Primary master drive fails

  clip 13:54 25 Nov 2003

On boot up I get this warning,
detecting primary master.. pcrw404,
detecting primarymaster slave..none,
detecting secondary dvd rom dvd115,
secondary master slave..none.

Primary Master Drive Fails.
press F1 to continue Del to enter.

when I press F1 the computer continues to boot and works as normal, Del takes me into bios which I know nothing about. Any information on this would be much appreciated.

  scotty 14:37 25 Nov 2003

From a Google search, pcrw404 appears to be a Philips CD drive. So according to your error message you have a cd drive and a DVD drive but no mention of a harddisc!

Can you supply some information about the configuration of your pc which might throw some light on the matter?

  clip1 15:36 25 Nov 2003

Hi Scotty
win 98, cd drive, dvd drive, 30gb hdd.

I turned on the computer a couple of days ago and left the room, when I returned to the computer it was in either saftey mode or the bios I am not 100% sure, I tried to exit without touching or changing anything but do not know if I have done so or if this is a malfunction.

the computer seems to work ok when I press F1 but I do not want to continue doing this in case there is something more serious going on.

I have replied as clip1 after updating my details on pca I could not get back in under clip.

  clip1 15:58 25 Nov 2003

Sorry Scotty I think I know what you meant now. I have had a look in the bios and both master and slave drives are set to auto.

could anyone tell me if this is the correct configuration please.

  scotty 16:10 25 Nov 2003

Your pc probably has two connectors on the motherboard to which the drives are connected. Each connector can support two drives. Normally, the hard drive would be the master on the primary connector. The CD and DVD drives would be the master and slave on the secondary connector. However, this does not appear to agree with the error message reported above. Can you check that you have reported the error message correctly.

I would be worried at the computer reporting a problem suggesting that the Primary Master Drive was failing. This should be the disc that holds your operating system (Win 98) and all your valuable data. I would recommend you back up your data regularly. It is probably worth considering replacing the hard drive. (You can always use the old one as a back-up device)

  Diemmess 16:18 25 Nov 2003

The good news is that your HD has not failed - - -yet. You would not be able to boot from the HD in any mode if it had.

Having looked in the bios you have established that the computer automatically looks for HD and CD on the primary drive, rather than is TOLD specifically what is there. OK so far, but the question remains why is the "F1 press to continue" message there.

It may be that some small part of the system has been corrupted like a gear train jumping out of perfect mesh.

Have a look in device manager just to see if there is any yellow exclamation mark there.

Assuming you had not made any physical changes before the problem started, particularly to either CD device, then it might just be worth trying( scanreg /restore ) from the DOS prompt, though this corrects Windows Registry and the F1 prompt usually occurs before Windows starts to load.

Any way this post keeps your thread near the top of the list!

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