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[SOLVED] HDD comes and goes.

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] HDD comes and goes. within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have a second physical HDD that intermittently disappears from my BIOS. Sometimes the BIOS can see it, and sometimes


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Old 12-29-2008, 01:32 PM   #1
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I have a second physical HDD that intermittently disappears from my BIOS. Sometimes the BIOS can see it, and sometimes it can't.

What could the problem be, and what can I be testing to narrow it down?

It's a SATA drive. I imagine it could be the drive itself failing (though I wouldn't expect the drive to come back), it could be the SATA cable, and it could be the SATA port on the motherboard.

To test whether its the drive, I'm going to pull the drive and put it in an external HDD case to see if I can read it there.

If that works, then what? Have I listed all the possible options? Swapping out the cable would be easy. The port would be harder - I suspect my motherboard has more SATA ports (I'm using two of them right now) but I can't seem to find them. I'm worried they might be hidden by my video cards.
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:55 PM   #2
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Why not run this drive against the hard drive utility from the disk manufacturer? Since you didn't list the manufacturer, here is a list of utilites you can consider trying:


Hard Drive Utilities
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:39 PM   #3
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I'll poke around with those, thanks.

It's a Seagate drive.

I can now not get the BIOS to detect it at all. So, I've pulled the drive and dropped it into a USB HDD enclosure so I can carry it around and have people look at it.

When I plug it into a machine (I've tested this with both Vista and XP and they do the same thing) the OS seems to assign the drive a drive letter but then any attempt to access that drive never gets anywhere. Windows Explorer just stalls if I ask it to show me the available drives. Accessing the assigned drive letter from a command prompt never returns a response.

It's this last one I find most telling. If, from a command prompt, I select a drive that exists (like C) then that works. If I select a drive that doesn't exist (like K) then I get "The system cannot find the drive specified" and if I choose an empty DVD drive I get "The device is not ready". But, if the next available drive letter when I connect the external HDD is F: then trying to select F: from the command prompt produces no result. I never get a response if I try to select F:

Edit: And now that it looks like an entirely different problem (it isn't, just the symptoms have changed so dramatically) I wonder if my now completely irrelevant subject header will confuse people.
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:42 AM   #4
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So, ultimately it looks like it was just badly corrupt data somewhere. As an external drive, I managed to get an XP machine to read it long enough to format it, and since the format the drive works great.

Vista just takes so long to do anything by the time it's ready to work the problem has become terminal.
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:58 AM   #5
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Glad you are up and running. Have a great day!
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