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"primary drive 1 not found"

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casba
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I have a dell 8300, XP, and i tried to install a new 120gb hard drive as my master and make my original 60gb as a slave. I wanted to image my original, put it on my new one so I can format my original and start adding stuff i wanted to save on my original, like a backup and run the computer off the new one because it was faster. I noticed that the boot process was much slower, i'm guessing it was because it was uploading the OS from my slave(original).

So i put the original one back and when i start my computer, the Bios checking takes longer and i get a message that says:

"primary drive 1 not found"

My boot sequence is diskette, primary drive, cd. So i guess its my hard drive.

Then it askes me to press F1 to continue or F2 to go to setup utility. How do i solve this problem?

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Catweazle
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OK, I'm curious. How DO you solve the problem?

Do you press F1 and everthing works OK? Do you press F2 and have to make changes in BIOS Setup to continue? Do you get stuck at this point and can't proceed?

If you're getting stuck, check that you've configured the drives correctly. Primary drive - Jumper set to 'Master', drive attached to end connector of primary IDE cable. Secondary drive - jumper set to 'Slave', drive attached to middle connector of primary IDE cable

And don't forget to change everything back over if you swap them.

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casba
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I did, I set the jumper back to master and the hard drive on end the connector of the ribbon cable, just like how i found it. I press F1 and it just continues like normal but performance is a little slower. When i press F2 it goes to the cmos settings and its back to the original settings.

I'm going to check it again when I go home, but I didn't see a difference in the cmos settings.

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Catweazle
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Perhaps the CMOS battery is dead or dying? sounds likely to me. I'd replace it to see if that fixes things. They don't cost much ;)

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alc6379
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Dell systems work better on Cable select. Try setting it like that, with the master drive on the black connector, and the slave drive on the grey connector. It should work out like that. After you've done that, go into your BIOS, and light up the NumLock, CapsLock, and ScrollLock lights on your keyboard. Hold <Alt>+F, then hit <Alt>+E. After it stops beeping, hit <Alt>+B, and this will restart your system. That procedure sets your BIOS back to defaults, and it should force the system to redetect all of the IDE drives.

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casba
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Do you guys get paid for helping people out? you should, you guys are good. Thanks a lot. :)

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tal9
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I had the same problem on an out of the box Dell 4600c. I googled the error (primary drive 0 not found), and many people thought that the motherboard was fried. Unfortunately, almost all the posts were concerning Dells ;) . I thought that maybe the CMOS battery was dead so i pulled it out. On the board, a little plus sign was staring up at me and i looked at the battery. A little plus sign was staring at me there as well. So I flipped over the battery so the plus signs matched up (i cant believe dell installed a battery upside down!). It worked fine after that.

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alc6379
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I had the same problem on an out of the box Dell 4600c. I googled the error (primary drive 0 not found), and many people thought that the motherboard was fried. Unfortunately, almost all the posts were concerning Dells ;) . I thought that maybe the CMOS battery was dead so i pulled it out. On the board, a little plus sign was staring up at me and i looked at the battery. A little plus sign was staring at me there as well. So I flipped over the battery so the plus signs matched up (i cant believe dell installed a battery upside down!). It worked fine after that.

Well, that's interesting that the battery would be installed upside down.

You know what? Not trying to make excuses for anyone, but it is pretty easy to get those battery sides confused...

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mudengineer
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Another Dell with some settings garbled during a lightning strike. I had similar issue with the primary drive not found and XP Home crashing during install. I did the Alt+f, Alt+e, Alt+b and was able to continue. Thanks for the help. The Dell tech certified it as junk and the family replaced it through insurance. So I just picked up a 2.8GHz P4 for nothing!!!!:cheesy:

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jupiter1977
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Found this old thread via Google. The alt+f, alt+e, alt+b trick saved me. Gotta love the internet!

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Sandgorgan
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Dell systems work better on Cable select. Try setting it like that, with the master drive on the black connector, and the slave drive on the grey connector. It should work out like that. After you've done that, go into your BIOS, and light up the NumLock, CapsLock, and ScrollLock lights on your keyboard. Hold <Alt>+F, then hit <Alt>+E. After it stops beeping, hit <Alt>+B, and this will restart your system. That procedure sets your BIOS back to defaults, and it should force the system to redetect all of the IDE drives.

Thank you. That worked well. Cheers

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ZxUniden
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You guys are the best!!!!! I love you all, thanks!

Question Answered as of 6 Years Ago by alc6379, Catweazle, tal9 and 4 others
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yban
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I had the same "primary drive 1 not found" on my dell after I replaced the old hard drive. I set the jumpers on hard disk and cd drive to correct position, and the ribbon cable to right socket on the sys board. Even then the problem persisted. Googling the problem was the right thing I did. The <Alt+F>, <Alt+E>, <Alt+B>, trick worked for me too! Thanks for all the useful suggestions in this thread.

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mhujm
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Another satisfied customer! Thanks! The Alt F - E - B worked perfectly!

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dtdz
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I have a Dell System Dimension 8300 Series. Computer was working fine, I shut it down, forgot to send an email, reboot and now I have "Primary drive 1 not found" error message. Have reboot numerous times even tried to F2 and F12 and neither worked. Have read the threads concerning this problem, but don't understand the Alt F, Alt E, Alt B. I tried it but it didn't work for me. Haven't opened it up to check the battery but this computer is over 5 yrs old and this is the first time I have gotten this message. Please help. Thanks

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wallywolf
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I discovered why Alt F, Alt E, Alt B solves the "Primary Drive 1 Not Found" problem. It resets the BIOS to the default. However, what is really wrong is that the Secondary or Slave (HardDrive 1) is set to NONE in the BIOS when it should be set to OFF!!

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didoban
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Replacing the CMOS battery did it for me.
I am not sure the battery was dead or if replacing it did a reset on BIOS like ALT F E B
In any case, you guys are the best
Thank you for helping out

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mark041109
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Worked great! Thank you alc6379.

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aric2232
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All the ALT+F, ALT+E, ALT+B is reset the bios. this by default turns off the primary slave detection, so the drive is still not found. BTW, I have 2 IDE hard drives on cable select. The master drive boots fine, but the slave is not showing up. I've also recently replaced the cmos battery with a new one. Has anyone been able to connect two hard drives to the primary IDE?

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aric2232
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i just removed the dell ide cable and used my own and it worked

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