I have a Westgate Digital 1GB HD SATA internal that keeps disappeaing on me! It has no OS installed and is formatted for NTFS.
So far it has only happened while in use (i.e. Watching a movie on the HD or playing a game installed on the HD). Sometimes I can use the HD for hours without an issue and sometimes only a few minutes.
Once the HD disappears the only solution I have is to restart the computer.
I check in the Disk Management tools and the Hard Drive has completely disappeared. However SeaTools can see the hard drive and reports no errors.
I have checked the cabling and am finding this extremely frustrating - please offer assistance!!
Perhaps you could give some more info on the motherboard and more specifically, the SATA controller which the hard drive is connected to.
A typical motherboard has two SATA controllers; one that is built in the southbridge which is part of the AMD or Intel chipset and is therefore called OnChip controller (in the BIOS). The other controller is typically a JMicron 36x, Marvell or some kind of SiIl and is called OnBoard controller.
I would suggest that you try to hook the disappearing hard drive to a SATA port that is with the other controller of the motherboard to see if it still disappears. Perhaps you could try to hook it up to the same controller as the boot drive if you happen to know that it works just fine. Try different cables and so on. If the hard drive still disappears then the suspicions is on the hard drive (and its PCB) and you should also try it on a different computer. Also check that for possible firmware fixes on the hard drive. There could also be a compatibility issue between the drive and the chipset of the motherboard which the hard drive vendor has provided a firmware update for on the support website.
If the problems cease in different configurations then it most likely is a motherboard or motherboard controller issue or cable issue.
It is common that drives that are hooked up to OnBoard JMicron controllers behave this way.