Laptops forum

General discussion

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.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: no hard drive found
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: no hard drive found
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
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.


Collapse -
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

Collapse -
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.


Collapse -
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'?

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

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!