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Windows 7: Hard disk recognition problems.


09 May 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Hard disk recognition problems.

I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit.

Everything was working fine until yesterday.

Background.
I have a number of drives: two SATA drives run directly off the motherboard, and two more 500Gb drives in a SATA RAID 1 array, set up as logical drive d: (Drive d is my data drive: MyDocuments, MyPictures (>10,000 files) and MyMusic are all on there, and have been since I upgraded from XP to Vista! Run as a RAID 1 to protect against disk crashes. And isn't it ironic?)The controller is a Silicon Image 3132 PCI/e device.

The drive was, as I say, working OK until yesterday and as I have Windows Update set to 'Ask', there would have been no hidden changes to the drivers, or similar.

Events
I have a DVD .iso file which is on the d: drive, and was watching it yesterday having used a freeware program to 'mount' it as logical drive j: The video suddenly went on the fritz (stopping rewinding, fuzzing up) and eventually I had to use Task Manager to stop it. I then found that I could not access my d: drive, and then that it was missing from My Computer.

I rebooted Windows and drive d: reappeared. I decided not to run mounted DVD files again until I'd worked out what the problem was.

This morning, the 'puter was working fine until I had to take a phone call. When I returned to the computer (which had gone to sleep) and awakened it, I could not access drive d: A few quick clicks confirmed it had disappeared again. I have not been able to get it back.

Examination
The drive is not listed in My Computer, nor in Disk Management. (Although I'm not an expert 'under the hood', I've used Disk Management to swap drive labels around, change partitions and so forth.) All other drives are present as they should be.

During power-up, the Silicon Image sub-routine reports that it can see both Drive 0 and Drive 1 of the RAID and correctly gives the information about the physical drives.

After the POST finishes, I get a 'Press F4' to enter the RAID setup. When I do that, I see no reports of errors, it reports a functioning logical drive consisting of the 2 physical disks.

The BIOS set-up screens, however, do not list the disks - even if I press 'F2' after closing the RAID setup.

Device Manager Storage Controllers happily reports the presence of a Silicon Image, and that it is 'working properly'. Disk Drives reports only the other two physical disks.

Actions
I've updated the Silicon Image drivers.
I've disconnected and reconnected:
  • the power and data cables from the drive;
  • the data cables from the PCI card;
  • and removed and reseated the card in its expansion slot.
After checking all the above (including updating the driver from Device Manager>Storage Controllers>SiI3132>Driver>Update driver) I still can't see the logical drive.

Plea for help!
If any more information is needed, I will provide it. In the meantime, anyone got any clue as to how to fix things? (I can't see how the hardware can be defective, unless the software routines checking the hardware is also defective, but after four hours at this, I confess my brain hurts a lot....)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

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 Hard disk recognition problems.




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