Boot drive is not recognised in bios when other drives are connected

This problem has been happening for the past 6 months now - I can rarely get my PC to boot from my boot HDD when i have other harddrives connected. I have to disconnect each other hard drive (there are another 4 of them, 2 internal, 2 USB external) and then boot with only my boot drive plugged in. Most of my files/games/music/videos are saved onto my other disks which i cannot use.

Hard drives are Seagate Barracuda's, 2 x 1tb @ 7200rpm and 2 x 500gb @ 7200rpm
Motherboard is ASUS P5Q Pro Turbo
Using W7.

I have tried changing the location of the SATA cables on the mobo, i have tried looking into boot priorities but the hard drive rarely shows up in this section.

Any ideas? This is driving me crazy.


Other info: 8gb (4x 2gb) Dual Channel DDR2 Kingston Hyper-x @ 1066mhz
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4ghz
nVidea 250 GTS @ 1gb
600w PSU
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  1. I have some ideas.

    First, I am running an older Asus board myself. It used to be that whenever I added or removed a drive, my boot order changed. I came up with two methods to deal with this; the second one is good.

    The first is done in BIOS. What drives are available in the Boot Priority section depend on choices that you make in another section on the same tab (I'm at work and don't have the manual so I can't be more specific). I had to go to that section and change whenever I changed drives. Edit: I just read your manual and I don't see that section.

    Then I noticed that it always put the drive in the lowest-numbered SATA slot first. So I dug out the manual CD, figured out which was SATA port one, and plugged my boot drive into that one. I've been rock-solid since, despite having two docking bays for my ten external bare drives.

    A clarification: for drive not recognized, does the BIOS recognize that the drive is present but not select it to boot (easy), or does it actually not recognize that the drive is connected (harder)?
  2. Thanks for your reply. The bios does say that the drive is present, and it occasionaly shows up on the first page of bios, but i am unable to select it to boot from when i go into the boot section of bios. When plugged into other computers, the hard drives are recognised instantly with no problems.

    I tried every possible combination with unplugging SATA connectors (Apparently port 5 and 6 on the MOBO are for non SATA drives (IDE and RAID configured)), but after a bit of browsing, i think i found the issue - when i last installed windows on my hard drive, i did not have my other hard drives plugged in. I have been moving some hard drives from internal HDDS to external HDDS, using a connector chipboard that came with my old Seagate external hdd (plug in power and usb to this chipboard and attach it to the HDD for external useage). Apparently this writes something onto the disk every time it is formatted, or it adjusts the formatting so that it is of optimum quality for the chipboard to use. So when this formatted drive is then plugged directly into SATA ports via a SATA cable, the data cannot be read correctly some of the time. (i hope that made sense).

    So i have, again, done a complete clean install of windows 7 ultimate using my disks, and when i installed the OS, i made sure that every hard drive was plugged in, so that the computer was aware that there was more than one hard drive in the machine and it would have to remember which one to boot from each time.

    Time will tell whether or not i have to reinstall windows after another 3 months, i hope not as i loose all of my files, settings etc and have to install over 100 updates which takes up precious time and limited bandwidth.
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