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Windows 7: hard drive disappearing

19 Aug 2010   #1
JTHEWOLF

windows 7
 
 
hard drive disappearing

ok so, the last 2 weeks at random intervals. my D (back up) drive has been just disappearing and the only way to get it back is to restart.

the only time you notice is when a file cannot be found or if you look in my computer.

the Device Manager does not show anything either, even after a scan for hardware changes.

its been 100% until now. gladly nothing important runs from that drive but the fact of having to restart every time it occurs does get a little annoying.

anyone got any ideas?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
19 Aug 2010   #2
Petey7

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

Have you tried reseating the drive? Disconnect all cables attached to it, then reconnect them. Also disconnect the SATA cable from the motherboard and reattach it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2010   #3
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

I assume that the "D drive" is your second internal 250GB SATA HDD. Correct?

If your SATA configuration in the BIOS is set as AHCI then windows will recognize the internal drives as removable. This is normal. But it may also allow a condition where the system could take the drive offline automatically. You want to check some settings to eliminate this as a possibility.

Answering some questions could help, plus some other things to check (Keep in mind that Dell often uses a "User Restricted" BIOS - some or all of the settings below may not be available to you):
  • Have you ever made any changes to the settings in the BIOS?
  • Go into your BIOS and check and to see that both drives are recognized in the Storage Configuration section.
  • In BIOS, note the SATA controller mode. Is it set on ACHI, or IDE mode? (Don't change anything, just note it).
  • Back in Windows, open Device Manager > Disk Drives. Both HDDs should show here.
  • Open Computer Management > Disk Management. Both HDDs should show here. Both drives should be marked "Online".
  • While in Disk Management, Right click on the second drive, choose "Properties" > go to the "Policies" tab > and check: "Better Performance" and "Enable Write Caching" if not selected already.
  • Run the Windows Experience Index. (This will test the drives and sometimes resets things if they've changed)
Worst case you could be dealing with a bad Sata cable, Bad SATA socket, a failing hard drive, or a failing Sata controller/motherboard. But that's worst case.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

20 Aug 2010   #4
JTHEWOLF

windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Petey7 View Post
Have you tried reseating the drive? Disconnect all cables attached to it, then reconnect them. Also disconnect the SATA cable from the motherboard and reattach it.
yup tried that and with some spare cables i have
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2010   #5
JTHEWOLF

windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
I assume that the "D drive" is your second internal 250GB SATA HDD. Correct?

If your SATA configuration in the BIOS is set as AHCI then windows will recognize the internal drives as removable. This is normal. But it may also allow a condition where the system could take the drive offline automatically. You want to check some settings to eliminate this as a possibility.

Answering some questions could help, plus some other things to check (Keep in mind that Dell often uses a "User Restricted" BIOS - some or all of the settings below may not be available to you):
  • Have you ever made any changes to the settings in the BIOS?
  • Go into your BIOS and check and to see that both drives are recognized in the Storage Configuration section.
  • In BIOS, note the SATA controller mode. Is it set on ACHI, or IDE mode? (Don't change anything, just note it).
  • Back in Windows, open Device Manager > Disk Drives. Both HDDs should show here.
  • Open Computer Management > Disk Management. Both HDDs should show here. Both drives should be marked "Online".
  • While in Disk Management, Right click on the second drive, choose "Properties" > go to the "Policies" tab > and check: "Better Performance" and "Enable Write Caching" if not selected already.
  • Run the Windows Experience Index. (This will test the drives and sometimes resets things if they've changed)
Worst case you could be dealing with a bad Sata cable, Bad SATA socket, a failing hard drive, or a failing Sata controller/motherboard. But that's worst case.
where ever i look at the HDD status be it in the BIOS, device manager, everest etc its recognised as an internal HDD exactly as it was before all the issues.

the only changes to the BIOS i have made is by flashing it a while back with an update but everything worked after that fine.

the controller is ACHI mode

in policies the enable write caching is ticked, but there is not better performance box.

run the test, nothing new to report.


myself i believe it is a failing motherboard due to the other issues i have too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2010   #6
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Try ticking the "Better Performance" box for both hard drives. Just to test. You can always go back.

Having the drives configured for "Quick Removal" may be all that allows the behavior to occur.

Worth a shot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2010   #7
JTHEWOLF

windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
Try ticking the "Better Performance" box for both hard drives. Just to test. You can always go back.

Having the drives configured for "Quick Removal" may be all that allows the behavior to occur.

Worth a shot.
worth it, but still not good :/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2010   #8
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Just checking, sorry if this is obvious, but you are restarting the computer after making the properties changes to do the test, right?

Hate to see it be a bad MB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2010   #9
JTHEWOLF

windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
Just checking, sorry if this is obvious, but you are restarting the computer after making the properties changes to do the test, right?

Hate to see it be a bad MB.
yeah after any change ill do a restart

id hate for that too but i think there's a 95% that its the MOBO :/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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