Hard Drive Upgrade Problems - Dell Dimension 4600

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  #1  
Old 06-30-08, 08:47 AM
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Hard Drive Upgrade Problems - Dell Dimension 4600

Hello all!

I have spent hours searching here and other places on the Internet without finding my answers. I am redoing a neighbor's Dell Dimension 4600. He gave me his Service Tag number and I looked up how it was originally configured. It came with an 80GB hard drive and 512MB of RAM memory. Since the info showed that it was a SATA hard drive... I ordered a 500GB SATA hard drive to replace it thinking I would use the original 80GB drive as a slave for extra storage.


Well... I got the desktop yesterday and found that it had an IDE hard drive instead of a SATA hard drive. I guess I didn't read well enough. It has an IDE BUT the SATA drive is supported as it has a SATA 0 and a SATA 1 connector! So... I went ahead and used the original connectors and moved the 80GB to the front bay and installed the 500GB in the original bay. I also went ahead and upgraded the RAM from 512MB to 2GB. I knew I would have to play around in the BIOS to get this setup to work. But here is where I am stuck.

After installing everything (With the new drive on SATA #0) I set the SATA master to AUTO and the IDE slave to AUTO. I can get the SATA hard drive to be recognized as a Hitachi 500GB drive but I can't see the original Maxtor 80GB drive! I have the jumper on the Maxtor set to CSL but have also tried removing the jumper entirely. I have read that it works both ways. (Different articles on the Net.)

So... How do I do this? I am stumped and don't know how to get around this. The easy way would be to return the SATA drive for an IDE but I got it online and don't want to wait for the swap. I have read so many conflicting things that I am utterly confused! Some say you can, some that you can't... Some say I need drivers, some say I don't.

I went ahead and reinstaled the original RAM thinking maybe I had a bad stick. Same issues!

Is there a way to make this work?

The Dimension 4600 has two DVD drives and a floppy. If you need the service tag number to help... Please let me know.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Rick
 
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  #2  
Old 06-30-08, 10:38 AM
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It's possible you may not be able to use the primary IDE interface when using the primary SATA.

As a troubleshooting step, try disconnecting the master DVD drive and connecting the 80GB drive with the jumper set to cable select or master in its place. I am assuming the two DVD drives are currently using the 2nd IDE interface.
 
  #3  
Old 06-30-08, 11:35 AM
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Hey there... The master/slave configuration for IDE is only applicable when you have two drives on the same cable. Your jumper setting on the PATA (IDE) drive should be Master or Master-Single, if there is such a setting on that drive. In BIOS, set the drive detection settings to Auto, and select the SATA drive as your first boot device.

I would always buy a SATA drive if there is a SATA connector available, if nothing else because sata cables are much nicer to work with and don't "clog up" the computer case.
 
  #4  
Old 06-30-08, 12:00 PM
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Well... I chatted with a Dell Rep that said that 250GB was the max hard drive that would be recognized. I really need to get this thing back to the guy so I went out and bought a 320GB IDE drive. I STILL can't get it to boot and load XP!!! I guess he was correct! There is something in the BIOS that shows as a OS load Yes/no... I am assuming that should be a "YES" when I go to load XP.

Make sense?

I'm going to go swap the 320 I just bought with a 160.... And get this over with!

Thanks!

Rick
 
  #5  
Old 06-30-08, 12:41 PM
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I just got back with a 160GB IDE hard drive... The BIOS sees it and according to Dell it is exactly the drive I need! The BIOS sees it but XP won't even boot! I don't have the 2nd hard drive in yet... I figured I would install the OS on the new one and then hook up the 80GB 2nd hard drive. I've tried all the variations in the BIOS and still am getting nowhere!

Any words of wisdom? I can't shoot it as it is someone else's desktop unit.

Rick
 

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  #6  
Old 06-30-08, 04:11 PM
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You're probably over-reacting with all the harddrive buying... Usually you can boot just fine off of harddrives, even if they are too large for BIOS to recognize.

That said, Windows XP pre SP1 cannot format or install on drives over 160 GB. What you can do, however, is create a 160 GB or smaller partion on a different computer, then move the drive over to the Dell, install Windows on the partition, and then resize the partition to the full size of the drive, using PartitionMagic or similar tool. If the CD includes SP1 or SP2 it's not a problem though.

So, what do you mean by "XP won't boot". Did you install it on the hard drive? Or do you mean that the setup won't boot off the CD? How do you have the CD/DVD drive connected BTW?

If I were you I would connect as so:
- New SATA drive on SATA port
- 80 GB drive as Master on first PATA (IDE) channel
- CD/DVD drive as Master on second PATA (IDE) channel
- Return the other drives

Boot priority: CD, then SATA.
 
  #7  
Old 06-30-08, 06:31 PM
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Ya know... I read somewhere that I should use XP Pro Svc Pk2 instead of the Svc Pk2 CD that came with the desktop... but I figured that it wouldn't make too much difference.

I am now trying to load a 160GB IDE hard drive and still getting no luck.

However... I will try with XP wth Svc Pk 2 tomorrow and post back to let you know.

Thanks a million for the replies guys!

Rick
 
  #8  
Old 06-30-08, 07:29 PM
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I'm still not clear on how far you're getting and where you're stuck, exactly.

Good luck.
 
  #9  
Old 06-30-08, 10:10 PM
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Disclaimer... if you don't want the back story (& my similar issue) just go down to the "***" for my suggestion to your problem.

Well, I just installed a 320GB Seagate Barracuda SATA/300 on my Dell Dimension 4600 last night - I added it as an additional drive to the master (PATA) 80GB WD that came with the computer...

Installed the drive - turned the SATA controllers on - formatted the drive using the Seagate disc management utility CD.
Worked fine... so I moved over something like 50GB of data from my original drive to the new drive... then deleted it from the old drive, ran disk defrag on the old HD and then rebooted to see how much it sped up the computer after freeing up some free disc space...
I had been as low as about 4GB free in the last couple weeks.

Anyway... once I rebooted it wouldn't get past the startup screen... it just sits - all black screen with the a cursor in the upper left corner of the screen... so I reboot go into setup and turn off the SATA drive and it boots just fine.

***
I read somewhere when I started figuring out what I wanted to do that a SATA drive will only work as the boot drive on a Dell D4600.

Not sure if that is what the OP's issue is or not... but now I'm trying to figure out what I can do to fix my issue.

I will look for the webpage that outlined the SATA boot drive issue...

Should I start a new thread or can I ask for help with my issue here?
Does anyone know the easiest fix for my issue? Can I just remove the 80GB and make the SATA drive my boot drive? That means I have to install WinXP onto the new drive then right? If I do this will I lose the stuff I already put on the drive?
Do I need the SATA drivers loaded on a 3.5 to do this?

If so - where can I get drivers for my motherboard? I can't even tell what motherboard I have... I look on the thing and all it really says is "DELL"... no other names or brands.

Any help would be great - thanks-
Justin
 
  #10  
Old 07-01-08, 06:03 AM
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I knew there was a good reason to avoid Dell machines. Too many proprietary issues. Gateway isn't much different.
 
  #11  
Old 07-01-08, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by husbus View Post
I'm still not clear on how far you're getting and where you're stuck, exactly.

Good luck.
Husbus... I am stuck pretty much at the beginning! At present I am trying to just swap in the 160GB IDE hard drive and load XP on it. When I try it just sits there with the cursor blinking in the upper left hand corner... Then I get the lines... Click F1 to boot or F2 to enter setup... If I click on F1 I just get the same message over and over. F2, of course, takes me back into the setups.

I am going to try an XP install disk that has svc pk 2 to see if that makes a difference.
 
  #12  
Old 07-01-08, 08:53 AM
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Fixed!

As it turns out... I was doing everything the correct way. That is why I was pulling my har out because it MUST work. But... There was a bad CD Rom drive... It wouldn't load and with no OS it would just go to the prompts...

I reinstalled the 500GB SATA hard drive and Win XP Home is loading as I type!

I am assuming that after the install I just need to hook up the 80GB IDE inside and call it the slave and I should have the system up and running with all updates in a few hours.

If I have any other issues I'll post back... But for now it's looking good!

Thanks for everyone's help on this!

Rick
 
  #13  
Old 07-01-08, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by husbus View Post
You're probably over-reacting with all the harddrive buying... Usually you can boot just fine off of harddrives, even if they are too large for BIOS to recognize.

That said, Windows XP pre SP1 cannot format or install on drives over 160 GB. What you can do, however, is create a 160 GB or smaller partion on a different computer, then move the drive over to the Dell, install Windows on the partition, and then resize the partition to the full size of the drive, using PartitionMagic or similar tool. If the CD includes SP1 or SP2 it's not a problem though.

So, what do you mean by "XP won't boot". Did you install it on the hard drive? Or do you mean that the setup won't boot off the CD? How do you have the CD/DVD drive connected BTW?

If I were you I would connect as so:
- New SATA drive on SATA port
- 80 GB drive as Master on first PATA (IDE) channel
- CD/DVD drive as Master on second PATA (IDE) channel
- Return the other drives

Boot priority: CD, then SATA.

Husbus... See above... I got it working with the 500GB drive as Master... Now I am trying to get the 80GB Maxtor drive as slave. The guys has 2 DVDs in his machine... I dont want to take one of those away from him. (Even though one is not working now... Probably clogged with dust.) Do I put the SATA as master AND the IDE as Master since the SATA should take priority?
 
  #14  
Old 07-01-08, 12:56 PM
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Fixed!!!

After dorking around with this thing for two days... I finally have it working! It took me a little while to get the IDE drive to be recognized. None of the jumper settings worked! I finally just hooked the IDE drive up as a primary IDE drive and took the jumper of. When it was set to "slave" it wouldn't boot! So after redoing everything one last time... I fired it up... Win XP did a consistency check on the new/old drive (80GB) and away it went! Now I have the primary SATA at 500GB and the Primary IDE as 80GB and everything works. After I finish all the updates and software loading I'll reinstall the old CD Rom drive after I blow it out with compressed air. He said it works... I might have been a little too vigorous when I blew all the dust out of the thing. It had 2 inches of dust in it when I opened it up.

I also reinstalled the 2GB of RAM and now this thing SCREAMS. He is going to freak when he gets this thing back. I wonder how many people just go out and buy new PCs when all they have to do is upgrade a little or just reformat with a fresh copy of their OS.

Anyway... Thanks again to everyone for the input.

Rick
 
  #15  
Old 07-01-08, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Kirby View Post
After dorking around with this thing for two days... I finally have it working!
Congrats and good job...
Now!? Can I send you mine so you can fix it?!
 
  #16  
Old 07-02-08, 03:25 PM
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Glad you got it working!

Originally Posted by Rick Kirby View Post
Now I am trying to get the 80GB Maxtor drive as slave. The guys has 2 DVDs in his machine... I dont want to take one of those away from him. (Even though one is not working now... Probably clogged with dust.) Do I put the SATA as master AND the IDE as Master since the SATA should take priority?
I guess I'm too late, and the optimum setup depends on how the drives are going to be used a little bit, but it really doesn't matter much. Again, master/slave really doesn't have to do with which drive you boot from or anything like that. It's just a way to make two devices play nice together on the same cable.

Here's what I'd do:
1. 500 GB on SATA
2. 80 GB as Master on first IDE channel
3. One DVD as Master on second IDE channel
4. One DVD as Slave on second IDE channel

By "channel" I mean one of the IDE ports on the motherboard.

Also, a lot of the time, BIOS figures out something to do with the drives, even if you don't strap them right... For example, leaving a single drive as a slave on a cable.
 
  #17  
Old 07-14-08, 08:39 PM
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Exclamation Hi! I was hoping anybody could help...

Hi everybody! I'm new to this site and was hoping any of you can help... Here is my question: I have a dell dimension 4600 that I bought 4 years ago, and it has:

*40 GB hard drive IDE
*512 MB RAM
*Pentium 4 2.66 GHz

It's been about 2 or 3 months since I am running low on hard disk space, about 400-750 MB, and I want to upgrade to a 160 GB SATA II, but before i buy it, i want to be sure if it is compatible with my comp, and also I want to know if I can do this: I have the Windows XP service pack 1a cd, which i want to install on the new hard drive(after disconnecting the 40 GB one so it wont interfere) and after downloading all the updates, I want to copy all my important stuff from my 40 Gb disk (pictures,etc) to the new hard drive (after reconnecting it as slave), and leave the 40 GB IDE as my secondary drive. I have been reading all the posts and want to be ready on all the things i have to do, since i have no secondary PC. So I was hoping that anybody could tell me how I have to setup my bios (revision Ao6) and if it is possible to boot from my SATA II and then access my IDE to copy all the important stuff and then format it. Any help would be really appreciated! And again thank you very much!
 
  #18  
Old 07-15-08, 03:43 AM
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I don't think I'd attempt that on that old machine. Why not opt for an external USB drive to store your stuff? They're well under $100. After you transfer all your stuff to the USB drive, remove those files from the 40-gig and defrag it.
 
  #19  
Old 07-17-08, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Johnston View Post
I don't think I'd attempt that on that old machine. Why not opt for an external USB drive to store your stuff? They're well under $100. After you transfer all your stuff to the USB drive, remove those files from the 40-gig and defrag it.
Thank You for your suggestion, But I live in Argentina, and here an 80 GB USB Drive is about $600, which I cant afford especially when a 160 GB internal is $350.

I've been thinking and i will make an image of my actual hard drive to make it easier. Know any good hard drive ghost-maker and where can I download them from?

Thanks Again!
 
  #20  
Old 08-21-08, 01:07 AM
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Problems while adding second drive on Dell Dimension 4600

Apologize for the digress from the new subject but I could not resist replying due to the similarities with the issue I am having and what Rick has gone through...

Rick, you never did mention whether you were successful adding the 2nd CD/DVD drive after having successfully installed the new SATA (500 GB) and moving the (original) 80 GB IDE to Primary IDE as Master. What I got from your post was that with XP-SP2 build, you were able to get the OS to successfully recognize the 500GB drive while have the 80 GB (PATA) on Primary IDE and DVD on Secondary IDE.

My problem is essentially along similar lines. I have a Dell Dimension 4600 which actually had a SATA as the original drive. I also have a DVD Writer and a CDROM on the secondary IDE channel. My problem is that I am unable to get the OS to recognize a second drive which happens to be an IDE for me. I have already tried keeping the 2nd IDE on Cable-Select as well as Master with no luck. Interestingly, the OS always recognizes the DVD Writer and the CDROM (irrespective of keeping them on CSL or Master/Slave configuration). However, when I only have one DVD (or CD) drive and both the hard disks, the OS can recognize the two hard drives and the single DVD/CD. So, I am wondering whether there is some limitation which prevents the OS from recognizing all four at the same time?

Thanks for any insight...
 
  #21  
Old 08-21-08, 05:51 AM
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Does the BIOS see all the drives? If it doesn't, the OS won't.
Maybe there is a BIOS upgrade available.
 
  #22  
Old 08-22-08, 04:37 PM
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No the BIOS does not see the drive. It is the latest version available from Dell - namely A12. If I put the drive by itself (without any of the CD or DVD drives) in the secondary IDE channel, BIOS and OS see the drive as a 250 GB disk. So, there is no issue regarding not recognizing the drive just because it is a large drive. The issue seems to be conflict between existing SATA0 (primary drive with OS) and ANYTHING (Hard drive or CD Drive) in the primary IDE channel. Seems like if you put a SATA drive, you cannot have a Master or Slave device on the primary IDE Channel... Opinions?
 
  #23  
Old 08-26-08, 07:39 PM
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Same Problem

I am having almost the same problem and decided not to make a new thread until I see the out come of this one.

Dell Dimension 4600 with a DVD rom and cd-rw drive
(also
3.5" drive
512 mb ram
2.8 ghz processor
vista ultimate 32)


I'm trying to add a 40 gig hard drive I had laying around to increase the storage to 120 gigs.

when I plug the second harddrive in, the bios doesn't recognize either hard drive, but It sees each individually.
 
  #24  
Old 08-26-08, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by peace2u View Post
No the BIOS does not see the drive. It is the latest version available from Dell - namely A12. If I put the drive by itself (without any of the CD or DVD drives) in the secondary IDE channel, BIOS and OS see the drive as a 250 GB disk. So, there is no issue regarding not recognizing the drive just because it is a large drive. The issue seems to be conflict between existing SATA0 (primary drive with OS) and ANYTHING (Hard drive or CD Drive) in the primary IDE channel. Seems like if you put a SATA drive, you cannot have a Master or Slave device on the primary IDE Channel... Opinions?
With two IDE channels, you should be able to see up to four IDE (PATA) drives in addition to your SATA drive(s). When working on computers and having problems, it's best to add one device at a time to isolate the problem.

Disconnect the opticals. Connect your secondary drive as Master/Single on the first IDE channel. If that works well, add an optical as Master on the secondary channel (i.e. on its own ribbon cable to the secondary IDE port on your motherboard). Then add the other optical as a slave on the same cable as the first optical.

Make sure you put the blue ribbon connector on the motherboard, black on master devices, and grey on slaves.
 
  #25  
Old 08-26-08, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by elgabi View Post
Hi everybody! I'm new to this site and was hoping any of you can help... Here is my question: I have a dell dimension 4600 that I bought 4 years ago, and it has:

*40 GB hard drive IDE
*512 MB RAM
*Pentium 4 2.66 GHz

It's been about 2 or 3 months since I am running low on hard disk space, about 400-750 MB, and I want to upgrade to a 160 GB SATA II, but before i buy it, i want to be sure if it is compatible with my comp, and also I want to know if I can do this: I have the Windows XP service pack 1a cd, which i want to install on the new hard drive(after disconnecting the 40 GB one so it wont interfere) and after downloading all the updates, I want to copy all my important stuff from my 40 Gb disk (pictures,etc) to the new hard drive (after reconnecting it as slave), and leave the 40 GB IDE as my secondary drive. I have been reading all the posts and want to be ready on all the things i have to do, since i have no secondary PC. So I was hoping that anybody could tell me how I have to setup my bios (revision Ao6) and if it is possible to boot from my SATA II and then access my IDE to copy all the important stuff and then format it. Any help would be really appreciated! And again thank you very much!
Yes, that shouldn't be a problem. Connect the SATA, set it up as the boot device, pop in a Windows install CD, format and install Window on the SATA. When Windows starts up, you should be able to access your old drive and move your files to wherever you wish. Just make sure you don't install over your old drive by mistake!

The slightly easier option is of course to just connect the SATA, start Windows from the old drive, and then just use the new drive as your document drive. That way you don't risk getting lost in the boot and Windows setup process.
 
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