Dell Primary Drive Not Found

Recently, I had to work on a Dell Dimension desktop. Unfortunately for my customer, the hard drive had the “click of death” even though I tried everything, including tapping the drive with a hammer to free the spindle. Luckily, there was no important data so I simply replaced the drive.

I kept noticing something odd that I had first attributed to the failed drive. I kept getting the following error on reboot:

Primary drive 1 not found
Secondary drive 1 not found
Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility

That was odd considering that the drives were clearly installed and recognized in the BIOS. I checked jumper switches and everything was set to master and the drives were plugged in the ends of the IDE cables. I checked the BIOS again and the drives were recognized fine.

Thank goodness for Google. Here is the solution:

Boot into the BIOS using [F2]Hold [ALT] F, then [ALT] E
After the beeping stops [ALT] B

It forces the BIOS to reset and re-recognize the drives.


primary drive 1 not found