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I am installing Windows XP on an old Dell Dimension 2400. I have a 40 GB drive on the primary IDE controller, and a DVD drive on the secondary controller.

When I boot the machine, it complains about not finding a hard drive, but continues to boot to the XP install disk in the DVD drive. If I go into the bios, it only lists the DVD drive as detected.

IF I follow the XP installer through, however, it sees the drive, allows me to partition, format, and install setup files on it. On reboot, however, the BIOS still does not see hard drive and does not try to boot from it.

I've tried swapping the IDE controllers and cables that the DVD drive and the hard drive use but the BIOS never sees the hard drive.

Any idea what could be causing this?

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What are the BIOS settings for the Primary Master? Is it set to AUTO? Is it possible to manually specify the hard drive parameters?

It may be helpful if you could post some type of screenshot of your hard drive BIOS settings.

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It is set to AUTO, but there is no way to manually specify the hard parameters. It is either "AUTO" or "OFF" – Nathan Voxland Nov 25 '09 at 6:47
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Looks like the hard drive was bad

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