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Old 3rd January 2011   #1
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Pheniox BIOS loses SATA hard drive intermittently


My computer (HP Pavillion a6763w) with ECS NETTLE 3 motherboard is about 2 yrs old. Sometimes, the boot up fails to recognize my SATA internal hard drive. When I check my BIOS the hard drive is missing and only the CD drive is shown. After using a boot CD, a couple times, the BIOS sees the hard drive. I not sure if it is related to this problem, but sometimes the PC won't finish loading the desktop before it locks-up. Sometimes, I can go all day without a lock-up. At times, it locks after having it sleep for a few hours.

I have swapped CD and harddrive cable, swapped back now. I have tried to save BIOS setting after harddrive is found. Saves ok, but did not correct the problem. I have worked with HP tech support and now the PC is out of warranty and they won't help. Worked with MicroSoft Windows tech support about locking up and it reloaded Windows Vista Home Premium x64. Still locks-up. Each time it locks I have to do a power reset, and most of the time the harddrive is missing from CMOS/BIOS.

I have installed Uniblue Suite and ran registery clean, speedupmypc, and driver update. I am still having the problems. I have used MicroSoft Fixit, as well. NO joy.

Can someone help me put an end to this problem??? Please!!


Last edited by neptune49; 3rd January 2011 at 21:48. Reason: Additional information
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Old 3rd January 2011   #2
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Welcome to BBS,
First, do not run any more registry cleaners they can do more harm than good.

As the Bios is sometimes missing the hard drive that would suggest a physical fault, most probably in the hard drive. What error message do you get on screen when boot up fails.

I would run diagnostics from the hard drive manufacturer. Select the manufacturer from the list below and download the diagnostics ISO file for CD. You will then need to burn the ISO image to a CD using image burning software. Put the CD in the drive, reboot, and follow the prompts to run a scan. You need to set the CD drive to 1st in the boot order.

ExcelStor: http://www.excelstor.com/eng/support.php?sub_id=3

Hitachi/IBM: http://www.hitachigst.com/support/downloads/

Samsung: http://www.samsung.com/global/busine...ort_HUTIL.html

Toshiba: http://sdd.toshiba.com/main.aspx?Pat...twareUtilities

Seagate, Maxtor & Quantum:http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads

Western Digital:http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?lang=en

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Old 4th January 2011   #3
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I generally relate a "disappearing drive" with a problem or damage to the boot sector on the HDD.

Try running Error Checking (CHKDSK) on the Windows drive. I am sure I have seen information on the HP website for running CHKDSK from their installation disk/system if you can't set it to run from Windows (you might try booting into Safe Mode). Let me know if you want me to help you find the information.

It could possibly be repaired by deleting the Windows (boot) partition and remaking it before installing Windows again, but HP have restrictive methods of installation.

HP will have a HDD testing system, read in your manual/User Guide or at their website, it might be in the BIOS settings.

It might be something simple, it might be physical damage to the surface of the disk in the boot sector or it might be something in-between.

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Old 4th January 2011   #4
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I had a similar problem with a almost new WD HD 808 GIG, I did all the Diagnostic tests and the drive had come up OK every time.
I then bought a SATA to IDE converter and connected it via IDE cable to a IDE connector on the board and it worked OK.
I have since changed the Motherboard and have been running this same HD for almost 5 month with no problems.

In my case I believe that I had a faulty SATA controller on the Motherboard.

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Old 4th January 2011   #5
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You could also look into Event Viewer for some clues.

The BIOS problem shows a hardware error either at disk or motherboard level. If you can lay your hand on another SATA drive, just plug it in & see if it is recognised properly by the system or not. You would have to power off/reboot the system many times & check for the hard disk in BIOS. If BIOS properly detects the hard disk everytime, there is problem with your current hard disk else with your motherboard.

On a related note, tried changing the power cable ?

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Old 12th January 2011   #6
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Thanks for all of the great ideas. I have found that be resetting my RAM the problem was corrected. Who would have thought of that???

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Old 12th January 2011   #7
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Thanks for help. Problem turned out to be bad RAM connection.

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Old 12th January 2011   #8
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Problem solved


Found problem. Bad RAM connection. Resetted RAM and no more problems, for a week now. Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions. I will be here for any information.

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Old 12th January 2011   #9
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Please mark your thread as 'Resolved'.

Quote:
It is considered courteous to post a reply if you have been able to resolve your problem, or received an answer to your question. If you were given multiple suggestions/solutions, it is also helpful if you would list the solution that worked for you.

Once you have posted those details, when still looking at your thread, near the top of your thread you'll see Thread Tools. Click the down arrow to expand the drop down menu, at the bottom of it you'll see Mark this thread as solved. Click on it to mark your thread as solved.

If later you find that the problem has returned, and you had previously marked your thread as solved, follow the steps above. Instead 'Mark this thread as solved' you will see that in this case Mark this thread as unsolved is listed.

Please read the User Guide for more information.

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Old 12th January 2011   #10
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Originally Posted by neptune49 View Post
My computer (HP Pavillion a6763w) with ECS NETTLE 3 motherboard is about 2 yrs old. Sometimes, the boot up fails to recognize my SATA internal hard drive. When I check my BIOS the hard drive is missing and only the CD drive is shown. After using a boot CD, a couple times, the BIOS sees the hard drive. I not sure if it is related to this problem, but sometimes the PC won't finish loading the desktop before it locks-up. Sometimes, I can go all day without a lock-up. At times, it locks after having it sleep for a few hours.

I have swapped CD and harddrive cable, swapped back now. I have tried to save BIOS setting after harddrive is found. Saves ok, but did not correct the problem. I have worked with HP tech support and now the PC is out of warranty and they won't help. Worked with MicroSoft Windows tech support about locking up and it reloaded Windows Vista Home Premium x64. Still locks-up. Each time it locks I have to do a power reset, and most of the time the harddrive is missing from CMOS/BIOS.

I have installed Uniblue Suite and ran registery clean, speedupmypc, and driver update. I am still having the problems. I have used MicroSoft Fixit, as well. NO joy.

Can someone help me put an end to this problem??? Please!!
The problem was the RAM needed to be reseated in the edge connectors.

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