Windows Legacy OS forum


Boot failure,XP Pro, bios menu says drives not installed

by edt41 / March 11, 2013 11:19 AM PDT

Have an older Dell 8200. Boot failure with no previous problems. F2: shows a: drive, but "primary drives not installed." Boot Sequence: CD and hard drives "not installed." Error message re: Plug & play error and hardware configuration error. Floppy Boot disk doesn't work. Copied files from another computer with similar configuration, but didn't work

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Clarification Request
I've read the post ...
by Edward ODaniel / March 12, 2013 2:28 PM PDT

listing what you have done but I didn't see trying a different hard drive (they do die and when dead fail to get recognized by the BIOS) nor different drive data cables (again, they can and do go bad resulting in power to the drive but no data transfer resulting in BIOS not seeing the drive).

Are the Hard drive and CD both on the same data cable? If so, if one has problems it can cause the other to become invisible to the BIOS. IDE isn't as bad about this as SCSI but it still happens.

All Answers

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Pretty common issues.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 11, 2013 11:25 AM PDT

You would fix what you need fixed. It's pretty rare to need that A: drive today so why not unplug and set the BIOS to no floppy? Then about the HDD. It's not detected so tell the forum what you did to work that issue.

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Not sure about how to talk to the forum. Please advise.
by edt41 / March 11, 2013 11:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Pretty common issues.

Here's what I've tried:
- removed battery & tested. It's 3.1 v.
- tried removing floppy from boot sequence... HD still not installed; "plug & play error"
- tried XP install disk... CD drive couldn't read it (not installed)
- set drives to AUTO from OFF
- tried unplugging power and ribbon cables
- tried holding ON button for 30 sec to reset
- most fixes (e.g. UBCD4XP) require CD drive which I can't access
- keyboard & mouse are inactive
- hard disk and CD drive are running. CD drive starts, then stops when I insert a disk

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Then parts are still broke.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 12, 2013 4:05 AM PDT

At this point you decide to swap parts. Keep in mind that replacement of the box is cheap today.

The common 8200 had a P4 of about 1.7GHz so let's see how much for something close. is 110 bucks. There are under 99 buck Pentium 4's there but this is ready to boot XP.

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