Boot drive disappeared, then back as non-SATA

February 13, 2011 at 15:02:21
Specs: Windows Vista
Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer.

Two days ago I "installed" a new Seagate Free Agent 1.5TB external hard drive and then set it to back up my primary internal drive (C:) and then went to bed. The next morning, I find out the back up failed for some reason. I leave the room and come back a little later and the machine had rebooted, but on the reboot the bios could not detect the C: drive. And or course, it wouldn't boot Windows without it (I'm using Vista).

The PC (a Dell Dimension E520) is about 4 years old. I figure maybe the drive just failed. I went to buy a new one (Seagate Barracuda 7200 rpm 500GB drive). I put the new drive in and then swtiched the "bad" drive to the secondary position. The "bad" drive was originally connected to SATA 0, so I put the new one at 0 and put the bad on at SATA 5. I have two optical drives at 1 and 4.

When I started the PC up again, the bios detected both drives, but said there were "no sata drives detected." It also said there was a floppy read seeker error, or something to that effect. Of course, I don't actually have a floppy drive. I could hit F1 to continue, or F2 for setup. F1 actually allows me to continue and the PC boots from the C: drive and launches windows.

I'm not sure what the original problem was, but now it seems that something else is wrong. Its obviously not a huge deal, since I can boot into windows after hitting F1, but I don't like the fact that the BIOS thinks my two drives are non-SATA. Strange.

Can anyone offer any advice?

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February 13, 2011 at 21:37:07
Boot to the BIOS (setup) and see if the date is right. It sounds like for whatever reason the BIOS reverted back to default. If that is the case you may need to reset the hard drive configuration. I can't tell you what the settings should be. Possibly either AHCI or an IDE compatibility mode.

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February 14, 2011 at 08:20:27
Thanks OtheHill, I will look into that tongith when I get back from work. However, I have some memory of checking the time in the BIOS and it being correct (at least I know the date was correct). But I will double check.

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