SATA Hard Drive Issues

Recently my computer has started having troubles during boot. A few days ago I shut my system down for the night, the next morning when turning it on I started getting errors, either DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER or, Error loading operating system. When these errors occur the drive is not recognized in the BIOS anywhere however the drive has power and is spinning.

It usually takes a few restarts before the drive is recognized again and when it does boot up it doesn't act up; performance is the same as usual and it doesn't overheat or make any loud noise.

I ran the Data Lifeguard tools from the Western Digital site on my drive, it found nothing wrong with it in both quick and extended scans. I have checked all the cords going to the drive they all work, I have swapped cords and tried moving which port it plugs into. I used the Western Digital tools to do a full write-zeros on my drive and then reinstalled the OS and updated still it sometimes won't recognize the drive. I have updated the BIOS and tried putting a jumper on the drive to limit it to 1.5 speeds. Nothing has been successful so far.

After the computer gets running I can restart it no problem, it loads every time after a restart. However if I do a complete shutdown it has problems starting back up. I can boot fine with CD's and USB's just the hard drive has issues sometimes. I have not had any crashes recently, and the temp doesn't seem to be a problem.

Hard Drive: 160GB Western Digital Caviar WD1600AAJS-00B4A0
Motherboard: Foxconn M61PMV
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5000+ 2.60GHz
4GB ram
OS: Vista 32bit

It has been working fine for the past 10 months. Not sure what to try next.

Thanks in advance
13 answers Last reply
More about sata hard drive issues
  1. start-->run-->chkdsk /r

    start-->run-->sfc /scannow
  2. chkdsk came back with - Volume is clean
    sfc with - Windows resource protection did not find any integrity violations
  3. Check the BIOS for a hard drive delay, or something along those lines. If there is one, increase the time. Your hard drive may not be responding in the allotted time.
  4. Just checked all the settings on my BIOS, unfortunately there is no setting to delay
  5. Try changing the SATA cable: sometimes, marginal tolerances
    can cause a connector to go bad, and it shows up most often
    when the connector is cold.


    We had a similar problem last year, and we first thought the HDD
    was bad, until we removed it and tested it in an external eSATA
    enclosure: after it passed with 100% perfection, we then
    switched SATA cables and the problem went away.

    At the other extreme, we've seen SATA connectors that fit
    so tightly, they ripped out the entire female connector
    when we tried to disconnect an SFF-8087-to-SATA cable.

    That happened with this Athena 4-in-1 5.25" enclosure:

    See this Comment:

    Cons: After one insertion and removal of a SATA cable into one of the SATA sockets a simple removal of the cable has ripped the socket right off the printed circuit board, leaving the socket with solder covered leads dangling at the end of the SATA cable. ... Taking the device apart I can confirm that the only thing holding these sockets in place is solder to the traces on the circuit board.

    [end quote]

  6. Any firmware updates for that hard drive?
  7. MFRS: I already tried switching the cord with a known working one, did not help.

    aford: None that I could find, I will double check
  8. Newer bios available?
  9. Updated to the newest released BIOS after I wiped the drive
  10. Older bios then perhaps? Its either the delay that aford was talking about, a dying drive, or a dying motherboard.
  11. ok thanks
  12. This is probably a faulty hard drive, these symptoms are how a hard drive behaves after it has been dropped.
  13. It has never been removed from the case, and the case has never had an impact that would damage it, I am going to try a new hard drive and see how it does. Thanks for all the help will respond when I try a new drive
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