XP suddenly won't recognise floppy or CD drives

  Trikie 00:25 21 Dec 04
Locked

I have 2 hard disks, one is the C &D drives - programs and data, the other is for video work.

I have recently started to get a message at sign-on "secondary hard disk failed Press F1 to continue". This gets me in but the video drive is missing - I will obviously have to get a replacement but this can wait till after the holiday.

However, trying to load a new programme from a CD there is no auto startup,and Run d;\setup.exe brings up the message "insert a CD in Drive E"

Unlike the video drive, the CD drive E still appears on the menu. I have checked the A drive with a floppy disk in it but get the same message.

Is this an unrelated problem - if the faulty second hard disk was the cause I would have expected the A and E drives to disappear from the menu like the video one has.

  THE TERMINATOR 00:44 21 Dec 04

Try a system restore to when all was ok....TT

  THE TERMINATOR 00:46 21 Dec 04

If this didn't work check that your IDE cables havn't come loose....TT

  Trikie 20:01 21 Dec 04

Thanks Terminator.

No joy with System Resore - where do I find the IDE cables? (I'm still on a steep learning curve)

  Gongoozler 20:08 21 Dec 04

Before you open the case, check whether the drives are recognised in BIOS. If you don't know how, come back here for full instructions.

  Trikie 20:14 21 Dec 04

Open the case? - BIOS? -Help please!

  Gongoozler 20:27 21 Dec 04

When you first switch on your computer, after a few seconds (before Windows starts loading) you will have a black and white screen. Among the other messages, usually at the bottom you will see a message that says something like "Press Delete to enter setup" Do this and the BIOS setup screen will start. It looks frightening but unless you save the settings no damage can be done. Depending on the make of your motherboard the menu can be presented in different ways. The first menu will be something like "Main". Have a look in this menu and you should see all your drives listed. At the bottom of the screen you will see the instructions for exiting with and without saving. Usually Esc is the quick way out and F10 is the route that gives the save option. If you have your motherboard manual it will give full instructions for working with the BIOS.

  Trikie 20:58 21 Dec 04

Thanks Gongoozler. I have a manual for the mainboard - presumably the motherboard - and found the BIOS section.

The Advanced Features Set Up has a picture of the screen and a description of the 19 entries.One of them is Swap Floppy Drive but none has an obvious reference to a CD Drive, although the one before the Floppy is titled First(Second, Third) Boot Device Boot Other Device with the options Disabled or Floppy.

The description says select your Boot Device priority -it could be Disabled, Floppy, LS120, HDD-0, HDD-1, HDD-2, HDD-3, SCSI, CDROM, LAN, ZIP100.

I haven't yet gone into it to see what these 2 settings are - I will do so after posting this

  Trikie 21:08 21 Dec 04

Continued........
Bios settings are
First Boot Device Floppy
Second Boot Device HDD-0
Third Boot Device LS120
Boot Other Device Enabled
Swap Floppy Drive Disabled

My floppy drive is A and the CD drive is E

What next?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:37 21 Dec 04

When you first boot you will see a table listing the drives. Should show primary master hard drive, primary slave hard drive, secondary master CD Rom.

When you enter Bios the 1st option is to look at drives, Advanced features is further down the list.

You may have a loose IDE cable to the second hdrdrive.

Connect the IDE ribbon cable to the drive. One edge of the cable will be coloured red or pink. This edge indicates which way round the connector should be inserted in the drive, and also into the motherboard, as this 'strand' connects to pin 1 of both the drive and motherboard connectors. The other end of the ribbon cable should be connected to the IDE channel 1 connector of the motherboard. Channel 2 will have the CD drive connected to it. Do not put different types of drives on a single channel or ribbon cable. They will work, but performance will be greatly reduced. So, channel 1 for hard discs and channel 2 for optical (CD or DVD) drives,

  Gongoozler 09:27 22 Dec 04

Hi Trikie. The BIOS settings you're looking at are for the sequence in which the computer looks for something to boot with. When you're installing an operating system you want the computer to look at the floppy or CD drive before the hard drive. Where you should be looking is the first screen which is usually called Main. On this screen will be all the drives detected by the motherboard (or main board). If any of the drives isn't detected here then Windows is not responsible for your problem and the solution will be inside the box.

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