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Windows sees/access hard disk but the BIOS does not

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April 27, 2011 5:27:17 AM

Hello all,

My computer has been working completely fine (since I first built it 9 months ago) up until tonight. So tonight I noticed that my desktop wasn't connected to the internet and when I tried to refresh the network driver, it said my network drivers weren't installed. So, I decided to restart my computer and all of the sudden I get: DISK BOOT FAILURE and the BIOS no longer recognizes my hard disk. So I use an old vista CD to get to the repair options and all of the menus can access my hard disk just fine. The main errors I'm seeing from the windows diagnosis is that there are "No OS files found on disk." Which makes no sense since it was running perfectly fine right before I restarted it. Please help!!

What I've tried: resetting CMOS, checked all power and SATA cables, bootrec.exe commands in the BIOS.

Pertinent specs: Windows 7 Ultimate, WD Caviar Black
a b B Homebuilt system
April 27, 2011 3:41:37 PM

Sounds like a BIOS issue. You should reset the BIOS to its default state. Do this:

1. Disconnect all power sources, including monitor and powered speakers.
2. With power cable detached, press the power button to discharge any remaining residual power in the system (yes, it is true).
3. Remove the battery from the motherboard and wait 30 seconds.
4. Replace the battery.
5. Reconnect all power sources and devices
6. Power the system on and go into the BIOS and make any needed configuration changes.

See if this gets you back in the game. You may also update your BIOS to the most current version (need your make and model of motherboard to get the proper BIOS version) after the system is up and running properly.

Good luck!
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April 27, 2011 3:53:12 PM

COLGeek said:
Sounds like a BIOS issue. You should reset the BIOS to its default state. Do this:

1. Disconnect all power sources, including monitor and powered speakers.
2. With power cable detached, press the power button to discharge any remaining residual power in the system (yes, it is true).
3. Remove the battery from the motherboard and wait 30 seconds.
4. Replace the battery.
5. Reconnect all power sources and devices
6. Power the system on and go into the BIOS and make any needed configuration changes.

See if this gets you back in the game. You may also update your BIOS to the most current version (need your make and model of motherboard to get the proper BIOS version) after the system is up and running properly.

Good luck!


Thanks for the reply. However, I did that this morning to no avail.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 27, 2011 3:53:51 PM

Have you tried updating the BIOS?
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April 27, 2011 3:57:06 PM

Not yet, because I don't have a floppy drive. Also, I find it strange that the BIOS would suddenly go out given that I didn't install any new hardware, drivers, or software prior to the problem occurring. The error I'm getting from within the system recovery options (ran from the Windows Vista disk) is that I'm "missing master boot record" on the drive.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 27, 2011 3:59:26 PM

What make/model of mobo do you have? Did you run the fixmbr command from the recovery console?
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April 27, 2011 4:02:38 PM

My mobo is a Gigabyte GA-p55-ud3r.
Yea I ran fixmbr, fixboot, and when I did rebuildbcd, it found the installation but when I told it to load it, it said something like "specified system resource could not be found".
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 27, 2011 5:23:20 PM

Have you tried switching SATA cables/and or ports?
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April 27, 2011 8:58:14 PM

Yea, I've tried switching ports...but I don't have any other SATA cables. Things is, once I get into the recovery disk I can access all the directories on the disk and it shows all the folders that should be there. I need a way to manually restore the boot loader but when I try, it says "The requested system device cannot be found"
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 28, 2011 2:25:09 AM

Since you BIOS seems to have a problem detecting the HDD, there seems to be a hardware issue somewhere in the chain. Do you have a SATA optical drive? If so, swap the cable with it to test your cables.
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April 28, 2011 2:48:48 AM

Unfortunately, I don't have another SATA optical drive. I'm waiting for my Windows 7 disk to get here so I can reformat. Just to see if the windows installation would even see the HDD I started the installation portion of the Windows Vista disk and it saw the drive, no problem....I'm stumped.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 28, 2011 2:13:17 PM

Because the BIOS doesn't recognize the HDD, there is a hardware problem somewhere. Do you have the means to clone/back up you HDD?
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April 28, 2011 3:46:35 PM

I don't unfortunately, do you think its a mobo issue or a HDD issue. Or could it be a power supply issue?

Note: all fans, drives, card, etc are spinning/running.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 28, 2011 3:53:32 PM

Most likely it is a HDD issue (and could be something as simple as the cable, no kidding).

Do you have SMART enabled in your BIOS? If so, what is it reporting?
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April 28, 2011 4:28:53 PM

I haven't checked SMART since I reset the BIOS. I'll check and report back. I'll also see if I can locate an extra SATA cable.
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!