Question about Dell Dimension 4500 PC Desktop

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DELL 4500 as FreeNAS server with three Harddisk (500GB ea)

I own two DELL 4500 Dimensions since many years and I'm mas o meno satisfied with it.

Since I've developed my network also with more media, internetradio, notebooks and last but not least netbooks, I need more space to store all the aols and new datas.

As many user before me I changed one of the DELL 4500 Dimensions into a Server (more detailed: in a FreeNAS server). I remonted the old 80GB WD Harddisk and also the CDRW-Drive. I mounted two 500GB WD Caviar on the Primary ATA Controller as Master and Slave and mounted the DVD ROM Drive on the Secondary ATA Controller as Slave.

Just here all works as it must.

But I would mount an other 500GB WD Caviar in a ICY-DOCK removable cage on the secondary ATA Controller as Master (removable Backup Drive).

Frome here the problem occurs: The BIOS (A04) of the Dell 4500 Dimension does not recognize the Harddrive on the secondary ATA Controller. It jumps over the shadowed letters on the BIOS Shell and on the IDE Tab are only the two drives on the primary ATA Controller shown.

I need a hint and/or a clear answer to the questons:

1. Does it's possible to mount a Harddrive (as explained) on the secondary ATA Controller?

2. If not what is a cheap way do to mount a third Harddrive (as explained) on this system?

3. Why are the two green LED's (Power and Activ) in Front of the Harddrive Drive in every state of the system dark, similar as the Drive is not under power? Maybe because the ROM does not accept the configuration?

My system has 1GB RAM, and runs with 2.0Ghz based on BIOS A04 and under FreeNAS 7 on a Realtek Family Gigabit Ethernet NIC.

Thanks for every suggestions in advance
THINK! that's enough ...

Posted by on

  • indalo Apr 20, 2009

    No serious agitation!
    THINK! is better thank fishing!

  • Consilio Apr 23, 2009

    Thanks for your engagement to help me.

    But I try to explain again with other words:

    I own a DELL 4500 Dimension since 2002.
    (Pentium 4, 2.0GHz, 1GB RAM, BIOS Intel A04)
    The 4500 has an Intel Mainboard with one ATA-Combination with twoControllers (Primary + Secondary) and two Connectors each (Master +Slave)

    I use it now as a NAS-Server running on FreeNAS.
    I have installed 2 WD Caviar 500GB instead of orininal WD 120GB.
    I demounted the CD-RW and stay with only one DVD-ROM.
    Thats works fine!

    Now I have one Place free for a third WD Caviar 500GB as Master or Slave on the Secondary Controller together with the DVD-ROM as Master or Slave.

    BUT: The new drive is not recognized on any of the two possibilities Master/Slave on the Secondary Controller. The BIOS shows a greyed Line instead of the drive. The cursor jumps over that Line ... I tried to change the jumper on the drive from (original) "Cable Select" (must have a special cable with 80 lines on the 40 pin connector) to "Master with 2 drives" or "Slave with 2 drives" and the drive on the respective position connected.

    It must be a problem with the BIOS and the Secondary Controller. Of course, I can buy an additional Controllercard (RAID or not) and put the third drive on that. My problem is to know why THIS Solution does not work.

    Thanks for help, if someone knows the reason for that strange situation.

    THINK! that's enough ...



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  • 432 Answers


Open Filer is a better option.

Any chance you can simplify the explanation as to what the issue is.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009

  • Shane Russell
    Shane Russell Apr 20, 2009

    which hard drive does not mount and can you show me which hard drives are attached to what controllers and do the controllers connect via PCI slots ?

  • Shane Russell
    Shane Russell Apr 21, 2009

    any chance you can reply and clarify ? Your controller card ( sata or ide ) should have its own bios that you can go into and configure each drive and you should be able to get it to detect or use it in there assuming you have selected the correct mode for them as you can select RAID or IDE or SATA mode or something like that ( obviously if you set the original drives in a RAID like mode ie mirroring then am not sure if you will just be able to add another hard drive ) and it will have to be treated as a seperate drive.

    The only way around it is to make sure you have at least 3 drives all in all and a backup drive and set it up in RAID 5 ( this will mean you will have to backup all your data that are on the drives currently ) erase all the drives and add the 3rd drive ( preferably get another one as a hot swappable drive ) and configure the 3 drives in a RAID 5 configuration if your controller card supports RAID 5 ( it should specificy on the specs or the manual what type of RAID modes it supports if any )



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