Weird BIOS HDD problem

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by RagnaroK, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. RagnaroK

    RagnaroK Must be dreaming...

    Messages:
    673
    Location:
    Australia
    Well… my sister’s computer started acting weird since we had a 1-second power outage late today. My computer’s fine, but my sister’s comp doesn’t detect 2 of the 3 hdds she has at BIOS.
    At one point after the power outage, I checked the insides of the comp and turned it on, and it worked fine as it did before the outage. But when I powered it off, then on again, the same two hdds wouldn’t detect again… I’m not sure what’s up… Any ideas?
     
  2. jonifen

    jonifen pffff...

    Messages:
    705
    Are these two HDDs on the same IDE channel by any chance? If so, try just connecting one of them up and see if it finds that OK first. If it finds this one OK, try connecting the 2nd one up too and see if that finds that one too. If it works from there, good luck with it working next boot :) If not, try it with the other drive on its own.

    If they are connected to different IDE channels, try the same (just connecting one drive and then trying the other). You could also try moving the drives to a different channel - fair enough it is a bit of a pain, but it should sort the problem. If it doesnt though, it could be an RMA jobby (if they're still under warranty of course)
     
  3. RagnaroK

    RagnaroK Must be dreaming...

    Messages:
    673
    Location:
    Australia
    The hdds are on the same channel, so when I'm not busy later, I'll try it out and report back. Thanks jonifen. :D

    Just wondering, what could be the cause of the problem?
     
  4. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

    Messages:
    5,291
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    A power spike could have corrupted the CMOS Bios settings, the Registry, the HD Track 0 Data or damaged hardware (MB or HD). That's why it's a good idea to keep your computer set to not restart after a power outage. Partial power loss can do ugly things.

    Start checking one peice at a time per Rag. above. Hmm, Rag, I need to find a less offensive shortened name than that. Where was I ...

    Oh yeah.

    Check the drives one at a time in another computer so you can give them a clean bill of health (and/or recover their data).

    Check the MB IDE by putting in a known good drive (that you have backed up) and making sure it IDs and reads data ok. If a known good drive does not work reset the MB CMOS Ram and try again. If that didn't work try uninstalling the 2nd IDE channel manually then rebooting so windows reloads the drivers. If that doesn't work start worrying about a dead MB.

    Once the HDs and MB IDE channels are verified good start putting them back in one at a time.

    If once the HDs and MB are proven good and things still don't work in the downed machine I'm stumped. It falls under the freaky failure modes that you never figure out heading.

    Good luck. And if your sister doesn't have one get her a surge suppressor!
     
  5. dreamliner77

    dreamliner77 The Analog Kid

    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Red Sox Nation
    or a ups
     
  6. RagnaroK

    RagnaroK Must be dreaming...

    Messages:
    673
    Location:
    Australia
    Interesting. The option to have it not restart is in BIOS correct?


    Call me anything you want... lol.


    Well, so far, I've checked the HDDs, and it looks like the boot drive doesn't detect in BIOS at all, even in my computer. So I'm assuming its dead. I will check the rest of the hardware, but I'm hoping that's the only thing that died. Anyway, if the drive doesn't detect in BIOS, is there anyway to resurrect it, or is it gone?

    Thanks for all the help guys. :D
     
  7. dreamliner77

    dreamliner77 The Analog Kid

    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Red Sox Nation

    No, it is in windows. My computer>sys properties>advanced>startup & recovery> settings


    As for the hdd, check the manufacturers site for testing utils.
     
  8. RagnaroK

    RagnaroK Must be dreaming...

    Messages:
    673
    Location:
    Australia
    New update. Even though I said that the "supposed" dead HDD doesn't detect on my computer, it seems that it does now, and properly too. I can also transfer files to/from it no problems and I ran Seagate's diagnostic tools to check if the drives is alright, and it seems that way. But it still doesn't detect on my sister's computer. That means...?
     
  9. dreamliner77

    dreamliner77 The Analog Kid

    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Red Sox Nation
    Reset the BIOS to default.

    Make sure auto detect is set.
    If it is and still not detecting, try setting it manually.
     
  10. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

    Messages:
    5,291
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    There is an option in my Giga. 7VRXP Bios for "restart on power application" under power management. This appears to be rare (my other 3 MB's don't have it).
    There is also an option in windows to "restart after failure" like Timeliner said.
    Check both.

    I just spent 3 miserable hours messing up a new HD install. My network function disappeared even though the bios said it was Enabled.

    I finally got everything back by selecting restore defaults in BIOS. All I can figure is I might have hit the power switch during the BIOS POST or when it was still saving CMOS settings and hosed the CMOS, even though all settings were correct when I viewed them. Give that a try if you haven't.


    And if you do get it working again - I'd run a burn in on that drive for a while before I trusted any data on it.
     
  11. RagnaroK

    RagnaroK Must be dreaming...

    Messages:
    673
    Location:
    Australia
    Interesting, that actually worked... My sis's boot drive actually detects and boots now. I've gotta write that down somewhere... Thanks dreamliner77 and LeeJend for ya help (and jonifen too). Appreciate it! :D

    Got an example of such a burn-in program?
     
  12. dreamliner77

    dreamliner77 The Analog Kid

    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Red Sox Nation
    Glad you got it sorted
     
  13. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

    Messages:
    5,291
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Sisoft Sandra has a burn in wizard. It lets you run benchmarks on each peice of your system individually or bunches together. You can set how many times it runs and whether it does it full time as a torture test or in background as a stability check.

    AND there is a free version. :)

    http://www.sisoftware.net/?location=update