Error auto-sensing secondary master hard disk dirve

By MWA
Sep 18, 2009
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  1. Hello all. I'm new to these forums. Was hoping someone could help me with a problem I'm having.

    I'm running a Dell Dimension 5150c. When I try to boot up I hear clicking noises from the tower that always click in the exact same pattern (six clicks, silence, two clicks, silence, two clicks). You could set your watch by them. Then I get the error message "error auto-sensing secondary master hard disk drive. Press F1 to retry boot or F2 to enter setup." I've heard before that any clicking noise from the hard drive (if that is what's clicking) generally means it's close to death. However, if I constantly reboot, one in every twenty times or so the computer will load windows. When it does, everything works perfectly and there are no clicks once everything is running.

    The hard drive will give me no problems whatsoever once it is finally detected, even if I have it running for a week straight. On one of the occasions that the computer booted up properly, I downloaded and ran the WD diagnostic utility for the hard drive which stated that everything was perfect with the drive. If it wasn't for the results of the diagnostic tool I would have assumed the drive was simply beginning to fail.

    I opened the tower once to check if there were any loose wires but I really had no idea what I was looking at. A wire may or may not have been loose. But I'm guessing a loose wire would stop the drive working all together and not just 99% of the time. Does anyone know what the problem could be? Any help would be appreciated.
  2. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Check your BIOS at <F2> and <F12> on that Dell Be sure your boot order is correct... That clicking can come from simple error checking as Dell tries to work around setup issues.
  3. MWA

    MWA Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I've played around with the boot order before but with no luck. I get the same problem no matter what order I boot devices up.
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