change themselves.

The primary drive may have failed. You can try testing it, but that's only going to be possible if the diagnostic software can detect it, which by all accounts could be a problem. However, give it a try, nothing to lose.

You'll have to create a bootable CD containing the drive manufacturer's diagnostic testing utility. The links are here: http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm...


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#2
October 16, 2013 at 12:58:36
Go back into bios setup and make sure both primary and secondary are enabled. I assume you've swapped the drives around to verify it's the port and not the drive that's at fault? Try a different cable too.

If the port is bad you can either just use the secondary--which will work fine if you only have 2 IDE devices--or you can get an add-on IDE card. You should be able to find a PROMISE IDE card on ebay for a few bucks.


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#3
October 17, 2013 at 07:50:24
Hi Guru,

with the power OFF, fully disconnect then reconnect all connections on the IDE cable and power cable concerned. Maybe 2 or 3 times.

You will be surprised how many faults this method has cured.

Note; if the hdd is strapped for CS(cable select) it is important which IDE cable connector is used, as this decides whether the hdd is master or slave. An IDE cable can have 3 connectors, the odd coloured end one is for the mobo.

Make sure the primary (not secondary if present) mobo connector is used.

Please advise back on progress.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.

message edited by Mike Newcomb


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Related Solutions

#4
October 18, 2013 at 14:25:46
I just found out something, I plugged cd-rom drives into both the primary and secondary ide ports, and they detected just fine! but I tried plugging a hard drive in, neither ports detected it. That seems really weird....

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#5
October 18, 2013 at 15:54:21
What size hard drive are you connecting? That's an older PC and likely won't properly detect a drive larger than about 8 gig. Or you may need to manually configure the drive in cmos/bios setup. If the cmos battery is as old as the PC it may have lost the previous settings.

Or the drive could be bad or not jumpered properly.


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#6
October 18, 2013 at 17:01:44
I tried a couple of hard drives, and none work. The computer does not want to detect hard drives at all.

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#7
October 18, 2013 at 17:04:55
I tried more than one hard drive, and the computer will not detect any of them. I am really confused and fustrated

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#8
October 18, 2013 at 20:44:25
WHAT - SIZE - HARD - DRIVES?? Have you verified jumpers are correct? Use master/slave. How are you configuring the drive in bios setup?

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#9
October 19, 2013 at 19:08:00
I tried a 6 GB, a 2 GB, and a 125 MB hard drive, and none worked.

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#10
October 19, 2013 at 23:05:16
✔ Best Answer
Try both AUTO DETECT and manual configuration for the drives in bios setup. For manual you need to enter the cylinders/heads/sector (C/H/S) info found on the drive label. Make sure both IDE ports are enabled.

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#11
October 21, 2013 at 02:39:51
HI Guru,

if the cmos battery has failed, often the bios will reset to factory settings.
e.g. have you noticed if the date and time are incorrect when you power on?

As Dave above states, you need to check in the bios, possibly in two places.
One, to check the disk parameters are ok, and another to enable the hdd.

Possibly being an old pc it may not have auto-detect and you must input the params.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.


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