Windows Legacy OS forum


Drive not found after 3 weeks of trying

by CarlMo2000 / March 6, 2013 7:54 PM PST

Hi, I am new to this forum and hope that you will be able to help solve my problem.

I have spent 3 weeks searching for a solution to the 'SATA primary drive 0 not found' and always come up with the same suggested fixes.None of them have worked for me.

If I was to post everything that I have tried and done to make my computer accept a re-installation of windows XP SP2 on my elderly Dell 8300 computer it would take a very long time to read. Suffice it to say (for the moment) that my hard drive is not being recognized at start-up or in bios.

It is recognized with some bootable disks and I have run many diagnostics which all say that my 2 installed drives which are a 0 RAID array are perfectly healthy. They have been connected to a friends computer and work. All cables have been checked, rechecked and replaced with no good outcome. My MOBO has had all diagnostics run on it and is still in good shape. I have run every tool that I can think of to test every part of my system and as far as I can ascertain my computer and all hardware is still in a good state of health.

The problem started when I (eventually) installed XP SP3 to allow me to install a new program which would not run on SP2. I then realised that some of the older programs that I use would not work with SP3 so I rolled back to SP2. A few weeks later I realised that Norton Internet Security was not downloading new virus definitions or running its weekly scan. I tried doing this manually & failed every time. I contacted Norton & got great help but was told that I really needed to reinstall XP which I tried to do and found the 'drive not recognized' message at startup. I tried to resize the partition to see if that would help but things got worse & I could not boot at all after that.

I ran the Hiren's Boot CD and managed to reformat the drive (several times) with no luck at getting the drive recognizable. I am now using the 'Mini XP' on the Hiren's disk to connect to the internet and send this message.

I know that anybody who may be able to help solve this problem will probably want a lot more information but will wait until I am asked questions before I make this post into a novel...

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer, Carl

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All Answers

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Re: drive
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 6, 2013 8:04 PM PST

If the BIOS doesn't recognise a drive, and the drive is OK and the cable is OK, I'd try another motherboard. or maybe better another PC, but that's up to you.

But since it's easier to replace a drive than to replace a motherboard you might try another drive first.

Since the drive and the motherboard are all that are involved, replacing both surely helps (unless it's the PSU, but it doesn't sound like it). But replacing only one has a very good chance of succeeding also.


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I have tried that
by CarlMo2000 / March 6, 2013 8:30 PM PST
In reply to: Re: drive

I have checked my drives in another computer and tried to install new drives with the same outcome.

As I have explained; everything is working but I can not make the BIOS or the XP (re)installation disk recognize that I have a HD installed.

I know (due to many searches) that this is a problem experienced by many other Dell computers but have not been able to find a solution for it yet.

Before anybody asks... I have contacted Dell but was asked to pay even more money before the support team would even talk to me. I have already bought new installation disks from them but apparently they do not come with any support Sad

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Re: tried that
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 6, 2013 9:13 PM PST
In reply to: I have tried that

I didn't read you tried another motherboard. That seems the only solution.


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Sorry but XP? SATA? RAID?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 7, 2013 1:05 AM PST

While I'm sure some have such working, you are out on a limb here. That is, XP and all those are fairly hard to setup so I'm going to guess that you really have XP SP2 and the floppy drive needed to install all this. I'll also omit how to install XP SP2 or later to SATA in this discussion.

This SATA 0 not found message was not clear in your top post. That is, is that a BIOS message?

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Questions answered
by CarlMo2000 / March 7, 2013 10:49 PM PST

I must apologize for my late reply to people who have tried to help me.

Yesterday I managed to get some telephone support from Dell but it did not help. It actually made my problem worse. Dell tried to sell me a new computer (which I declined) and told me to employ a local expert to help solve my problem.

I have not been able to boot my computer until now (due to the support from Dell) and can only access 1 of my 2 HD's installed. I managed to reformat it and it is now recognizable by my boot cd (Hiron's).

If anybody would be willing to to still help me I would appreciate it, Carl.

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This clearly is a hardware issue.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 7, 2013 10:58 PM PST
In reply to: Questions answered

Hardware issues can't be solved from a distance. The usual remedy is replacing the faulty component.

Since the machine runs XP, my guess is that it's rather old. Then there's a good chance that the outcome of this situation will be that replacing the PC is better solution than replacing one component.


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I've seen a few of those type machines.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 8, 2013 12:20 AM PST
In reply to: Questions answered

These are pretty expensive to service as XP Sp2 or later is mandatory along with all the drivers, discs and documentation.

If no drive is found on SATA 0 then disable that and put it on other channels. It's not uncommon for a port to get blown and no amount on online help will fix that.

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Sata Drive
by debijg / March 8, 2013 7:10 PM PST

Sata is found from the Bios of computer and there was the option available in the bio to change the setting and finding the drive if your drive is not found check your system bios and the setting of bios.

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