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Novice needs help with disappearing drives

Last response: in Storage
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December 23, 2010 4:35:20 PM

I have 3 internal SATA hard drives, one containing the OS (Win7) plus two storage drives.

For months I had no problems but now Windows detects the main drive and only one storage drive. By swapping the SATA cables between the 2 storage drives, I can get either one to show up, but never both at the same time.

I've read that SATA drives don't need jumpers to determine master/slave because WD drives are all "cable select" by default. I don't know much about this stuff, but here's what my BIOS says:

IDE Channel 0 Master: [Storage Drive #1]
IDE Channel 0 Slave: [Storage Drive #2]
IDE Channel 2 Master: [Main Drive]
IDE Channel 3 Master: [DVD drive]

Help! What do I have to do for all 3 drives to be present?
a b G Storage
December 23, 2010 9:07:42 PM

Is your disappearing storage drive a large capacity drive?

I had a problem with disappearing hard drives and a Windows Hotfix solved the problem.

This is the Hotfix: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/977178/#top

The description of the problem on the link above did not match my problem of drives disappearing, but I have not had the problem since applying the hotfix. It's worth a shot.

Also, have you tried different SATA cables to rule them out as the cause?
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December 24, 2010 4:31:50 AM

Hmm, maybe it has to do with both storage drives being on channel 0 with one as master and the other as slave. Is the drive not showing up in Windows always the one listed as slave in the BIOS? Might be a good idea to put each storage drive on a different channel if possible.
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December 24, 2010 5:15:33 AM

You might try: Right click on (my computer) and select (manage >storage>disk management) and report what you see, or for better: post a screenshot.
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December 24, 2010 5:58:23 PM

kikireeki said:
You might try: Right click on (my computer) and select (manage >storage>disk management) and report what you see, or for better: post a screenshot.

Yeah... I feel like a putz.

I went into the disk management screen you suggested and found the "invisible" hard drive. It was "offline" due to a "signature collision". I right-clicked it, selected "online", and now I can see all 3 drives.

Thanks for your help everyone!
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