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Odd, recent issues with my rig - cannot find the source

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January 19, 2011 7:54:40 PM

Hey there everyone, I'd like to thank you beforehand for taking the time to read through this - it has left me very frustrated the past few days and any help would be greatly appreciated.

The Rundown: I built my first rig about a year ago, and have had absolutely non issues until three days ago - I had the thing built and the OS installed within two hours. Useage-wise, I'd say it's gotten moderate-heavy use since then, but I have it off whenever I am away from it. Now, the other morning I booted up the PC without an issue and proceeded to run a videogame. About 5 minutes in the screen freezes up, I was unable to kill the programs, so I reset the PC. After the POST screen I receive an error message: "Please select proper boot device".

Reboot, entered BIOS and went to check that my boot order was correct... except my mobo wasn't detecting my HDD. After searching online, I found various possibilites as to what the cause was: PSU, HDD, CD drive, SATA cables.

Well, my PSU is fine. I've never had an issue of it turning off randomy, and whenever I reboot my rig all lights and case fans start up. So then I went on to believe it was my HDD (I had a dual-boot system, if it makes a difference: Ubuntu and Win7). I got rid of the GRUB loader via the command prompt from the Win7 installation CD and deleted all partitions on my HDD (every now and then my HDD would be detected, so I was able to get into the installtion screen). However, my next issue was that I would either get stuck at "Installing Windows files" or "Expanding Windows files", and then receive an error (0x80070002) stating that all needed files were not available.

Yesterday after work I grabbed a new HDD and new SATA cables. Swapped HDDs, swapped out my existing SATA cables with the new ones (one for the HDD, one for the CD drive), then booted everything up with my fingers crossed.

Everything booted up, HDD was detected, went straight to Windows Installation. But, then I was stuck again at "Expanding Windows Files), and recieved the same error above (0x80070002) about files being unavailable.

Now, the HDD is sometimes detected, sometimes not (again, even with a new HDD and SATA cables).

My only final idea is that my CD drive is bad, but it was working perfectly up until the night before the initial crash. I will list my specs below, and if you have any possible suggestions I would greatly appreciate it - I am becomming quite frustrated.

MOBO: MSI NF980-G65 AM3 NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI HDMI ATX AMD
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core
PSU:Seventeam ST-750PAF 750W ATX 12V V2.2
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
GFX Card: EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
CD Drive: Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model

New HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green 500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
January 19, 2011 10:00:57 PM

For my Boot order, I currently have them both set to Boot from CD/DVD. When the issue first came up, the order was set; 1. Boot from HDD 2. Boot from CD/DVD.

What's detected varies. Originally, the CD drive was SATA1 and the HDD was SATA2. After I had issues, I tried swapping the SATA ports (I have 6 total), but it didn't seem to make a difference - sometimes the HDD would be recognized, sometimes it wouldn't. (EDIT: for clarification - no single port I tried seemed to result in the HDD being recognized each time).

And yes, currently I only have 1 HDD installed, and then my DVD drive. My original HDD I have removed for the time being until I find out the cause.

Since I am having issues both with my BIOS recognizing my HDD and also with data being copied from the Win7 installation CD to my HDD... could this mean that the issue may be with my mobo?
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January 19, 2011 10:58:26 PM

K, I can clear the CMOS easily enough. And, when you say reset the BIOS (I thought that WAS clearing the CMOS) do you mean reseting it to the "Failsafe Defaults"?

Secondly, and here my newbie-ness shows, what's the easiest way to update my BIOS in this case? Should I burn an ISO from the MSI website on a different PC, then boot from CD/DVD on my rig? I know for a fact that I haven't updated my BIOS since I built the rig back two Novembers ago, so they could actually very well be the case... I will check their site now.

Thanks for the quick responses Malmental!
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January 19, 2011 11:21:57 PM

I know I have one around here somewhere... If I can't find it, I'll pick one up on my way home tomorrow night.


So I double-checked the information on my mobo at the MSI site, and there was both a BIOS and driver update since I originally built my rig.

EDIT: There were actually multiple! I would assume that I must go through each of the updates individually for both the BIOS and driver? I had LiveUpdate installed on my PC, which is their utility to auto-detect updates, so I will try getting into my BIOS to determine the current version before I do anything.
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