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Hard drive works as slave but not master



10:06 pm on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have an internal hard drive that I want to use as a master but get error messages when I try to do this. The hard drive works fine as a slave.

Any ideas?


10:12 pm on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

There are jumpers on the drive that will indicate if the drive is 'master' (MA), 'slave'(SL), or 'cable select'(CS). It's probably jumpered to slave. Change the jumper to cable select.


10:44 pm on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks. this may be a dumb question but does it matter that no cable in where the jumper is?


10:56 pm on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

The jumper is a little plastic thingy with two openings in metal that prongs from the part at the back end of your HD can connect to ( the other connection parts on your HD are for the power ..and for the ribbon that connects to the mother board ..hard to mistake them ) ..on every HD I ever saw there is a little sticker or some such with a diagram of how to connect the jumper as slave or master ( this may be abreviated to sl or s or m ) ..if in doubt post what model etc your new HD is and someone will tell you how to connect it ..or point you at the manufacturers page that will show you a pic of what you should be doing ..
After doing whatever ..you will have to go into the BIOS to establish the order that the HD is recognised by the BIOS as being master or slave ( this also depends on your OS and BIOS ) ..

there are detailed how to's on the internet ..search how to add a second hard drive step by step ..or post what you have got in detail :)


8:23 pm on Jan 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I moved the jumper so now my hard drive matches that of the orginall Dell hard drive, however I get the following error:

"A parmaeter has exceeded its normal operating range.."

When I select f1 to continue I get "Master Boot Record Error"

The new hard drive is from an old PC and I know works fine.

Any ideaS?


9:45 am on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Ok i have cleaned this thread up, we have 2 choices here, start #*$!ing at each other and run the risk of getting banned or walk away now .. your choice

that error message usually occurs on a faulty hard drive .. but my guess and it is a guess is that the HD does not have a MBR ( master boot record) due to it never been a primary, you need to format it , in Bios set the master boot device in the PC to CDrom put your windows - Linux boot disk and boot from that ... follow on screen instructions ...

or get a floppy disk which has been formatted with the /s and fdisk on it


Automan Empire

10:53 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I recently went through a week of banging my head on this, and finally solved it.
[drive manufacturer] master
to figure out the jumpers if the label is missing or hidden on an installed drive. Make sure you are plugged into the end of the cable not the middle.
[operating system] replace hard drive
for exact instructions... then print it instead of thinking you'll remember the details when you arrive at the machine in question. (This step applies if adding a second drive, not making a new master drive.)
Since you're making a new master drive, unplug all other drives, put your OS disc in the drive, and turn on.
Had I followed that sequence, it would have been half an evening, including waiting for the formatting. HIH