I have a Dell Dimension 4600 for about five years now. For the last 18 months or so whenever we booted up the computer, it would give the error message Primary Drive not found Press F1 to continue. We have just been pressing F1 and that has worked until now. Now, it has froze a couple of times while using the internet. When I went to reboot, the "normal" error message appeared. I pressed F1 and it just repeated the message. I pressed F1 again to no avail. I waited a few hours and then came back. It booted with the error message and then pressed F1. It loaded fine.
I decided that I didn't want to risk my files anymore so I bought another HD. I installed it and made it the primary and the old HD the slave. On the first load, everything loaded perfectly--no error message or anything. On the first restart after this, I had the error message again that would let me go no further. Again, I left the computer alone for a few hours and it booted with the error message. But this time, one press of the F1 key and it loaded up and ran fine.
I am at a loss. I have been told by a friend that the MOBO is bad and that Dell is notorious for this problem. I have looked through several posts and haven't seen my exact problem. I saw that some suggest replacing the CMOS battery. Do you think that will help this problem?