Storage, Drives & Media

Last reply by 10-01-2009 Unsolved
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2 Bronze
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Can't get desktop to recognize CD/DVD drive on boot

I've got an old Dimension 4100 that's still running pretty dang good... except for this:

I can't get it to recognize any media I place into my CD/DVD drive when booting. The floppy drive (hey, remember those?) works fine when a boot/ghost floppy is put in. Placing the CD version of the same thing is not recognized. I've updated my BIOS to the latest version. The boot sequence is as follows:

Floppy, ATAPI CDROM, IDE-HDD (taking the floppy out entirely makes no difference)

And, yes, it says "ATAPI", not IDE - could this be the problem? I would think the terms are interchangeable based on the age on my system.

Additional info: have a dual boot currently setup between Windows ME (yeh, another oldy, but moldy) and XP. The CD/DVD drives work fine in Windows. Discovered this problem when updating from Ghost 2003 to Acronis. Acronis uses CDs as their rescue media (but, it's not doing me any good as the desktop doesn't even see the CD). Have tried pretty much every procedure I've found at Dell support. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Replies (12)
2 Bronze
2 Bronze
209

CU I see that you dis-abled the CD/DVD drive to get it to work. Your system sounds much like mine, that is the drive on top and that is the Master.  I have tried dis-abling both of these drives and booting off of the other and nothing seems to work. It always wants to look at the floppy first even though I've taken that off the boot list.  I've think I've tried just about every combination to get it to boot but maybe there is one more I could try.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
209

It does appear our systems are very similar and it was the CD/DVD drive that I disabled. The only primary difference it seems is that I have two HDDs - don't think that's a factor in anything, however. I'm afraid, though, that we've just about approached the limit of my ability to help you. As for why it's looking for the floppy, have you tried disabling the "diskette controller" under "ADVANCED->diskette configuration" (see my BIOS dump below)? Maybe that's why it's looking at the floppy despite the fact it's out of the boot sequence? Just record all your settings as I have before you make any major change.

What is on the CD disc that you are using as a boot media? Do you have another PC you can try the media disks on just to make sure the disks are readable, formatted properly and have valid boot exe's? I have a couple other machines that I was able to practice and verify this stuff on. Also - sorry, but I have to ask/comment - I'm assuming that at least the CD drive involved has been used and is in working order (the floppy drive could be malfunctioning - I've had to replace mine a couple times).

So, try the above stuff and let me know how it goes. I'm including a complete "dump" of my BIOS settings - maybe there's something we've overlooked that I simply have the correct value/setting for and you don't...

-------

*************************************************
MAIN

BIOS Version            A06

Processor type            Intel Pentium III
   ""    speed            1 Ghz
System bus freq            133 MHz

Cache RAM            256 KB

Total mem            512 MB
Memory Bank 0            256 MB (PC133)
Memory Bank 1            256 MB (PC133)

Processor ser num        [Disabled]

##################################################
ADVANCED

Boot Config
    Plug &Play O/S        [No]
    Reset Config Data    [No]
    Numlock            [On]

Periph config
    Serial Port A        [Auto]
    Parallel Port        [Auto]
      Mode            [ECP]

    Legacy USB Support    [Enabled]

IDE Config
    IDE Controller        [Both]

    Primary IDE Master    [WDC WD400BB-75AUA1 ]
    Primary IDE Slave    [WDC WD400BB-18DEA0 ]
    Secondary IDE Master    [HL-DT-STDVD-RAM GH22]
    Secondary IDE Slave    [TDK CDRW321040B ]
        Drive Installed    [TDK CDRW321040B ]
        Type        [Auto]

        LBA Mode Cont    [Enabled]
        Multi-Sector xfers    [Disabled]
        PIO Mode    [Auto]
        Ultra DMA    [Mode 2]
        Cable Detected    [40 Conductor]

Diskette config
    Diskette Controller    [Enabled]
   
    Floppy A        [1.44/1.25 MB 3 1/2"]

    Diskette Write Prot    [Disabled]

Event Log
Video config

    AGP Aperture Size    [64MB]
    Primary Video Adapter    [AGP]

    AGP Hardware Detected    4X AGP Card
##################################################
BOOT

Quiet Boot            [Enabled]
Quick Boot            [Enabled]

Restore on AC/Power loss    [Power On]
ON LAN                [Stay Off]
On PME                [Stay Off]

1st Boot Device            [Floppy]
2nd Boot Device            [ATAPI CDROM]
3rd Boot Device            [IDE-HDD]
4th Boot Device            [Disabled]

IDE Drive Config
    Primary master IDE    [1st IDE]
    Primary slave IDE    [2nd IDE]
    Secondary master IDE    [3rd IDE]
    Secondary slave IDE    [4th IDE]

2 Bronze
2 Bronze
209

Thanks for the reply.  The CD is good, it is a DELL Windows XP Pro SP2 re-install disc. I put this in my other computer and it will boot up off of it fine.  Both the CDRW and CD/DVD work, I can see the boot disc fine once I'm in Windows and read and copy info. I can even get the floppy to work now, I must have had 5 bad floppies but I got one to work, a non-HD one so I can't squeeze the BIOS on it to update my BIOS.

I will take your advice and compeletly dis-able the floppy in the BIOS and see if it will see the CD then.  I also have two HDD's, the Master is the OS and the Slave is data. However for this, I've pulled both drives out and put a 3rd formatted drive on the Master to install a fresh version of Windows.

Thanks

 

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