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Laptop Hard Drive Not Found

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6 replies to this topic

#1 geeksince82


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Posted 26 November 2007 - 04:21 PM


I have an old Dell Inspiron 8200 that won't boot anymore. When I hit the power button I get the usual Dell opening screen and then the screen turns black and I get this message:

"Primary hard disk drive not found. Fixed optical drive not found. Press any key to continue."

If I press a key it says "No bootable devices--strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility"

If I go into setup it simply shows there is no hard drive.

I have physically removed and re-installed the drive, and it started working several times, so I think the hard drive itself is functional, but now that isn't helping at all. Is this a connection issue? I know little about laptop hardware but am not scared to tinker, especially since this is my spare laptop and has been out of warranty for many years. However, I would really like to get it working again if possible, as my boyfriend and I are stuck with only one computer for the two of us and that just doesn't work at all! lol


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#2 nightspydk


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Posted 26 November 2007 - 05:50 PM

I'm not much of an expert on laptops, though I suppose they work like every other PC and that does indeed sound like a problem with the wiring or the mobo socket.
Is this an IDE setup?
Wiring, defective cables would be the first thing I check.

See what others have to say before you take it apart.

I suppose then warranty is not something to be considered.

Edited by nightspydk, 26 November 2007 - 05:50 PM.

#3 Sneakycyber


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Posted 26 November 2007 - 05:55 PM

AFAIK HDD in laptops plug directly into a port on the motherboard. If removing the drive and reinstalling it helps there may be a loose connection or broken solder joint on either the MB or the drive. Forum Members with more laptop knowledge will correct me if I am wrong :thumbsup:
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#4 webwizard


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Posted 26 November 2007 - 05:57 PM

i had a similar issue with a dell desktop - my fix was a reinstall with the recovery cd, with 'full' format not quick (that didn't work)
i'm not recommending you do this, as I don't know the status of your harddrive..
also, i needed to go into the bios to set the primary and again, don't rush ahead and do anthing until others update this post

#5 dc3


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Posted 27 November 2007 - 01:44 AM

If you find out the make and model of the hdd you can go to their website and download their diagnostic tool, boot from that and let it run and it will tell you what condition you hdd is in. If the hdd passes then what you have said I would look for a connection problem. You could try the old Bell Laboratory fix, remove and reinsert the hdd several times to clean the connections.

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#6 RLI


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Posted 02 December 2007 - 07:02 PM

you can remove the drive easily, and check the manufacturer of the drive and try using their bootable toolset to test the drive.

#7 garmanma


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Posted 02 December 2007 - 07:19 PM

It's quite possible the CMOS battery is dead. On my newer Inspiron you have to remove the keyboard to replace the battery. Dell has very good tutorials on how to do this
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why won't my laptop work?

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