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My hard drive most of the time does not boot?

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May 17, 2012 5:53:25 PM

Hi, my problem is that my hard drive started not booting, the Intel screen of the mobo appeared and I could get into the BIOS but then a small dash in the top left corner appeared and after a while it said "No bootable device -- insert boot disk and press any key"

I powered off the PC, left it there, after 10 minutes, power on, it boots, other times it would not. So I opted for leaving it on whenever it booted.

I thought it was the power supply because it rattled (it was the fan), I changed it to a OCZ Zt550, not just for that, also because I bought a new gfx card. Install both, and the problem persist.

But now my computer started freezing (maybe coincidence) after a while, I installed Speedfan and noticed my hdd got to 45 celsius, around that temp the PC would freeze and shut down. I put a fan, a normal big fan next to it, and it kept it around 28-31 celsius. Did not freeze anymore (when it booted).

One of the few times it booted I managed to backup all my files. And then installed Windows 7 Ultimate, quick formatting the 1st partition of the hdd. (During all the problems before I had Windows XP Professional).

Now it's getting harder to make it boot.

I don't know what else to try. Or should I just declared it dead. (I don't want to because when it does boot it functions perfectly, all the files are there, there is no corruption. It is very quiet, does not make any weird noises.

My system is:

Mobo: Intel D945Gnt
Intel Pentium D 940 3.2 Ghz
3 Gb RAM
Geforce 9800 GTX Plus
Power Supply OCZ ZT550 550 Watts
Hard drive 1x Western Digital 320 Gb WD3200AAKS (I have 2 partitions NTFS, 1st 242 Gb, 2nd 60 Gb, I formatted only the first, 2nd still have files, but nothing from system, only media)
Windows 7 Ultimate 32 Bit (Previously Windows XP Professional)

What else can I do?

Thanks. :wahoo: 

More about : hard drive time boot

a c 888 G Storage
May 17, 2012 11:56:58 PM

Your motherboard is old enough to possibly be suffering from bad capacitors. Please google for images of what bad caps look like and then check your motherboard for them. Let us know what you find.
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a b G Storage
May 18, 2012 12:46:28 AM

You should go to the manufacture of your hard drive web site and download their hard drive diagnostic software. If their test fails then it is time to get a new hard drive. If the test passes then you should look to your motherboard. It may be that one or more of the SATA ports may be faulty. It may be an idea to try another SATA port anyway. Don't forget to back up your data as soon as possible.
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May 18, 2012 5:07:53 AM

popatim said:
Your motherboard is old enough to possibly be suffering from bad capacitors. Please google for images of what bad caps look like and then check your motherboard for them. Let us know what you find.


I checked them all, they look fine, flat, shiny, the big ones and the very small ones.

pjmelect said:
You should go to the manufacture of your hard drive web site and download their hard drive diagnostic software. If their test fails then it is time to get a new hard drive. If the test passes then you should look to your motherboard. It may be that one or more of the SATA ports may be faulty. It may be an idea to try another SATA port anyway. Don't forget to back up your data as soon as possible.


I went over to http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=606... and downloaded the Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS (CD), burn it to bootable CD and ran the test, the Quick test and the Extended Test, and both ended saying something like "NO ERRORS FOUND" and "ERROR/STATUS CODE = 0000"

After the test I noticed it booted more often, after the test I powered off, then on and with this face :pfff:  saw the little dash in the corner but to my surprise, after like, 30 seconds it showed the Windows logo and booted fine. Then with this face :D  shut it down and on again to confirm the magic cure and it said again NO BOOTABLE DEVICE..... Off and on again, appears Windows logo again.

I've tested the other SATA ports and it's the same, even tried the port where is connected the optical drive (LG GH24NS50 which is functioning fine)

One of the times it booted I kept it on and copied everything important to my laptop. Thank you for the reminder though.

There is an option the Data Lifeguard Diagnostic give me that says "Write Zeros to Drive". Should I try that? The readme says it's like returning it to new status.

Other option I was thinking was install the latest BIOS, Chipset driver, (because all the drivers I had were the ones that came with the original disk) all the latest downloads I could find on the Intel website for my motherboard. Although I downloaded for Windows Vista 32 bit because they're not making new drivers for Windows 7. Of course the BIOS does not care about OS, I think :whistle:  .
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a b G Storage
May 18, 2012 8:10:45 AM

If the Lifeguard Diagnostics say the drive is OK then the drive almost certainly is good and I don't think that you need to try anything further with the drive. Another thing to try is another power supply if you can get one or borrow one, it may also be a good idea to try a memory test program such as memtest86. If neither of these is at fault then I am afraid that it may be the motherboard, however you should try the new power supply before swapping the motherboard.
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a c 129 G Storage
May 18, 2012 8:34:16 AM

see if somone you know has an old drive sitting around. if you can find a spare drive...unplug your drive and put a relacement in and format it and put windows on it. if it boots fine for a while...it was your hd...if it still has issues then in the controller on the mb.
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a c 888 G Storage
May 19, 2012 10:03:03 PM

do you have the sata 1.5 jumper installed on the drive. take it off and give it slight pinch with some pliers or someting and put it back on. I've seens a few instances where the jumper sometimes is loose and the drive drop out of sata1.5 mode.
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May 20, 2012 8:51:33 PM

Try changing the SATA cable too. some of those cheap ones are awful rubbish.
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May 20, 2012 9:54:47 PM

pjmelect said:
If the Lifeguard Diagnostics say the drive is OK then the drive almost certainly is good and I don't think that you need to try anything further with the drive. Another thing to try is another power supply if you can get one or borrow one, it may also be a good idea to try a memory test program such as memtest86. If neither of these is at fault then I am afraid that it may be the motherboard, however you should try the new power supply before swapping the motherboard.


I ran Memtest86, it passed with no errors. I doubt it's the power supply because I bought a new one, the OCZ ZT550, thinking the old power supply was the problem.

It's true lot of things are saying the drive is good. The Lifeguard Diagnostics, Windows CHKDSK (0 kb Bad sectors), I also ran Spinrite 6 on it (Level 4) which according to the manual "Defect analysis - This is SpinRite's deep surface analysis and defect scrubbing level. It performs full data recovery and analyzes the drive's entire surface to certify its data storage integrity."

But there is also the problem of overheating and in Speedfan there is a section for S.M.A.R.T., and the Fitness bar is empty, also the S.M.A.R.T. section of Spinrite showed some ''ECC errors", though, no bad sectors, didn't need to recover any.

Quote:
see if somone you know has an old drive sitting around. if you can find a spare drive...unplug your drive and put a relacement in and format it and put windows on it. if it boots fine for a while...it was your hd...if it still has issues then in the controller on the mb.


That's the test I've been wanting to do, that almost certainly will give me the answer but I only have an old Seagate 40 gb IDE HDD, which I'm not sure if it works or I changed it because it was bad. I don't know, if I use the IDE HDD I'm changing the variable of SATA-IDE.

popatim said:
do you have the sata 1.5 jumper installed on the drive. take it off and give it slight pinch with some pliers or someting and put it back on. I've seens a few instances where the jumper sometimes is loose and the drive drop out of sata1.5 mode.


I don't have a jumper installed (don't know what it's for). Only the SATA power cable and the SATA cable from HDD to motherboard port 0 or 1 :sarcastic:  don't remember .

Saintarthur said:
Try changing the SATA cable too. some of those cheap ones are awful rubbish.


I tried that, I was using the blue cable that came with the HDD, with the WD logo engraved, and tried with a new red SATA cable I had lying around, same booting problem.


I'd like to say I also tried installing the latest motherboard BIOS and did not change anything.

This is Speedfan SMART report: http://www.hddstatus.com/hdrepshowreport.php?ReportCode...

These are screenshots:

http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/2198/speedfan1.png
http://img706.imageshack.us/img706/8438/speedfan2.png
http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/7682/img0324ad.jpg
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July 6, 2012 8:37:30 PM

I decided to try a new hard drive, and finally I received my new hard drive yesterday, a WD Caviar Black 500 GB WD5002AALX. I bought a Caviar Black because I read it was more sturdy and robust, so let's hope it last longer.

I also bought a HDD cooler with two little fans, and with a temperature room of like 27 celsius it drops the temperature of the HDD from 36~ to around 29~.

My PC is booting fine, every time. So despite all the software and tests saying the HDD was fine, it obviously had something .

Thank you for all your suggestions, they all really helped me.
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July 16, 2012 1:01:03 AM

Best answer selected by masterpeter1992.
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