I am afraid the hard drive on my Dimension 8400 just died.
When I reboot I get "Floppy diskette seek failure" followed by a "No boot device available" message
Is there any way to use a boot disk to get around this and recover some files on the hard drive?
No, you need to replace the SATA hard drive and reinstall XP and then load all the drivers and applications.
Regards to recovering the files and folders, after installing the new hard drive and reloading XP, install the hard drive as a secondary and see if you can transfer the files and folders to the new C:/ drive.
You cannot transfer any applications or programs this way, they must be reinstalled from the CD's, or from the publisher's website.
A SATA data cable is needed, there should a spare power connector inside the case.
You could also, remove the hard drive and using an USB adaptor similar to THIS and attach the hard drive to a USB port of a working computer and see if you can transfer the files and folders to it.
Hang on a nano-sec before you rush out and purchase a new drive.
Those error messages suggest BIOS got reset to factory default values. (I bet you don't even have a floppy drive in this system!).
Reboot and press F2 before Windows starts to load to open BIOS setup. Look for the Diskette Drive (floppy drive) option and make sure it's set to Off (disabled), assuming you don't have an internal floppy drive. And then look for the SATA Operations setting. What is it set to? Save any changes and exit setup.
When was the last time you replaced the motherboard battery??
Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee