GA-EP45-UD3P Not Recognizing SATA drives!!

I left my computer off over the weekend and went on a trip for a couple days. Everything was working fine when I turned it off on Friday. When I came back on Monday and turned my computer on, I noticed a message in the BIOS: "Missing Operating System". I at first thought that I had a virus that wiped my hard drives, but eventually realized that none of the drives, including the optical drive, were being recognized by the motherboard. I have 2 500gb HDDs (hitachi, and samsung) and a Samsung DVD-writer attached to the SATA ports. Now, everything was running absolutely fine up until today for months, and all of a sudden the SATA ports just gave out. By the way, it seems that only SATA port 2 seems to recognize anything, and so when I plug in the hard drive, it recognizes it, but it still doesn't boot into windows. Both drives have an operating system as well (windows Vista x64, and Windows 7 RC). Does anyone have any idea what may be causing this? Is there a way I can get functionality back with my SATA ports?

I tried updating the bios, cleared the cmos, and tried unplugging all the drives and back in. I know for sure that none of the drives have failed, and am pretty sure that it's the SATA ports on the gigabyte board. Nothing changed during the two days that I was away. The computer wasn't even turned on. This just suddenly happened, and I have no idea.

Please, any help would be greatly appreciated.

mobo: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P
RAM: Corsair XMS 2 8GB
HDDs: 1x Samsung 500gb, 1x Hitachi Deskstar 500gb
CPU: Intel E8400 OC'ed to 4.05 ghz
OS: Windows 7 RC, Windows Vista x64
PSU: Corsair 750TX
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More about ep45 ud3p recognizing sata drives
  1. I'm a little unclear on your symptom description:
    Quote:
    only SATA port 2 seems to recognize anything, and so when I plug in the hard drive, it recognizes it, but it still doesn't boot into windows

    First of - your manual is more than a little confusing - the picture on the third page doesn't match the line-diagram layout later in the thing, nor does it match the pictures (which are yet another layout!) on NewEgg... What I'm unclear about is whether you mean the port marked SATA2_2 (which, I think, will be in the middle of the row of yellow-orange connectors) is working, or if you mean that the second SATA controller (the purple ports) is working? If the first - you have a really strange problem; if the second, the SATA bus on your southbridge may have died. Tell me which is which, and I'll try to help.

    Bill
  2. bilbat said:
    I'm a little unclear on your symptom description:
    Quote:
    only SATA port 2 seems to recognize anything, and so when I plug in the hard drive, it recognizes it, but it still doesn't boot into windows

    First of - your manual is more than a little confusing - the picture on the third page doesn't match the line-diagram layout later in the thing, nor does it match the pictures (which are yet another layout!) on NewEgg... What I'm unclear about is whether you mean the port marked SATA2_2 (which, I think, will be in the middle of the row of yellow-orange connectors) is working, or if you mean that the second SATA controller (the purple ports) is working? If the first - you have a really strange problem; if the second, the SATA bus on your southbridge may have died. Tell me which is which, and I'll try to help.

    Bill


    Hey Bill,

    Thanks for your reply. Yes, unfortunately, it is the former, really strange problem. It's the second SATA controller, in the middle of yellow-orange connectors. The purple ports don't work at all either (marked SATA2). Do you think something might just have fried on the mobo and that I should RMA it? I still have a manufacturers warranty on the thing, it's less than 6 months old, but the problem is Gigabyte's customer service is less than exemplary.

    Thanks again, Bill, and any help will be greatly appreciated.
  3. Well, we're going to be 'flying by the seat of our pants' here, as I really can't think of anything, h'ware or s'ware, that should cause such a problem; if it's some kind of h'ware damage to the southbridge, the odds are infinitely greater that it would have killed all ports (including the GSATA [jMicron] ones, as they're connected through the SB...), along with a bunch of other stuff!

    However, I think the place to start is with a clear CMOS, followed by an <F7> Load the Optimized BIOS default settings;
    then, after the obligatory reboot, let's confirm some BIOS settings:

    Ahhh - I'm going to temporarily post this, to reboot a few times and examine some things - I'll get back and edit it in a little bit...

    OK - on the first page, "Standard CMOS Features", make sure that any drives that should be attaching are not set to (or 'stuck at') "None"; they want to be on "Auto", and you might want to set each one manually to "Auto", just to be sure! The reason I had to reboot is that I wanted to see the 'normal' operation of this page - my ICH is set to RAID, and my jMicron to AHCI, so none of these drives ever appear on this page; I use a 'quick reboot' procedure if I need to boot a number of times in quick succession to 'tweak' BIOS settings, without being frustrated by the two BIOS additions for these functions taking 'forever' (really, only about 16-20 seconds, but if you're booting over and over, it seems like eternity!) to do 'drive discovery'; what I do is disable the RAID, set the first boot item to CDROM, and toss in a bootable copy of MemTest, so it will 'catch' the boot, before it can 'see' my drives, and screw up the RAIDs. Anyways - this showed all my drives; I'm thinking if it somehow 'set' these to 'None', it might prevent detection; don't worry about which drive is which menu item - if a non-existent one is 'turned on', all it will do is waste a bit of time each boot doing 'discovery' to find an empty channel, and then you should be able to see which drives are on which channels...

    Next, on the "Advanced BIOS Features" page:

    check that you have "Hard Disk" somewhere in your "First/Second/Third Boot Device";
    and see what pops up in the first item: "Hard Disk Boot Priority"; what this does is, if you have "Hard Drive" selected anywhere in the "Boot Device" list, allows you to 'pick' a boot drive, so that you are not limited to booting from the first 'discovered' hard drive... For now, just be sure it has something in this menu.

    Then, on the "Integrated Peripherals" page:

    "SATA RAID/AHCI Mode (Intel ICH10R Southbridge)" to "Disabled";
    "SATA Port0-3 Native Mode" to "Enabled";
    "Legacy USB storage detect" to "Disabled";
    "Onboard SATA/IDE Device" to "Enabled" (this applies to the jMicron secondary controller - the 'purple ports';
    and
    "Onboard SATA/IDE Ctrl Mode" to IDE.

    That should do it; if not, reboot and return to the "Integrated Peripherals" page; set "SATA Port0-3 Native Mode" to "Disabled"; if this works, it could indicate a problem in the MOBO's interrupt controller setup/chip...
  4. Hi Bil,

    Thanks again for the detailed reply. Unfortunately, I'm not home right now to test out some of your suggestions, but I will be later tonight.

    First off, I did happen to clear the CMOS with a jumper, and loaded optimized defaults. That did nothing. I then updated bios to the F9 revision, which also did nothing. I went into the standard cmos settings and verified that all drives are in fact set to auto. That's a good way to do a quick boot, btw. I'll definitely have to try that out when I'm diagnosing.

    As for the boot disk priority, what usually happens when things are in good working order, is the BIOS will post and I'll get an option to boot into either Windows 7 or Windows Vista, and I'm on my happy way. But obviously none of that is happening as of right now.

    I will go through your suggestions in detail when I'm my desktop at home later on tonight or possibly tomorrow and will reply with my results.

    Again, I really appreciate the help, Bill. Thanks for your time and effort. I'll get back to you shortly.

    -Ken
  5. I would suspect your cmos/bios settings over a dead southbridge. My bios required a reflash for a "missing os" message, turned it off and it went retarded one day. Even clearing the cmos was no help. Reflashing it and re setting it up did the trick and it has been fine since. If I remember, it took 2 or 3 flashes with F9 version even though it supposedly flashed fine the 1st time.
  6. Quite surprising, that ports at ich10r AND JMicron would be destroyed at the same time.

    I'd definitely test the ports and the disks (detection only) with Seatools (works with all brands):
    http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seatools

    As for booting Windows, once the Bios has found a disk and an MBR and a boot sector, you may still have troubles with Win itself if you moved the OS disk between ports of the same host on the same mobo.
  7. Not that surprising; as I pointed out, a hardware failure of the ICH would likely take the jMicron with it, as it's coupled through the ICH's PCIe1 bus...
  8. So would you guys say that it's mostly a bios problem over a hardware problem? I emailed Gigabyte and they replied with a complicated (and grammatically clunky answer):

    Hello,
    Try disconnect SATA drive data cable reconnect it back same as the power connection cable on SATA drives, remove all memory from board, take onboard cell battery out for 5 sec clear CMOS, then boot system up with single stick memory on slot close to cpu to bios setting reset bios to load fail-safe defaults then load optimized defaults, go to advance bios features, hard disk boot priority, check if SATA drives show in there to confirm SATA controller work or how how was dead.
    All motherboards carry a 3 years warranty from the date it was manufacture (according to serial number), products which were purchased within 30 days from invoice will be handled directly from your vendor or dealer, and they will replace mother board . Over 30 days please log on our online RMA service http://rma.gigabyteusa.com go to end-user click on add new request fill out the RMA request form click on submit.


    I haven't had time to get to my desktop yet, but I will try to reflash a few times when I do, and see if that works. Hopefully I won't have to jump through anymore hoops than that. Otherwise, it's time to RMA that sucker... it's too bad, I've always trusted gigabyte products, but this puts a bit of a dent in their reputation in my eyes...

    I'll reply with some results sometime this weekend.

    Thank you all for your input. I really appreciate it.

    -Ken
  9. Quote:
    So would you guys say that it's mostly a bios problem over a hardware problem?


    I'd say it's mostly a weird problem - if the drives work on one channel, that verifies drive power and functionality; for anything to 'take out' seven of eight ports is just so improbable as to be almost ridiculous - but there it is! I have learned from years of troubleshooting industrial electronic problems the futility of denying the possibilty of a problem - I can't tell you how many times a tech-support guy (or, even worse, my boss) on the other end of a phone has told me "that can't be happening", to which my usual reply is "if I could reach through the phone, and yank you by the nose through the wire, you'd be looking at it!" If you checked all the BIOS settings I listed, and they look OK, I think it's probably time to use the RMA link they gave you...
  10. bilbat said:
    Quote:
    So would you guys say that it's mostly a bios problem over a hardware problem?


    I'd say it's mostly a weird problem - if the drives work on one channel, that verifies drive power and functionality; for anything to 'take out' seven of eight ports is just so improbable as to be almost ridiculous - but there it is! I have learned from years of troubleshooting industrial electronic problems the futility of denying the possibilty of a problem - I can't tell you how many times a tech-support guy (or, even worse, my boss) on the other end of a phone has told me "that can't be happening", to which my usual reply is "if I could reach through the phone, and yank you by the nose through the wire, you'd be looking at it!" If you checked all the BIOS settings I listed, and they look OK, I think it's probably time to use the RMA link they gave you...


    Got it. Thanks, Bil. I'll give it a look today and see what I find out.
  11. Looks like I'm going to RMA this puppy. What a pain. Thank you all for the suggestions. I very much appreciate it. Have a great weekend, guys.
  12. Could still be a BIOS issue?

    Perhaps, the settings were changed and you're now out of AHCI-SATA mode?

    If you can boot up the BIOS screen settings, try checking that setting?

    I think it's best to create a slipstream Windows CD (using your XP, Vista or 7 disc) and NLite and then change the SATA/Disk settings to AHCI mode. Then install the OS. I'm not sure what would happen but if the BIOS got screwed up and 'changed' out of AHCI mode, maybe you would encounter such a problem?

    Try reflashing the BIOS and checking the SATA mode settings.
  13. I'll try reflashing one more time to see if anything changes.
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