I am attempting to install a Seagate 40GB hard drive in my PC. It is replacing a 4.3GB hard drive and will be installed as a single drive on its own. On booting up the PC I get a message on the loading screen saying: “detecting IDE Primary Master… (Press F4 to skip). It hangs at this stage. I can press delete to enter the BIOS. On selecting the HDD Detection it hangs with a screen saying: “Auto Detecting Primary Master”. I have checked the cables and jumper. The BIOS can recognise drives up to 75GB. The only thing that I can think of is that my HDD cable is an ATA 33 cable whilst the new drive is ATA100, but I understand that the new drive will just operate at the lower transfer rate. I have checked on the Seagate website and elsewhere but cannot see a solution. If I reinstall the old drive, it boots up fine. I will return the drive if it is faulty, but I want to check all I can before doing this.
clearing the CMOS by removing the battery andreplacing it. You can do this by jumper but it's a matter of finding which jumper. Leave it out a minute or two before reinserting it. I don't know why but this is the received wisdom.
Is there BIOS setting for the IDE transfer speed? Mine has three options: ATA33/ATA66/AUTO. Perhaps changing it to AUTO could give you what you're after?
AFAIK you're right about the drive operating at the speed of the lowest common denominator and if the cable works on your old HD, I don't see any reason why it shouldn't work on your new one.
You say you checked the cables and jumpers but is it possible you have the wrong bit of the cable plugged in? Does your cable have 2 connectors? Some HDs allow a third option on the jumper - Cable Select. In this case, the order on the cable makes a difference. As I remember it, the black connector is master and the grey, slave.
Thanks for all your responses, but it's still the same. I will return the drive and try a new one. I have fitted a lot of Seagate drives without any problems and am surprised that it may be faulty but I suppose nothing is ever 100% OK.