Primary Master Drive failure on old and new drive after cloning
April 27, 2010 6:12 PM   Subscribe

I have an old windows 2000 box. I recently used Acronis to clone the primary master drive. I have done this a number of times before with other boxes and even with this box. When i swapped the disks and tried to reboot, BIOS detects the disk ok, but then i get a Primary master disk failure message. So i put back the old drive and I get the same messge! I would be surprised if Acronis did something to both old and new disks during the cloning process. I can access the disk contents fine on other boxes using USB setup. So can the IDE cable have gone bad suddenly. Is it possible the bios detects the disks but cannot find boot information because of faulty IDE cable ??

I did using windows 2000 repair console after that and did a fixboot and fixmbr on the new cloned disk. But same problem persists.

Would appreciate some pointers. I will try swapping the IDE cable in the mean time.
posted by flyby22 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Test the cable, sure, but I'd suspect the disk controller. Do you have a spare you could swap in?
posted by pompomtom at 6:15 PM on April 27, 2010

IDE cables that get repeatedly connected and disconnected do sometimes fail. The joint between the cable wires and the back of the IDE plug relies on insulation displacement connectors, and frequent mechanical stress will fairly easily disrupt those especially if their strain relief bars are broken or missing.

Also, 80-conductor IDE cables generally use solid wires rather than stranded, and repeated folding can break those inside the plastic jacket where the break doesn't show.

I'd suspect cable failure before controller failure.
posted by flabdablet at 6:40 PM on April 27, 2010

You didn't accidentally clone the new drive to the old drive, did you?
posted by Etaoin Shrdlu at 8:58 PM on April 27, 2010

Good point Etaoin :) But testing with USB cases reveal that both drives have the right content. I will try a new IDE cable and see what happens
posted by flyby22 at 9:30 PM on April 27, 2010

You might try clearing the CMOS.
posted by Menthol at 8:02 AM on April 28, 2010

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