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I purchased a new hard drive for my desktop and when I try to boot up the computer with a Windows disc in the drive, it will go through a bunch of screens and ask me which partition I would like to install windows into, but after it goes through the formatting step and reboots, I get a message saying Primary Master Drive Fails. How do I fix this?

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Messages like that normally means that you are unable to properly communicate with the hard drive. There are a multitude of reasons why this could happen though this normally happens when you have faulty hardware. So here's what I would do in this situation in no particular order.

  • Switch out the cable that you are using with the Hard Drive. Preferably one that works in another system or another hard drive.

  • Go into the motherboard BIOS and make sure that it is displaying the device model number correctly. Most hard drives have the model plainly marked on the label. If you go into the BIOS and the drive displays as a string of gibberish, then the drive is bad.

  • Go to the drive manufacture's website and download their diagnostics tool and run it on the drive. If it fails, the drive is probably bad.

  • Hook the hard drive up to another computer as a secondary drive (may have to change hard drive priority) and see if you can access it. Can you format the drive, write files, and delete files?

While rare, hard drives sometimes are sold defective (Dead On Arrival - DOA). It happens and most places will take them back if you do the above testing.

In the future, make sure that when you post a question that you add lots of details. A hard drive and motherboard/computer model could really help us better answer your question.

Hope this helps.

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