Dimension 8100 Boot Problem

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Dimension 8100 Boot Problem

This question is not answered

I apologize in advance for the length.

I bought a used 8100 for my kids.  About 3 weeks ago I turned it onget an error message that says "No Boot Device Available".  When that happened with my laptop I had to replace the hard drive.  I feel there may be nothing wrong with the hard drive, because my boyfriend got the system to boot.  I don't know what he did.  He hit F2 and did some other stuff.  There was an error message with XP on a light blue screen.  Windows started fixing errors.  After that it worked perfectly.  

Last week, I turned on the computer and got the same "No Boot Device Available" error.  This time my father suggested opening it and removing the video card and putting it back it.  I don't know what that looks like.  So, I opened it and too a can of and and cleaned it out, instead.  When I turned it back on I got the same error message.  My daughter tripped over the plug and disconnected the power cord.  When I plugged it back in the computer booted up.  I got the what the called the "blue screen of death".  I let it dump memory.  I got a message that the Iomega drive was corrupted.  Windows redirected me to a website to download the fix.  The computer worked perfectly, for a little while.

Today, I turn it on and get the "No Boot Device Available" error.  I checked the 4 code lights in the back.  They are Green, Green, Green, Yellow.  The online manual says contact Dell.  Of course, this is an old computer so the Service Code means nothing on the Dell website.  Right now, as I write this post, the computer is running fine.  I justed rebooted and everything works.  However, I'm gonna get the error message again.  I wanted to find out if there is something loose inside the computer that I may have overlooked?  Should I just go ahead and replace the hard drive?  Or should I remove the Iomega drive?  

Thank you for any assistance.

All Replies
  • Hi Cheleden,

    Boot the system and hit F2 to enter system setup. The screen and instructions for your system setup are shown on this page.

    You'll see the four internal drives listed, primary drive 0 (this should be your hard drive), primary drive 1 (this may be off), secondary drive 0 (this should be your CD or DVD drive) and secondary drive 1 (your second CD drive or it might be off). I want you to tell me what each of these shows.

    Next, use the arrow keys to open up the BOOT SEQUENCE, and tell me what you see there.

  • Hi Osprey,

    This was on the System Set-up.

     

    Primary Drive 0 - Hard Drive

    Primary Drive 1 - Hard Drive

    Secondary Drive 0 - CD - Rom Reader

    Secondary Drive 1 - CD - Rom Reader

     

    Boot Sequence

    1. IOE  CD- Rom Device

    2. Diskette Drive

    3. Hard - Disk Drive C

  • That should be IDE CD - Rom Device

  • So this system has two hard drives and two CD/DVD drives, right? I really suspect a hard drive problem. Even if the system can boot, there could still be a problem with the boot sector of the drive. There's no way to know without testing it.

    In order to test the drive, you need to prepare a bootable CD or floppy disk with some sort of diagnostic program on it. The best place to get this is from the manufacturer's site for the drive you are testing. This may be a good time to ask for help.

  • Yes the system has two hard drives and two CD/DVD drive.  I will test the drive and get back to you.  Thank you for your help.

  • Both Hard Drives passed the tests

  • I'm stumped.

  • Smile  Thank you for your suggestions and help.  Maybe something isn't properly connected. 

  • Cheleden,
    What's happening is the motherboard is intermittently failing to detect your computer's primary hard drive. If you were to check the list of drives in BIOS when you get the error message I'd almost be willing to bet that Primary Drive 0 would say something like 'unknown' or 'not installed/detected' next to it. This could be the result of a slowly dying hard drive. It could also be due to a loose power or data cable connection or the IDE controller it's plugged into could be failing.

    XPS One. Core2 Duo @ 2.2GHz. 2 GB DDR2-667. WD2500AAJS 250GB SATA. Intel GMA 3100 video. 20" WSXGA HD LCD. 2 Megapixel Webcam. 8X DVD±RW. 8-in-1 Media Reader. 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless. Integrated High Def Audio. Internal Bluetooth 2.0. NTSC/ATSC TV Tuner. Windows 7 Professional SP1.

  • Hi.  Thank you for replying.

    Yes,  it does list the Primary Drive 0 - unknown.  I just looked at the BIOS -  it lists Primary Drives 0 and 1, and Secondary Drives 0 and 1 unknown.  Should I replace all of the drives?

     

  • It's very unlikely that all of the drives have failed at the same time. Try disconnecting the primary hard drive from the motherboard then check the BIOS to see if the other drives are recognized in there.

    XPS One. Core2 Duo @ 2.2GHz. 2 GB DDR2-667. WD2500AAJS 250GB SATA. Intel GMA 3100 video. 20" WSXGA HD LCD. 2 Megapixel Webcam. 8X DVD±RW. 8-in-1 Media Reader. 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless. Integrated High Def Audio. Internal Bluetooth 2.0. NTSC/ATSC TV Tuner. Windows 7 Professional SP1.

  • Hi,

    I disconnected the HD1.  In the BIOS both Primary Drive 0 and Primary 1 drives were unknown.  Secondary Drives 0 and 1 were CD ROM Reader.  

    I disconnected the HD2.  In the BIOS Primary 0 - Hard Drive , Primary Drive 1 - Unknown Device.  Secondary Drives 0 and 1 CD ROM Reader.  

    Before I went to BIOS, I got an error - Primary Drive 0 is missing.  When I hit ESC, to leave the BIOS screen the computed booted up while HD2 was still disconnected.  

     

  • It sounds like your secondary hard drive (HD2) may have failed and is knocking out the entire IDE chain when it's plugged into the motherboard. If it's left disconnected and only Primary Drive 0 is attached what happens when you try to boot the computer up?

    XPS One. Core2 Duo @ 2.2GHz. 2 GB DDR2-667. WD2500AAJS 250GB SATA. Intel GMA 3100 video. 20" WSXGA HD LCD. 2 Megapixel Webcam. 8X DVD±RW. 8-in-1 Media Reader. 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless. Integrated High Def Audio. Internal Bluetooth 2.0. NTSC/ATSC TV Tuner. Windows 7 Professional SP1.

  • When the secondary hard drive is disconnected, the computers boots up.  At first there was an error say no boot disk. But after I shut it off and rebooted the computer started up.  I wasn't sure if I should run the computer without both drives connected.