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Strange Hard Drive Problem

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June 10, 2012 4:08:50 PM

Hey Guys,

I have been having this strange problem with my computer for about a year now. Every now and again (about twice a week) the computer will hang up for about 30 seconds and then restart, when it tries to restart it will say no OS found, insert system disk etc. I can restart it as many times as a want and it will still get stuck there. I have found that the only solution is to unplug the computer or the hard drive from the motherboard and the plug it back in. After doing this it will start back up and it works every time. I have ruled out the motherboard because I had it replaced with a brand new one and it kept happening. I think I can rule out the hard drives because I have two WD and one OCZ in there and it will happen no matter which one is the main drive. Plus it started happening before I got the OCZ drive and when I purchased it brand new and put it in, it didn't change anything (and there was a brand new installation of windows 7 on that drive so that rules out a corrupted OS install).

I think someone in the past mentioned that it could be the PSU so I was wondering if the PSU can cause such a problem or if it is something else.

Thanks and let me know if you need more info.
a c 260 G Storage
June 10, 2012 4:22:36 PM

Have you ruled out the SATA cables?
June 10, 2012 6:10:52 PM

Yes, mostly because I changed hard drive and cables and it still happened. Plus the "constancy of the problem". For instance, when it happens, I can restart the computer 10 times and it will still occur. Or I can unplug and plug back in the computer or the hard drive and it will work right away. I feel a cable problem would be more inconsistent and unplugging the computer wouldn't help.
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a c 260 G Storage
June 10, 2012 7:11:31 PM

I would have thought that it was either a board issue or drive issue.
June 10, 2012 7:38:14 PM

Thats what I thought to but you can't argue with a new board and a new hard drive.

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a c 351 G Storage
June 10, 2012 11:21:10 PM
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just a question, the OCZ drive is that a SSD? If it is an SSD where is the System partition, On the HDD, or on the SSD? You say it occurres with either drive as the Boot drive, Does that mean that you have this problem with Boot drive set to SSD and the HDD is DISCONNECTED.

Reason I ask, is that when a SSD is added, some do not disconnect the HDD when Installing windows on to the SSD and in that case the system partition is on the HDD, which means the problem could still be a failing HDD.

Unsure where the System partition is located, Rt click MyComputer, select manage, then on right side click on diskmagement. The diagram for your SSD should show a tiny 100 mb system partion and a "C" drive partition.

And yes it could be a PSU problem, but generally PSU problems maifest themselfs with other problems such as BSOD, memory errors. Unusall to limit the effects to not finding the Boot sector, or OS. But you can always take a look at your +12 V and + 5 V rails. Open a program (such as HWMonitor) that displays your voltages and download and run prime 95. Specs are as Follows:
+12 V should be NO lower than +11.4 V (My min is 11.6 V), mav is 12.6V
+5 V is 4.75V -> 5.25V
June 10, 2012 11:30:50 PM

Good call, but yes I have been down that road. In fact I don't even have that particular drive hooked up right now. I tried running with just the SSD for a while and it looked like the problem almost went away but then it started happening again. I give the voltage thing a try and see how it goes.

Thanks
June 10, 2012 11:32:53 PM

By "that particular drive" i mean the old HDD. The SSD is my current drive that everything is on with one of the HDDs as additional storage but no programs.
June 20, 2012 12:36:03 AM

Im thinking power supply but it would have to be a fault in it because i have a 750w in an older core2duo system and the entire system runs really cool.
June 20, 2012 12:50:12 AM

So im running the test now and the voltages aren't fluctuating much at all and they are all well inside the limits you suggested. Do you think its possible that it just occasionally drops out for a second?
a c 351 G Storage
June 20, 2012 2:31:03 AM

Not common, but possible.
A poster several months ago had a simular problem. Voltages were all with in limits, but changinging the PSU did fix his problem. Unfornanatly it can only be positively ruled out by replacing.

While a 750 Watt PSU is plenty, infact for many systems might be overkill, I did not catch the Brand/model. There are a number of PSUs that should NEVER grace the insides of a computer, they are better used as door stops.
June 20, 2012 2:47:41 AM

Well I guess I will give it a try. As for the type of PSU, it is a CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX. I would certainly hope that it would be a good PSU based on the company and the amount I paid for it. Thanks for all your help though.
June 20, 2012 2:48:07 AM

Best answer selected by BenW301.
a c 351 G Storage
June 20, 2012 11:59:22 AM

Generally that PSU is an Excellent choice, and based on your voltage readings is doughtfull that it is causing the problem. But the only way to truely elieminate it is swapping it out. Outside of voltages the PSU may behaving a problem recieving the "I'm OK" signal from the MB, But this generally results in the PSU powering off BEFORE the post is started.

Re-reading, almost sounds like the Bios is having a problem with the Post test. You ruled out the MB by swapping it for a new on. Have you run memtest (or prime 95) to test ram.

I would remove/re-insert the GPU card and ram a couple of times, just to verify not a connection problem.
June 21, 2012 12:41:45 AM

I did run prime 95 several times and of course it never crashes when im running that. I doubt its the GPU because it has been in and out several time as I have tried to fix this. It could be the RAM because I vaguely remember having some trouble with it when I first got it and I thought I had it replaced. Either of those would explain why it starts working when I unplug the entire computer and then plug it back in. But none of these explain why I can also just unplug the hard drive's sata cable and get the same result and it works every time.
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