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Odd hard drive failure / or not?

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May 24, 2011 10:38:02 AM

Recently my hard drive appeared to have failed. My computer would not recognise a bootable disk on power up. I tried the hard disk in my housemates computer and similarly did not recognise.

Figuring it was broken, I got a spare drive and placed it in the machine. The drive was recognised, but not bootable obviously. So I went and got my Windows disk, put it in and tried to boot from the DVD. Then I noticed the DVD drive wasn't being recognised either. Went into the BIOS, checked the boot order etc. and tried to force it to recognise the DVD drive. It did, but still wouldn't boot from it. I started playing with random settings and there was an option in the BIOS called AHCI/RAID mode, which by default was set to "None", I changed this to "AHCI" and rebooted. It then went through a different boot sequence from normal and recognised the DVD drive.

Was just wondering if this actually is likely a hard drive failure, or something to do with the mobo, or both?

Any ideas?

Thanks.

(p.s. I tried multiple sata ports and power cables for each drive).

More about : odd hard drive failure

May 24, 2011 6:28:00 PM

System specs would be nice. Have you looked to see if your SATA controller was enabled in BIOS? Try resetting CMOS settings to default, save and reboot. Check to see if your drives are listed.
May 24, 2011 6:41:40 PM

Your IDE controller on your motherboard may be failing. I just helped a lady with a similar issue... Rather than having me replace the motherboard I just told her it might be best that she just buy a new computer (hers was VERY OLD)
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May 24, 2011 8:55:37 PM

dark_lord69 said:
Your IDE controller on your motherboard may be failing. I just helped a lady with a similar issue... Rather than having me replace the motherboard I just told her it might be best that she just buy a new computer (hers was VERY OLD)


There is that possibility, albeit remote, but possible. Without knowing the particular system configuration, it is all speculation. If the IDE/SATA is integrated into the northbridge, there would be more issues than just a dead hard drive.
May 25, 2011 7:01:09 AM

timinator said:
System specs would be nice. Have you looked to see if your SATA controller was enabled in BIOS? Try resetting CMOS settings to default, save and reboot. Check to see if your drives are listed.



Sorry for not including specs:

Processor: Intel E8400 Core 2 Duo
Motherboard: Gigabyte EX38-DS4
Gfx: 9800 GTX
Ram: 4GB Corsair
HDD(broken): Seagate Barracuda 500GB
PSU: 650W Corsair Modular


I tried resetting to fail-safe defaults in BIOS, but it made no difference. If the SATA controller was working, wouldn't it be more likely that the AHCI mode would not work either. Rather than working in AHCI but not in IDE/Legacy?

Thanks for the help so far!
May 25, 2011 5:44:54 PM

tolk said:
Recently my hard drive appeared to have failed. My computer would not recognise a bootable disk on power up. I tried the hard disk in my housemates computer and similarly did not recognise.

Figuring it was broken, I got a spare drive and placed it in the machine. The drive was recognised, but not bootable obviously. So I went and got my Windows disk, put it in and tried to boot from the DVD. Then I noticed the DVD drive wasn't being recognised either. Went into the BIOS, checked the boot order etc. and tried to force it to recognise the DVD drive. It did, but still wouldn't boot from it. I started playing with random settings and there was an option in the BIOS called AHCI/RAID mode, which by default was set to "None", I changed this to "AHCI" and rebooted. It then went through a different boot sequence from normal and recognised the DVD drive.

Was just wondering if this actually is likely a hard drive failure, or something to do with the mobo, or both?

Any ideas?

Thanks.

(p.s. I tried multiple sata ports and power cables for each drive).


If the hard drive wasn't detected in another computer, it is likely defective. Since the replacement drive was detected, it sounds like your controller is fine. Maybe your DVD drive gave out too or is intermittent? Try another DVD drive. You could always try to install Windows 7 from a usb drive too. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd535816.as...

tolk said:
Sorry for not including specs:

Processor: Intel E8400 Core 2 Duo
Motherboard: Gigabyte EX38-DS4
Gfx: 9800 GTX
Ram: 4GB Corsair
HDD(broken): Seagate Barracuda 500GB
PSU: 650W Corsair Modular


I tried resetting to fail-safe defaults in BIOS, but it made no difference. If the SATA controller was working, wouldn't it be more likely that the AHCI mode would not work either. Rather than working in AHCI but not in IDE/Legacy?

Thanks for the help so far!


You are correct. Also, have you updated your BIOS recently?
May 26, 2011 7:22:25 AM

Ok I did some more testing last night, it appears that in IDE mode only two of the six SATA ports on my mobo work. If I move the spare HDD or DVD drive off one of these two ports then it fails to recognise them. In AHCI mode they all work. Which is very odd.

Hadn't updated the BIOS for a while but the board is three years old now, I think the last time I updated it was about a year ago. Due to the age, I would have hoped that BIOS version would be fairly stable. I'll look for updates tonight and try and install if there are any (never done a BIOS update without using manufacturer install tool, so that will be interesting).

The original HDD is almost certainly dead either way, so I have ordered a new one. If I can't solve the problem, then i'll run in AHCI mode and see if anything buggers up. Don't really want to have to replace the mobo at this time.

Thanks for the help!
!