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Windows 7: Computer Unable to Detect Drives

22 Jul 2013   #1
Jerald7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
 
 
Computer Unable to Detect Drives

This PC started having erratic behavior, then everything went downhill. Sometimes it will boot up into Windows, but quickly freeze up, with no response at all, no choice but to force reboot. Most of the time it will not reboot at all, giving me a message to select a boot drive. The BIOS appears to be correct, but it seems that the PC cannot detect any drives at all, in order to boot up. I just selected F9 on boot-up, which runs the HP Diagnostic Tools prior to boot-up which gave the following report: CPU checked good, memory checked good, but the Diagnostic Tools gave me an error code BIOHD-2 and said "No drives detected."

I have replaced the optical drive, even tried another hard drive, same result. It seems the PC is losing any way of communicating with all the drives. Occasionally it evidently can detect the drives, but when it does, it boots up, but then freeze up. Most times, it cannot detect any drives at all.

I have removed the CPU, re-seated it, cleared the BIOS, after this did initially make it find the drives. But when it booted up, back to the same freeze up, then unable to find the drives again, so it seems nothing changed.

Could this be a SATA controller failure? If so, will a PCI SATA controller card work to use for all the computer drives, or would it be too slow?


HP Pavilion p6257c
CPU: AMD Athlon II x4 620 Quad-core processor
Memory: 8GB Kingston PC2-6400 DDR2 SDRAM
Hard Drive: Western Digital WD6400AAKS 640GB Caviar Blue Hard Drive
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9100 Integrated Graphics
Optical Drive: ASUS DVD drive
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium SP-1


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
23 Jul 2013   #2
pricetech

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

You don't specifically mention the cables. Did you swap them for known good cables ??
Try your known good HDD with no ODD connected.

Other than that, it does sound like a bad controller on the MoBo.

Good luck with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jul 2013   #3
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

I would advise that you run and check your hard disk drive with WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS. WD Support / Downloads / SATA & SAS / WD Black

How to Run WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS:

New PC Build, Windows 7 doesn't want to install
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

25 Jul 2013   #4
Jerald7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
 
 

I have changed the SATA cables, I took the HDD out and put it into another PC, and my other PC reads the drive fine. I also ran the WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows on this HDD while it was in my other PC. It passed Quick test. So I don't believe the problem is with the HDD.

I also tested the PSU, it tested OK. I also tried a new PSU, but still the same result.

Seems to me it must the the mobo. As old as the PC is, getting a new one is not cost effective, $300 for this old mobo on-line. The 3 year old PC isn't worth that.

If the integrated SATA controller is bad in the mobo, then would a PCIe SATA controller even work, since the mobo may have problems?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2013   #5
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Mate, you can buy a new board for $75, maybe less. You don't need to get an exact replacement. IT would likely require you to re activate w7. Which socket version is your AMD Athlon II x4 ?

Some chips use the same bus on PCI and SATA so a PCI card may be a waste too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2013   #6
Jerald7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
 
 

The mobo is a M2N78-LA (Violet)
Form Factor: Micro-ATX:24.4cm (9.6 inches) x 24.4cm (9.6 inches)
Chipset: NVIDIA GeForce 9100
Front-side bus speed: 5200MT/s (5.2 GT/s)
Socket Type: AM2
Four DDR2 SO-DIMM (240-pin) sockets

There may well be another mobo that would fit this. Anyone with a suggestion?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2013   #7
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Do you need/use the IDE connector? Do you have a separate video card to use?
Sorry, I see it's a floppy connector, do you use it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2013   #8
Jerald7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
 
 

Don't need IDE or floppy. Could get a video card, may even have one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2013   #9
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

OK, be back with some ideas for you shortly.

EDIT: Without getting an AM3 or AM3+ CPU and new DDR3 RAM, this is the only board still available and would drop-in the system.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813157274
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2013   #10
Jerald7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
 
 

Thank you for your information. I had looked at this board, it sounds like it would work from Newegg's description. But at ASRock web site, while they list the Athlon II for the AM3 socket, and it is not included in their list of CPU's for the AM2 socket. It may work, but they do not specifically list it for the AM2.

I'm almost tempted to just look for a USB-3 mobo with a lower end CPU for this machine. I would lose 2 memory slots with this mobo, requiring me to buy larger memory sticks. So if I have to buy memory + mobo, might as well upgrade it a little more, which would increase it's useful life anyway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Computer Unable to Detect Drives




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