Possible Hard Drive Failure?

Hello all,

I'm looking for some advice troubleshooting what I think is a hard drive problem with my first PC build.

-When starting up my PC it has displayed 2 different messages upon attempting to enter BIOS setup:

1. "3rd master hard disk error" followed by a "WAIT..." screen that prevents the BIOS setup from ever loading.

2. I can successfully enter BIOS setup, but it does not detect the hard drive at all.

-AMD Phenom II x4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz
-(2 X 2GB) G.SKILL DDR3 1333
-WD 160GB 7200 RPM 3.5" Internal SATA Hard Drive
-ASUS Radeon HD 4850
-SeaSonic X650 Gold PSU

-Computer does not have any OS installed yet.

-I tried switching out the SATA cable and had the same results as above. I also switched the SATA cable from SATA 1 to SATA 3 on the motherboard- error went from "3rd master" to "4th master".

Is my hard drive a loss? Could it be something else?

Thanks in advance for helping out a beginner.
2 answers Last reply
More about possible hard drive failure
  1. Yes, It sounds like a bad drive. It does happen. Just RMA the drive and get a new drive.
  2. Just some background to understand the port numbering. Start from the fact that older designs had one or two IDE ports, and each of them could have a Master and a Slave device. Now add on new SATA ports that can ONLY have ONE device per port.

    So the habit became that the IDE devices were called the Primary IDE port Master and Slave devices, and the Secondary IDE Master and Slave. Or, to move toward more total ports (NOT all IDE): 1st Master, 1st Slave, 2nd Master, 2nd Slave. These are all POSSIBLE devices - not all there usually.

    When SATA ports were added, many BIOS writers used words to describe their attached devices as 3rd Master, 4th Master, 5th Master.... NOTE that there are NO 3rd Slave, etc. because the SATA ports cannot have more than one device. Technically, "Master" is questionable on a SATA port.

    I agree with 1haplo and you, OP. The fact that the same HDD and data cable, connected to the SATA_0 and SATA_1 ports generated error messages on "3rd Master" and "4th Master" devices says the HDD (or the cable) is faulty. I assume that you had a SATA power cable, also, connected to the HDD unit when this was done.
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