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Windows not booting nor is a hard drive detected

Last response: in Systems
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October 6, 2007 8:26:42 PM

Ok...I've posted here a few times and enjoy reading the forums. I tried to search, since I thought I remembered something happening to someone, but couldn't find it. I couldn't find much help on the rest of the web either. Maybe someone out there has a solution.

I believe it begins with a string of problems. Currently my computer will not boot to Windows (xp x64). The BIOS won't detect a hard drive. The problem is, the system has been up and running for awhile.

When I booted up today, I got the message: warning:o verclock failed...and the rest about returning to default state. I rebooted and got into windows. Windows crashed on me BSOD - kernel inpage error (which I have had a few times and have been trying to chase down).

When I go to boot it up again to try to get back to the error messages in Windows to see what caused the problem it tells me I need to choose a proper boot device. I am a bit confused, so enter the BIOS on the next reboot and find that for some reason the hard drive is no longer detected.

I realize that this may be a string of problems, but does anyone have any idea what this might be? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Here's the system

Antec 900
MSI 680i Diamond
E6750
4x1GB Crucial Ram 4-4-4-12
MSI 8800 GTS HD OC
WD 2500ys hard drive
Sony Optiarc CD/DVD burner
OCZ 700w PSU (gamer extreme)
XP Pro-x64

Thanks in advance for any help
October 6, 2007 9:26:23 PM

Alright...a quick update...tried to reinstall windows (no luck - no HD detected) and tried to get to the recovery console (same result).

Thinking it's a bad HD, or a mobo problem?

Hope to get some guesses/suggestions soon. Thanks.
October 6, 2007 9:28:16 PM

Check you connections first, always possible it's a loose data or power connector on the HD.
Is this a SATA drive? Try using a different cable and another SATA port on the motherboard. If it's IDE make sure it is jumpered to master/single and unhook any other drives on the same cable.

If you can get it to start at all then run the WD diagnostic tests on it which can be DL from their site.

If you cannot detect the drive at all try a different drive in it to rule out a problem on the motherboard's side. If it will run another HD OK then it looks like your HD may have died. Hopefully it will still be under warranty. If the other drive won't detect then something is amiss on MOBO, cross that bridge if you get to it.

I take it you are looking in BIOS for drive detection and not relying on windows setup? If not then do so.
Related resources
October 6, 2007 9:35:53 PM

I see it is a 400gb SATA? What shows up on the SATA controller's detection screen during early boot. It should probably hang for a while and detect nothing? Try hitting the pause button on the keyboard at that point if it is going by too fast.

Just be sure you are using mobo BIOS to determine if the drive is detected and not the windows setup.

If you suspect a problem deeper than HD try DL memtest86 and running it. This will be a nice system check that will take the HD out of the equation.
October 7, 2007 10:40:39 AM

Ok...I'll try to switch the SATA cable and put it in a different slot on the mobo.

It's a 250 GB HD. I can't even get anywhere to try to even detect the HD, but if I do, I'll try to run some diagnostics.

Thanks for the quick replies. Hopefully I'll get it up and running again soon.
October 7, 2007 12:19:17 PM

Alright...more questions to add

Do I try to load the defaults by the mobo manufacturer? Should I reset the CMOS? I'll try to switch the cables and the slots (though it seems weird that it just stopped after working for awhile) and then exhaust my options as I go.

Any more suggestions?

Thanks
October 7, 2007 12:52:08 PM

What happens when you turn on the PC? If it turns on at all then you want to get into the BIOS setup (usually by pressing the delete key or else maybe f1 shortly after powering on, check your manual). There you want to find the menu which will tell you what hard drives have been detected. You can also get this information by watching the text on the screen which goes by shortly after power on. Hitting the pause key helps to stop it so you can read it.

Sorry if I'm telling you stuff you already know but I'm just not sure where you stand exactly at this point.
October 7, 2007 1:15:36 PM

It sounds like your hard disk has died, but it could be a bad SATA connection /cable / port.

Definitely try switching things around as notherdude says to eliminate the connection / SATA port.

Can you hear the hard disk spinning when you turn your PC on? You should be able to feel it vibrating.

Also, do you have an old hard disk that you can plug in?
October 7, 2007 2:55:33 PM

Reset the BIOS, boot and enter the BIOS.
Select the drive as the boot drive.
If it boots go to safe mode.
Then check the admin tools in control panel to see what errors you are getting.
Also test the drive with Western Digitals drive tools from a boot cd.
October 7, 2007 10:55:15 PM

Strangest thing....

I sit down, ready to reset the BIOS, reset the whole board if I have to, check all the connections, etc....

AND

It finds the hard drive, no problem. It boots straight into XP...just like normal. I download a HD program and it says it's fine. I run antivirus software and antispyware, and find nothing.

I got to play a game just like I did last time and it works fine.

I checked the event log and found nothing. I am so confused but happy it's up and running.

Thanks for all the replies.
October 7, 2007 11:19:53 PM

Perhaps it was a loose connection?
October 8, 2007 10:09:36 PM

Definitely loose connection.

Still, back up your hard drive now just in case :) 
October 10, 2007 9:42:32 PM

I didn't even get a chance to check the connections, but I hope that's it.

I already have the HD backed up - thank goodness for imaging software. Thanks everyone
!