Hi everyone. thanks in advance.

I have a DELL Inspiron 8600 laptop, running windows xp.
When I turn on my computer it tells me:

Primary Hard Disk drive 0 not found.

It also makes the loudest clicking noise. (It ran some scan before all this happened.. i think it might have tried to fix some problem and then created a new problem..)

I talked with a Dell technician and he troubleshooted a bit with me (took out the hard drive to see if it was damaged; took out the battery, unplugged the power supply; turned it on and then pressed F2 a bunch of times- got to a screen with a whole lot of info and it said hard drives= 0 )

He basically told me to buy a new hard drive. Is this correct? I was connected to sales department and they told me a new 40GB Ultra ATA hard drive would be $189. but they only have refirbished ones.. is this ok? can i find one somewhere else? i just don't know what would be compatible.. PLEASE help..

can i connect this hard drive to an older dell laptop to get the data off?
i'm so stuck and confused.. i just want my computer back!


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I would try to connect the drive up to another laptop or even better still an external IDE to USB converter and plug it into a PC, see if the problem continues.

i'd reconnect the drive then go onto the bios and check that it's set to see the drive on primary master. i don't see how the dell guy can tell if the drive is dead without running a good diagnostic tool to test it. i believe dell use ibm/hitachi you can download this from their website free. or use a good generic like seetools from seagate.
if it does need replacing you should be able to get a decent replacement from any good pc store (usually cheaper online) for considerably less than dell direct.

It does sound like the hard disk is probably dead, going by the clicking noise you mentioned.

As Fiv3Fing3rs and JemB say, it is worth connecting it to a desktop PC to check it, but there are normally different connectors in the desktop to the ones in the PC, so if you don't have the right cable, it could be a problem.

I would check out a few other places and see if you can get a new hard disk any cheaper. I live in the UK, so i'm not sure how much they would normally cost in the US!

Most laptop hard disks are the same so i wouldn't worry to much about compatability either.

Actually gang I am beginning to think that this DELL specific so far there are three DELLs that are displaying these characteristics I have two of them but you can press F1 to continue and windows boots with out any further problems. I have gone into the bios and changed the hard disc control from sata to ide and visa versa and still get the same thing at boot??????? any one else have an idea?

Here you can hear some of the failing drive sounds.

ok I found out what is causing this. IT IS DELL SPECIFIC! go into the bios and under hard drive configuration turn off the primary slave and the secondary slave and that will stop the message from showing.

wow thank you for the info..i am experiencing same problem this will help me to resolve it.

Hmmm nice try u got it all lol :p

I am having the same problem on my Dell Inspiron 8000 running BIOS A23 I am looking at the BIOS screen trying to find where the hard drive configuration is and I am not seeing it. Any help would be great thanks!

Try starting a new thread and post your problem. Volunteers will flock there once you have created a new thread. All the best and hope for a reply soon. Any questions just ask.

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