Primary HDD not found...(Alarming message)

  nick_j007 14:26 03 Feb 2004

Hello all,
I have not long come back after being out for a couple of hours to find this message across my screen:

"Primary hard disc drive not found. Fixed optical drive not found.
No bootable devices-strike F1 to retry reboot, F2 for setup utility."

Now, when I left my Dell notebook running it was working quite hard on: downloading a host of MPEG animated movies, copying a CD, and possibly playing a tune too. OE was open too.

It has been working non stop since the w/e on copying over my CD collection, all without fault so far. I have never seen this message before and was of course rather alarmed to see it there.

F1 did nothing, and F2 sent me to the BIOS which appeared to be normal and in order (not a pro. but I do look and 'dabble'). In the end I hit the shut down button and then rebooted.

Might have the computer become too hot and closed down? On a 30 gig HD I am currently down to 5 gigs. I am using space quite rapidly as I copy my CD collection over. I shall then copy them over to a new 40gig portable storage unit, and probably move off most of what I have copied. The PC seems to be fine now it has rebooted however.

So, any input or thoughts on this would be most welcome. I wonder if I should be taking any preventative measures now etc.

Many thanks in advance,


  Gongoozler 14:47 03 Feb 2004

"No bootable devices" usually indicates a dead hard drive, but with no drives being found this sounds more like an ide controller problem. Presumably when you get these errors you are unable to get into Windows even, so I don't see how you can take any peventative measures.

  nick_j007 14:54 03 Feb 2004

You're right Gongoozler, I can't get into windows. It has only happened the once and I wasn't here to see how it happened.
IDE controller problem. What can I do to check it over please? Though I have just quicly looked on the Device Manager and clicked on the three tabs there for IDE; and I'm told that all these devices are working properly.
I'm running WXP home.
As I say though all is running fine now as if nothing happened!

  Gongoozler 15:06 03 Feb 2004

I think your guess could be right and this was an overheating problem. Hopefully this was a one-off glitch, but keep your data backed up just in case.

  nick_j007 15:09 03 Feb 2004

Yes, had crossed my mind to get up to date with a few back-ups!
Can I 'go' anywhere to get a read out of the internal temperature do you know?



  GuyR 15:32 03 Feb 2004

can find temp data in bios, obviously have to close down and reboot. There are some other progs out there, "motherboard monitor" that do the same job.

  Gongoozler 15:34 03 Feb 2004

AIDA32 is quite good at reading the temperature click here

  nick_j007 15:58 03 Feb 2004

Ok, many thanks to you both for the help...should keep me busy for a bit. Mind you, not much I can do If it does get 'hot' though is there? I mean, I should be able to do whatever I like on it at once right?

Otherwise I'll show this as resolved.



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