Got a nice comp about a year ago off craigslist and havent had a single issue with it until now. I am not your typical "oh-you-mean-I-have-to-plug-it-in-to-work" end user, but neither am I an "expert".
Especially in this case I'm in way over my head; a few days ago I went to slave up a buddy's HD. The mistake here was that I had always worked with ATA, not SATA. Yes, I was a temporary idiot, and no, I don't remember WHAT I was thinking. Whatever was or wasn't going through my head, I hooked up the second drive to the second clip on the (belt?). Everything started as usual until the windows loading bar; after the bar, I got a black screen, and then the computer shut itself off. Uh-oh.
On attempt #2 to startup (and removing the second hard drive), before the loading bar, I get a prompt for "Windows startup repair" or "Start windows normally". Option #1 results in "windows is loading files" for about 10 seconds, then black screen, then computer shuts itself off again. Option #2 just results in windows loading bar, black screen, then computer shuts itself off.
So far I've managed to start it in Safe Mode, but little else. I've ran the diagnostics from what looks like DOS, including the 12-hour long diagnostics, and the only error thus far is this:
Error Code: 4400:11A
Msg: SCSI_0-000_DISK_GENERIC-_SD/MMC - Target not ready
After running diagnostics specifically towards this, it consistently fails the Confidence Test and consistently passes the Device Self Test (the Read Test and Verify Test options are greyed out).
I've defaulted everything in the BIOS (although it says my HD is in a Raid setting, which as I understand it is for synching multiple HDs together, but the only option to change it to is ATA, which I know my HD is not). I have tried bare-bonesing the startup as well, but running only microsoft stuff I still get the same results as above, and I dont know enough to risk turning off anymore startup stuff.
The most confusing part of all is when I broke down and just decided to reformat the drive and start from scratch. Again, I could only boot from the Windows 7 CD in safe mode, and while in there I reformatted the main drive (there are 3 partitions; OEM, Recovery, and the Main). I have done this process multiple times, but the only thing I get even after reformatting the drive is more OS to choose from when starting the comp.
I am very much out of my league here, and humbly ask for help. Please save my baby!
As for computer stats I dont remember everything off the top of my head, and can't get past the setup screen now on windows, so I dont know how to check. From the dell website comes this mess: Dell Technical Support Home Page / Dell Troubleshooting Search
Other than that what I can remember is:
8gig ram, quadcore (cant remember gHZ), 1mb ATI Radeon vid card, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Sorry if this isn't enough, if anyone knows of a way I can check for further info I'll be happy to oblige.