Two Hard Drives Not Recognized In BIOS

I have two hard drives - both SATA. One is my main boot drive (300GB) and the second one is for my mass storage (1 TB). Just yesterday my mass storage drive was not showing up under 'My Computer' and wasn't recognized in BIOS. I shut the computer down last night, unplugged it and checked back on my computer this morning only to find out my boot HD was not recognized when I started it up.

The computer started up and prompted me to either restart or configure by pressing F1 or go into setup to configure a hard drive to boot from. Neither drive is now showing in my BIOS. I find it odd that TWO drives would go bad on the same exact day. I checked the connections and all are secure and firmly set.

To add to the mystery, I ended up getting a new video card about 10 days ago because my computer was going into power save mode on boot, which ended up being the old video card's fault. My new card works great. Why is everything starting to go when my computer is only 2 years old? Why can't I boot up my computer?
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  1. I would check the drives in another computer, but make sure anti-virus is on in the new computer.

    If they function okay there and no viruses are detected, it points to motherboard failure (perhaps an infected BIOS, but I'm no expert).
  2. Thanks - I'll probably be able to find another computer to test my drives on first over Thanksgiving since most people I know either have laptops or use old IDE drives, but will post back with my findings.

    Also, not sure if this is related, but my computer has had trouble coming out of sleep mode. The first couple times my 1TB drive wouldn't work, I had to restart my computer, then it would work again. Several times my computer has had issues either going into standby or coming out of it. More than I can count on two hands. This has all been within the last week before I wasn't able to boot.

    Thanks again for your help!
  3. Your point about sleep mode may be a clue. Check the BIOS screens and Windows and turn off all power saving options and see if the problem goes away.
  4. Not to sound like I know absolutely nothing here... but how do I turn it off in the BIOS? What option would it be found under? Any specifics would help. Thanks again!
  5. BIOS screens on different motherboards are very different from each other -- you'll just have to wade thru the options (take sandwiches).
  6. Sleep mode settings usually show up in a BIOS section like Power Management. But look around in case there are related options in the configuration of individual on-board devices like the LAN port or USB ports.

    As an alternative thought route, I'm intrigued that you have seen malfunctions of several areas recently - video card, 2 hard drives, return from sleep mode. Any possibility that your PSU is starting to fail? I've seen that show up first as non-repeatable freezes and malfunctions that become more frequent as time goes on. The case I had to deal with myself was due to failures of the capacitors in the voltage control section of the MOTHERBOARD (not the PSU). After replacing the mobo I realized that about 60% of the voltage regulator section's electrolytic capacitors had bulged tops, a hangover from a rash of faulty units from around 2006 - 2007.
  7. Its definitely appearing to me that this could be more serious than I had anticipated. I'm going to look into modifying power settings in the BIOS through the motherboard in a few hours or so, but will post back my findings.

    All of this feedback is much appreciated.
  8. If this is an older computer I would take the Paperdoc's point about capacitors. Look at the larger ones surrounding the processor. It's easy to spot the bulging ones as the end of aluminium can will be flat on those unaffected.

    I've just changed bulging capacitors on a couple of 3 year old Viewsonic flatscreen monitors which were shutting down unexpectedly.
  9. Well I took a look this morning and to my embarrassment when I had unhooked my slave drive (1 TB drive), or the one that had originally failed me, I noticed I had jarred loose the power supply to my boot drive. That fixed my main hard drive, which is great news to me. The capacitors look great btw and should have many years left.

    The down side of it is my 1TB drive is not working still. I'm going to still try and move this into another computer and see if there's something else that could have happened. Since my computer does not have two data cables from the motherboard, I had bought a Rosewill internal SATA connection via PCI card w/ capability of firewire connection (about a year ago). I had connected my older IDE drive through an extenral IDE converted I had bought sometime back, which still works through this card.

    I still think its odd my computer won't even recognize the drive - Seagate Barracuda 7200. 11. The drive is about 10 mos. old.
  10. Found this interesting:

    Ugh.... Still hoping something else may have happened than the drive just dying. I updated the firmware for the drive about a week ago - perhaps that had some effect on it.
  11. Alright... I put the drive into another computer and got it to work! Now I plugged it directly into the motherboard, but it still won't show up under 'My Computer' or even recognize it as a drive.

    Any suggestions?
  12. Best answer
    Generally, I wouldn't update firmware unless there's a problem or some really useful improvement. There's always a risk that the new code has some new error in it, and it's all too easy to brick equipment during the update process.
  13. Yeah, I'm realizing that now... turns out the erros were all in the BIOS. I updated everything for the motherboard via DELL's update support. Once I restarted, the BIOS finally recognized the drive, but I had to enable it in within the BIOS first.

    Really, I shouldn't be updating things if they don't need updating.... As the old saying goes, "If it ain't broke...". And go figure, there was an update for Dell's power management, so I think that fixed how my computer goes toj sleep (released 2 years ago). I'm just glad this was the outcome and not what I had ran through my head over the past couple days.

    Backing up everything now ;).

  14. Sounds like a result.
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