Sudden loss of hard drive recognition in BIOS / Unable to boot

Hello all,

This is my first post on these forums, and they have been generally pretty good at answering my questions.

First and foremost, I am NOT a tech guru, so I may need more simplistic answers.

I recently built a new computer for myself, and it went together successfully without much headache. I was able to easily install Windows 7 Professional, and have been able to use it without any problems whatsoever over the past 10 days or so. Very rarely do I turn off my computer - it just goes into a sleep mode. However, I am certain that I have restarted it in the past when installing drivers, programs, etc.

Today, my computer gummed up while running a load of processes, and I hit the reboot button on my computer (I couldn't get the task manager to pop up to try to kill hungry processes). When the computer rebooted, it was unable to boot windows and asked for an appropriate boot medium to be inserted. Interestingly enough, while this was happening, I was watching the diagnostic gadgets on the side of my screen. It didn't appear that the processor, GPU, RAM or HD were particularly burdened while my computer was jammed up. However, it was not a 'full' freeze, in that I could still move the mouse.

When I entered BIOS, my hard drive was not detected...

Thinking back, I briefly had this issue while installing Windows 7 originally. I restarted the computer several times, and it sporadically picked up the hard drives when I instructed BIOS to revert to default settings. I have not yet tried this with my current problem, because I don't know if revert the BIOS to factory settings will cause any damage to my system (even software-wise). As far as I know, I haven't even changed any of the settings from their factory default.

The system has been working well since I built it, as I said, and the hard drive has comfortably accommodated over 300GB of data so far. Does anybody have any idea why my computer would arbitrarily stop detecting my hard drive?

Relevant Specs:

Hard Drive:
HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.D HDS721010DLE630 (0F13180) 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"

ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Please let me know if you need additional information. I would love to resolve this expediently, as finals are approaching, and I have minimal time to try to fix this problem. It would be excellent to be able to access the files on that drive as well!

Thanks in advance.

- Michael
8 answers Last reply
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  1. As a follow up --

    During the 10-15 minutes that I was writing this previous post, my computer was off. I figured I might try leaving it off for awhile to clear any caches in the system.

    When I booted it up, Windows was recognized and loaded successfully... However, as soon as I began to use it (running Firefox), the system started to slow down, and it came to a complete freeze... Again, my diagnostics did not show the computer to be particularly burdened...

    When I restarted, the hard drive was again not detected...

    This is very troublesome for me. Could this be a sign of imminent hard drive failure? Already?

    The fact that it ran after clearing the cache led me to believe that it might even be a RAM failure. However, the system recognizes all 12GB of RAM, and my diagnostics did not indicate that the RAM usage was topping 20%. I don't know if that is relevant at all.

    I did not receive any issues with the graphics (black screen, colors, etc.) that lead me to believe that it is graphics related. I also did not receive any BSODs.

    Any help would be very appreciated!!!
  2. Hello mfspigner,

    Welcome to Forums!
    Lets try this:

    1. You have 12 GB RAM (I assume 3 X 4GB) - Try running one RAM stick at a time and eliminate the possibility of a bad RAM stick.
    2. Disconnect and Reconnect all power/data cables
  3. From the description that you have provided it sure sounds like you have a bad hdd. Even though you may have just bought it there is always the possibility of it being defective as with any electronic piece of equipment there is always the chance of some piece being defective or substandard work in the assembly of it. With the hdd dissappearing in the bios you should switch out the sata data cables and use a different sata power cable as well. I do have a dissappearing hdd sometimes and what I do is shut down unplug the psu and diconnect the hdd power then reconnect everything and reboot making sure that the hdd with the OS on it is listed first in the boot sequence.
  4. You can go into the action center in Windows and run the trouble shooter and see what comes up for problems and suggested solutions.
  5. I had a very similar problem which persisted for some months - intermittent loss of hard drive recognition. I thought it was the HDD and bought a replacement - no change. Then I considered a corrupted Windows 7, reinstalled - no change. However I THINK that I have now rectified the problem by examining and reconnecting the cables SATA cables which run from the motherboard to the HDD and the DVD drives. Reconnecting these and ensuring that they are firmly connected seems to have solved the problem!!

    John in Cardiff
  6. I know this is an old thread but...

    I have a very similar setup, and have been dealing with the same problem with various drives showing up each time I restart. Occasionally I get Windows 7 to actually boot just to "freeze" up moments later. I Replaced the PSU, and all SATA and power cables with 1100 watt Tagan to ensure I had proper power, and all 6 drives including SSD worked great again for 6 weeks or so. Then as I started Firefox the other day system froze up again and restart POST message shows different drives at each power up. Disconnected all drives but OS SSD, por nada. I seem to recall my last episode of this started with Firefox as well... coincidence?
    I have tested GPU, Processor (Prime95), Memory (memtest)...

    My next guess is that maybe the SSD boot is somehow causing failure of recognition of other drives?
    Corrupted BIOS? (Reset and still nothing so maybe not.)
    Failure on MB?
    A stretch but possible failure of processor?

    I have the new ASUS Maximus V Extreme MB and 32GB of new memory in the mail but I am frustrated at this repeating issue! Any help would be appreciated! :pt1cable:

    I have Intel i5 2500k 3.2GHZ
    Asus P8P67 with BIOS updated to latest version
    Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit
    ASUS GTX 580P
    Corsiar 120GB SSD
  7. Just pointing out that I have the same persistent problem. I just changed the SATA cable between the hard drive and the MB, although I have done that before. We will see. I have changed hard drives, motherboards, and power supplies, in case the last one was simply too close to the spec'd value. The only thing I haven't changed is the CPU. I'm running ubuntu. It is the same symptom-- a warm-boot won't work. The BIOS doesn't detect the hard drive.
  8. Well, I think I have a solution. It was the hard drive, even though it was new, and even though it had the same symptoms as the previous hard drive. It definitely was not the cable. I replaced those twice and I had the same problem. I have rebuilt the system with a new solid state drive for the system and a new hard drive for /home. The crux symptom is now showing itself as I rsync directories from the old new hard drive and the new new one. I am getting failures on the old new hard drive. Now, however, instead of rebooting, I merely power down the drive and power back up. This experience tells me that reliability sucks for hardware. To be able to buy two new hard drives that have the same problem tells me that the customer is now also the beta tester. I resent the time it took to diagnose this problem.
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