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Primary hard disk drive 0 failure

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Primary hard disk drive 0 failure

  • Hi,

    When I boot my Latitude, it beeps twice and says Primary hard disk drive 0 failure. No boot device available. strike f1 to reboot f2 for setup.

    When I then pull the hard drive out and put it back in, everything was ok. But only for a couple of days. Now it constantly give me that respons.

    Does any of you have any good solution, I would be very happy.


    Best regards

    Karsten Stielund 

  • Probably the removal and replacement jostled it enough to free up the bearing temporarily and then it froze up again.
    You need to get another drive. If you have essential data on the defunct drive, you may be able to get another temporary recovery long enough to move your data off of it, by freezing it overnight in your Food Freezer. There are also Adapters available to allow a Laptop Harddrive to be connected as Master in the Secondary IDE Channel on a PC, and then drag and drop the files on the PC Harddrive or in its My Document folder. If you freeze the drive, put it a plastic baggie, squeeze out as much air as you can, seal it well and then freeze. If you do not have a PC available , you would have to use your laptop, and Floppies or CDRWs if you have that type of CD drive
  • The EXACT same thing happened to my laptop.  I just bought a hard drive off of ebay so I'm hoping that will fix it.  Keep us updated on yours.  -Sean
  • I have been having problems with my Latitude Lap Top.  It happen to get moisture in it several months ago.  Took it to a repair service I deal with.  They said the HD and MB have signs of moisture on them.  Have been working with.  I fianlly got it to boot up!!  Get the same message!  I can access the BOIS and the clock is still accurate.  I know have hope if recovery of the Lap Top.  If I get a new HD will this save the machine??



  • It sounds hopeful if it wiil boot up with a Boot Disk to an A: prompt. If you can find an older 800mb or so Harddrive, and want to be sure, install that temporarily and run a stripped set of W98 on it. If all goes well, buy yourself a new, larger harddrive. You did not say what model Laptop you had, and some have a physical size limit, so I cannot be more specific.
  • I have a Latitude CPi A  with a 4.86 gig HD.  I have prices some 10 and 20 gig HD's at $139.  Can I get one form Dell for a better price? They suggest not going more than 2 gig.  You say I may need a boot up disk once the HD is fix'd??  Should be able to boot up on its own shouldn't it?  The fact the I can access tht BOIOS would indicat the MB is fine.  Is this a safe judgement?  Thanks for the reply.


  • Only if you use W2k or W-XP. For W98 or W-ME, you need a boot diskette unless you have one of Dell's Recovery CDs for either of the latter 2 OS; the recovery CDs are selfbooting also. Retail or non specific OEM sets are not selfbooting for those latter 2. I have a 40gb in this CPiD and it's older than yours. The reason for the 2.1gb recommendation is only if you are going to use W95A, which has the old FAT16 limit on partitions. With W98 up and late BIOS, most any size will work, but I suggest no more than 40-48gb top. Dell's prices may be higher; ebay is usually cheaper than that. The price you quoted for a 20 is usually what you pay for an IBM/Hitachi  40gb 5400rpm 40GNX. The 20gb 40GNX is usually $90-100. I have this type in the 40gb size and recommend it to you.
  • Karsten, the same happened to me, although I did not remove my hard disk.  Can anyone help me, as in with the same problem as below. I am unable to get into Windows. I have an Inspiron 1100 laptop that is brand new. Also, what is the cause of this error?

  • Continuation: Primary hard disk drive 0 failure

    I have found that since last time, whenever I would plug in peripherals, I would receive the above message. And therefore, resulting in starting in dos without entering windows. I have since started to unplug all peripherals during start up, and reconnect them once in windows. My question is would someone tell me what needs to be done so that I can start up with all peripherals plugged in.

    Inspiron 1100


  • Jlyidt,

    Have you tried to narrow the problem down to see if maybe one of your peripherals is the cause, or maybe one of the ports on the laptop is the cause?

    If you are able to narrow it down to one port on the laptop, then you will need to have your system repaired.

    If the problem only happens with on particular peripheral, then that is probably bad.
  • Firstly, the ability to access the BIOS does not mean the mother board is fine.  It could very easily be damaged, and even one bad chip or connector could cause many kinds of different problems, including but most definitly not limited to random freezes and reboots.

    Now, the real reason for the repeated hard drive failures affecting nearly every model of Dell Latitude or Inspiron:  cheap hard drives.  Over the years, Dell has, in an effort to make their laptops cheaper, resorted to buying cheaper parts where ever possible.  The result is some people end up with hard drives that go bad in 3 months (I just had to fix a brand new Inspiron about a month ago).

    So the ultimate cause for any hard drive error: the hard disk is probably too cheap.

    So one option for fixing a bad hard drive (this one I have done with repition on Inspirons and Lattiudes both running XP):
    1) Remove the hard drive.
    2) Boot the laptop up without it.  When it asks for a bootable media, turn it off.
    3) Reinstall the hard drive.
    4) Boot up in safe mode (if it asks you).
    5) Once in Windows, go to 'run' and type "chkdsk /f" (without the "").  It may tell you to reboot in order to finish.  If it does, go ahead and reboot.  It will take several minutes longer than normal (depending on size of disk) to boot up, don't worry.  Once back in Windows, everything should be fine, for a while.  My advice is to make a back up frequently of any files you need, so if you have to replace the hard disk for good, then you will at least be able to save some of your files.

    Best of luck to all.

  • Thank you Corey for responding. My laptop is now currently in working condition. What happened was my Inspiron needed an updated BIOS. Which frazzled me, since the laptop was just bought last month. Thank God it was a problem that did concern all of my ports. It truely is nice when technology works!  


  • Ok, I am having the same problem excpet, My computer is not a laptop it is a desktop and the error message it gives me is " Hard disk controller 1 failure, Hard disk controller 1 failure, Hard disk drive 1 failure,  Strike F1 key to continure, F2 to run the setup utility".   Then after that is done it says 

    NTLDR is missing

    Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to restart. I have encounterd this message before but some how got it to work, Now i can not do anything i have 4 drives that ive tried puting in no luck, They give me the same message i do not know what is going on and if someone could give me some help i would appreciate it big time, Email me at or im me at EMIN3M1  Thanks......  It also crashed before i do not know if this is what is causeing it, It was running XP but i took the drives out and formatted on i think what is windows 98, Would this be my problem ?  Should i format them on a XP based system ? thanks again to anyone that respondes

    Message Edited by MnWIld on 02-03-2004 10:32 PM

  • ntldr is a system file required for all Windows NT based systems to boot, so that includes XP.  I will send you a copy of the ntldr file off of my machine here (along with a couple other files that may be missing), but I cannot guarentee that it will work.  You place it on the root directory of the drive (as in just loose on the C:\ drive).  If the drive is not bootable at all, even when connected to another functional machine, you may need to make a WINXP boot disk, and instructions on how to do that can be found here:;en-us;314079&Product=winxp

    And I believe that yes, the reason the drive cannot boot in XP is because you formatted it in Windows 98, a non-NT bases system, so it does not properly prepare it.

  • When you install W-XP, one of the options is to stay with FAT32 which I did since I am running a Dual Boot with W98SE. The 2nd option is to convert the FAT32 format to NTFS before you start the actual install of W-XP. The 3rd is to start with the Drive Partitioned but unformatted, and do the format for either system off of the W-XP CD before the actual install starts. I have done it all 3 ways and can not tell 2 cents worth of difference in the final result.