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Strange HDD Error in New Build

Last response: in Systems
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December 7, 2012 1:00:17 AM

Hi everyone,

I am building a basic computer for a friend based off of a barebones deal and parts from Newegg. I've built a few computers before, so I pretty much know how to install everything, proper procedure, etc. However, I am not the most experienced guy in the world, so I was hoping you guys with a lot more experience could help me out.

Let me start with my specs so you know what I'm working with:
BIOSTAR A780L3B 760G Micro ATX Motherboard- Socket AM3
3ghz AMD Athlon II X4 640 Quad Core Processor
2x 4GB Corsair CMX4GX3M1A1333C9 XMS3 DDR3 RAM - PC10666, 1333MHz
EVGA GeForce 9800 GT HDMI 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
1.5 TB 7200RPM WD Caviar Green WD15EZRX
Ultra XBlaster Mid-Tower V2 Case w/ 450 watt PSU
Samsung DVD Burner
Windows 7 Professional
and a few Cougar Vortex fans

So nothing really to write home about, but he just wanted a basic cheap computer that could maybe play a few older games for the kids. Now, here's the issue...

I'm getting a really weird error in BIOS when the computer boots up. I will either get "S.M.A.R.T. command failed" or "3rd Master Hard Disk Error" on boot, or it will boot into Windows and then crash shortly after. I assumed there was an issue with my hard drive, so I used the UBCD4Win CD to run some tests. Every test I ran on the hard drive (defragmenter, HD tune, chkdsk, etc) said the drive was running fine.

To try and determine where the problem was, and if it was really my hard drive that was defective, I unplugged everything except one stick of RAM, the CPU, the hard drive, and the fans. The computer booted up perfectly with no issues, and I booted it up several times just to make sure. I added another stick of RAM. No issues. DVD burner, no issues.

Then, I added the graphics card and immediately got the boot error. Just to be sure, I tried it again. Same error. So, it looks like my computer works perfect until I add the 9800 GT. Do any of you guys know why a graphics card could give the hard drive a SMART error? I think my power supply is powerful enough, because it says it puts out 33 A on the 12 V rail...

Any help would be appreciated! Thank you! (sorry for the long post)
December 7, 2012 3:03:25 PM

Update: I plugged in an Asus 9600 GSO from a spare computer this morning, and it booted up fine as well. I'm thinking there is definitely something wrong with the 9800 card, but I have no idea why it would say there was a hard drive error.
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December 12, 2012 1:40:12 PM

bump
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 12, 2012 2:01:12 PM

Sorry, this is a tough one. Your logical process is sound, you removed everything, added things slowly, and seemed to have isolated the problem component - the video card. Kudos on that.

As to why the video card would generate a disk error I don't know, the only thing I can possibly think of, is what you thought of, power disruption to the hard drive.

Sorry, I got nothing for you. I guess you could try another PSU, or try running with just the hard drive and video card, maybe without any other peripherals power wouldn't be a problem. Good luck.
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December 12, 2012 4:20:55 PM

Thanks for the reply!
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December 12, 2012 4:21:07 PM

Best answer selected by sbeck14.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 12, 2012 7:07:13 PM

Sorry I couldn't be more help, you did what I would have done. Your power supply should be enough, but it is a bit on the weak side.
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 14, 2012 12:55:55 AM

Please post what ever you find out, I am curious.

Thanks.
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