View Full Version : Computer Problems - Part I: thé most difficult-to-solve PC-problem ever!!

The Godfather
7th Feb 2005, 17:38
Hello there,

The next question should be a true challenge to every computer wizard out there, because I've been asking around and absolutely nobody seems to know what is causing the following problem with my personal computer:

When I start up my computer and press DEL to enter these mysterious BIOS-settings (which I never alter because I don't know them at all) I can see the following list of drives available in my PC:

1) PRIMARY MASTER = my hard drive
2) PRIMARY SLAVE = my 1st DVD-writer ( D:\ )
3) SECONDARY MASTER = my 2nd DVD-writer ( E:\ )
4) SECONDARY SLAVE = my DVD-player. ( F:\ )

And it's always the F:\ - secondary slave driver which is bugging me and giving me sleepless nights. Because everything that I have installed under the F:\ fails to work properly. First, my old yet still working CD-writer. Then my completely new DVD-writer and finally my (oldest of the 3 DVD-drivers) DVD-player.

My question to you is simple:

Howcome the drive F:\ does not function correctly? Windows cannot seem to find it and as a result of that I cannot open or close it and when I can, the disc just might stop playing the movie or the song all of a sudden. Because the situation changes from time to time. Sometimes the F-disc works fine and I can listen to almost an entire CD. But at other times it doesn't work at all and it slows down my entire computer!!! :eek:

Because the secondary slave-problem already begins outside Windows right after having started up my PC. I get a fault message which says something like "Secondary Slave Error". And so I have disabled this F:\-disc in both BIOS and in Windows, so it won't harm my computer any further.

And last but not least: the green LED-light still flickers. Also upon restarting my computer, so that means it DOES work. And remember: this is with EVERY SINGLE DRIVE YOU INSTALL UNDER F:\ AND THUS AS A SECOND SLAVE DRIVE. :(

Please help me! I'm desperate!! What causes this problem, please!!! :( :confused:

I hope to be hearing from a very smart computer genius as soon as possible.

Many thanks in advance,

Bye for now

7th Feb 2005, 19:01
The secondary slave error is probably caused because you have a 40 IDE cable instead of an 80 IDE cable on the secondary channel. I had that error, and it turned out to be that problem. The 40 IDE cable transfers the information at a slower rate, and it is not harmful, you are just given a notice about it.

At least it is worth checking out. A new 80 IDE cable cost about 3 euro, try changing that, and enable the secondary slave again in bios. See if that clears the problem. I don't know why the movies etc stop, now I'm guessing, but it could be that they do so because the transfer rate is too slow.

The Godfather
7th Feb 2005, 19:54
Wow! Somebody actually knew a possible answer to that one. Say: I only know very little about computers. Such a 80 IDE cable ... can I get that in a regular computer shop? And is that the cable inside the computer which connect the secondary slave drive to ... ... something else, right? Is that like a very flat & grey cable?

Many thanks, my friend! I'll keep you posted!

Bye for now

7th Feb 2005, 20:14
Right, that is the wide grey cable that looks like a belt. (there are new ones that are fitted in a round cable, but with the same connector, easier to fit, but more expensive)

It goes from the motherboard to the secondary master to the secondary slave. Look carefully at how the old cable is connected before you remove it.

It is important that you get an 80 pin cable, they are usually clearly labelled. Yeah, they have them in every computer store, in every store that sells any kind of computer components actually. I bought one in a combined computer/hardware store, right next to grass clippers and chainsaws... Lol.

Good luck!

The Godfather
7th Feb 2005, 21:44
I'm almost certain this is the problem, because I just noticed that my E:\ has also disappeared and as you can read above my E:\ is my secondary master whilst my F:\ is my secondary slave. It's more than blind luck that just those two don't always seem to work right?

So: in short -- when I wanna buy such an 80 IDE cable: what are the most important things I have to pay attention to (or would it be enough to just ask the owner of the computer store for an 80 IDE cable?)

Many, many thanks already in advance,

Bye for now

7th Feb 2005, 21:50
It should be enough to ask the owner, there aren't that many different types. Just say you need an 80 pin IDE cable.

Before you go shopping you might want to peak inside the computer and estmate roughly how long the cable is (it comes in different length) so that you don't get a too short cable. Or just go for not the shortest cable they have... Lol.

That E is missing could be the same problem, but I'm not sure. See what happens.

8th Feb 2005, 01:26
I hope to be hearing from a very smart computer genius as soon as possible.

Bye for now
That's our Solange! ;)

8th Feb 2005, 05:58
That's our Solange! ;)
Lol Suzie, you make me blush! :D

What if I'm wrong? :o

8th Feb 2005, 15:40
What if I'm wrong? :o

Then your reputation of computer genius will be badly damaged. :D


Seriously, if you're wrong, Godfather will a) have a brand new 80-conductor IDE cable which is always a good thing and b) eliminate one possible cause to his problem.

8th Feb 2005, 16:15
Lol Xcom!

So this is a win win situation! :D

8th Feb 2005, 21:39
There is a possibility that the data cable is damaged in some way, have you tried simply changing the cables over from Primary to secondry and vise versa? A new cable is ner a bad thing though.
Other place you might look are the disk controllers, perhaps the leads may be loose, or because the fault is intermittant, it may be soldered connections on the mobo that are causing it, but this is rare.
First change the cable around to see if this has any effect, and then try a new cable.

8th Feb 2005, 21:49
Not necessary it will show if you switch the cables around, that depends on what drives you have on the channels. I was so surprised when this happened to me when I got the new hdd, because not till then did I actually need the higher transfer rate! :)

The Godfather
8th Feb 2005, 22:12
I bought 2 new 80 pin IDE cabels today and I'll have them installed some time next week. Thanks for your help! I'll keep y'all posted! ;)

Bye for now

The Godfather
13th Feb 2005, 21:31
Well, I promised I would get back to you. A good friend of mine has changed the wrong cable with the right one (which is of course the 80 pin IDE cable) and my computer DOES recognize all my DVD-drives (read: the D: - E:- and F-drive) but from time to time the F:-drive (which is the regular DVD-drive) doesn't always seem to work fine. Sometimes it play the music/film and sometimes you can hear the CD or DVD turning around against a very high speed but nothing happens and my computer blocks because it's all too busy searching for information on the F:-drive ... but eventually nothing starts up and I gotta take out the CD or DVD and put in the E: or D:

I hope you can all understand what I just said back there and in case you do: what can you -- clever computer wizards -- offer me as a solution, please?

Many thanks,

Bye for now