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Reboot and select proper boot device problem - drive not recognized - motherboard/SSD problem?

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February 16, 2014 7:41:22 AM

Hello,

I'm getting this error "Reboot and select proper boot device..." - I think (hope!) I have a solution, but I'd like you're guys thoughts. I'll explain below (for tl: dr, refer to bold at bottom, and italicized throughout):

I get this problem every once in a while - almost always happens when my computer does not shut down properly (e.g. power outage, frozen computer). However I was able to fix it simply by swapping out my SATA and power cables with the spare set I have. I fixed this problem multiple times this way. The first time this happened, I spent a lot of time attempting to repair the drive, but I was having issues because my computer would not even recognize that I had an SSD plugged in (the SSD wouldn't appear in the boot menu, so couldn't boot from it in BIOS, and couldn't select it for repair).

For some reason that always worked, don't ask me why. The problem now, and what I was worried would happen, is now I have two SSDs, so no spare SATA/power cables. I've tried swapping the cables, as well as having only my boot drive plugged in (tried with both sets of cables) and also tried my repair USB, nothing has worked. My boot drive SSD does not appear in the boot menu, so using a repair USB does not work.

Here's why I think I have a faulty motherboard (and/or SSD) - what happend this time, is I had my computer on, took a nap for a couple of hours, when I came back my monitor said it had no signal. My computer was running, so, not thinking, I just reset my computer through the power button instead of checking the connections to my monitor. And now, the dreaded "Reboot and select proper boot device" error (obviously my monitor works now). So it seems like there's a problem with my motherboard, as for some reason the connections to it don't seem very solid? I guess my SSD could be faulty as well, if the connection problem is with my SSD?

Before I go and swap my mobo I'm thinking just buying new SATA and power cables might do the trick again? Basically I just need my mobo to recognize that I actually have my SSD (boot drive) plugged in, and everything should be gravy (I'm guessing/hoping that I don't actually have a corrupt boot drive, fingers crossed).

Any insight is greatly appreciated - I apologize for the long story, and for not having a single, clear question, but I want to get at the root of this problem, instead of just putting a band-aid on it each time.

Thanks.
February 16, 2014 7:50:29 AM

I guess I should include my specs:
Windows 7, 64-bit
Gigabyte GA-Z77-HD3
Crucial M4 256 GB (boot drive)
Crucial M500 240 GB
i5-3350P
Powercolor HD7870 Tahiti LE (ez edition)
Corsair Vengeance 8GB LP
SeaSonic G Series SSR-550RM 550W
ASUS PCE-N15
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Best solution

February 22, 2014 6:04:55 PM

You have several options here.

If your power supply has a spare 4-pin Molex power cable you can attach a short Molex-to-SATA adapter cable and connect that instead of the SATA power cable you've been using; at the same time replace the SATA data cable with a new one or known good one.

Go to Start / Control Panel / Device Manager. Double-click on IDE/ATA ATAPI Controllers, then double-click on Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller. Click on the Driver tab and select Update Driver. Let it search automatically for the best driver and see if it updates. Click OK/OK to exit, etc.

Or, you could try inserting a Windows install disc and choose the option to Repair my Computer. This supposedly will re-install Windows system files while maintaining your installed programs.

Yet another option, although rather drastic, is to connect the SSD to another computer and execute a Secure Erase command to completely wipe the SSD and return it to its original empty condition. There are various utilities available to execute Secure Erase. The original Secure Erase command file is, i believe, still available for free download from Stanford University website (google search Secure Erase). The easiest way is to use a nice utility called Parted Magic which used to cost about $5. It's a real whiz-bang set of tools including Secure Erase. Read about it here: http://partedmagic.com/

Of course, you may discover through trying these options that either your motherboard or your SSD is faulty in which case the you should check if it / they are still under warranty. Maybe a free replacement is possible? Be assured the manufacturer will ask you to jump through some hoops such as the options presented above before they agree to replace the product.
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