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Primary Harddrive some times is not being recognized by Bios

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Primary Harddrive some times is not being recognized by Bios

Postby TCAS on Thu Nov 13, 2003 3:03 am

Recently my sytem start beheaving strainged, some times the primary Harddrive (Maxtor 30GB) is not being reconized by bios(The bios shows the drive as maxtor with different part number) and the system does go to the proper booting process. This happen one or two out of ten times start or restarting. System with following configuration has always worked fine and flawlessly before.

O/S WindowsXP
Primary IDE Controller: Maxtor 30GB(Master)/Maxtor 30GB(Slave)
Secondry IDE Controller: Lite-On LTR52246S(Master)/Linte-On LTR52246S (Slave).

I have upgraded the bios to latesed one with no avail. I am thinking may be the harddrive cable gone bad and has to be replaced. Does anyone have any idea or solution to this problem?.

Thanks,
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Postby UALOneKPlus on Thu Nov 13, 2003 1:41 pm

replace the IDE cable.
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Postby tazdevl on Thu Nov 13, 2003 2:53 pm

UALOneKPlus wrote:replace the IDE cable.


Before we spend someone else's money let's get a better feel for the situation.

If it just started recently, IDE cable isn't too likely a cause unless you've been plugging and unplugging the cable a lot. IDE cables typically don't just go bad unless you introduced some kind of mechanical force to it. If it was bad from the get go, this behavior would have been seen earlier.

Overclocking? If so, clock it down or set the AGP/PCI divider to fixed if you can... worst case find a divider that gets it as close to spec (33MHZ as possible). The behavior you are seeing can happen due to saturation of the IDE bus when overclocking.

I'd be sure to back up the important info you have on the drive... it could be two other things.

One is that the motherboard is starting to go... the other option is that the drive is starting to die. In both cases you can lose data due to data corruption (bad IDE controller on the board) or drive failure. So buy some CDRs or DVDR/Ws and start backing stuff up.
Last edited by tazdevl on Thu Nov 13, 2003 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TCAS on Fri Nov 14, 2003 4:08 am

I am not over clocking and therefore satuaration of IDE during over clocking is not possible. The motherboard does not show any sign of degrading or dieing because the second drive as slave is connected to the same IDE controller as the master drive is and recognation of that drive by bios is no problem.

And last the drive (primary master) itself has no trouble because except for the bios recognition at booting tiime all other functional spect of it is flawless and trouble free.
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Postby flash on Fri Nov 14, 2003 12:41 pm

Did you try to turn off auto detect for your IDE devices in the BIOS and
check your boot sequence.
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Postby tazdevl on Fri Nov 14, 2003 9:57 pm

That helps...

The drive could still be going. Some drives go boom, others hang in there for a while but exhibit erratic behavior like you['re seeing. In some instances the behavior can lead to data corruption, other cases it doesn't.

The motherboard could still be going as well, specifically the southbridge chipset with controls IDE functions.

Have you tried installed the latest chipset drivers? If not, give it a whirl.

Without knowing the motherboard in question... it's difficult to center on any particular component.
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Postby TCAS on Sat Nov 15, 2003 12:09 am

I have updated the motherboard bios and the VIA chipset drivers. The motherboard is Soyo KT333 with no raid.another experiement I might do to seperate the two hard drive from the same IDE Controller (Mater & Slave) and have primary drive as master with one Lite-on CD-RW as slave, and another drive as secondry master with another Lite-On CD-RW as slave in the IDE controllers respectively.
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Postby tazdevl on Sat Nov 15, 2003 4:45 pm

Are the drives jumpered manually (slave/master) or set to cable select. Might want to try rejumpering... so if it's manual, try cable and vice versa.
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Postby TCAS on Sat Nov 15, 2003 9:59 pm

I did change the IDE Controller (Primary) Cable, rearranged the jumpers setting and tried select cable also, but the main problem is when I reboot or restart the computer the system bios does not go through the sequances of booting, I have to push the restart button on the case few time to force the system to boot.
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Postby TCAS on Sun Nov 16, 2003 2:02 am

I did finally resolved the problem by step by step troubleshouting. The problem was with corrupted last upgarde Bios, I did reflash to previous version of Soyo Bios and every thing turn to be OK and systems now function normally or aleast for now.
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Postby TCAS on Sun Nov 16, 2003 3:06 pm

Tazdelv;

Slowly I am reaching the conclusion that you were probably right in your analysis that this problem of "Primary Harddrive" not being recognized may be centered in two area, either harddrive is dieing out or the IDE Controller in motherboard is going bad. This morning again the system at first turn on the bios failded to recognizes the booting(primary) harddive and I had to go in to the CMOS and force the bios several time to finally recognizing the drive.

I am in process of backingup the data and then switch the two dive (primary to secondry and secdry to primary) and reinstalled windows and everything in in new primary drive if the problem presist again then the IDE controller in motherbaord is going bad otherwise the the first harddrive is dieing out. will report the progress later.
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Postby lightningbaron on Sun Nov 16, 2003 4:59 pm

Just two weeks ago at the office, I had a similar situation with a Dell OptiPlex GX150, intermittently it was recognized by BIOS. The hard drive had to be replaced.

Backing up your data sounds like a plan.
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Postby TCAS on Sun Nov 16, 2003 10:05 pm

I just run the Maxtor Dignostic Utility (PowerMax) on the drive that has recognition problem (Primay Booting Drive), all the results came OK and dignosis indicate the drive is error and trouble free. I still might go for the switching the two drives to make sure if the drive is Ok if that so, then I might concentrate on motherboard IDE controller going bad.

P.S. I just notice that when I try to shut the system off the computer goes in to rebooting cycle instead of being shutdown.
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Postby cfitz on Sun Nov 16, 2003 10:24 pm

TCAS wrote:I just run the Maxtor Dignostic Utility (PowerMax) on the drive that has recognition problem (Primay Booting Drive), all the results came OK and dignosis indicate the drive is error and trouble free.

Unfortunately, that doesn't necessarily indicate that the drive is healthy.

I had a couple of IBM DeskStar drives ( :x :evil: ) go bad on me this past year. Both were making repeated, horrible zzzzttt-ding sounds as the drives slammed the heads against the stops. It was clearly evident that the drives were failing, but the drive diagnostics insisted everything was hunky-dory. That is, they reported that until the repeated internal head slamming damaged the heads and data were lost. Then the diagonostics reported that the drive had been subjected to excessive shock. Yeah, excessive shock alright, but not due to user absue. It was due to the drive itself malfunctioning.

What a sweet scam they programmed into the drive firmware: when failure is imminent, put the drive into "beat itself to a bloody pulp mode", then deny warranty service because the internal accelerometers registered the excessive shock from the drive's self-flagellation. :-? :x :evil:

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Postby dodecahedron on Sun Nov 16, 2003 10:46 pm

hey, cfitz, can you give a URL to the drive utility for the IBM DeskStar ?
i couldn't find a link in the manufacturer's site.
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Postby cfitz on Sun Nov 16, 2003 10:55 pm

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies took over IBM's discontinued hard drive business:

http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm#DFT

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Postby dodecahedron on Sun Nov 16, 2003 11:05 pm

thanks.
yeah, i know, and i've been to that website but must've missed the page with the utility download.

cheers.
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Postby cfitz on Sun Nov 16, 2003 11:14 pm

You're welcome.

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Postby TCAS on Fri Nov 21, 2003 8:27 am

Still the problem remains the same, at cold start the bios not recognizes the booting hardrive (primariy master harddrvive ) but no problem with slaved harddrive ( in the same IDE Controller).

The primary harddrive except for this problem shows no sign of any dysfuctioal performances. The none recognitioh of booting drive is often at the cold start of the system after that (when with several atempt at CMOS force it to be recognized) the system works fine and reboot with no difficulty.

I hate to guess that the primary harddrive is dieing out when functional performances of the drive is trouble free so far. If concetntrate on problem with Primary IDE Controller ( Motherboard problem) then why there is no difficulty with primary slave drive recognition?.
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Postby TCAS on Thu Nov 27, 2003 2:49 am

As I anticipated before, I decided to narrow down the troubleshooting between the Motherboard and the Hardrive (the primary master that not being recognized by bios).

First I decided to start with harddrive, where I switched the primary mater drive with primary slave drive, in this case bios again did not recognized the primary slave drive(formerly primary master) but the drive on primary master (formerly slave) was alright and recognized.

I did go tonight to Maxtor WEB site and PMAed the drive for replacement since the drive still is under warrenty until December 7, 2004. I thought for those that are interested in this type hardware problem I let them know what has happen so far. Will inform more later.
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Postby CDRecorder on Thu Nov 27, 2003 4:18 am

Thanks for letting us know. I hope your new drive works well!
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