I have cleared NVRAM, then get the message, "Performing automatic IDE configuration......", then the message, "No boot device available, Press F1, et. al.". When entering setup utility, it shows drive A as "not installed", and all the primary and secondary drives as, "unknown device". Am assuming HD crashed?????
What was the reason for clearing the NVRAM?
The 'A' drive is a floppy drive.
Have you checked that all power and data cables are properly connected to the drives and motherboard.
If the hard drives are not recognized in the system setup, then it could be a failed hard drive.
It would help, to post the version of windows.
If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: YesForum Member since 2001I am not employed by Dell
Can I ask why you cleared NVRAM? And how did you clear it?
Drive A is the floppy drive. If you don't have an internal floppy drive, it should say "not installed". If you do have one, make sure Diskette Interface is set to Auto in BIOS setup.
Primary Hard Drive 0 should be set to Auto in BIOS setup.
Primary Hard Drive 1 should be set to Off, unless you have a second hard drive.
Do you perhaps have a non-bootable CD in the optical drives?
EDIT: Bev types faster than I do! And it's an 8200.
If this answers your question, please click Yes
Forum Member since 2004
I am NOT a Dell employee
In looking for a solution to my problem, I came upon a post in this community regarding clearing the NVRAM and when you should do so. One of the reasons to clear it was when you have the POST error I have. I was just letting you know what the "A" drive" said b/c one of the steps in clearing the NVRAM is to make sure the drive is set to "Not installed". Primary Drive says "unknown device", as well as the Drive 1 and subsequents. I had the WINXP Home in the ROM drive, b/c I was trying to do a re-install. Thanks for helping me.
If there is no difference after checking the cables, try running Dell diagnostics extended test on the hard drive, see HERE
Diagnostics can be run from the Drivers and Utilities Resource CD that was shipped with the PC.
I have tried to run the Diagnostics from the Drivers and Utilities Resource CD, I have tried to download the diagnostics from the Dell 32 bit Diagnostics (Graphical User interface version), and I have tried to start the computer with a boot disc. With the Drivers and Utilities CD, and with the boot disc, I get the same thing, as follows:
"Performing automatic IDE configuration...."
"No boot device available - strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility".
When I try to download the Dell 32 bit Diagnostics, I get the mesage:
"This will take 3 floppy discs". I put in disc one and I get the message: "The floppy disc size and the image size does not match". Then the only choice I have is to exit.
In the past, when I booted up, the computer would got through BIOS, now it goes straight to the screen that says, "Performing automatic, etc."
Can you help me from here? I'm getting frustrated. Thks
As you are unable to run diagnostics, then the hard drive seems to have failed and you need to replace it and reinstall XP
The Dimension 8200 supports IDE, 3.5", 7200rpm, internal hard drives, these can be purchased from most local and online computer stores, check out the Western Digital and Seagate brands.
This is what I have been thinking all along, but just wanted to give it every chance I could. Thank you so much for your help.
Happy to have helped.
With the Utilities CD in the drive and the drawer closed, did you press F12 before Windows starts to load and select Boot from CD?
If it really tried to boot from the CD, you shouldn't have gotten that no boot drive message. That suggests it was still trying to boot from the hard drive. So try again before rushing out to get a new drive, though Bev. is usually right about these things and you may need a new drive. But humor me...!
And it's still possible only the boot sector got damaged on this hard drive and that can be fixed, but you'll have to get it to boot from the CD first.