|"My cables are latched properly..."|
Good, if that's for both the data cables and the SATA power cables.
Have you tried swapping the SATA data cable used for the hard drive with another one ?
The SATA data cables that came with the mboard would be capable of supporting SATA III max burst data transfer speeds. I don't know if data cables for SATA II or SATA drives would work properly with SATA III drives.
"....chipset drivers were all installed and even updated from the gigabyte website"
The software installed on the hard drive has no effect regarding whether the bios version detects hard drives properly while booting.
There are no bios updates for your mboard model that mention fixing a problem with the bios version detecting hard drives properly.
There are no FAQs for your model that mention the problem.
(Never update your bios version unless the release notes specifically mention fixing a problem you're having. Usually the only legitimate reason for updating the bios version is for it to support recognizing a CPU type your prevent bios version doesn't recognize properly.Never install a BETA (a test version, not a final version) bios update unless it's release notes mention fixing a problem you've having. )
A message while booting "No operating system found" or similar DOES NOT necessarily indicate the bios is not detecting the hard drive.
The bios not detecting a hard drive at all while booting,
- or - the bios detecting it while booting but not detecting that any partition on it is bootable,
are two different situations.
The latter situation can be caused by problems with the data on the hard drive.
E.g. If drive is sometmes found to bootable, if there's nothing wrong with the drive or the Windows installation's data itself, for XP you can usually fix that problem by running fixboot and/or or fixmbr in the Recovery Console.
If the hard drive you installed Windows 7 on had data on it previously, you might need to do something similar.
What are the system recovery options in Windows 7?
See the info about Startup Repair - run it.
"I have done a test using seagate tools and that was fine.
I'm really beginning to think it;s the HDD."
If the hard drive tests fine in the LONG SeaTools test, then there's nothing wrong with it.
Are you using a SATA II or a SATA III hard drive ?
(the one Windows has been installed on)
As I said above....
"Some SATA II conventional desktop hard drives - e.g. at least some Seagate models - come with a jumper installed on them on the back of the drive that limits them to 150 mb/sec "burst" data transfer speed. You must remove the jumper or install it in a different position on pins there in order for the drive to be able to achieve it's full "burst" data transfer speed of 300 mb/sec.
Similar may apply to conventional SATA III hard drives"
I have bought three Seagate SATA II 500 gb drives - all three already had the jumper installed.
For a SATA III drive, if such a jumper is installed, that would limit it to either 150 mb/sec or 300 mb/sec burst data transfer speed
Does your hard drive have such a jumper and/or is it SATA II ?
If yes, I looked at the manual for your mboard. There is one default bios setting that enables SATA III support that MAY cause you problems if the drive can't run that fast.
Integrated Peripherals - OnChip SATA 3.0 support - Enabled (default)
If you are using a SATA II hard drive, whether a jumper is installed on it or not, of if you have a SATA III hard drive that is jumpered to max run slower, you may need to Disable that.
These settings only affect the max burst data transfer speed -
OnChip SATA Type - Native IDE (default) , RAID (SATA RAID), or AHCI (SATA)
= (what I call) the SATA controller mode
(You probably can't use RAID mode or make a RAID array of drives unless you have at least two SATA hard drives connected. If you want to use a RAID array, you must set it up BEFORE you install an operating system.)
OnChip SATA Port 4/5 type .......etc. - IDE (default) or SATA Type- configurable only if
OnChip SATA Type is set to RAID or AHCI
Do you have those two settings set to AHCI and SATA Type ?
I'm assuming that
- the mboard itself is booting fine EVERY TIME you boot the computer - you see normal video while booting BEFORE the hard drive is supposed to be detected, you hear the normal POST beep. If that's not always your case, something else is wrong.
E.g. If you're not always hearing the normal POST beep but you do sometimes, remove the AC power to the case, make sure your ram is fully seated, all your cards in mboard slots are fully seated, and all connectors from the power supply are fully seated in their sockets .
- if you have a video card or video cards installed in (a) mboard PCI-E X16 slot(s), that your system is using a power supply that has at least the minimum recommended wattage capacity that the video chipset(s) on the card(s) require(s).
If you do have one or more such video cards, which one(s) is (are) it (they), what is the max wattage capacity of your power supply ?
- your current voltages shown in the bios Setup for +3.3 v, + 5.0 v. and +12.0 v are within 10% of their nominal values.
- you are not overclocking anything in the bios Setup by changing settings from default values.
What brand is your ram ? We have gotten reports of problems with certain brands e.g. G-Skil, OCZ - when the person is using more than one module The settings the bios has chosen may need to be tweaked
You can have this problem even when a memory diagnostics program finds no problems with your ram.
Some ram manufacturer's modules do not strictly adhere to the JEDEC standards that most mboards bioses use to determine ram settings.
In that case, the ram settings in the bios Setup that the bios has automatically chosen may not be correct.
Check the ram settings in your bios - the ram voltage, and the ram timing numbers - those should be the same as for the specs for the modules themselves. Often the ram voltage and timing numbers are printed on the label on the modules.
If the voltage setting or timings settings in the bios are different from the specs for the ram, change them in the bios. The timing numbers must be as close as you can get to the same, or slower timings (higher numbers = slower) - you won't notice the difference the slower settings make.
If you have a mix of different modules
- don't mix ram that different voltages are specified for - the bios will force the ram to use the lowest voltage, if "by spd" or similar is used (default settings) - ram that a higher voltage is specified for is more likely to not work properly in that situation.
- the bios settings must be those for the slowest timing settings of all the modules, or slower (higher numbers = slower).
Somewhere in the bios you can see displayed the current ram voltage and ram timing settings the bios is set to.
Maybe here ?
MB Intelligent Tweaker - Dram Configuration
DDR3 Timing Items Auto (default)
May need to be set to Manual to display current timing settings ?
By the way...
DTS mode - Unganged (default)
If you have a pair or pairs of matched (identical) modules installed in the proper ram slots, you'll get a slight performance boost it that's set to Ganged
All ram must be pairs in the right slots, otherwise the bios auto uses Unganged mode. .
"Examine your bios settings to see if you can lengthen the time the bios takes to detect hard drives."
...but I've found no such setting in the bios settings in the manual for your mboard model.
GA-990XA-UD3 (rev. 1.x) (home support paqe)