BIOS not recognizing SataII HDD anymore

Earlier this week (Tuesday) I was using my PC in the morning with no problems. I shut Windows XP down properly an noticed nothing unusual. After work when I booted my PC up it gave me the "Please insert system disk" error as if no HDD was installed.

I rebooted the system and checked my BIOS. To my knowledge nothing had changed. All the settings from when I initially setup the system were the same. When I had the BIOS auto-detect drives on the SATA ports it found my Plextor DVD drive but NOT my Seagate 500GB HDD.

I took a slightly older Seagate 400GB HDD from my previous setup and installed it into this machine so I know that the BIOS recognizes SATA drives. A couple things are eluding me at the moment though. When I boot the system up w/o the 500GB connected to the mobo it boots up "regularly". If I connect the 500GB drive to the mobo it takes noticeably longer to boot. The drive still doesn't show up in the BIOS though.

Also when booting, the drive read-out shows that the master 0 port as "none". My 400GB HDD is on master 2 and the DVD drive is on master 3. I know that the SATA drives don't have a master/slave setting as the old IDE drives did, but why wouldn't my current HDD be on the master 0 port? Its connected to the first SATA socket on the mobo. And for that matter, where's the readout for master/slave 1 ports?!

In addition to that when I try to auto detect on the master 0 port in the BIOS it just..."greys-out" and the system automatically selects "auto" but then puts an "x" to the left of the port name. I've never seen this happen before so I'm at a loss as to what I should do.

System specs to follow. Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

CPU: AMD Phenom 9950 Quad Core 2.61GHz
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DQ6 running the F7b bios from Gigabyte
HDD: Currently using Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 SATA 3.0Gb/s 400GB (ST3400620AS)
HDD: Having problems with Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 SATA 3.0Gb/s 500GB (ST3500320AS)
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More about bios recognizing sataii anymore
  1. Would this be a Seagate 7200.11 with the very well known firmware problem?
  2. Yes thats right Seagate 7200.11, try a different version 7200.12
  3. Thanks to everyone who wrote in. MrLinux was right on the money. After doing a quick search for "7200.11 firmware problem" I was met with umpteen number of results which pretty much described the exact problem I'm having.

    Unfortunately for me, I purchased my HD in December of '08. Prior to this I did what any good PC enthusiast does and checked forums/feedback on the drives. I heard/read/saw nothing to suggest the drives were bad.

    Most of the problems occured around January and by that time my PC was running flawlessly, so I didn't bother with any follow-up research. I just assumed (there's the mistake!) that everything was peachy.

    Fast-forward to today and I'm packing the HD into a box and sending it back to Seagate for a replacement.
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