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Cannot recognize SATA drive

How's it going everyone?

I'm having an issue with my parents' machine. Their old PATA drive bit the dust and I suggested that they purchase a SATA replacement. When I went to install the drive, I had issues with the OS (Windows XP) not recognizing it. I came to realize that the problem was that XP has no native SATA drivers. We then decided to switch to Windows Vista, because it does have native SATA support. Vista didn't recognize the drive at all and acted as if there was no drive installed. Even when using the driver disk that came with the motherboard, nothing changed. I've changed SATA ports, I've changed SATA cables and still nothing.

Even worse, when the SATA drive is installed, the POST process takes forever to run and I sometimes get a load of gibberish regarding the SATA drive, if the BIOS recognizes it at all. I've reset the CMOS settings multiple times. I've even used Hirens' Boot Disk to load into a TinyXP environment and flashed the BIOS to the most up to date version, thinking that could help solve the problem.

What else could I be overlooking?

It's a homebuilt, basic PC:

PCChips P17G mobo (Cannot remember if it's the 1.0, or 1.0A model)
1GB DDR2 533MHz RAM
Intel Core 2 Duo (cannot remember particular model no. currently)
No additional components at this time. Using only the onboard components.
18 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about cannot recognize sata drive
  1. Which hard drive is this?

    Some drives have pins at the back that you need to configure for your system. Check if you have these and make sure they are correct for your configuration.

    Presumably you have your own machine. I'd connect the new drive up and see if it has the same problems - you don't need to try and install windows or anything on it. Just see if it appears under disk management in your Windows install.

    If it doesn't appear after doing this you should be thinking of getting an RMA for the drive.
  2. Rusting In Peace said:
    Which hard drive is this?

    Some drives have pins at the back that you need to configure for your system. Check if you have these and make sure they are correct for your configuration.

    Presumably you have your own machine. I'd connect the new drive up and see if it has the same problems - you don't need to try and install windows or anything on it. Just see if it appears under disk management in your Windows install.

    If it doesn't appear after doing this you should be thinking of getting an RMA for the drive.


    Sorry, the hard drive in question will be a boot drive. It's a SATA drive that will be replacing the hard crashed PATA drive.

    This SATA drive has no pins or jumper to configure. I haven't tried plugging the drive into another PC. That will be one of the things I will be trying this evening. All I have is a laptop, so I cannot plug the desktop HDD into the laptop SATA port.

    However, I've actually taken the SATA hard drive from my laptop and plugged it into the motherboard on the desktop, and it begins the normal startup procedure. Unfortunately it's a 64-bit OS, so it immediately restarts midway through startup. But that lets me know that the ports and the cable are okay.

    I have a secondary drive on my laptop as well. It's simply there for storage space. I formatted it and planned to use it in the meantime for their desktop, because I assumed that it was just a bad HDD when I began having issues. I get the same problems with that drive as I do with the new desktop drive. It's not recognized by the OS, but is by the BIOS, with a few name corruptions here or there and with the slow POST at startup. When I plug it back into my laptop, I have no issues at all.
  3. It sounds like you've confirmed that something is wrong with the motherboard itself.

    You've done just about everything you could with the bios. I'd finally have a look around for any settings regarding IDE / SATA.

    You don't have an IDE optical drive installed or anything do you? Some motherboards can be very particular about using primary IDE channels and that slave connectors are only used when master connectors are being used.
  4. You might want to check for a bios update. Also, make sure the chipset drivers are up to date.
  5. Rusting In Peace said:
    It sounds like you've confirmed that something is wrong with the motherboard itself.

    You've done just about everything you could with the bios. I'd finally have a look around for any settings regarding IDE / SATA.

    You don't have an IDE optical drive installed or anything do you? Some motherboards can be very particular about using primary IDE channels and that slave connectors are only used when master connectors are being used.


    I do have an IDE CD-RW drive plugged in; but if I recall correctly, it is in the master position, not the slave. I could be wrong about that. I hadn't considered that being an issue. I may try the entire boot process without it, or changing it's position on the IDE cable.
  6. Hawkeye22 said:
    You might want to check for a bios update. Also, make sure the chipset drivers are up to date.


    I've flashed the bios to the newest version available for that particular motherboard. I don't have an OS installed currently, so I'm unsure as to how my chipset drivers would be an issue.
  7. wzp01 said:
    I do have an IDE CD-RW drive plugged in; but if I recall correctly, it is in the master position, not the slave. I could be wrong about that. I hadn't considered that being an issue. I may try the entire boot process without it, or changing it's position on the IDE cable.


    Yeah I'd just disconnect it and see what happens then you will be able to rule it out.
  8. I've disconnected the 3M- Lite-On CD-RW drive from the motherboard and power supply altogether. Still having issues installing. I've changed cables. I've put the drive in another PC, which read it just fine after I enabled the SATA port in the bios. I'm going to get a PATA drive and test that next and see if I have any issues.

    I'm beginning to think that my SATA controller is bad. If that's the case, then I'm sure they'll have no problems sticking with PATA in the meantime.
  9. Best answer
    I'd be more inclined to replace the motherboard if I were you. You should be able to pick up a 775 board for pretty cheap these days.
  10. Rusting In Peace said:
    I'd be more inclined to replace the motherboard if I were you. You should be able to pick up a 775 board for pretty cheap these days.


    You're right. I should probably do that. I'll probably go with a more well known manufacturer as well. I'm still playing around with things. I replaced the IDE cable for the Cd-RW drive and I'm not having any lengthy POST times or conflicts right now. Going to see how it goes with installing the OS. If that doesn't work, then it will be time to replace the motherboard for sure.
  11. Make sure the HD size is something the motherboard will recognize. You could try getting a SATA controller card and see if that allows the drive to be seen. I have seen this issue before when motherboards don't work with certain SATA drives. A lot of the time if you put another drive in the primary slot and the other HD in the secondary slot they work. The tell tale sign of this issue is the really long boot time over the 30 second time out. The SATA cards are cheap and are easy to install.
  12. ahnilated said:
    Make sure the HD size is something the motherboard will recognize. You could try getting a SATA controller card and see if that allows the drive to be seen. I have seen this issue before when motherboards don't work with certain SATA drives. A lot of the time if you put another drive in the primary slot and the other HD in the secondary slot they work. The tell tale sign of this issue is the really long boot time over the 30 second time out. The SATA cards are cheap and are easy to install.


    I could do that, but it would more than likely be a temporary fix. Something else will more than likely go wrong with this cheaply made motherboard. According to a scan I ran with Hiren's Boot Disk, one of the PCI slots is also registering as bad. I'm just going to go ahead and get a new motherboard and call it a day.
  13. Rusting In Peace said:
    I'd be more inclined to replace the motherboard if I were you. You should be able to pick up a 775 board for pretty cheap these days.


    I installed the OS via another PC, and it's still not booting. My boot drive from my laptop is no longer booting in there either. The SATA controller is definitely gone. I think it's time to pronounce this thing dead. At least I get to go shopping for hardware now.
  14. I'd try and pick up a mATX Gigabyte board. Maybe something with the G41 chipset.
  15. Some points:

    1) Many older motherboards have issues with large hard drives of 2TB or greater.

    2) Make sure to unhook all other drives except your DVD/CD drive when installing Windows. Some motherboards get confused during Windows installation with multiple drives hooked up.

    3) If you're still having problems you should borrow a different SATA drive.

    4) If you're really stumped, or you know the onboard SATA chip is defective you can purchase a PCI SATA adapter. You'll need to import the drivers to Windows during setup from the disc.

    5) Test the hard drive by booting to a hard drive diagnostics disc for that drive, or hooking it into a different system to test it (if uncertain your SATA ports work)

    6) I doubt that Vista would be unable to detect your older motherboard's SATA port and assign the correct drivers. It sounds more like the hard drive is either defective, too large (2TB), you have multiple hard drives installed creating an issue, or your SATA chip is simply defective.
  16. Best answer selected by wzp01.
  17. It was the SATA controller. I bought a new motherboard (Biostar. A brand I know of, and a price I couldn't beat). Quick 5-minute replacement and everything boots just fine. No more issues. The previous motherboard was just bad.

    Thanks for all the suggestions.
  18. Glad you have it sorted.
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