I am working on a Dell Dimension 2300 at work. A lady brought it in yesterday and said that she could not get Windows XP to install, and that it would say that she didnt have a hard drive. The first thing I did was boot up the Windows XP CD to see what happens. I received a list of partitions, one with 25gigs, the other with 8mb, then proceeded to format the 25gig partition, NTFS quick format. Half way through the format I got a message saying the format failed. The next thing I did was go into CMOS and check to see if the hard drive was listed, and indeed it was not. I then clicked to auto detect the hard drive and it was detected. I clicked again after waiting a minute and then it would not detect. Sometimes it will detect and others it will not. So then I thought maybe there is something wrong with the IDE cable or the molex. So, I took my toolbox and got a extra IDE cable that I had laying around, and hooked unhooked the Dell's IDE cable and used my extra cable. I also disconnected the molex connector and tried a different one. Same problem so THEN I unhooked the hard-drive and tried another one that we had in the office. Same problem. I've tried recovery console from Windows XP's CD, and also booting to DOS prompt from a Windows 98 CD. I could not gain access to a C: drive nor do a chkdsk or format. This happens on two different hard drives, the exact same problem which doesnt make sense. Obviously this lady can't wait forever so if anyone has any ideas please let me know. Thanks.