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no hard drive found

by brooklyn354 / December 16, 2007 2:37 AM PST

I have a dell latitude D600 and everytime I shut it down and try to turn it on, a black screen comes up and says "primary hard disk not found, no bootable devices strike f1 to retry, f2 for start up. when I do this and do a test of my system it says Smart DST short test fail 1000-0141 no drive detected. I then make several attempts to shut down and restart and after a while it starts. When it does start it runs fine and I am using it right now. I sometimes fiddle with some settings when it starts and I press the F12 key, none of which I remember then shut down and it restarts but not on the first time . Sometimes I get to a screen (i dont know how) that lets me pick " start windows with last good configuration" and that works. My questions is how can I stop this or at least how can I make sure I get to that screen to start windows normally instead of hoping I run across it. and why does it say no hard drive found when there clearly is one and I am using it all day? Thank you.

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Have you???
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 16, 2007 3:33 AM PST
In reply to: no hard drive found

1. Made a backup of the drive image so you don't lose it all?
2. Opened up the machine to unplug and then plug in the hard disk, cable and/or it's tray?

3. What yearly maintenance do you perform? Cleaning, blast of air in the vents? Do tell.

Bob

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laptop sometimes doesnt start
by brooklyn354 / December 18, 2007 1:57 AM PST
In reply to: Have you???

Opened up the machine to unplug and then plug in the hard disk, cable and/or it's tray?

I dont know how to do that. What do you mean plug or unplug the hard disk? Sorry, a newbie at this sort of thing. I havent done any yearly maintenace as far as opening the laptop up and getting inside, I also realised that certain updates for windows xp ( AJAX ) is not updating, can that be the problem? and why does it start after several attempts and works fine? I'm thinking it must be a setting because when I get to the screen " start windows last good configuration" it works but I dont know how to get to that screen, I come across it by accident. Can you tell me how to get to that screen. because going into the insides of the laptop, which by the way I am using right now, is something I dont think I can do unless there is no other choice. thanks

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It's an area many laptop owners are learning.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 18, 2007 2:18 AM PST

Laptops are not maintenance free. A yearly blast of air (from those air cans at office stores) does wonders to keep the vents and heatsinks from collecting dust and lint.

And just like in desktops, there are cables that can wiggle and unplug. Sometimes it's a simple matter to snug the connections up. Sometimes it's a failed drive, cable, board or other but we always like to try the free procedures first since a trip to the shop or repair center outside of warranty can be more than a new laptop's cost.

"Why does it start after several attempts and works fine?"

There were issues with Pentium 4 laptops and that. It had to do with the electrolytic capacitors being aged quickly by the heat output of that CPU. The nasty thing here is that if the usual cleanup of the heatsink, new compound and such didn't help you were looking at a new mainboard (about 600 bucks) since no one will replace the caps.

Bob

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start windows normally
by brooklyn354 / December 18, 2007 2:45 AM PST

thank you for repling, I will do the clean up with the air can, but can you tell me how to get to the page i mentioned earlier? the black screen that says "start windows with last good configuration'?

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Link about.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 18, 2007 3:11 AM PST
In reply to: start windows normally
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