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Drive not recognized

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November 29, 2007 5:08:59 PM

Here is my rig

1- evga 8800gts 640mb pcie
asus m2n32sli deluxe
amd x2 6000+
4-1gig gskill ddr2 800 dual chanel ram sticks
1- iomega dvdrw
1- sony dvd rom drive
fusionhdtv 5rtgold tv tuner
kingiwn abit520mm ps
1- 160gig seagate ST3160812AS sata hdd
2- 300gig seagate ST3300831AS sata hdd
windows xp home


yesterday i loaded up dawn of war. I could hear the opening videos but couldnt see anything. I could hear the menu but I still couldnt see anything. I tried alt-tab and control-alt-delete but it didnt work. Then after a few minutes my windows screen partially reappeared with incredibly low graphics (16bit probably) and displayed an error message. Before i could read the message (Which i thought was just a warning about game failure) my computer restarted. When it tried to boot windows it got the boot screen with the scroll bar and was going smoothly, but just as it was about to load the scroll bar just started moving really slowly and became choppy. It sat there for 20 minutes so i shut it down. I tried booting in safe mode but it wouldnt load. So i disconnected everything one by one to find the culprit and it still wouldnt boot. So i grabbed a spare ide WD HDD and installed a clean copy of windows. Got all of my mandatory files off of my 160gig seagate harddrive (the drive with the OS installed on it) and reformmated the seagate drive. I reinstalled windows and removed the WD HDD. Now it boots from the seagate drive but 1 one of the 2 300gig seagates drives will not be recognized. So i updated all drivers (but cant update my sata drivers becuase i dont have a floppy drive) and flashed the new bios to my mobo and the drive still doesnt work. I have tried new cables (3 sets) and tried using the proven cables but still not recognized in the bios. So I removed the harddrive and tried to use it in a friends computer (but i dont know what his drivers are or if he has them installed on the computer) and still nothing. I can hear the drive spinning, i can feel it. When compared to the other drive its about the same... but after the boot screen from my mobo the harddrive that is recognized starts spinning a little bit faster (more vibrations) than the one that isnt recognized. So as a final resort i tried just plugging in the harddrive by itself and still nothing in the bios. Is there anyway to recover the files without spending money that i dont have? Is there any location that has firmware updates becasue i cant find them on the seagate website.. and would i be able to do that to the harddrive if the bios doesnt recognize it?

More about : drive recognized

November 29, 2007 6:29:10 PM

My guess is that the control board is fried. But you are in luck since you have 2 of the same drive. Its pretty simple to swap a control board, you just need the right tool (probably a tiny Torx).

Pull the board off of the bad drive (see if you have any heat scorching on any of the chips). Replace with the board from your functioning drive and see if the BIOS recognizes it now. If its does, this is your problem! You can pull all of your files off the drive (or clone it!) before replacing the bad board. Hopefully its still under warranty, they shouldn't be able to tell you removed the board, as long as you don't strip any screws.

If that doesn't work, the only way you will probably be able to get your files is through a data recovery center (they open it in a clean room and read directly from the platers). But is it worth $500-$1000 to you?

This exact thing happened to me w/ a laptop hard drive (2.5"). All of the sudden the laptop froze, I restarted and to get this terrible Dell BIOS screen that said something about a locked drive - then no drive appeared in the BIOS. Unlike you, I did not have a sister drive lying around and had to buy a new drive (waaaaay cheaper that data recovery). I couldn't find the exact model from Hitachi, but was able to get the same size, interface, and RPM. The board worked fine on my old drive, and I recovered everything. I was able to get a warranty replacement for the bad drive and have been meaning to sell it on EBAY.

Hope this helps :sol: 

P.S. - have you tried an external hard drive enclosure? You should be able to pick one up cheap, $20-30 or less. Or borrow one from a friend and put your drive in it.

November 29, 2007 7:02:49 PM

kinda hard to use an enclosure... most of them only have ide hookups not sata to go to usb. I will give this a shot... but im kinda nervous because that sister harddrive isnt just laying around.. it has about 200+ gigs of important files as well. Also how hard does it have to be banged to void the shock rating. Becuase i bought it off of ebay and have no idea how badly it was banged around in shipping, nor do i know how well it was taken care of before me. However i have had it for almost a year now and this is the first sign of any trouble. I checked with seagate and it is in fact still under warranty.. i guess its worth a shot.. thanks
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November 29, 2007 7:15:24 PM

just tried it with different board. It spins, seems a little more aggresive than before... but still doesnt post in bios or in windows. I dont understand it, its not making any funny noises and it spins like the others
November 29, 2007 7:46:15 PM

Its not good if the board swap didn't work. Most likely internal problems, not necessarily a moving part.

Have you thought about the old freezer trick? Some people say that it will work. Put your drive in a zip lock bag and put it in the freezer (-20C). Wait an hour or two for it to cool all the way down then connect it to the computer. Its worth a shot, not sure if it will work.
November 29, 2007 7:50:33 PM

For the enclosure, most new ones are now SATA (and have eSATA out). Fry's or Microcenter would probably sell empty ones BM, if you are stateside. Here there are a ton of computer shops around Chinatown that have them.
November 29, 2007 7:57:18 PM

thanks for the help.. ill give the freezer a shot...makes sense since its metal and shrinks and expands.. it just may have gotten really hot and expanded too far, ill keep you posted
November 30, 2007 4:03:32 PM

Freezer didnt work. the drive still spins much in the same way as its sister drive. It isnt making any funny noises. When i boot up the computer the drive spins as what i observe to be normal function until after windows has finished completely loading. By that time the drive is reasonably warm (operating temperature) but no longer spins and starts to cool back down. I havent been able to find an enclosure laying around... nor do i want to spend the money to get one becuase if it doesnt work changing the sata ports (i have 6 on my mobo) then i doubt it will register via my eSATA. I will try changing the boards one more time.. otherwise im going to have to have my warranty with seagate take over.. sucks to lose 200 gigs of stuff though, but i dont have the money to pay for the data recovery of that
December 1, 2007 8:09:13 PM

i just tried resetting cmos, ive tried tapping the harddrive, freezing. The only thing i havent been able to try is getting an enclosure for it. Do you really think that will work if its not even detected by the bios or a friends computer?
!