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Hard Drive Problem?

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  • Homebuilt
  • Boot
  • Hard Drives
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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January 6, 2010 9:40:06 AM

My pc is having trouble recognizing the harddrive if it has been shut off for an extended period of time (over 12 hours). When the computer tries to boot it doesn't recognize any HD and tries to boot from the dvd drive.

If I open up the pc, remove, and plug back in the sata cable it will recognize the drive and boot up. I have replaced the cable, but it is still doing it.

Is my mobo shot? I have tried a couple of different sata controllers on the board, all with the same result.

I read somewhere that it may also be the power supply. I am running a 9800 GTX+ on a 500w psu, just fyi. But I have had that video card for quite a while now, and the problem hasn't occurred until recently.

Thanks before hand for any knowledge you can bestow upon me.

Oh, one more thing... If the computer gets booted up, it runs fine... for days. The problem is really only getting it booted up after being shutdown for a while.

More about : hard drive problem

January 6, 2010 11:37:57 AM

What power supply do you have?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 6, 2010 12:10:19 PM

This sounds like a faulty SATA ribbon (data) cable. It intermittently fails, yet you can fix it for a while by simply disconnecting and reconnecting the cable. Changing to a different SATA port on the mobo makes no difference, so that is not the source. That leaves the cable or the drive. The connector on one or both ends of the cable may have loose metal pieces inside that are supposed to grab onto the pins on the mobo or drive connectors, but aren't doing that reliably. Try a new cable.
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January 6, 2010 1:57:55 PM

change the cable and the slot.....of the sata connector....and dont use connectors, try connecting directly to the psu...
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January 7, 2010 1:56:17 PM

I noticed that my webcam light was on even though my pc was off. I unplugged the webcam and my pc started right up. anyone know why my webcam might be stopping my pc from recognizing the hard drive?????
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 7, 2010 5:03:09 PM

I suspect the webcam is a USB device. Sounds like your BIOS is having difficulty figuring out this device on the USB bus somewhere late in the BIOS POST process.

MAYBE check this. Go into BIOS Setup and look for the place (probably in power settings) where you decide whether or not the machine will boot up or resume from an event that happens on the USB bus. Try setting it to Disabled. That way the BIOS will not bother to monitor that bus for activity. BUT if you are used to having a mouse OR your keyboard plugged into the USB bus to wake up the computer from standby mode, that will stop working when set this way.
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January 8, 2010 11:38:41 AM

Update:

Apparently the boot up after unplugging the webcam was just a fluke. I haven't got the pc to boot up sense then.

I tried wiggling the sata cable in the HD and the mobo and that didn't help, keep in mind it is a new cable.

My PSU a 500w antec earthwatts, it came with my antec case.

I should also note that my pc is siting by a glass door and I live in Iowa, so it is a little bit cooler than normal...
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January 8, 2010 11:42:08 AM

I just unplugged the sata cable from the HD and plugged it back in and it booted up.
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January 8, 2010 11:42:45 AM

"I should also note that my pc is siting by a glass door and I live in Iowa, so it is a little bit cooler than normal... "

lol that can only be a good thing!

Did you try a new SATA cable? If that doesn't work then it sounds like a faulty HDD, sorry man. Try the cable asap
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January 8, 2010 12:34:47 PM

i know typically "cooler is better," but it has barely gotten above 0 the last week, so it has been pretty cold.

I am running a diagnostic check on the HDD right now, but i have a feeling that it is the sata connector on the HDD.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 8, 2010 12:58:38 PM

I agree suspicion is pointed at the SATA cable. Sometimes the round metal sleeve connectors inside get expanded a little and cannot grip tightly enough on the pins of the mating connector. In those cases some delicate probing with a tiny screwdriver may be able to bend that metal slightly and tighten the metal.

Also bear in mind that it is possible that the mating pin connector, either in the HDD unit or on the mobo, could have an intermittent connection to its circuit.
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January 8, 2010 1:08:12 PM

i don't think it is the cable, i replaced only a couple of weeks ago. unless i would of happened to have a faulty cable that was brand new... not likely, but possible
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January 8, 2010 2:10:26 PM

just in case, does anyone have a brand of cables they recommend? I suppose it would be smarter to try a new cable first before buying whole new HDD
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January 9, 2010 2:09:09 PM

well i ordered a cable that has metal latches on it so you can lock it into place... we will see if that helps.
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January 14, 2010 4:10:38 PM

I installed the 2nd new cable; it did not fix the problem.

What should I try replacing next? HDD or Mobo?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 15, 2010 1:10:39 PM

1. Take a close look at the power supply connection to the HDD, in case it is loose and sometimes fails.
2. Get a good set of diagnostics from your HDD manufacturer's website for free and run all of them. Maybe you already did this - you mentioned some diagnostic testing - but the manufacturer's package is usually good and thorough.
3. IF you are technically talented, there's a third possible (unlikely) place where loose connectors can happen. On the HDD unit itself there is a printed circuit board mounted that carries its own "smarts" and has connectors to the rest of the HDD unit. Without risking opening the HDD mechanism, you can usually unfasten and detach this board, check / clean / tighten the connectors, then re-attach and assemble again. sometimes the connectors are as simple as springy fingers that touch metal contacts, and dirt of loss of springiness can cause a problem. Be gentle with them, though.
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