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Mind Boggling Computer Issue

This is a discussion on Mind Boggling Computer Issue within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hey gang, I've got a strange computer issue that has stumped me, and so far my computer science professor as


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Old 11-03-2009, 08:34 PM   #1
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Hey gang, I've got a strange computer issue that has stumped me, and so far my computer science professor as well. I figured there'd be no harm in posting it up here to see if I am missing something. I hope someone can spot something with this problem I am having...

So I built this computer a little over a year ago. The tower came with all but one of the fans, so I installed a cheap little fan in the one slot that didn't have one, which was designed to cool the hard drives more than anything else. Recently, said fan started making an awful amount of noise so I decided to open up my rig, pull it out, and tinker with it a bit. In doing so, I noticed there was a lot of dust build up, so I decided to give all of that a good blow of air to clean it out. No harm in that, right? I didn't think so.

The fan momentarily stopped being a nuisance, but for some reason, the computer decided to take forever to boot up after that little blowing on the inside. Literally, the BIOS screen took about 5 - 10 minutes to boot, all of the temporary black screens between loading screens took multiple minutes instead of several seconds, the Windows XP x64 Edition screen took forever to load (so long in fact that I had to leave, so I just left it on). When I got back, I signed into my account and everything was working fine.

However, the loading at the BIOS screen is was still a problem, so I started running all of my cleaners, spyware detectors, etc, looking for something that might be slugging down the speed of my booting process. After cleaning up a couple of small issues, I decided to reboot the computer again, and sure enough, the loading process took ages. Later that day I discovered my secondary hard drive was no longer being detected. I opened up the computer again and switched around my SATA cables into different connectors, thinking maybe I have connector go bad on the mother board. After doing this the first time, my motherboard failed to detect not only my secondary hard drive, but my DVD rom drive as well. I swapped out the cables into different connectors again and the results were a failure to detect the secondary hard drive, as well as my main hard drive. The DVD rom drive was detected this time. After trying nearly every possible configuration, I failed to get a detection of the secondary hard drive every time, but the other two previously mentioned devices usually were detected.

Is this a motherboard problem? Is my hard drive toast? If so, is there anyway to save the data off of it? What's up with the boot times? I am scratching my head on this one, and it's giving me a headache. Any help would be massively appreciated.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:27 AM   #2
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Post all hardware specs, including power supply wattage and brand.
If its not something simple, you should try doing this.
https://www.techsupportforum.com/f15/...em-262998.html
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:19 AM   #3
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Yes, I should have posted hardware specs in the original post, my bad.

ASUS P5Q SE/R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

Seagate Barracuda ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive (this is the drive with my operating system)

Seagate Barracuda ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive (this is the drive that isn't working atm)

EVGA 896-P3-1260-AR GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Video Card

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model


That pretty much covers the essentials, but if you need anything else, do let me know. Thanks.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:23 AM   #4
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Is the drive identified in BIOS correctly by model and capacity?
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:44 AM   #5
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BIOS doesn't even detect the one that isn't working, the main hard drive is detected properly, yes, as is the DVD rom drive.
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:53 AM   #6
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This drive - ST3500320AS - is a Seagate 7200.11. Your symptoms sound like the classic firmware bug 'bricked drive' issue. Seagate has an online tool where you can enter the serial number to see if this particular drive may be affected. When affected drives fail they are basically dead. There are fixes for DIY, but they are not simple, and if done incorrectly can cause even more damage. Not hard, just requires attention to detail.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:35 PM   #7
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Do you have a link to this tool? I can't seem to find it on the site. I might also call Seagate too since it's still under a limited warranty.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:45 PM   #8
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Support.seagate.com - on the right side, Firmware for 7200.11 link
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:34 PM   #9
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Well, I will give this a shot when I have the chance, unfortunately it is impossible to back up the hard drive since it isn't being detected by my BIOS. I'll just hope for the best, I suppose. Thanks for the info.
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:39 PM   #10
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If it is the 7200.11 error it is effectively a brick until reset and the firmware updated. There are two errors, - in one an internal error log for the drive, stored in the system area overflows and corrupts the next firmware module. This sounds like the one you ar eseeing. module.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:37 AM   #11
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Well, I just tried the firmware update and as I expected, it detected the working hard drive and failed to detect the non-working hard drive, so obviously it didn't download any update and just threw me back to the regular start up procedure.

I think I will call Seagate and see if it's possible to have it shipped in for repairs. I just hope they don't wipe the drives.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:56 AM   #12
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If it is the firmware bug, they will repair and return data intact, if it is NOT the firmware bug, they will simply replace the drive. If it is not the issue they are covering for free then they will charge you for the data recovery.
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:21 AM   #13
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Alright, thanks for that information.
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