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Dell Dimension 8300 - Hard Drive Issue

by causticlemons / January 18, 2011 9:08 AM PST

Hi, I've got a Dell Dimension 8300 that recently had a hard drive failure. I purchased a new Western Digital drive to replace it with. The old drive is IDE and the new one is SATA. I have the proper SATA cables (including molex to SATA) but I can't get the drive to work.

I have tried disconnected the CD and floppy drives (also IDE) and have been playing around in the BIOS with Primary/Master drive settings as well as trying different SATA ports on the motherboard. In the BIOS the drive is recognized as a "500GB Hard Drive" but at the end of POST it stops, saying:

Primary drive 0 not found
F1 to retry, F2 to enter setup

The Dell diagnostic lights on the back read A,B,C in green and D in amber meaning "Other failure has occurred." The motherboard also beeps twice upon boot; I couldn't find any information about that particular beep sequence.
A few hours of searching on Google hasn't helped much. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Dell Dimension 8300
WD Caviar Green 500GB

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Re: drive not found
by Kees_B Forum moderator / January 18, 2011 4:11 PM PST

I'd try an IDE drive to replace the old one. Then maybe this SATA drive can be used for storage or backup.


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Different HDD
by causticlemons / January 19, 2011 1:38 AM PST
In reply to: Re: drive not found

Thanks for all the replies.

I went and exchanged the SATA drive for an IDE drive today hoping for some better luck than yesterday. Unfortunately, it still doesn't work. I've reverted everything to the way it was when I first opened the case except for the hard drive; But I'm getting the same "drive not found" error as yesterday. I have changed the jumper on the drive to Cable Select mode just as the original drive was but that didn't work so I also tried "Master w/Slave" and "Single or Master," again with no success. Ironically, the BIOS can clearly see this drive as well since it lists the capacity as 500GB.

I'm just about at the end of my rope here so any help would be great.

P.S. - The original, now corrupt, drive will still load (until BSOD) just fine.

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In reading posts of this nature
by lacsr / January 18, 2011 7:48 PM PST

I have read that the older SATA controllers sometimes will not accept the newer SATA drives unless the jumper on the drive is changed to 1.5Gb/s. Just a thought.
Otherwise, use an IDE drive, like already suggested.

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Check into
by Willy / January 19, 2011 12:17 AM PST

While the other posters offered good suggestions, you do need to make sure the bios is at its latest update. If you use the SATA poret on the mtrbd. that relies on the bios setting and if required will need the latest update. As stated to you, there is an jumper for older controller on the HD for 1.5 vs 3.0 setting, check it out. Plus, if Dell offers any setting(from memory) to access the SATA port directly in bios. This should be explained in the Dell manual. Also, check to see if the using 1st SATA connected port. You need to install the OS SATA drivers as well to complete the install. These are provided by the maker support website and/or possible Dell, though surf there.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Cant Get there from here
by SuperGeek81 / January 19, 2011 1:05 AM PST

Hey buddy,
you cant do that...
simply put the 8300 will run IDE or EIDE but will not run SATA on the boot. You can get a PCI card that supports SATA, but you still cannot use it as a boot device. You would need to use an IDE drive as your boot loader then have the SATA drive as a backup disk, that will work, although it will not provide any additional benefits, as your Page files would need to still run on the IDE drive.
the BIOS on the boards for these dells do not support this technology.
Best of luck,
If you cant find an IDE then go EIDE...

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Keep in mind
by SuperGeek81 / January 19, 2011 1:17 AM PST

The Dell 8300 series was a prebuilt system, if you add the additional drives to the system your best bet is to upgrade your power supply to make up the difference in the pull. If not you may over heat, the 8300 fans were flawed from the get go.

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by causticlemons / January 19, 2011 2:05 AM PST
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by SuperGeek81 / January 19, 2011 2:07 AM PST
In reply to: SOLVED

if you figure out what you did to fix the issue, please post it, i would love to know how to do this, as i have a dell, that dell simply put, "not possible" leave it to dell to say that... LOL

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by causticlemons / January 19, 2011 3:07 AM PST
In reply to: RE:Solved

I simply followed the directions from that link I posted and when it restarted I popped in my Windows CD and it started booting right up. So either clearing the NVRAM, returning the BIOS settings to default and/or disabling a couple of things fixed my problem. Good luck!

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