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Error auto-sensing secondary master

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by AJRSIU, Feb 4, 2014.

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  1. AJRSIU

    AJRSIU Thread Starter

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    I have a Dell XPS420 that has been intermittently coming up with the error message "error auto-sensing secondary master hard drive" when booting. Sometimes, just rebooting solved the problem but then it became stubborn and would not reboot. I checked the BIOS and sure enough, the 2nd drive was not detected. ( I have two 500 GB sata drives in the system that are not set up in a RAID config. Just drives C and D.)


    I used that second drive only for system backups.


    I physically disconnected the 2nd drive and turned it off in BIOS and everything has been working fine for a week now. Today, I booted and got the same error message. When I hit F1 to continue, it said there was no PRIMARY master. I checked the BIOS and lo-an-behold, it doesn't see the primary drive now.


    I unplugged the computer for an hour and then started it back up. It works fine now.


    I find it hard to believe that both drives failed within a week or so of each other. Could there be something else that is causing this problem? SATA controller maybe? I'm at a loss.


    I am running Windows 7 and thankfully have the system backed up to two other drives.
     
  2. SM4SH

    SM4SH

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    I am not sure the level of your computer knowledge, so forgive me if I make this post sound very basic. you said second master drive, if this is correct then you have IDE hard drives, and you can only have one master. Open your case and find your secondary hard drive. you should see some pins and a little jumper near where the ribbon cable is plugged in on some of the pins, this should be moved to the set of pins marked slave. on your main drive that jumper should be on the pins marked master.
     
  3. AJRSIU

    AJRSIU Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your reply. I've been working on computers since 1978, SM4SH but the new technology has me stumped.. LOL. They are actually two SATA drives. BIOS lists them as SATA-0 and SATA-1 and they are utilizing the SATA ports on the MOBO. They came originally as RAID config with one drive as a mirror of the other but I changed that years back when I upgraded from Vista to Windows 7. The thing that stumps me is when the error came up again, after disabling the 2nd hard drive, it still said error detecting the secondary master. But when I hit the F1 to continue, it then came up and said there was an error with the primary. I think it's something in the BIOS that is not doing it's job. I might try and flash the BIOS to see if that works.
     
  4. SM4SH

    SM4SH

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    Aug 24, 2013
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    198
    Many try just resetting the bios first
     
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