Hey all good folks at Dani Web !!!
I have a Dell Optiplex GX240, vertical standing desktop machine. Right now it only has 256 MB RAM and a 2.0GHz proc.
I bought the machine as is. It came with everything original but it was missing a hard drive. I put a hard drive that I had from my other GX240 in it. When I pluged it in and turned it on I got a message on a black screen that said...." strike F1 to try reboot, F2 for setup utility" . BIOS said that it didn't even see the hard drive. So, I checked my data and power cables and tried again.....same thing. I tried a total of 3 data cables and still got the same message. I checked and made sure the drive was getting power and it is so I figured that I'd try to hook up the data cable from my cd player to the data port on the hard disk and it worked ! No errors and the computer loaded as it should have, BUT, now I won't have a cd player. I want to see whats wrong with the hook up at the motherbaord where the hard drive hooks up but I don't know what to check.
Any help is very much appreciated !!!
I've very new at "hardware" so please be patient with me.

Recommended Answers

All 12 Replies

i take it the system is pretty old with 256mb ram and all. Give it a thorough clean, specially the data ports on the board itself for any dust and see if that works.


commented: great minds thinks alike +1

Also wat happens when you connect the cd player data cable in the hard disk slot on the mobo does the cd player cable vanishes as well in bios???

It could be a faulty slot, which could be a result of too much pressure while connecting the cables basically cracking the mobo under the slot.

Have aclose look and see if they are fine?


It's a little old. I'm going to put 1 GB of RAM in it if it works ok. I am leaving for the day and will to a good cleaning tomorrow morn. Thanks for your reply Brother !

This may be part of the series of Dell that you have to make some changes in BIOS in order to get it to recognize hard drives. Look through your BIOS settings and see if there are settings for your storage devices and that they match what you have installed, you may have to have it "detect" them. if this doesn't work then it may be a case where you hae a failing IDE controller as CoolRaj is leading you towards, if so a replacement IDE controller card may solve things for you.

commented: youre of gr8 help like youre advice +1

Well I have to ask EMC here that would the replacement IDE card go into a PCI slot on the borad then???

If so then I'd say make sure before buying that it is compatible with the old board. It would be a bit hard looking for components which would be compatible with old borads mate, also a bit on the dearer side as well.



Yes, PCI slot IDE controller cards are what I am refering to. Although Dell has a number of idiosyncracies to there BIOS and machines I don't recall having issue with adding IDE controller cards into this series. The cost on these cards should be between $20-$45 US which is a modest investment in my opinion. Unforunately I know of know way to be 100% without putting it in, which is why we keep one open for testing in store. I hope though that it is a BIOS setting, some Dell are particular in the way the jumpers and BIOS settings are and need to be manually configured in order to get them to take a new drive. You need to go in and change hardware settings in order to get them to "see" a hard drive on a certain channel.

I'm getting more lost by the minute. I don't know what a lot of the terms y'all are using, mean. I can get it into BIOS but I REALLY don't know what I'm looking for when I get there ! I don't know anything about the "cards" your talking about.
I know this.......... PLUG IT IN.
I am going to clean it real good today and look for any cracks . Then I'll go into BIOS and root around to see what I can find, as far as settings goes.

I cleaned good, looked for any cracks in the plug-in.....didn't find a thing. Started it up and went into BIOS. Under " PRIMARY DRIVE 0", it said OFF. I knew that :( , but I thought that it just meant that it didn't see anything :'( , but I looked at the setting of it after selecting it and there was an option of " AUTO". So I clicked on AUTO and restarted. The computer booted just fine :-O , wow , was I suprised !!!! My bad !!! I didn't know ya had to reset stuff in BIOS ! My bad !
It's working fine now, and I will test the hard drive with SeaTools for Windows, just like we did on the last computer ya helped me with !
I really appreciate y'all two's help , and DaniWeb, more than I can type !!! Yep.....I'm a bit country !
I hope one day to be able to help you as you've helped me !!!

Before I close this thread, I have a question to ask. If I need to start a new thread for this, just let me know and I will close this one and start a new one. When I start this computer that we have worked on briefly, it gives me the choice to choose between the Windows XP Pro that I just put on it and/or Windows 2000 Pro, which I did not put on there. I assume that Windows 2000 Pro was already on the hard drive when I installed it. How do I get 2000 off the hard drive so that Windows XP Pro is the only operating system on the hard drive ?

you could start a new treat but this fix is a quicky but just be carefull and very accurate.
right click my computer>properties>advace tab>startup and recovery settings
[here you will see a Edit Tab click it]-

a notepad will open with something like this

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS9="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS8="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

you delete the line that states windows 2000 Professional[in red that is]
note-the line that states windows 2000 professional in your case
further more you can delete the windows folder in the Root of your C:/ drive if it is on the same partition or format the different partition

Hey sittas87, that did it !!! Thanks !!! Now the computer loads quick and Windows 2000 is gone, thanks again !
I'm goin to close this thread. The computer is running great, and it's had the hard drive tested. Everything is great with it and it will be used as a test computer !
Thanks again to my Brothers on here and the whole DaniWeb group !
Learning every day !!!

commented: gr8 t owork with:"lets do it,we did it" +1

Gr8 work fella.hang around on daniweb and believe me you sure will learn alot.
cheers for now

Be a part of the DaniWeb community

We're a friendly, industry-focused community of developers, IT pros, digital marketers, and technology enthusiasts meeting, networking, learning, and sharing knowledge.