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IDE Device Failure

#1
My motherboard has been doing this randomly for quite a while; what is happening is it boots up, starts the self diagnostics, beeps twice, then skips over the Primary Slave device saying that it was not detected, unfortunately this happens to be my secondary hard drive and it’s vital to my other systems. I can't seem to find the beep code for this error either, I can only assume due to the characteristics of the problem that it must be some kind of IDE device failure or something there about. Powering down the system and restarting solves the problem when it does arise, I'd just like a permanent fix or reassurance that I'm not going to end up losing data.

  • Motherboard:
  • A7N8X Deluxe Rev. 1.04 latest BIOS v1.006
    Hard Drives:
  • Primary Master, Maxtor 30GB, 3 years old
  • Primary Slave, Maxtor 40GB 1 year old (this one fails randomly)
  • Secondary Master: DVD-ROM
  • Secondary Slave: CD-Writer
    Power Source:
  • 350W

/edit
I suspect it could be Asus's Software Division’s false positive on a device failure as well, their software writers are not the best in the world...
 
#2
Possibilities are:

IDE cable -Are you using an 80 pin cable? Can you swap it with another one.

The drive itself - 40 gigs is $40. Why risk data loss? Replace it. Or get a spindle of CD's for $10 and back it up.

The MB - will the slave work with another HD in that spot? Unlikely but if you have multiple slave drives swap one with it.
 
#3
Well, after tearing out the old IDE cable I had and further scrutinizing it, I noticed that it said 150V on the side. I compared this old cable with other newer cables I had that had 300V on the side of them. Observing the insides of the case I took note that my power source is between 115V - 230V thus spikes past 150V possibly were the cause of the malfunction. I've switched the cables over to a new set with 300V rating on it and will be doing some further testing; I am guessing this will fix the problem. Anyone with more knowledge on this phenomenon feel free to give a more technical explanation, otherwise enjoy my speculation.

Thanks for the prompt reply.
 

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