Hard drive won't spin up through motherboard, but will on it's own????

I woke up to find one of my PCs was locked up and I could hear the hard drive clicking. Reboot and the drive wasn't detected. Ok, bad hard drive.

Replaced it with another drive and when I turn the PC on, I can hear the "new" drive clicking. Ok.....maybe two bad drives. Try a third drive, same thing. Ok.....try a different IDE cable. Same thing. Ok....try a different molex connector, same thing. Ok....bad power supply. Tested the PS and everything checks.

Now what I don't understand is when I plug the ATX power supply tester into the power supply (which turns the PS on), I can plug the hard drive in and it spins up fine. It also works fine with an external USB/IDE power supply setup. But at the same time, the motherboard powers up and boots fine with a CD-ROM, I can get into the bios, use a USB key boot, etc.

So basically the motherboard appears to work perfectly but won't power up a hard drive. They all kind of click. But all the drives seem to work fine as long as the power is not going through the board initially. WTF??

Any ideas? Thanks!
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More about hard drive spin motherboard
  1. Check the suspect drives on another machine. If they power up and work -> bad motherboard, despite the fact that a CD-ROM works.
  2. Hi

    well to be more precise you could have bad SATA/IDE controller on motherboard it's easily corrected by getting PCI controller and disable build in 1 in bios.

    The other common problem i seen is bad power plug itself [o o o o] those o shaped metal contacts can widen and in end making bad connection making HD sound like it bad (on and off really fast) clicking sound
    (all my PC got this problem since i connect and disconnect a lot)

    those are not complete o so u can take small screw driver and force them back together.
    sata is different but still can be faulty inspect and ifs kinda loose it could be problem

    in your story it seem bad controller if HD works with just power connected and not IDE coble.
    It could be also bad IDE cable, or both :( well to be more correct there is no power coming from Motherboard once PSU powered up it alone provide power to HD, but IDE coble provides interface, and head movement, if u have IDE controll card put it in and test
  3. Yeah I actually tried both a SATA drive and controller an a IDE controller and drive, they all did the same thing. Regardless if the interface is hooked up or not, it makes the same ticking sound. I checked the molex connections and they seem fine, notably since the drive runs fine on the connection when the power is supplied without going through the board.

    It sounds as if the drive is turning on and off very quickly. Perhaps some kind of IDE regulator blew on the board...and it's enough to power the cd drive but not a hard drive?? Who knows
  4. mobo problem.
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