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Win7 64bit won't load ~ Bios? ~ HDD Not Recognized

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March 18, 2012 9:11:41 PM

Hi,

I am at a loss - My PC will Not recognize my HDD.

I will try to explain as succinctly as possible. (had a mini stroke the day I started troubleshooting)

So.. Here is what I remember doing prior to losing my head!

Decided to Uninstall Trend Micro Titanium due to too much overhead (may have been culprit - not sure).

Reset Bios to Optimum Defaults - here's where my issues started:

1) *** See Below for sys specs
2) The issue is, I start pc and there is no recognized boot drive drive, however, I can get to some of the data (thank god-soo many pwd's in a file) via DOS.

My PC will Not recognize my HDD therefore, will not boot to Win7-64bit. In DOS, the drive letter is x:.

It appears that when I clicked 'Optimized Defaults', the 40 GB Intel 320 SATA Gaming SSD got loaded with some version of Win7 :/ 
-------------------------------------------------------------

Steps Taken:

1) Removed SSD & tried to boot from HDD using diferent connectors..nope.
2) Went back into Bios, reset to Failsafe - no go.
3) Being dual-bios, Jumped to 2nd bios - The Win7 Logo started, but, it stops and I get an Unrecognized load device errer - fail again.
4) Removed battery, replaced later. Nothing.
5) Removed 1 of 2 ATI 6950's - nada (ya, I knew that was a long shot)
6) Put in windows CD, repaired - still will not boot from HDD.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Probably didn't do things right or in order, but I have all disks. I just do not understand why it's looking at x: and my HDD is D: (shouldn't it be C: for win7 to boot?)

My specs are in sig, however - here is what I am running (or not running ;) .

***
Coolermaster HAF-X Gaming Full Tower
Intel® Core™ i5-2500K 3.30 GHz 6M Intel Smart Cache
GigaByte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 Intel Z68 (w/ Lucid Virtu + Intel Smart Response Technology)
CyberPower Xtreme Hydro Liquid Cooling Kit 240MM
Kingston HyperX 8GB (2GBx4) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory Module
CyberPower Xtreme Hydro Liquid Cooling Kit 240MM w/ Dual Fan
March 19, 2012 6:14:52 PM

Forgive me if I don't completely understand what is going on.

It sounds like you are trying to convey a situation kinda sorta like this:

1) You had some sort of problem
2) You had the idea that removing your anti-virus might fix it
3) It didn't
4) You reset the BIOS to default settings to try to fix problem #1
5) It didn't fix it
6) A new problem is created whereby your computer cannot read your drives correctly anymore
7) You began focusing on addressing #6 instead of #1
8) You removed the SSD, #6 not fixed
9) You messed around in the bios, #6 not fixed
10) You loaded some previous known good BIOS, #6 not fixed
11) You took out the battery for (how long?) some amount of time and put it back in, #6 not fixed
12) You took out 1 video card of 2, #6 not fixed
13) You tried repairing OS install with CD, #6 not fixed

Please confirm whether this is accurate.

Other questions so I can better understand your setup:
1) What files are supposed to be on the SSD?
2) What files are supposed to be on the regular hard drive?
3) How old is this computer?
4) What maker/model PSU are you using?

Some comments I can make right away:
1) You should probably leave your security software installed unless you are sure that this is the problem, or at the very least you can delete one suite of products and immediately install a different kind.

In times past, Antivirus programs were much more intrusive than they tend to be now. For the most part the anti-virus programs available in 2012 can function with nearly no noticeable impact on computer's performance.

Microsoft Security Essentials and Panda Cloud are decent security products you should consider if you have nothing in use right now. The first one is definitely free and I am pretty sure the second one is too. They should both be very light weight as well.

#2) It sounds like when you reset the BIOS it may have changed the instruction sets of the data drives to something other than whatever they used to be.

There are 3 general kinds of instruction sets available for reading and writing to data drives. They are IDE, AHCI, and SATA (IIRC). There are plusses and minuses to each of these, but it is important which one is chosen.

Windows registers the choice when it is first installed. If your initial install was for AHCI then Windows wrote that into the registry. If you then go into the BIOS and change it to, say, IDE then there well be a conflict between what the BIOS says and what Windows says.

This will certainly prevent booting into Windows correctly.

You may want to try going into the BIOS and finding these settings for your data drives in there somewhere and changing the settings on them.

If it is true that this is what you are experiencing, that Windows says one thing while your BIOS now says a different thing, changing the BIOS to whatever is in Windows should allow it to resume regular operations.

You can't easily figure out what the windows setting is, however, you can just try each of the other options. There are only 3, so this shouldn't be too painful.

Note, however, that it does matter which drive the boot files are on. If you are sure about which drive contains your windows boot files, you should disconnect all the other drives except that one.

Most people with a SSD and a hard drive put the Windows files on the SSD and the data files on the hard drive. I don't know if you are configured like that, but it is commonplace.

If you disconnect all the other drives, it will keep you from having any sort of conflicts due to the other drives which should help speed the fixing process.

Once the computer is again booting correctly, then the other drives can be phased in.
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March 27, 2012 1:47:34 PM

Raiddinn said:
Forgive me if I don't completely understand what is going on.

It sounds like you are trying to convey a situation kinda sorta like this:

1) You had some sort of problem
2) You had the idea that removing your anti-virus might fix it
3) It didn't
4) You reset the BIOS to default settings to try to fix problem #1
5) It didn't fix it
6) A new problem is created whereby your computer cannot read your drives correctly anymore
7) You began focusing on addressing #6 instead of #1
8) You removed the SSD, #6 not fixed
9) You messed around in the bios, #6 not fixed
10) You loaded some previous known good BIOS, #6 not fixed
11) You took out the battery for (how long?) some amount of time and put it back in, #6 not fixed
12) You took out 1 video card of 2, #6 not fixed
13) You tried repairing OS install with CD, #6 not fixed

Please confirm whether this is accurate.

Other questions so I can better understand your setup:
1) What files are supposed to be on the SSD?
2) What files are supposed to be on the regular hard drive?
3) How old is this computer?
4) What maker/model PSU are you using?

Some comments I can make right away:
1) You should probably leave your security software installed unless you are sure that this is the problem, or at the very least you can delete one suite of products and immediately install a different kind.

In times past, Antivirus programs were much more intrusive than they tend to be now. For the most part the anti-virus programs available in 2012 can function with nearly no noticeable impact on computer's performance.

Microsoft Security Essentials and Panda Cloud are decent security products you should consider if you have nothing in use right now. The first one is definitely free and I am pretty sure the second one is too. They should both be very light weight as well.

#2) It sounds like when you reset the BIOS it may have changed the instruction sets of the data drives to something other than whatever they used to be.

There are 3 general kinds of instruction sets available for reading and writing to data drives. They are IDE, AHCI, and SATA (IIRC). There are plusses and minuses to each of these, but it is important which one is chosen.

Windows registers the choice when it is first installed. If your initial install was for AHCI then Windows wrote that into the registry. If you then go into the BIOS and change it to, say, IDE then there well be a conflict between what the BIOS says and what Windows says.

This will certainly prevent booting into Windows correctly.

You may want to try going into the BIOS and finding these settings for your data drives in there somewhere and changing the settings on them.

If it is true that this is what you are experiencing, that Windows says one thing while your BIOS now says a different thing, changing the BIOS to whatever is in Windows should allow it to resume regular operations.

You can't easily figure out what the windows setting is, however, you can just try each of the other options. There are only 3, so this shouldn't be too painful.

Note, however, that it does matter which drive the boot files are on. If you are sure about which drive contains your windows boot files, you should disconnect all the other drives except that one.

Most people with a SSD and a hard drive put the Windows files on the SSD and the data files on the hard drive. I don't know if you are configured like that, but it is commonplace.

If you disconnect all the other drives, it will keep you from having any sort of conflicts due to the other drives which should help speed the fixing process.

Once the computer is again booting correctly, then the other drives can be phased in.


Man, are you secretly watching me on camera? You hit the nail right on the head!

I do believe now, that I now know what I did. I wish I would have been able to read your post 1st tho! However, I have learned a few things along this journey as well as picked up even More questions.

I was using Trend Micro Titanium 2011 (still have a liscence but am hesitant) - right now, just MSSecurity Essentials.

After reading your post, I remember in clarity what I did to screw everything up: Bios-> Load Optimized Defaults -> No Boot.

1) What files are supposed to be on the SSD?
That is when I believe my issues started as I have (had) an Intel 40g SSD using it as a cache drive. This answers 1) as the 'optimized' defaults were Not set to Raid0 so my HDD was Not recognized. Windows Repair slapped all of it's files into the ssd!

2) What files are supposed to be on the regular hard drive?
All else.

3) How old is this computer?
8 months

4) What maker/model PSU are you using?
Corsaire TX850w

So now I am running with my HDD only as I forgot (ok, I flat didn't know ;)  ) I had to load Win7 in Raid mode to use the ssd as cache. I do not want to reload everything again as I have memory problems and may forget something. So I guess I'll plug it in for no apparent reason.

Other:
4x2g Kingston Hyper-x DDR3 SDRAM

Bigfoot Network Killer interface card - drivers loaded (not even sure this is a bonus or not).

1 of 2 ATI 6950s installed with the 12.2 drivers. Star Wars is almost unplayable. (Almost...). I will try to revert back to earlier vid drivers. (Is there an 8 and a 16 slot for the card I need to worry about? I noticed somewhere it said I have an 8 and 16..something slot :/  )

Reloaded Mobo stuff (chip, lan, audio & usb stuff) from disk (Gigabyte Z68A-D3H-B3) as told to do by Cyberpower.

So I have a running system and an extra ati-6950 + a 40g Intel SSD sitting on my table.

1) Have I missed anything as far as things to load?
2) My RAM frequency is 6,7,8,9 - seems strange.
3) I feel something nagging that I have forgotten, or screwed up in bios (or just did wrong!)
4) Lastly: Does the cyberpower stock water cooling system need to be replaced? Seems to kind of, well, suck. Have always had temps up to 90c! If so - any suggestions?

Finally,
Thank you for taking the time to read this - I can be verbose :) 
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March 27, 2012 2:46:20 PM

Naah, I don't have you on camera, I have just been in the game long enough that I can kinda sorta fill in the blanks and visualize what people are doing sometimes.

I asked the other 4 questions mostly in case it was necessary, but I don't really think at this point any of that matters so I will kinda ignore those things for now.

So, you are not real interested at this point in reloading the whole system which is understandable. Reinstalling can be a pretty big pain if you aren't used to doing it. I might shy away from it if I hadn't already done like 1000+ windows installs myself.

Bigfoot Network Card - You probably don't gain anything from this. I would remove it and just use the one built onto the motherboard as long as the motherboard one works.

Reloaded old BIOS from CD - Normally I wouldn't care so much what BIOS a given motherboard is using if there are no problems, but clearly there are problems. I would download and install whatever the newest BIOS is for that motherboard from their website.

I usually only suggest messing around with BIOS updates and driver updates if there are clear problems with functioning, and not if there is no clear problem. In this case there is one.

Video cards - If you only have one, it should probably be in the top most slot (the one closest to the processor). If you have it in some other slot it could cause a slow down, so if you do then I would suggest switching it to the top most slot.

RAM CAS Latency is a pretty complicated subject that most people don't really need to worry too much about. The computers are usually really good at auto-detecting good settings for RAM sticks and using those. If you really want to know more about this I can try to explain it, but I don't know that it will really benefit you in any way if we go down that road.

The short form is that it measures the real time between when a processor requests something from the RAM and when it gets it. It is measured in a non-intuitive way, but basically there is pretty much the same amount of real time between 1333 RAM at CL 9 and 1600 RAM at CL10, for instance. As the RAM speed goes up, so too does the CL generally go up.

Anyway, computers usually know what they are doing with that stuff better than any of us do and I don't generally suggest people mess around with that.

Have you missed loading anything - Doesn't sound like it.

Forgotten things - The computer is kinda sorta working, so probably not.

Cyberpower Water Cooler - I would think it is fine if it is attached right. I am not sure what temps are getting up to 90c, but if it is the processor it doesn't sound like it is connected correctly. I would expect even the most basic water cooler on a processor to be able to keep it below 60c at the outside.

If the water cooler is connected to the video cards, that is a different story to a slightly lesser extent. They should probably still be under 60c with a water cooler, but it doesn't really matter if a video card is at 90c on the sensor.

Video cards are generally up to the task of working at 90c, processors not so much. If my processor was at 90c, I would be worried I did something wrong.

Both of those are drastically impacted by the case's cooling system, though, so if either one of them were that high it could be a case problem and not a problem with their individual cooling components.

If you wouldn't mind, feel free to tell me your case maker/model and your fan number/sizes/orientations too.

Extra 6950 - I would be kinda disappointed if I had the 6950 laying around supposed to be crossfired, but not. Hopefully when we get done here it will be back in the case and working just fine.

SSD - Also should ideally be used for something. You can set the SSD up separately in Windows so that the performance is pretty much equal to how a cache drive works without having to go back and reload the whole system from scratch, though.

To do this, you have to tell Windows to put the page file on the SSD.

To do that, right click my computer, properties, advanced system settings, performance, advanced, virtual memory, change.

The page file is basically something that Windows creates on a hard drive so it can move things between that place and RAM as needed in order to free up RAM space for other things. Windows likes to keep a lot of the RAM free so it can do things more quickly, but it isn't psychic and doesn't know what you are going to do next, so sometimes it puts stuff on a hard drive when you need it like 5 seconds later. Then that thing has to be taken off the hard drive and put back in RAM and something else moved to the hard drive.

If you use the SSD for this, it reduces the transfer time between SSD and RAM as compared to a regular hard drive.

One of the major benefits of the cache/hybrid drive setup is that the RAID knows to put the page file on the SSD (and some other stuff too). That "and some other stuff too" you can't emulate without going back in and redoing everything from scratch, but the page file thing you can do at least without much pain.

Anyway, in that menu, you just have to edit the settings to make sure the page file is located on the SSD. It could require turning the page file off, restarting, and going back in to create a new one on the SSD, though. It shouldn't be more painful than that in the worst case, though. At least you would get back some of the performance then.

Anyway, at this point I think you should go back and get the latest bios and video card drivers from the maker's websites and then try that page file thing I just said and report back with how things are looking afterwards.
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March 31, 2012 6:43:45 PM

Hi Raiddinn,

Here's where I am:
Quote:
So, you are not real interested at this point in reloading the whole system which is understandable. Reinstalling can be a pretty big pain if you aren't used to doing it. I might shy away from it if I hadn't already done like 1000+ windows installs myself.

Debating another re-install. We'll see where this leads.
Quote:
Bigfoot Network Card - You probably don't gain anything from this. I would remove it and just use the one built onto the motherboard as long as the motherboard one works.

Done. Seems to be just fine.
Quote:
Reloaded old BIOS from CD - Normally I wouldn't care so much what BIOS a given motherboard is using if there are no problems, but clearly there are problems. I would download and install whatever the newest BIOS is for that motherboard from their website.
I usually only suggest messing around with BIOS updates and driver updates if there are clear problems with functioning, and not if there is no clear problem. In this case there is one.

Ok, here I may have not been entirely clear. When I received the rig, it had the Award F5 BIOS. This has not changed. The Newest Bios version available is F12, but I am not yet confident about using the Gigabyte @Bios program as there are things I have yet to learn, but I am learning a Lot as I go & seem to recall seeing a lot of people saying Not to use @Bios...
Quote:
Video cards - If you only have one, it should probably be in the top most slot (the one closest to the processor). If you have it in some other slot it could cause a slow down, so if you do then I would suggest switching it to the top most slot.

It was in the bottom, now it is in the top. There are 2 options in the bios regarding this [PCI] or [PCIE16]. It is currently set to [PCI] and I am wondering if it should be on the *16 - or if this will make much of a difference?

RAM... All's well :) 

Quote:
Forgotten things - The computer is kinda sorta working, so probably not.

It seems to be working just fine but with 2 issues: down to 5-10fps playing SW:TOR and CPU Heat.
Quote:
Cyberpower Water Cooler - I would think it is fine if it is attached right. I am not sure what temps are getting up to 90c, but if it is the processor it doesn't sound like it is connected correctly. I would expect even the most basic water cooler on a processor to be able to keep it below 60c at the outside.

Here is where I am getting frustrated: CPU Heat, which is and has been around 80-90c by looking at the bios PC Health. Now, with my Meter, I measure 44c at the Output of the water block using the cooler that was supplied by CP which is apparently this one *Not connected to the vid cards:
I have called them repeatedly for months and have been told that "It's ok! It will shut off if there's a problem." Yesterday they told me to send it back because "If I keep running it, I will void my warranty" :/ 
Man, imho, $275 freight charge just for them to replace a pump is a waste of money which I Could use just to get a better cooling system. Thoughts?
Quote:
Both of those are drastically impacted by the case's cooling system, though, so if either one of them were that high it could be a case problem and not a problem with their individual cooling components.
If you wouldn't mind, feel free to tell me your case maker/model and your fan number/sizes/orientations too.

I have a Coolermaster Hax-X Full tower with 240mm side, top of radiators and front, a bit smaller rear fan, 2 120mm fans under the water radiatior and I think that's it.
Quote:
Extra 6950 - I would be kinda disappointed if I had the 6950 laying around supposed to be crossfired, but not. Hopefully when we get done here it will be back in the case and working just fine.

Still using just 1. Plugging in the other one causes no Vid output. I'm thinking Uninstall the drivers get the onboard working and re-install both at the same time.
Quote:
SSD - Also should ideally be used for something. You can set the SSD up separately in Windows so that the performance is pretty much equal to how a cache drive works without having to go back and reload the whole system from scratch, though.

Done.
Quote:
Anyway, at this point I think you should go back and get the latest bios and video card drivers from the maker's websites and then try that page file thing I just said and report back with how things are looking afterwards.

I am not sure about this part as to the *best* way - but... I have not done my research yet on this. *CP told me that if I do that, the warranty's void as well* But, I have no problem doing it if I need to at this point.

So, to conclude:
I bought this to OC anyway & to run any game in High settings as well as to be able to upgrade if/when needed - From where I am sitting that time may be now... For a 7 month old pc ><

Srry for the wall of text, and TYVM for taking time out of your day to read :) 

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March 31, 2012 7:37:53 PM

Gigabyte @BIOS program... I haven't used it, but I have used the Asus QFlash or whatever the built in thing is that you use during the BIOS splash screen and it went without problems.

In general, updating the BIOS through the key at the BIOS splash screen is the best way to do it. DELL has BIOS updates you run from inside Windows, but otherwise I don't really trust other makers to do that well.

Video card slots - I don't know why it would say something different, but look in your motherboard manual to see if it says which slot you should put the video card in. Most of them work at the highest ability in the top slot, but maybe that board is different. Anyway, the manual should be able to clarify that.

CPU Heat - I am guessing this is why your frame rate sucks. When processors get hot they scale way back to reduce heat levels. That is probably why your performance sucks.

I would honestly suggest just getting a Hyper 212 EVO and putting it on there instead of your current setup. If this gets your temps down to 40c (like it does for everyone else), then you can trash the current cooler or play soccer with it or whatever. The cost of the Hyper 212 isn't expensive, like $40. Better than spending weeks playing around with the current thing if you value your time highly.

Video cards - worry about them after the other stuff is sorted out.

BIOS (again) - It doesn't void your warranty to install a newer BIOS through the splash screen. Just try that. However, you should absolutely make sure (to the greatest extent possible) that you don't have any messups in your power or your PC in general while the BIOS update is running.

Make sure the power doesn't go out if you can (plug PC into an UPS if you have one), make sure nobody trips over a cord, make sure nobody kicks the PC or spills anything on it, or whatever.



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July 9, 2012 9:05:14 PM

Best answer selected by Rustyd79.
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