Help Needed ,i am not able to start my PC

By ExterminalAz ยท 13 replies
Aug 20, 2003
  1. HI all , i am new here so i am sorry if i have posted this on a wrong section of forums.But i really need help last night i was working over my pc then suddenly it got shutdown ,and when i tried to restart it i got this message

    detecting primary master none
    detecting primary slave none
    and others are fine like it is detecting cdrom and cdburner.

    i really need help here i dont know what is wrong everytime i restart my pc i am getting this error, and i have many important files on that harddrive i really need all the files ,i would really appreciate any help .So i would to know is there a way that i can recover all my important files from it or make it work back.because my files are so important .Most of them are my assignments.So if someone could please help me.

  2. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15


    Sounds like you hard drive is dead :( Sorry man.. If its not even being detected, that means its pretty much gone completly bye-bye. Like 100% broken, dead, not alive, no way to restore.

    So you can go take it out of your PC and chuck it in the bin :blackeye:

    Sorry man, thats really gotta suck :dead:
  3. XtR-X

    XtR-X TS Rookie Posts: 863

    It can be that your IDE cables disconnected or something... try to see that first.
  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    This problem can be caused by a number of things, the very least not being a bad cable or connection.

    Have you recently changed anything in your system that might cause such an error? Perhaps you recently moved your computer to a new location or maybe reset your BIOS settings.. etc?

    If you have two drives on a single cable, this error typically occurs when the primary drive is no longer being properly recognized. This can be because of a loose connection, damaged cable, damaged motherboard or the hard disk itself is bad.

    Try these these things in this order to troubleshoot:

    1.) Replace cable and ensure your drive's power cables are snug.

    2.) Make sure your CMOS is set to "autodetect" drives.

    3.) Try each drive by itself on its own cable. Make sure you set the drives to single/master each time. Try different power cables.

    4.) Try each drive by itself on a different IDE channel (where your CDROMs are connected)

    If these steps do not work, then a bad hard drive is almost certain. Make sure you double check everything you do because you could be overlooking something (like those master/slave settings) which could mess up your diagnosis. Both of your disks failing is highly unprobable, but one affects the other when they are on the same cable.

    If your secondary drive works, but your master does not work by itself, then it is certain your primary drive is bad and will need to be replaced. There's no possibility of recovering the data yourself. You will need to take it to a drive forensics facility where they will probably take the platter out and try replacing the electronics to get it working etc.. This usually costs several hundred to thousands of dollars to do. So your data might not be THAT important to you. ;)

    My condolences if the drive is bad - I've been there. It might be impractical and expensive, but buying a large storage drive to keep images of your primary disk is a very good idea. This is what I do and it has saved my data numerous times.

    By the way, if you hear any repetitive noises or strage grinding/clicking sounds, this a tale tale sign of HDD failure.
  5. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Re: Sorry...

    I know this might be the solution that came to mind first, but when it comes to something as expensive or important as a HD, you might want to take a harder look and see if it is something else. As Rick said it could be the cable has gone bad. These things are worth checking out before you just scrap all your data on that HD.

    Please keep this in mind when posting in the future. It is not always the best idea to format or just get rid of it.
  6. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Just a stupid Q...

    If you enter the BIOS and go to the page where you set primary/secondary master, what do you see?

    If you try to change the way it's detected to auto a couple of times (don't exit the BIOS), does it show up?

    My point is that just because it doesn't show up in the BIOS doesn't mean it isn't there, and won't work...

    What happens when you try to boot it all the way?

    Does it give you an errormessage about no system drive available?
    If it does, check what Rick said, if not, let it boot and copy those files...

    If after checking the cables it still doesn't work, try booting up with the case open. Can you hear the harddrives spinning up?
    If yes, the cable can be the cause.

    If no, try putting some pressure on the powercable (pushing it into the harddrive), wriggle it and boot. Take your hand away from the cable... Does it spin up now?

    Last possible chance isn't too safe... It won't hurt you, but you might fry your computer...
    Try pushing and wriggle the powercable whilst booting..
    Move it around and assert some pressure (but not too much or you might destroy something) and the second you hear/feel the drive spin up, keep it in that position until you've gotten a backup of the files you need...

    There are other options, but those are quite technical, and you'll be better off contacting a computer shop for help instead... Just don't give it to BestBuy CompUSA or anything like that, but some place where they know what they're doing....

    (Sorry to everyone who's working at either place mentioned above, but it would seem that most of the people working there doesn't have a clue, and you are the exception to that)
  7. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    if none of the above excellent solutions works and you think it might be a physical harddrive problem you could try downoading teufftestlite. a small freeware utility that has its own proprietary operating system that runs off a floppy and will test your harddrive.
  8. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    I thought about the cable and all, but it wouldnt just fall out off the HD, and I didnt think they could just stop working all of a sudden...sorry if what I said was misleading.
  9. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    IF by 'working on his PC', he means he was using his PC when it failed. It's definitely (99%) the hard drive that has gone, just as --agissi-- said. If he mean't he was doing something to it physically, then yes, there could be another cause.

    I think --agissi-- interpreted the post as per first description, so his deduction would be spot on, if this was what happened.

    Other than that, XtR-X also has a good point as this could be the cause if the cables accidentaly got pulled. Bios settings being changed is unlikely, unless he was playing with the bios, or his mainboard, when it happened.

    It does sound like a dead drive from the way I interpret the post. I've seen many drives die in this way, and its much more common than most realise.

    Hard drives just don't seem that reliable, and are the one component most likely to fail in any PC system. Hopefully, it'll still be under warranty.

    PS: Yes I know I'm sticking up for some others here, but really they have made valid remarks, so it wouldn't be fair to be over critical. :)
  10. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    rotf, just wondering, how would "the cables accidentally got pulled"? I think he'd know if he stuck his hand down there, and seperated the IDE cable from the hard drive. Not to mention they stick to gether pretty well ;)

    I think he ment, he was doing some work on the computer, like using mouse and keyboard.. Unless he was "working" on the computer (modifiying the computers 'guts') with it turned on :blackeye:

    What Rick listed is a good idea to try however, since what you did have on the HD was important.
  11. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Well, I've heard of PCI cards that has worked themselves out of their slots without anyone touching them...
    It's usually caused by using 2 different metals that doesn't like eachother, but it's been a long time since I heard about anything like that...

    But it is fully possible for it to happen to any connectors that have current traveling through it...
  12. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    Yes Mr. G, its very possible and very common, especially in places where there is a lot of vibration. It doesn't have to fully disconnect to cause problems. any steady vibration could cause cables as well as cards to lose proper connection. This is most common in factories and places with heavy machinery, but could happen anywhere there is a lot of vibration. The problem you mentioned with different types of metals isn't very common anymore but might still be a possibility if cheap components are involved.
  13. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    Sorry about my 'narrow vision', its just i've never heard of this, or stories due to such a thing. Thanks for clarifying :)
  14. Observer

    Observer TS Rookie

    Just Info: Before airconditioning my pc room, the hd would die at will in use or idle making the pc unable to read the operating system. After a couple of times when in use, I became familiar with the hd hic-cupping, wind-down noise of death. Heat and/or humidity made its way to the cable connectors. Re-seating the cables always solved the problem as if nothing ever happened.
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