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HDD causes windows 7 to "hang" during loading (at start up)

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August 6, 2010 9:57:00 PM

Hello,

Ive found an issue that for reasons that i cant understand, i still cant figure out. I currently have Windows 7 Ultimate installed on my computer (which is incredible compared to Vista...) Anyway, as for the computer issue. I currently have 4 extra "slave" HDD's + the C Drive (Master) in my computer. When i went to do the reformat to Windows 7, i unplugged all of the slave HDD's (which i always do) to make sure i dont wipe the HDD of its information by accident. When re-adding them to the system, i usually add them 1 by 1 to make sure each is accepted and works properly, and to not really confuse the system (learned this one the hard way).

I hooked up (SATA) my first slave drive and started windows 7 (which started perfectly fine, quick, without problems in about 1 minute (maybe 2... i dont know) with only the Master attached.). Once the first slave was added, it got to the windows loading screen (little flag in the middle as it loaded) it was taking FOREVER. i figured, maybe windows 7 just takes a bit longer to accept new hard drives.... and i was WRONG.

I decided to do a forced shut down, and then detach the first slave, and attach the second. When i started up the computer the second time, with a different slave drive attached, it started up like it did the first time, got into the desktop, and added necessary drivers. Now i can access all of the information from that drive. I connected the other 2 drives in the same way. SO, now i have 3/4 drives connected to the computer, all working fine. but for some reason, every time i attached the last drive, it hangs on startup... At first, i was going to say this might be a bad HDD, but then i thought to myself... what on earth could windows have installed onto a drive at install that wasnt even connected to the computer?

so far, ive tried re-ordering the boot order, to make sure the MASTER is first in line, followed by CD Drive.
Ive tried resetting the BIOS to factory...
Ive tried placing the drive in an external encasement and attaching it via USB. Unplugged, works great, and when i plug it in, the files and everything are there and accessible. If its plugged up when i start the computer... it hanges

So this is why i come to you, i have NO clue what to try next...

Any ideas?
a b $ Windows 7
a c 98 G Storage
August 6, 2010 10:11:58 PM

Is your BIOS seeing each drive as it's put in, or not if pulled?

Does you BIOS auto-check all the drives on post? Instead of setting each drives specs?

BTW, if these are SATA drives, there is no master/slave set up. SATA's are all masters, just set the desired order by what port you plug it into, and set boot order to the first drive in the first port.

IDE drives need the master/slave setup, for each ATA connector.
August 6, 2010 10:46:27 PM

Touche' on the Sata setup, id forgotten about that, ive always referred to them that way :p .

The BIOS is seeing each drive as they are put in as it has time and time before. I did reset the BIOS when this first happened, then designated the boot order. It updated itself as it always does when i have reset it in the past. Im actually not sure if it checks the drives or sets them. Not 100pct sure how to check it either.

Related resources
a b $ Windows 7
a c 98 G Storage
August 6, 2010 10:49:18 PM

In the BIOS, set the drives to something like "Auto." It'l detect drives each time it's booted up/restarted.

What motherboard? What hard drives?
August 7, 2010 12:02:35 AM

All of them are Barracuda Seagate Drives. and I believe a 780i SLI EVGA motherboard (or the one prior to that).

I checked, and it is set to Auto.
a b G Storage
August 9, 2010 5:57:10 PM

Provide the complete specs of your machine including PSU model/brand.

Have consider RAID setup?
Multiple drive is an ideal setup for RAID. Have consider that. I have 4 HDD on my PC and it is setup on RAID. It works a lot better.

Connecting all the drive should not be an issue with respect to SATA. It will boot on the drive which you set as the primary drive to boot (Boot Priority @ Bios Level Setup).

Check for bad or questionable SATA port on your Motherboard.
Check for bad or questionable SATA cable
Check for bad PSU cable to the HDD

Did you check the capacity of your PSU for your HDD load. Use the PSU calculator from Antec, Corsair, or coolermaster. Any of those will give you a good assessment of PSU capacity.

Another way to check this is keep the HDD connected to POWER even when the drive SATA port is not connected.


August 9, 2010 6:03:26 PM

ok, lets start at the top. I have a quad core intel 3.0 CPU
Thermaltake full tower
780i Motherboard
1000W PSU from Thermaltake
I have 4 Sata Seagate Barracuda Hard Drives and 2 IDE Western Digital Hard Drives
8 GB Corsair RAM

I have checked for bad sata port, cable, power.

i have been running this same configuration for about a year now on this PSU and have never had any issues. Additionally, i have it on a battery backup system to modulate the power to the computer and prevent crashes from power outages.

You think re- inserting it into an external HDD case would be a good idea?
a b G Storage
August 9, 2010 6:47:05 PM

Have you check your setup with Prime95 amd memtest?

Can you try to boot your machine with 4 GB and see if the problem goes away. Although with different chipset i had issues that crashes my drive (intermittent) i was able to trace it to a bad memory module.

Note:

Thermaltake use independent 12V rails. 6 Drives (4 SATA, 2 IDE) may require you to check the load distribution on 12V rail. Spread the drive across the different 12V rails.

Each 12V rail is current limited.

That may potentially explain why it works on external HDD enclosure. That enclosure has its PSU or you may be using another rail (12V) for the external enclosure.

Some PSU like corsair/seasonic use single rail 12V so load distribution is not a problem.

If you have the budget reduce the number of drives. It consumes a lot of power for limited capacity.

I use my older drives for back-up or image file repository then i turn it off or set on the side. When i need it i just make a temporary connection and get the information i need.

You need to balance efficiency and available capacity.

Everybody is tempted to keep using older drives.

a b G Storage
August 9, 2010 6:48:43 PM

With 4 SATA drives you will be better off with RAID.
August 9, 2010 6:55:36 PM

"i have been running this same configuration for about a year now on this PSU and have never had any issues. "

Even at full steam i have never had an issue. AND, having plugged up all but this drive, i think i will have to go with your memory module issue. Maybe a reformat is in order? I just can understand what (on a secondary HDD) could cause the primary boot of Windows (not the BIOS) to hang during loading. Its beyond me.
!