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Asus motherboard not recognizing sata3 drives

Last response: in Storage
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June 22, 2011 2:39:29 AM

I know that I'm not alone with having SATA3 drives not recognized by an Asus motherboard.

Here are the specs:

Asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 motherboard with 6 SATA3, 6 GB/s ports, BIOS 2101 (updated from original 1906)
AMD 1100T 6-core AM3 processor
G.Skill 16 GB DDR3 RAM
Cooler Master CM690 II case
Antec Earthwatts 750 Watt power supply
Hitachi DeskStar 7K3000 7200 RPM SATA3 drives, 64 MB Cache, 6 GB/s transfer (three of them, intended for RAID 5)
ASUS DRW-24B1ST DVD drive
Using on-board video -- this is going to be a SharePoint development platform, not a gaming box
OS will eventually be Win2008 R2, but once I hit the "problem" reverted to testing with Win 7 Ultimate 64

Here is the problem:

BIOS will not recognize the SATA3 drives. I've tried all three DeskStars, together and separately on every SATA port with every SATA cable (both 3 and 2) with every drive configuration (IDE, RAID and ACHI) and every power connection to no avail. I've even tried a new Western Digital 250 GB SATA2...same results. Ironicallly, the ASUS DVD drive shows up in BIOS on every port with every cable. And I've set the ports to 6GB/s,3GB/s and Auto with no impact.

I've tried installing Win7 but it can't find any harddrive. I even tried installing from a USB flash drive so I could use the ASUS DVD to try to install HD drivers...nothing.

I've read all of the similar cases (I think) on this site but the ones closest seem to be unresolved. I have submitted this case to ASUS tech support but I thought this might be quicker, and without prejudice.

Thanks in advance.
a b G Storage
June 22, 2011 5:13:52 PM

Did this happen after you updated you bios?
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June 22, 2011 5:22:42 PM

almartin said:
Did this happen after you updated you bios?


No, this happened right out of the box with the original 1906 BIOS. While updating was my idea, I got an email this morning from ASUS tech support suggesting I do the update. ASUS also suggested resetting the CMOS (which didn't help) and testing the drives on another PC. Not a bad plan but I don't have another PC that supports SATA3.

What's really strange is BIOS recognizes the ASUS DVD drive on all ports but removing the DVD and attaching a DeskStar to the same cables doesn't work. I can understand getting a dead drive, it happens, but the odds of all three being defective must be astronomical.

All suggestions greatly appreciated.
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a b G Storage
June 22, 2011 5:29:30 PM

By any chance is there a jumper on the back of the drives? If there is try removing the jumper and try it in a sata 3 port.
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June 22, 2011 5:33:50 PM

almartin said:
By any chance is there a jumper on the back of the drives? If there is try removing the jumper and try it in a sata 3 port.


No, no jumpers. In my Internet research, I found that SATA settings for these drives are software controlled and you have to have a PC that recognizes them to change them. Good planning, don't you think?

I have tried all available setting for the controller without success.
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June 22, 2011 6:15:30 PM

almartin said:
It doesn't make any since that the DVD will be reconized but not the sata hard drives. You have covered everything very well.

http://www.hitachigst.com/support/contact-support/ Maybe if you contact support they can help you.


I will give Hitachi another try. I'm also hoping to hear again from ASUS.

Thanks for trying, it means a lot.
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June 22, 2011 6:50:08 PM

My motherboad is different. SATA ports 1-4 can be configured IDE, RAID or ACHI while ports 5 and 6 have the same options but are configured separately. I connected the DVD to port 6 (IDE). I've tried all the ports with in every combination possible. It's amazing how many times you can change a configuration in 8 hours. I did contact Hitachi and they are doing additional research. I'm also hoping to hear back from ASUS.

I'll post what develops.
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a b G Storage
June 22, 2011 7:05:36 PM

Thank you. I would like to know the solution for this problem.
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July 2, 2011 12:32:04 AM

7-1-11 manufacturer tech support stumped...going to Plan C (or maybe D by now). Will update again next week.
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July 13, 2011 1:21:38 PM

After going through 4 motherboards, 10 different hard drives (from 3 different manufacturers) I tried something different...I replaced the brand new Antec Earthwatts 750 power supply. Suddenly drives 11-14 worked! It appears that the PS would start the HDDs but would then fry them. The same power connectors had no apparent effect on the DVD drive, just the HDDs. Fortunately for me, I purchased the PS and most of the HDDs from the same vendor, so all I'm out is the freight, a month of my time and a substantial amount of hair (pulled out by the roots).
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July 25, 2011 3:13:49 PM

Update...while I got the hard drives working, the DVD did not survive the Antec onslaught and I had to replace it. When I finally got to load the OS, RAM failed and had to be replaced. Finally, after replacing everything but the case at least once, I have a working PC. It only took 5 weeks and hundreds of dollars in unexpected freight charges.

It was definitely a learning experience that I'm not sure I wish to repeat...but it was the only way to get exactly what I needed without a lot of extraneous stuff.
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