Lost drives

  JoJoh 08:54 09 Oct 2003

I have somehow managed to lose my DVD/CD drives.
I have both DVD and CD R/W internal drives. I have tried everything to restore them but cannot do so. This has included checking the internal cables,restarting the computer etc. I did have a problem last night with starting the computer and had to us a win98 se start up disk. It was strange in that when the computer started in DOS and I loaded a CD drive floppy disk that came with the computer,the CD Rom drive worked.

I have the dell utilities disk which reloads settings etc. Can I run this in DOS. If so how do I run it (what do I type in DOS). I know how to change the drive in dos to get to the CD (D: drive) but that is all.

  Gongoozler 09:11 09 Oct 2003

Hi JoJoh. Switch on the computer, then at the prompt press the Delete key (or whatever you are prompted to press to enter the BIOS Setup. Have a look at the appropriate BIOS screen (probably "Standard CMOS Features", but it could have a different name, and see if your BIOS has recognised the CD drives. If BIOS cant find them, then there is no chance that Windows will, and you have a problem in the motherboard IDE controller, cable or power connector.

  JoJoh 09:17 09 Oct 2003

I recall seeing last night that the Bios cannot see the drives. I think that somewhere recently I did have to reload the IDE drives or soemthing to do with this. I do have the Dell disks. Is there a way to reload the required IDE Controller from DOS?

  Gongoozler 09:37 09 Oct 2003

Hi JoJoh. If the BIOS can't see the drives, then it is nothing to do with Windows or DOS, so reloading software can't help. Check in BIOS that the settings for the drives are at AUTO and then the BIOS should detect them before Windows starts loading. If you can't get BIOS to detect them, then there is something wrong with the motherboard, the cable or the drives. As you have lost both drives, presumably both on the secondary IDE port, it is unlikely to be the drives themselves, so the most likely thing is that the IDE port itself is at fault. You could try putting one of the drives on the primary IDE port slave position (make sure that it is set as SLAVE) and see if it is recognised there. If you need guidance on doing this, post back and I'll go into more detail.

  JoJoh 10:52 09 Oct 2003

I did note that the Bios is not recognising the drives when I pressed delete on the Blue Dell screen.

Is there a way or running the Dell setup disk through Dos? I think that this may reload the IDE controller driver (if such a thing exists). I know how to change to the CD rom Drive in DOS (D:)
but not how to run a programme or even if this is possible.

I have read the Dell book and it shows how to re-load the system but not how to do it form DOS or even whether you can do it from DOS.

For ref the computer is running Win98SE and apart from the CD rom and CD Writer is working fine. I have broadband access. Perhaps I can load what is required from elsewhere?

  JoJoh 10:54 09 Oct 2003

Thanks Gongoozler. I will try tonight to remove the CD Writer that I installed and put the DVD back to how it was originally.

  Gongoozler 11:46 09 Oct 2003

Hi JoJoh, if things went wrong after you moved the drives around and they are both on the same ide channel, check that you have set one to master and one to slave. If you are using one of the new 80 way ide cables, you usually have to make sure that the blue connector is at the motherboard end, the black (end) connector is on the master drive and the grey (middle) connector is on the slave.

  JoJoh 11:49 09 Oct 2003


I will try this tonight. Although as I said,the CD rom does work in DOS.

  Gongoozler 15:53 09 Oct 2003

Hi JoJoh. Sorry I didn't spot the bit about the drives being detected in DOS. What I said about them not being detected in BIOS still applies though.

  JoJoh 15:58 09 Oct 2003

One thing - If I cannot solve the problem via the cable route, is there a way of running the Dell utilities disk from DOS? My computer will run the cd rom from DOS but I don't know what to type in order to run the programme.

  Gongoozler 19:27 09 Oct 2003

Hi JoJoh, I'm afraid that I don't know the answer to that one, perhaps you can get an answer from the Dell Online Forum click here

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