PRIMARY MASTER HARD DISK FAILED

Question

Can a faulty hard drive blow the processor and motherboard I put a hard drive into my computer and had major problems. I took it to the man I got the hard drive from and he said my processer had gone and blown the motherboard he has now replaced the motherboard twice and the processor. and returned the computer after loading my software the computer when switched on says PRIMARY MASTER HARD DISK FAILED if you reboot a couple of times it then boots up. Could the problem have been the Hard disk in the first place?

Sorry cannot give the part details as he placed most of the original computer.

Answer

This question was answered on December 6, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

The system has detected a failure with one or more of the IDE/ATA hard disk drives in the system The problem report may highlight a specific device ("drive 0" or "primary master") depending on the BIOS type.

This is usually a problem related to the hard disk(s) themselves; this may not mean that the hard disk is bad, but could mean incorrect cabling or another issue making it impossible to find the hard disk The controller or interface to the hard disk could also be at fault

It also sounds like a developing hardware failure, but without examining the computer it is difficult to pin it down It could be the disk, the drive controller circuitry, or something related to it There is a small possibility that the slave drive or the cable are at fault.

The symptoms suggest temperature might be a factor: when cold, the PC has difficulty booting When warm and some thermal expansion has taken place the fault disappears A hairline crack or borderline connection in some component could cause such behaviour I had a memory module that did this - the PC saw 32MB when cold and 64MB when warmed up Lightly cleaning the contacts with a soft pencil eraser cured it.

Reseat all internal cables and plug-in components Try moving the hard disk to the secondary channel It will be necessary to change the BIOS setting as well as transferring the cable to the other socket Make a note of the original BIOS settings before you do so If that fixes it, you know there is a motherboard problem specific to the primary channel If the problem persists it just proves that if there is a motherboard problem, it afflicts both channels Are you able to borrow another hard disk, or put yours in another machine? That ought to tie the fault to the motherboard or the disk If you don't have the facility to swap components, there isn't much you can do beyond taking it to a repairer.

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Author

Posted by Henry of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on December 6, 2004