Installing New SATA hard drive and Windows XP in Optiplex 270

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Installing New SATA hard drive and Windows XP in Optiplex 270

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400GB original Seagate SATA drive completely failed in Optiplex 270. Attempts to replace with new Western Digital 2TB SATA drive unsuccessful. Unable to get to a point where I can partition and format the new drive and then reinstall XP Pro. Is this drive too big, too new or am I doing something wrong. Setup screen indicates that there is an unknown drive with unknown capacity in the primary drive position.

Thanks and regards

Spencehg

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  • Don't know if this system has a limitation on hard drive size... Do you have the latest version of BIOS installed?

    Run BIOS setup and copy down all the settings. Then power off, unplug and press/hold power button for ~15 sec. Open the case and remove the motherboard battery. Press/hold power button again for ~30 sec. Reinstall the battery (right-side-up)! and see if BIOS recognizes the new drive now.  And then restore any of the settings you wrote down that may have changed.

    While you're in BIOS setup, look to see if there are any settings for SATA Operation, eg, RAID/AHCI and RAID Autodetect/ATA. You may need to change to RAID Autodetect/ATA before the XP installer CD can see the hard drive, until you load the SATA drivers from a floppy diskette during the XP installation.

    Ron

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  

    Ron

    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • Thanks for the suggestions. I followed your instructions with no difficulty, but no success. When I reinstall the original 400GB SATA drive the setup utility recognizes that it is a SATA drive and that it is 400GB. When I try to boot up with it in place or to reinstall Windows XP it then indicates that "primary drive 0 not found". When I put in the new 2TB drive the setup utility shows unknown drive in the SATA primary drive section. When I then continue to try to install XP it comes up with the same "primary drive 0 not found".   BIOs is version A07. Possibly the original drive has not crashed and there is some other issue as to why "primary drive ) not found" but for weeks prior to completely stopping, it was acting like a hard disk crash.

    Any other suggestions would be most welcome.

  • A07 is the latest BIOS for the GX270.

    Did you find any options for SATA Operation in BIOS setup?

    What color are the 4 diagnostic LEDs on rear of the tower when it won't boot with original hard drive installed? If not all green, look up codes here.

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/opgx270/en/ug/solve.htm#1235408

    A bum SATA cable?

    Can you boot from a CD?

    Ron

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  

    Ron

    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • Again, excellent suggestions

    No other options for SATA operation in BIOS setup

    The "D" light remains yellow which indicates "other failure has occurred"

    I checked the cables again and all appear well connected, I pulled off and pressed on again to be sure.

    No evidence of a cable being damaged or burnt but I guess it is a possibility but BIOs setup recognizes the original drive model, size, etc but it just doesn't function. Setup does not recognize the new drive at all implying to me that the cables are OK

    The DVD drive appears to work fine as I am using the original XP install disk to try to reinstall the system on the old or new drives.

    I am working at getting my hands on an external SATA drive enclosure to see if I can get these drives to work off of a laptop USB port. That may let me know if both drives are OK and it is something wrong with the computer system.

    Thanks again

    Spence

  • There may actually be a chipset limitation on the max size of the hard drive in your older system.

    This thread may not apply directly to your model, but read the post by MorJo15 here.

    Ron

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  

    Ron

    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • Guess we were posting at the same time...

    If D is amber with the original drive in place, did you do the 'battery thing' after reinstalling that drive?

    You may need to reseat RAM modules, PCI cards etc in their slots and then do the 'battery thing' once again.

    If none of that helps, strip it down to bare essentials. Remove all PCI cards except video, disconnect optical and floppy drives, remove all RAM modules except the one in slot 1. Do the battary thing and see if it boots now from the hard drive.

    Ron

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  

    Ron

    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • Everything I can research indicates that as long as I stay within 2TB the system should be able to handle it. Even if the drive is too big, it should at least be recognized.

    I did the battery thing. I will try to  strip it down to bare essentials as you say and see what happens. It is reasonable that something potentially came loose. I had this in mind anyway.

    I will try all this later tonight or tomorrow and post what happens.

    Many thanks for all your suggestions.

    Spence

  • If that doesn't help, I got a big sledge hammer..!

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  

    Ron

    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • I'm glad I found this thread before I sprang for SATA drive, although I plan on using it as Drive 1 instead Drive 0 and keep booting from the original 40GB IDE HDD.

    So, my questions is this. Does the GX270 BIOS A07 run SATA at 1.5 GBs or 3.0GBs? Would this make any difference? Microcenter has some sweet 1TB+ drives starting at $59.

    For Elise -

  • I think they fall back to 1.5 and it shouldn't make a difference. I have a 2tb working in my 2350 (via a third-party SATA card).