*Problem: Brand new hard drive (properly installed) isn't being detected by the installation software (or by windows). It is properly installed... It is confirmed as working... It is meant for my computer (computer stats below)... The 8-pin jumper slot has no master or slave modes.

*Component: Western Digital SATA 300, 500GB Hard Drive (16MB Cache 7200 RPM)

*Computer: Dell Dimension E-310, P4 2.8, 2gig RAM, Windows XP, Original Hard Drive is a Western Digital 80GB and 512 RAM

*Background Info: Installation software is Data Lifeguard. The hard drive was ordered directly from Dell, who had my computer on record and was sure to order compatible components when I ordered the HD and three other components. I have searched many websites in the past five hours and have found nothing helpful (including Dell and Western Digital). I have rechecked my physical installation multiple times.

This seems like the most helpful website so I am posting here. Before asking for help, I have tried every route except calling the Dell 24 hour helpline, which I am about to do.

Thank you for reading my puzzle. I hope that you can help.

Recommended Answers

All 5 Replies

Is your BIOS setting ok along with the jumper (master/slave) settings?

Did you format it?


My name is Todd and I'm with Dell's online outreach group. Did you check to see whether your system's BIOS is recognizing the drive? If you restart your system, hit the <F2> button when you see the Dell splash screen (before Windows would normally begin to load) and there should be an option in the BIOS regarding the drives in your system.

If your system BIOS sees the drive it will give you make and model information, in your case Western Digital. If it does not there is an option in the BIOS to reset BIOS to factory defaults. That will force the system to reconnect with all drives and should hopefully allow it to recognize the drive. At that point you should be able to format it and install your operating system.

If that does not help it's possible that either the data cable, power connection on the drive, or the SATA connection on the motherboard have failed. But resetting the BIOS is the first step and will most likely resolve the problem.

Try it and let me know if it works. I'll stop back to see if there is anything else I can do to help you.

Thank you,

Customer Advocate
Dell, Inc.


>>>The 8-pin jumper slot has no master or slave modes.
this is not possible on a HDD you got shafted. is there a sticker on the drive to tell you the jumper settings?

did you set your cd to be the first boot option in the bios, then you can boot from it and set up the HDD. was it detected in the bios

master? slave? guys, this is SATA we're talking about.

the dell guy said everything right - first thing go to bios and make sure the drive is detected, all your software wouldn't be able to see the hdd if bios doesn't map it before

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