Not even sure if this is a hard drive issue at this point, but ...
Purchased a refurb emachines EL1358G-51W. Backed up the os, created a drive image, and then took the drive out and put in a used but working smaller drive. (Needed the tb for a different computer) Put in the just-created disks to install the os onto this drive, no dice. Said it couldn't find the drive image.
Put the tb drive back in, couldn't find the boot manager.
OK. Had a 32 bit version of Windows 7; the emachines came with 64 bit but at this point just need to get the computer running. Tried installing the 32 bit Windows 7 on the smaller drive. Had some issues but got it installed and working.
Here's where the trouble starts. Every other reboot it doesn't find the hard drive. Boots to black screen and Nvidia Boot Manager thinks for awhile, then says can't find drive. If I hit power button, it will boot fine. Sometimes it won't boot 5 times in a row, then boot. Sometimes, it will reboot fine over and over, but then randomly won't find the drive.
As far as I'm aware, this drive was working fine when I put it in. Granted it was being used as a storage drive, so later on I'm going to try a different hard drive. But, just wondering if anyone had any ideas as to whether or not emachines just don't like getting components swapped out. Hoping it's not the mobo (since it is a refurb)
If the bios isn't detecting the drive, I would try the drive in another computer. If you put the original boot disk back in (use original sata port) and install the smaller drive as a storage drive, is it detected then? ...and while you have both drives installed, if it does work, I'd grab seatools or other vendor specific drive analysis tools and run it on the smaller drive to see if it checks out ok.