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BIOS suddenly won't recognize SATA HDD

Last response: in Storage
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March 23, 2009 4:50:53 AM

I'm kind of a noob, so keep that in mind :D 

Asus A8N5X motherboard, Athlon 4400+, nVidia 7800GT, 1 old internal hdd (source of my problems), 1 new external hdd (troubleshooted with this disconnected mostly).

I built the computer about 3 years ago, and it's been acting up lately. The first thing I noticed was the sound coming and going (has on-board sound), so I checked it out and saw that the fan was not working. A solution that has consistently worked was to kick start the fan myself, then the sound would come back. I started getting various fan speed warnings at startup (chip fan speed too slow, cha1 fan speed too slow, etc.).

Then the serious problem: the bios wouldn't recognize the hard drive. For a while I got by by disconnecting the hdd's power, etc. and reconnecting (although this might have just worked cause I gave it a minute to cool down? don't know). Now it won't recognize it at all. I tried installing windows to an external HDD, but apparently that's not kosher because it says it can't gain access to it.

I don't need the drive or any info on it. Also of note is that when it would recognize the hard drive occasionally, I was more successful starting up with fewer peripherals, especially without my new 750 gb external. Is this clearly the hard drive crapping out, or could the sound and external drive issues indicate something else?
March 23, 2009 5:38:42 AM

badfish1 said:
I'm kind of a noob, so keep that in mind :D 

Asus A8N5X motherboard, Athlon 4400+, nVidia 7800GT, 1 old internal hdd (source of my problems), 1 new external hdd (troubleshooted with this disconnected mostly).

I built the computer about 3 years ago, and it's been acting up lately. The first thing I noticed was the sound coming and going (has on-board sound), so I checked it out and saw that the fan was not working. A solution that has consistently worked was to kick start the fan myself, then the sound would come back. I started getting various fan speed warnings at startup (chip fan speed too slow, cha1 fan speed too slow, etc.).

Then the serious problem: the bios wouldn't recognize the hard drive. For a while I got by by disconnecting the hdd's power, etc. and reconnecting (although this might have just worked cause I gave it a minute to cool down? don't know). Now it won't recognize it at all. I tried installing windows to an external HDD, but apparently that's not kosher because it says it can't gain access to it.

I don't need the drive or any info on it. Also of note is that when it would recognize the hard drive occasionally, I was more successful starting up with fewer peripherals, especially without my new 750 gb external. Is this clearly the hard drive crapping out, or could the sound and external drive issues indicate something else?


hi !


my toughts :

1. your computer is probably full of dust. that's a total OK thing, if you don't repair it all the time, open the case, ... (so if it's closed, than dust will appear everywhere, inside the coolers for ex.). this is one probable thing of your slow fans. open the case, remove all you fans, take down the sticky notes from them back of them, spray it with WD40 derasting spray (or anything like that - this will clear dust from the bearings or rotors of the coolers, make better contact between metal parts), and your done with the fans.
2. how many wattages support your power supply ? if more than 500W (and NOT Volt-Ampers or VA !!! be careful. VA is only the "visible power", not active power ! it's less than W - VA = curent*tension, W=curent*tension*cos(phaze shift) ) then its OK, the hdd stopping is not its fault
3. check whenever all your MOLEX or SATA power plugs aren't rusted ! this is why one of my hard drives burned a while ago. since that when i hear a hard drive sounding strange (starting-stopping "bang", starting - stopping "bang" .. ) i always scratch the plugs with a slim screw driver (or whatever i got in my hands).
4. posibble the simplest one, replug your hdd power plug again, it's possible that isn't connected good (maybe you kicked by accident the computer, the plug moved only by a wery little, and that's enough)
5. sata drives can disappear if your onboard sata controller is disabled. a friend of mine had a gigabyte mobo with nforce chipset for AMD. that chipset had a very intersting and very very ugly habbit, that it cleared ALL of the settings once you changed or installed a new device (external, internal, USB device, even keyboard, not to mention memory, new sound card ...). so try a bios update if this is the case...

hope you can solve your problem, and sorry for my bad english!
cheers
March 23, 2009 8:07:00 PM

Thanks for the ideas. I had already removed as much dust as I could but will try to remove the fans to get more dust out. The cpu fan seems to be sporadic. But would any of this affect the HDD functioning? plugs don't look rusted and connections seem good. power supply is 500W.

how do I enable the sata controller or update the bios if I can't boot up? I have reset the bios to default, would that enable the sata controller?

Thanks!

And other ideas welcome too :) 

t85us said:
hi !


my toughts :

1. your computer is probably full of dust. that's a total OK thing, if you don't repair it all the time, open the case, ... (so if it's closed, than dust will appear everywhere, inside the coolers for ex.). this is one probable thing of your slow fans. open the case, remove all you fans, take down the sticky notes from them back of them, spray it with WD40 derasting spray (or anything like that - this will clear dust from the bearings or rotors of the coolers, make better contact between metal parts), and your done with the fans.
2. how many wattages support your power supply ? if more than 500W (and NOT Volt-Ampers or VA !!! be careful. VA is only the "visible power", not active power ! it's less than W - VA = curent*tension, W=curent*tension*cos(phaze shift) ) then its OK, the hdd stopping is not its fault
3. check whenever all your MOLEX or SATA power plugs aren't rusted ! this is why one of my hard drives burned a while ago. since that when i hear a hard drive sounding strange (starting-stopping "bang", starting - stopping "bang" .. ) i always scratch the plugs with a slim screw driver (or whatever i got in my hands).
4. posibble the simplest one, replug your hdd power plug again, it's possible that isn't connected good (maybe you kicked by accident the computer, the plug moved only by a wery little, and that's enough)
5. sata drives can disappear if your onboard sata controller is disabled. a friend of mine had a gigabyte mobo with nforce chipset for AMD. that chipset had a very intersting and very very ugly habbit, that it cleared ALL of the settings once you changed or installed a new device (external, internal, USB device, even keyboard, not to mention memory, new sound card ...). so try a bios update if this is the case...

hope you can solve your problem, and sorry for my bad english!
cheers

Related resources
March 23, 2009 9:20:22 PM

In your bios what is the HDD set to? like AHCI or compatable or Raid?

Try switching between AHCI and Compatable.
March 24, 2009 10:09:34 PM

grieve said:
In your bios what is the HDD set to? like AHCI or compatable or Raid?

Try switching between AHCI and Compatable.



How do I check/switch this? Thanks.
March 25, 2009 12:06:10 AM

I had a similar problem with a SATA DVD drive, so I'd advice you to check your PCI Express Speed in the BIOS and manually setting it to 100 MHz, at least that solved it for me.
!