I have an Acer Aspire x3400 SFF desktop running Window 7/64.
This week it suddenly came up on booting that there were no devices. Looking in BIOS it doesn’t list the HDD nor the DVD. We tried the BIOS default settings, changing the AHCI setting to IDE, all without any avail. As there are 4 SATA sockets on the mainboard we tried different sockets. We tried both the HDD & DVD on other systems, chkdsk reports no issues, and the DVD works fine too. There are no driver nor BIOS updates on the Acer website.
So we thought we’d try a different SATA controller, this allows us to see the HDD, but not the DVD; again tried all the BIOS variations too, including turning off the onboard SATA controller. When we do boot, the system only boots in the system recovery partition; but won’t boot at all if there is a disk in the DVD drive!!. I assume that is because it needs SiliconImage drivers for the PCI-E sata controller, which of course we can’t load at this point. As there is no DVD drive showing, we are unable to use any DVD to reload win 7/64. Incidentally when configuring the BIOS RAID setup (concatenation), it does show both the HDD & DVD drive.
So we are stumped. The only option is to replace the mobo.
Is our diagnosis correct, is there anything else we could try?
Reset the BIOS of the motherboard and try updating it with a USB flash drive if it supports that. Also, note that the PSU might be acting up as well. PSUs are notorious for being able to trick troubleshooters into thinking that other components are faulty due to their being capable of causing a very wide range of problems that are often considered limited to other hardware. Testing the computer with another PSU should be able to let you find out if it's related to the problem.
Thanks for the suggestion, hadn't considered that so gave it a try.
Unfortunately another PSU made no difference. I had already tried booting from a flash drive without any joy.
Only other question, is....is there such a PCI-e SATA controller that would recognise both DVDs as well as HDD's? As the one I tried would only recognise the HDD?
They should all recognize both hard disk drives and optical disk drives (as well as solid state drives and any other such storage) by default. I have no idea why yours isn't. Do you have other ODDs that you can try?