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Old 07-30-2005, 01:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dell Dimension 8100 Headache

Please bear with me as I try to explain the problem.

First, this is a Dimension 8100, 40 GB, 256MB, Windows ME

My mother, in her glory, was having problems with it so she uninstalled a "bunch of stuff she cant remember"

Then, it kept freezing, so the next logical move was not to ask for help, it was to turn the power off at the power bar. It didnt help, still froze on startup, she claims she tried this approximately 25 times.

That being said, when i got it, it would not fully boot up, it would start, but then stop and say "Primary Hard Disk not found"

When I looked at the BIOS, it wasnt recognizing the hard drive at all, the CDROM, and the CDRW drives were there, but no hard drive.

I tried replacing the ribbon, to no avail. Then I unplugged the ribbon from the CDROM and plugged it into the hard drive, and it worked. So basically, the CDRW and hard drive are sharing the same IDE on the motherboard.

Great, hard drive isnt garbage, but, now I have no CDROM. Many would be ok with this, i am not.

Can you tell me from the info I provided if that means that the IDE controller on the motherboard has failed? Is the fixable? Or does it mean a new motherboard? I guess its not possible for all 3 to share the same IDE.

Any input would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 07-30-2005, 08:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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well she unistalled somthing that was necassary u really only have 2 options take it to the computer store see if they can fix it or just reformat the hdd and reinstalling windows

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Old 07-30-2005, 08:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you're gonna have to reinstall, try to talk her into buying XP. ME is junk, basically.

You can put the hard drive as master and the CD as slave on the same cable without any problems.

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Old 07-30-2005, 10:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, I can use the CD and hard drive on the same cable, but that leaves me without the burner. The CDROM and CDRW are seperate drives.

If the motherboard doesnt recognize anything in the second IDE slot, can that slot be fixed? Kind of the answer I was looking for.

I have XP for her, I just want to get all drives operating.

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Old 07-30-2005, 11:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The slot cannot be fixed, but you can add in a cheap IDE host card

For 24$ you can get a high quality IDE host

And with the purchase of this, you are elgiable to purcahse a "system only" version of XP for 80ish dollars as well.
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Old 07-30-2005, 11:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you Chris!

Exactly what I needed to know.

Have a super day!

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