Win7 Ult, 64 Bit - SATA HD keeps disappearing in Windows


I have a PC with 3 HDDs in it: two WD 1TB SATAs, and 1 Maxtor 500MB SATA.

All drives are detected by BIOS, but, when Windows comes online, it only sees the two WD drives. I can go into the Drive Manager and get the Maxtor to show up by hitting Action -> Rescan Drives, after which it successfully shows up, but, if I reboot, the drive again disappears, and I have to go through the Drive Manager all over again. Event log shows nothing, and this is a brand new Dell with all Windows updates. Any suggestions?
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  1. Rescan the drives so the Maxtor appears, then download SeaTools. This is Seagate's hard drive diagnostic utility (should work for Maxtor drives as well, since Seagate bought Maxtor a number of years ago). Run the SMART, Short DST, Long DST, Short Generic and Long Generic tests and see if any of them fail. If you do get any failures reported, replace the drive.
  2. Passed all four tests fortunately (or unfortunately?).

    Additionally, I found that, whenever I perform the rescan drive operation in the drive manager, or I select "Scan for Hardware Changes" in the device manager (which also picks up the drive in Windows), I get a pop-up in the system tray that says "Storage Device Connected - A storage device was connected. If this device is a port multiplier, only port 0 of the port multiplier will be active".

    Not sure if this changes how I should approach this issue, but it almost seems like windows might not know what it is that's plugged into this SATA port.
  3. Check the SATA connector on the maxtor drive for any damage, then try using a different SATA cable from the hard drive to the motherboard.
  4. Perhaps the port it's connected to is flaky. Try using a different SATA port?
  5. No visible damage on the HD or SATA port on the mobo. I just tried replacing the SATA cable, but met with no success....very strange...
  6. Have you tried enabling the "show empty drives" options in win 7 config?

    There's a sticky about win7 tips with a how to do that.

    That was the first thing that came to my mind
  7. I'll try using another SATA port, but, I'll have to unplug one of the drives, as the rest of them are all occupied.

    Unfortunately, disabling the "hide empty drives" option didn't help. Thank you for the suggestion, though!
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