Primary Hard Disk Drive 0 not found

I just bought a new Wester Digital 160GB hard drive from best buy. Took it home, set it up, copied all the files from my old computer onto the new one, and then switched them out. Booted up the computer to hear it go “beepbeep” and show this message:

Primary hard disk drive 0 not found
Primary hard disk 1 not found
Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility.

I’ve checked that all the jumper settings are correct, and as far as I can tell, allt he cables are connected correctly. Any advice would be appreciated.

If you are SURE that your jumper settings are correct, I would try a new cable.

Diagnostic steps:

-Try the old drive exactly as it was before; if this works, it’s not the motherboard/drive controller (phew!)
-Try the old drive plus the new one in the same configuration as it was when you transferred the data; if this works, it’s not the new drive.

After (maybe before) all that, I’d double and triple-check the jumper settings;
-is the jumper diagram on the drive ambiguous? (i.e. could you have been looking at the diagram one way and the drive jumpers upside down?)
-What jumper setting have you used? If you’ve set it to CS (Cable Select), then the drive should be attached to the first connector, not the one right at the end of the cable (if you want it to be the master)
-Look at the cable again; is the section of ribbon between the middle connector and the free end longer than the section of ribbon between the middle connector and the motherboard? - if so, you’ve probably plugged the wrong end of the cable into the motherboard.

Is your BIOS set to autodetect on all four channels?

From your post, it sounds like you first installed the new drive as your second drive, then copied files from the current primary drive to this new drive. Then you simply switched out the old drive and replaced it with the new drive. Right? When did you install the operating system onto the new drive??? The correct approach would’ve been to take out the old drive, put in the new drive, do a clean install of the OS, install programs, install the old drive as the second drive, then copy all data files you need from the old drive to the new primary drive.

Wouldn’t copying everything over have brought the Windows install with it?

In response to an earlier question, I got this error a couple times earlier this week with just my two old drives, so I don’t think it’s the new one. Also, happened with the old cable and the new cable. Haven’t tried Cable Select yet.

Just copying from one drive to another won’t work - you have to have the boot sectors configured correctly, etc., for Windows to boot from the new drive. Usually you need a utility like Ghost to copy drives in this manner. A missing boot sector config will probably not create the error you are getting, however. I would check and see if the system recognizes the new drive installed solo. Also, you might try separating the drives on the interface: if you are using IDE, then you can connect the new drive to the primary interface, and the old drive to the secondary interface.

Let us know what you find…

I don’t think you can use the Copy command to make an exact copy of the original hard drive onto a new one and expect it to work reliably. You would need to use cloning software like Norton Ghost or some other. The message you are recieving sounds like the OS is not finding a good MBR (Master Boot Record). If you were getting this message before then it would be best to install a fresh installation of XP and re-install all of your software. You can then transfer any data files from the original to the new install. There is also a Transfer Wizard in XP that might make this process easier once the new OS is installed but I have never used it.

No; copying the whole drive won’t usually result in a functioning OS, at least not usually with Windows and certainly not with XP - however the error messages mentioned by the OP are hardware level stuff - the system isn’t even seeing the drive, let alone trying to boot from it.

I stand by my advice, and what Dragwyr said - I actually had to swap out a faulty drive cable the other day - the first I’ve ever know to go wrong in ten years, out of hundreds of PCs, but it happens (especially if you’ve been plugging and unplugging.

One more very remote possibility is that the hard drive cable doesn’t have a ‘lug’ or blanked hole on the connectors, making it possible to plug the thing in upside down. Unlikely, but I’ve seen it (although not recently and usually the machine won’t even get as far as displaying anything on the screen).

Unless you buy a bare hard drive the drive usually comes with a disk copy utility on a cd or floppy that will let you copy the entire contents of the old drive to the new and this is a acceptable way of copying the OS to the new drive. If not I would guess you could get a copy on the web and put it on a floppy. This does not sound to me like a copying problem, the bios is not recognizing the drives at all. If you have checked the jumpers over multiple times and swapped out the cable and you have had this problem when not using this new drive perhaps try installing this drive all by itself and see if that will get the computer to see it.

I’ve never tried one of these disk cloning utilities to move XP to a larger drive (I’d normally sieze the opportunity to get back to a fresh-installed system anyway - it’s so much nicer). Does XP complain or ask for reactivation following a hard drive upgrade/clone?

Also, I forgot to ask, is this a ATA or SATA drive? We have all assumed ATA but if its SATA none of this advice applies.

Good point, but unlikely to be SATA, since it’s an upgrade to an older machine.

I have done this twice now and XP has never complained at all. As far as reactivation goes you would have to upgrade, I think, 3 or 4 different pieces of hardware at once before that problem pops up.

XP activation is an interesting beast. Of course, we never get to hear the full details. But anecdotal evidence suggests that as long as you’re not talking about multiple fresh installs in a single month, the activation system passes you as legit. The concern was production-line pirate installations…a concern now superceded by hacked copies of all XP software being available…but we saps have to still register every time we reinstall.

How old is the PC? Older machines have a 127 GB restriction.

This is true; some slightly older ones have a 32GB restriction (or at least I’ve dealt with a few that started that way and needed the BIOS reflashed (which is a scary thing to do) to take a 40GB drive.

If the drive is too big for the MoBo/BIOS, it might well be simply undetected; I was initially inclined to say that this would mean it also wouldn’t be detected when it was installed as a slave to copy the data across, but I have seen Windows detect and mount slave drives that didn’t seem to be explicitly detected in the boot sequence (not sure how that is possible, but I’ve seen something that at least resembles it).

This would seem to be enough to indicate that it’s a motherboard or drive controller problem. The drive controller is probably built into the motherboard, but you can buy PCI drive controllers also. It happens with old and new drives and old and new cables, and this isn’t a Windows error. All that’s left is the motherboard/controller.

You could try buying a PCI drive controller and disabling the built-in controller in the BIOS.

Another thing I’ve seen (and I hope this isn’t the case here) is cracked conductive tracks on the motherboard as a result of pressing the drive connector home; seems like on most motherboards, the drive connectors are on a part of the motherboard that is not terribly well-supported by mounting pillars/screws etc - pushing the connector in causes the motherboard to flex and this breaks the fine conductive tracks on the underside.

Hmm… the IDE connectors on my motherboard are mounted sideways, if that makes any sense, possibly to prevent people from pushing directly down on the mobo? In any case, if it’s a cracked conductive thingamahickamajob, would a replacement IDE controller fix it?

dunno; seems unlikely the board will have been damaged by forces in the same plane as the PCB… have we eliminated any of the other things yet?