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I have a new 20 gb drive on the primary ide controller of an ASUS p4S533 motherboard with a 1.5 gh CPU running Windows XP Pro. It has a 400 watt power supply. When I turn on the computer the first time each day, it won't detect the hard drive (I get a non-system disk error). It does detect the cdrom drive on the secondary IDE controller both are in the master position). If I wait 20 minutes and then do a soft boot, it finds it, and it finds it the rest of the day. I am wondering whether this is a drive problem or a board problem. The problem has gotten worse since it got cold, and the computer is kept in a cold room, but it oesn't seem to matter if I heat the room or not.

This is what I've tried so far: I've put the drive settings in the bios manually; I've changed out the IDE cable, I've moved the drive to a different power connector, and I've updated the motherboard BIOS. This weekend, I followed some suggestions from people online and tried a few more things:
I tried the WD drive on the secondary controller; the same thing happened. I tried booting up with a different hard drive (an old 2 gb Windows 95 drive) and that drive booted fine. When I reconnected the WD drive, I got the same error (sometimes the BIOS detects the drive but says it failed). I ran Western Digital's diagnostic program (extended version) and it reported no errors on the drive.

I'd appreciate any suggestions.
 

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Sometimes, depending on the BIOS, it'll initialize before the disk is ready. You can enable the memory check to slow down the disk test. Of course, it's been several years since I've seen that problem, so I'd also agree with the advice of keeping good backups! :)
 
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