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Trouble Installing Secondary Hard Drive Dell Dimension 2400

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Trouble Installing Secondary Hard Drive Dell Dimension 2400

  • Hello everyone, I'm sort of a newbie in computer software/hardware upgrading....and having some problems, my computer does not recognize the new/secondary hard drive I'm trying to here it goes.
    ---Computer Specs: Dell Dimension 2400 , OS : Windows XP
      Old hard drive: Seagate Barracude 40 GB ATA/100 (I want to keep this one as my master drive because my OS is on it, I want too boot from it as well)
      New Hard drive: Western Digital 80GB (I'm not sure if it's an ATA or what, Dell didn't send any directions whatsoever with it)
    Heres the problem: I bought a mounting bracket to install a second hard drive on my dimension 2400, attached it, hooked up the Ribbon cables as directed, and used the Cable Select settings on both drives....unfortunately, upon starting the computer with the second drive installed, it has error message "Primary Drive 0 Not Found." I tried to reboot again just to see the same error message. It's not detecting my primary (master) drive...but it's all hooked correctly, I've double-triple-many times checked the ribbon cables to see if they're set properly...and they're all secure.
    Now of course when I go back and just use the old ribbon cable to hook my master/older hard drive to the computer without the secondary drive hooked up , windows boots right up and detects it.
    I'm not very familiar with I'd rather leave it well enough alone...although I've fiddled with the hard drive detection settings in it to "auto" but it still doesn't recognize the new secondary hard drive.
    Some help would be greatly appreciated! (Remember to be clear in direction, I'm a stupid newbie.)
    :)              --jeepgirl4x4
  • jeepgirl4x4
    There are no instructions for installing a second EIDE hard drive in a D-2400, but as the D-4600 has the same case and chassis, you can use the D-4600 instructions for the physical installation.  Set the second hard drive's jumpers to "Cable Select" and connect it to the middle connecor on the cable,
    <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

    After installation, check the setup, that the second drive is enabled [Auto] and In order for windows to recognize the second hard drive, it must be partitioned and formatted.   These are generic instructions for installing an additional hard drive using Windows XP Disk Management, they are by Seagate, but apply to all brands.



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  • Thanks Bev! I will try this method...if it doesn't work then I don't know what I'll do. I'm pretty sure it's not safe to keep plugging in and plugging out the power chords and ribbon cables all the time...but I'll do whatever it takes.
  • Update: Okay. Followed the directions to a T....set both hard drives as "Cable select", and doesn't recognize the new hard drive at start up.
    Anyone else with a dimension 2400 having the same problem installing a second additional drive??
    I'm getting very frustrated here... :smileymad:
    2nd Edit: Did a little bit more googling research and look at the specs of my old drive compared to the new one....
    My old drive is an ATA....where as in the new drive is an EIDE....
    Are they compatible with each other? If not, that may be where my problem is...

    Message Edited by jeepgirl4x4 on 04-13-200602:28 AM

  • jeepgirl4x4
    EIDE and ATA are compatible to each other.
    Have you checked the setup [BIOS] that the second hard drive is to auto [on]?
    That the primary hard drive with XP is connected to the end of the cable and the new hard drive to the mddle connector?
    Then try clearing the NVRAM,



    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Yep, the ribbon cable is connected as directed...the ribbon cable came with the bracket I purchased thru iResolved, so I know it's the right cable. What is going on here??
  • jeepgirl4x4
    The primary Drive 1: is set to Auto, in the setup?
    Try clearing the NVRAM.


    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Followed all the directions above. Still, no response from the new second drive. I keep pulling out the ribbon cables....turning the computer back on, etc.
    This is extremely frustrating for me. I have a strong feeling I'm not using the right ribbon cable, the original cable that came with my 1 hard drive works, I noticed they're different from the newer one I recieved from iResolve...the old ribbon cable that came with my dell has the pin right in the center blocked off...where as in the new cable, the center pin is not blocked. I dunno...other than that they both look the same.....I also know that the new hard drive can't possibly be a failed hard drive because it's brand spanking new.
    I'm about a cats hair away from just giving up at this point. Thanks so much for the help anyway. :(
  • Where did you buy a mount that allows you to add a second hard drive?  I was gonna add one to my daughter's 2400 this afternoon and found that there is only a single drive mount.  I'd like to either get an add-on or a two-drive mount, whichever is available.

    Thanks in advance,


  • This post is rather dated, but the brackets are still available for some older Dimension models:



  • I realize this original post is outdated, but I found it on goole and if someone else tracks back here, I wanted to give them an update on what I found.

    You can add another drive to the ATA controller used by the Optical drive loop-

    Dell 2400 comes with one HD drive bay, and two 5.25" optical/HD bays.  My system had a DVD R/W, A CD R/W and the original 40GB EIDE/PATA drive mounted in the lower front vertically behind the front badge panel.

    I had an old P/ATA IDE Barracuda 7200 250GB laying around, and decided to create a Media Center as a test to run with XBOX360 Zune software.  We have 5 xbox's in the house and can now watch movies, listen to audio, and look at pictures with the Zune D/L from Xbox using a PC as a Zune media center.  It wasn't long before I decided we needed something stand alone rather than utilizing one of the networked PC's actively used.

    The 2400 seemed perfect for the job, so I stripped down the existing HD to bare files necessary, and began to add the 250GB (a precursor to adding an additional SATA dual 1 TB drive do this you will need an additional SATA controller card (newer disk technology), SATA cables and a way to mount the drives in the case...see other post on brackets...they still sell a one bay add on for $19.99 as of 2/27/10).

    In response to the jeepgirl4x4 post about getting Drive 0 not found.  I had the same issue.  I originally connected the second drive with an new two drive cable and replaced the OEM single drive cable, and booted to the "Drive 0 not found" message.  Seems Dell ships the system with a one HD cable for the hard drive, as opposed to one with two connectors.  The issue is if you look closely, you will see it's an ULTRA IDE cable, not a standard 20 pin cable.

    I put the OEM cable back, and it booted fine again.  I then replaced the 2nd CD R/W with the second new 250GB drive (master/slave pin set to slave), and the system booted, and windows located the drive immediately and it ran chk dsk automatically.  I had read somewhere that you could not pair a hard drive with the optical drive cable, but this is not the case, as my system has recognized the drive as drive "E:".

    Things I am not sure of as of this writing:

    -If a two drive ultra ide ribbon cable will work with the single onboard IDE controller slot to utilize two drives on the same cable (did Dell ship a single connector ultra IDE cable to save money since there is no bay for a second drive anyway?)

    -I have not installed a dual connector SATA controller card and 2 x 1TB drives - I am ready to purchase only $85 each and $12 for the controller!) since I am testing the current configuration with several different platforms such as Zune, WMP11, TVersity and also making sure the system performs well as a stand alone media center parked next to my router in the utility closet.

    If there are others out there with an old 2400, think about this configuration before you take it to the's a pretty quick system to use as a raid storage or media center, and if you own xbox's, you can use your televisions/receivers as audio/video players from a central source.  Zune software is free to D/L on the xbox360 website.  Check to make sure you are running XP SP3 first.