ASUS Motherboard Dying?

I thought about posting this to the 'ASUS' sub-category but a friend suggested a power surge might be the culprit so maybe I don't need to be brand specific.

I have a HTPC that is about a year and 3 months old. The motherboard is 4 months old and I just purchased a 2TB AV-GP HDD less than a week-and-a-half ago. 3 days ago I turned on my computer after a good 24-hour long Handbrake session to a Sata Port error during the BIOS load and my original 1.5TB hard drive not being recognized. I thought I just had a bad hard drive but didn't have a whole lot of time to look at it. 2 days ago I was checking my BIOS settings to see if anything had gone awry in there but found nothing. I moved the SATA cables to different ports, avoiding the one originally occupied by the 1.5TB and rebooted. It posted slowly but normally save the drive still not being recognized. Yesterday I booted up and my Blu-Ray drive was recognized as an ATAPI CD-ROM drive and no HDD was being recognized. The computer no longer leaves the POST screen, it just hangs trying to detect drives. I hesitate to plug my 2TB drive back in just in case something is haywire here. I have a hard time believing that I have 2 bad hard drives, especially since the ODD isn't being recognized correctly.

4 or 5 nights ago a pretty good electrical storm rolled through the area. I don't know if I remember seeing the night sky so consistently lit up for such an extended period of time by non-stop lighting so I suppose a power surge is feasible. I have everything but maybe my Uverse gateway hooked up to an old ISOBAR surge protector but there is no network surge protection available. Everything else works fine which leads me to doubt that this is the problem. Tomorrow I plan to swap out the motherboard. Just trying to get someone with a similar experience or just knowledge to give their 2 cents. Thanks!
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  1. have you tried a different Power Supply?
  2. No, I haven't got one lying around but I'll have to give it a shot. I did manage to swap out the motherboard the other day and while I was removing everything I found a screw resting on the motherboard. Yeah, it apparently fell out of the HDD bay as it wasn't properly screwed into position. Is this most likely my culprit or should I still assume electrical storm and a surge?
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