Hard Drive Installation Problems, please help

I have a Dell Dimension 2350 running XP SP3. I bought it used. It only had a Western Digital 400 (40GB) IDE drive, so i decided to upgrade. I purchased a Western Digital 2500 (250GB) IDE drive. When i opened my case, i saw that the ribbon only had one plug on it (i.e. it did not have the Master and Slave plugs) so, i purchased a new IDE ribbon. I put the existing hard drive on the Master plug, and the new hard drive on the Slave plug. I have also checked the jumper positions on the drives according to Wester Digital's website. when starting up the computer does not recognize either hard drive (BIOS says something like "No bootup drives were found please insert boot disc and press F1 or press F2 to enter setup") when i go into BIOS, i have everything for the IDE drives set to AUTO. Bios does not seem to be detecting the hard drives. I am lost at this point. if anybody can help me out it would be greatly appreciated.


Posts: 16,498   +5,305
First check that the 40GB drive, installed in the master position, (far end of the cable), will still boot, if installed by itself on the new cable.

If you intend to install the OS on the new drive, install it singly, and try using your restore discs to get up and running.

Many times when something like this happens, you need to attend to boot order, in the BIOS, "Boot Menu".

I don't know why "auto" drive mode need be set. If we're dealing with actual IDE drives, then IDE mode, (if it exists) should be set.

At the age of this machine, does the motherboard have SATA ports?

ok i just double checked my cables, i must not have had it plugged into the mobo far enough, because everything seems to be working fine now. thanx for the help anyway.


Posts: 16,498   +5,305
Yeah, those IDE cables require a sometimes scary hard shove into the socket to get them properly seated.

As an anecdote, I actually received a faulty IDE cable, (wouldn't plug all the way in), with a brand new boxed motherboard.