Primary IDE master not detected

By pjhale16
Sep 28, 2006
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  1. I posted this somewhere else but im not sure which place to post it so im going to try here so i just posting my 2 posts together so thats why it might seem wierd. I don't know a lot about computers but I've been searching on here about his and just want to see if someone can figure this out. My brother dropped his laptop today at school and after starting it back up it only comes up to a screen which was something about media not found but anyway a computer guy looked at it for him at his college and got him to the bios screen and it said "Primary IDE master not dected" and the guy said that means his hard drive either came loose or broke. So after looking on here and then at his computer he said his CD-ROM was in the 1st spot under the boot section and that the hard drive was second and he changed it so hard drive was first so im not sure but i thought read on here from what i understand the hard drive is soposed to be first and the cd-rom second but i do know as of right now the secondary IDE is dectected and is his CD-ROM. So he found his XP cd and its installing that which i dont know if that even has a chance of working but i cant get all the specs for him computer right now but i will as soon as its done if it doesnt work, if i can figure out how cause i never use it but i know its a Intel and thats about it. Its around a year and a half old i would say, got it from wal-mart. he was going to open it but it has the void warranty sticker on the back so he didnt want to mess with it which i doubt it has a warranty anymore but he wanted to find out first. So if anyone can help or give some steps on what could be done so we can try to figure this out that would be great.


    I was going to go to the bios thing to find out more info but im not sure how to get there my brother does but he left and i guess the XP thing didnt work cause he had shut it down. Anyway heres what it said-

    Intel UNDI, PXE-2.0 (build 082)
    Copyright 1997-2000

    For Realtek RTL8139/8130/810X PCI Fast Ethernet Controller V2.13 (020326)
    PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
    PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE-ROM

    Reboot Stystem and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key
  2. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    Either your data cable or your hard drive is playing up. Check all the plugs to make sure they are in correctly.
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    PXE means your computer is attempting to 'network boot', which is most likely useless in your case.

    The reason PXE is kicking in, is because your computer cannot find another good device to boot from... This includes your hard drive.

    As above, check your cables. Keep in mind that IDE drives require you set the master/slave jumpers. Please triple check to make sure you set it correctly. Many drives have multiple master settings, including Single Master and Master with Slave as well as size clips and cable select - each one will only work under a specific situation and sometimes only work on a specific location of the cable.

    To enter the BIOS, you should be able to do so by pressing the DEL, F1, F2 or F10 key during the first screen that appears (Probably a manufacturer's logo or system details). These keys will get you into most systems.
  4. smore9648

    smore9648 Newcomer, in training Posts: 757

    Make sure that your jumper is setup correctly. Its very rare to have a ide cable go bad, unless its obviously damaged.
  5. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    Its not that rare for a cable to play up, ive seen it twice!!!!!!
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,285   +281

    huh? What does that mean? Guess you're saying the cable goes bad although no visable damage.
  7. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    The plugs on the cables are referred to as IDC (Internal Data Cable if i remember correctly) in the trade and they are press fitted. They basically have a whole load of pins with a v shape cut into the top of them so that the sleeving will be cut to allow contact with the conductor. In a standard IDE cable there are 40 such connections per plug and with an ATA cable there are 80 per plug. The ammount of pressure used to close the connectors up is fairly precise. Too much and the plug will crush, to little and not all the connections may work.

    So you can see there are plenty of places where a problem can occur. I have worked in a few companies that make cables up and i think most people would be surprised at now many will fail if the equipment isn't set up correctly.
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