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Secondary Hard Drive Causing Windows to not Boot

Last response: in Storage
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July 15, 2012 10:42:08 AM

Hey guys, I came across a very serious problem. Here are my computer specs:

i5 2500k
ASRock Z77 Pro4-m
Corsair CX600
MSI 560 Ti OC (major problems with this card, so I am switching back out to my old 4850)
2x4gb ddr3
120 gb Agility 3 SSD
2TB Seagate "green"

First, I'd like to say that the cause of all my problems started when I upgraded to a new computer. I've been having huge problems with my video card that I am deciding to rma. So to keep a long story short, my video card occasionally causes my computer to crash. One time after a crash, one of the partitions on my 2TB hdd started not working. I thought it was weird because only one of the two partitions wasn't being read by Windows. Anyway, at startup, Windows asked me to run "checkdisk" or something along those lines for one of my hard drives, so I did that and fixed the hard drive problem.

A few hours ago, my computer crashed again due to my video card.. which now has prompted me to finally give up on trying to fix it (which I've been doing the past 3 weeks). When I tried restarting my computer, Windows would hang and freeze during the initial loading stage. I was even close to doing a reformat because I thought my ssd somehow got messed up from the crash. But Windows wouldn't even load the install dvd. So I randomly decide to unplug the 2tb hdd and restarted my computer and Windows was finally able to load. I tried reconnecting the hdd and restarting, but again Windows wouldn't load. I'm assuming whatever happened the first time that prompted Windows to have me run "checkdisk" happened again.. but this time I can't get the checkdisk thing to load up...

My question is, how can I save my hard drive? I don't know how I can possibly access it since Windows won't load when I have it connected. I don't have an external hard drive.. but I suppose I can borrow one if need be.

Note: I made sure in the BIOS to boot windows from my SSD and even disabled booting from the HDD.

[Edit] I put the hdd in my old computer and somehow was able to run checkdisk through there. The hdd works now on my new computer. I will continue monitoring my hdd to see if it is faulty or if this was all caused by my video card.
a c 200 U Graphics card
a c 125 G Storage
July 15, 2012 12:32:07 PM

there a few things you should check and do to help your pc from crashing. start off to see that your mb bios is up to date and the one for the ssd. before you install windows did you run a firmware update check on the ssd in another pc?? most time with a firmware update on a sdd the update has to wipe the drive back to factory new. with the seagate drive check that it firmware is up to date. sounds like on the seagate there a firmware issue that the drive not re coving when there a power cycle. i would use cpu-z and look at the ram in your system to see what the mb set for voltage and speed. most times you have to go into the dram settings and use xmp profile for the max speed. (in cpu-z the spd tab will show you speed and voltage of your ram).
check with the mb and ram vendor that your ram been tested together. (new x68/z77 ram is 1.5v). use hardware monitor to look at your cpu/gpu temps. and watch your ps output voltage. use msi afterburner to declock the overclock card to stock speed and voltages...if it runs fine...then you know if the gpu. the are issues with firefox based bowsers and java. you have to turn off hardware accleration or java can hard lock or drop with a driver crash message.
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a b U Graphics card
a b G Storage
July 15, 2012 12:47:34 PM

This really sounds to me like a case of moving a install of Windows on a hard drive from the old machine to the new machine without formatting and doing a complete reinstall. If that is what you did, these are pretty typical of the problems you can have.
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July 16, 2012 6:39:40 AM

Thanks for the input guys. I did a firmware check on the ssd before installing windows 7 on it, and it was the latest firmware. One thing I did not update was the bios for my motherboard... because there seemed like a lot of options and I wasn't sure which one to pick, http://www.asrock.com/mb/download.asp?Model=Z77%20Pro4-..., especially given the warnings on the website. I am pretty sure I am using an outdated bios version.

I am almost positive the problems I was having are due to my 560 Ti OC. I can't say for sure that the card is faulty, but at factory speeds, I could not play the game I play the most, Starcraft 2. I tried downclocking to base speeds, but it would randomly jump back to factory speeds during a game of SC, which would then start causing the screen to flicker or the game/computer to crash. I tried OCing further than factory speeds, and while it was stable for the first day, my computer started crashing the following day. Basically, at factory speeds, the computer is generally stable, but I cannot play SC. But at other speeds, I am able to play SC, but my computer would crash every hour or two. Since swapping in the 4850 last night, I have not come across any problems. So I'm going to send back the 560 Ti and see if the replacement will behave similarly.

smorizio, thanks for the good tips, some of them seem really complicated. Currently, my computer is running fine with the 4850, so unless I come across any problems, I will not be trying anything too complicated. I will hopefully be able to exchange a new 560 Ti and see if my old one was faulty.
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