Ide devices not detected

Eric Goulden

Apr 29, 2012
Hello, Since the arrival of my laptop, my old Targa (XP) has been stored unwanted in the garage for about a year.
Now I want to fire it up to retrieve a file (if possible!), the screen keeps jiggling about and on the blue Bios Setup Utility Screen, I have the two messages:-
Primary IDE Slave - Not Detected &
Secondary IDE Slave - Not Detected
Is this fatal? Eric


This might be perfectly normal. IDE ports each can have up to 2 devices on the, called Master and Slave. But they don't have to. It is perfectly OK to have a Master on an IDE port with no Slave. In fact, ion a laptop it is common to have only one HDD, and come have two. Or, your might have one HDD on one of the IDE ports as its Master, and an optical drive on the other IDE port as its Master, and NO Slave on either port.

The message you are getting is probably generated by the BIOS POST process which Auto-Detects all IDE devices to decide what drive parameters to use. It is just reporting that it does not find any Slave devices on either IDE port. As long as it detects Master devices on the ports, you're OK.

"Screen jiggling about" seems more of a concern to me. You might also have a problem with a dead mobo battery (it's used to keep the BIOS settings in battery-operated CMOS memory on the BIOS chip) on a unit that has been unused for a year, but maybe not.