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Odd System Behaviour (Hard Drive Related...) Help with Diagnosis?

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July 19, 2010 4:46:21 PM

Hey guys,

7 Months ago I left for boot camp before I could address this issue, but in a nutshell my computer was getting a disk read error on startup.

Firstly, I have 3 HDDs installed. A 300gb system drive, and 2x 1TB drives for files and backup.

When I disconnected my backup drive, my system started up fine, no problems.. I left it at that and went away for 7 months.

Now on my return, after only a few days back, I get the same disk read error... I diconnect my file storage drive and restart. System boots fine, but this time the date is Jan 1 2002 on my system and it appears my Motherboard has reset.

I could use a hand diagnosing this.. Is it powersupply, mobo, or a HDD error? Thanks.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 20, 2010 2:35:29 AM

Have you tried replacing the motherboard battery? If not, try that and reset your BIOS settings to those that worked.
a b B Homebuilt system
July 20, 2010 3:08:24 PM

Treefrog's got your correct starting point. The date tells us the on-board battery went dead and the BIOS has reset itself to some default status. So, replace the battery. Then on your first boot-up go immediately into BIOS Setup. On the last screen, usually, there is a set of choices to load some sets of BIOS parameters. Usually your best bet it to load the Factory Default or the Optimized Default set. Save and Exit from here to boot with these settings.

IF you know that your system had non-default settings for certain things, on this reboot you should re-enter BIOS Setup again and go through the options to set the items you need to customize. Save and Exit from there to get a clean boot, and it should run OK.

Once that is done and working smoothly, you can shut down and re-connect the questionable HDD. Start back up and see whether it still has some errors. It is possible that the trouble was NOT a HDD hardware problem, but an error in the way the BIOS was dealing with it. That MIGHT be fixed by resetting the BIOS properly. Even if the HDD still shows errors, at least you will KNOW where to start working next.
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