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CD ROM and Floppy not Recognized


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#1 UpgradeMe

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 06:56 AM

Unplugged my CD ROM and Floppy to be on the safe side with a Dell GX270 with Windows XP Professional. I am using all the USBs but one, and I thought it would be best to eliminate one potential problem by lowering power usage. I am selling the PC, so I replugged the parts, but the PC, including BIOS won't recognize either one. Neither one shows up in Device Manager or BIOS. I know there is power to the CD ROM, because the tray opens and the disk spins when I insert a CD. I went through a successful software fix for some minor Java problems here. I followed instructions and the problem was corrected, but I am wondering if one of the programs or maybe something else edited my registry to read that I have no CD ROM or Floppy, since they were unplugged. I don't think my system has any BIOS autodetection capabilities, so I guess that would explain what's wrong if it is the problem and also why plugging them back in wouldn't have mattered.

The only other thing I can think of is that I installed a BIOS update from Dell. It's a standard BIOS update for this computer, so I don't know.

I have tried replugging them, checked the cables to the motherboard and everything is fine. I have also, uninstalled some programs to see if they caused the problem. If this problem is with the BIOS, how do I fix it? If it's something else, what do I do? I am certain the units are in working order. No way they both died while unplugged.

Whatever is the problem, I would absolutely appreciate any help from anywhere. Thanks in advance.

Oh yeah, PC is reading everything else fine...

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#2 Baltboy

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 10:27 AM

If you installed a BIOS update than the old settings were erased and the standard settings for the BIOS are in place. You probably need to access the BIOS to enable both the floppy and the CD-ROM.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
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#3 UpgradeMe

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:21 AM

yeah, but BIOS says they aren't found. For some reason the system just won't recognize them. There is power for sure to the CD, which is the main thing I need. The door opens, and the disk spins when I put one in. That's what leads me to believe it's in the registry someplace. I just went through an install of XP, and at one point toward the end, all the components are registered. You are right, though that when I installed the BIOS and they were unhooked, it may have set in the BIOS that there is no CD or floppy. Maybe I am right that my BIOS has no autodetection capabilities. It's a pretty old (and cheap) machine...2002 or 2003

Anyone know how to deal with this problem? I tried reinstalling the driver for the CD. Nothing.

BTW, I am past a restore point that would help...

Thanks for any help...

#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 12:28 PM

Hello and welcome to Bleepingcomputer.

I read about your problem above.

When a BIOS rom chip is flashed it re-writes the firmware in the EEPROM, whether a device is present or not during the flash, does not matter, because the BIOS was not written according to what is presently installed, it was written to accommodate the addition of other hardware to the system.

So with that being said, it should not matter if the floppy drive was present when the BIOS EEPROM was flashed.


An EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory) is a Flash ROM type chip, the code is written to accept the addition of new hardware at any time regardless of what was in the system when a flash was last done.

What you should be concentrating on here, is making sure the 40 or 80 flat ribbon wire data cable is plugged in at both the motherboard and at the drive's sockets.

Make sure the flat data cable for the floppy is plugged in correctly.

Upon booting the computer enter the BIOS setup utility, I believe yours is entered by pressing F2 at boot up.

You should now be in the BIOS setup utility, now depending on how your menus are setup, you should see than area related to hardware, Dell's BIOS setup utility has (in my history) been setup in several different ways on several different Dell computers, but you should be looking for hardware, such as Floppy and Drives.

Once you enable the devices, you have to save the changes, on some Dell computers you have to enable those devices in each menu, by high-lighting the word enabled and making sure that upon exiting the BIOS setup utility, the changes have been saved.

What is making it difficult for me to give concise directions to you is because Dell has used different methods of how the BIOS menus are arranged on their older computers.

Some BIOSes list every thing in MAIN menus in a list going from the top to bottom of the screen and you have to expand each of them from there, some list everything in a main menu at the top of the screen going from left to right and the list of settings running down each menus' screen.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 19 July 2010 - 12:35 PM.

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#5 UpgradeMe

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 04:37 PM

Thankyou for the reply! I did manage to get the floppy up and running in BIOS as you mentioned.

Well, here is the way it looks with the choices in parentheses

Drive Configuration
Diskette Drive A:...3.5 (3.5/Not Installed)

SATA Primary Drive...Unidentified Device (AUTO/OFF)=>unidentified device occurs when set to AUTO, otherwise OFF
Primary Master Drive...Unidentified Device (AUTO/OFF)=>unidentified device occurs when set to AUTO, otherwise OFF
Primary Secondary Drive...Unidentified Device (AUTO/OFF)=>unidentified device occurs when set to AUTO, otherwise OFF
Secondary Master Drive...OFF(AUTO/OFF)=>unidentified device occurs when set to AUTO, otherwise OFF
Secondary Slave...SAME

IDE Drive UDMA...ON (ON/OFF)

I can't figure out what turns on the CD. In boot order it is listed second with "(not installed)" out to the right... They are all enabled...

Also, I am getting an error message on boot up, just after the BIOS, that reads as one or both of the following:

SATA Primary Drive0 not found
Primary Drive1 not found

This probably seems simple, but I am really confused about it. Thanks again for your help and advice...

OK, back to it...

#6 UpgradeMe

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:05 PM

Thanks for the help Mr. Bruce. I finally got the CD back.

I don't know why this doesn't make full sense to me, but the CD is the Secondary Master Drive in this BIOS. Both slaves off and both Masters on.

I now sort of remember what happened. I unplugged the devices, and I wanted to turn the power off to them, so there wouldn't be live wires dangling inside the PC. I turned them offf in BIOS. The problem was I didn't make a note of what I changed. BIOS had always made sense to me, so I didn't even think about it. For some reason, this one confused me...

I didn't use them much, but I was worried that I might get too much happening all at once a mess up the power supply, so it seemed best to me to jettison a couple of things. There is only 210W from the PS on this SFF. Now that I plan to sell the machine, I wanted to get them going again...

I am still getting the message about SATA Drive0. Can't figure out what that means. I'll keep trying to get it done...

#7 UpgradeMe

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:24 PM

OK...turned off the SATA Primary Drive0 and no errors on boot...

I guess I thought I was through dumb things like this. Thanks again to MrBruce and Batboy. I know this seems simple, but I was out of my mind trying to figure out what was wrong. I should write a book on how to turn a simple problem into a big one.

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#8 MrBruce1959

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:39 PM

Glad to hear everything has worked out for you, this news is always great to hear! :thumbsup:

Happy computing!

Bruce.
Welcome to Bleeping Computer! :welcome:
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My Career Involves 37 Years as an Electronics Repair Technician, to Which I am Currently Retired From.

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