VERY ODD Hard Disk non-boot Issue ?!?!?!

Macintosh / G5 1.8 powerpc
August 2, 2011 at 16:00:31
Specs: XP , Intel
Folks...

In a Dell Inspiron Desktop with an MA785R mobo and a SATA drive

When the computer boots after being Powered OFF...the screen reports that it cannot find a bootable device.

HOWEVER...it shows (in a listing of all sata connection appearing below the message) that the drive at sata0 IS installed.

IF, upon boot....I hit F2 to go directly into the bios settings....then simply F10, exit, and restart....it boots FINE to WIndows (Windows 7)...just like always.

Note: I don't have to change any of the settings...I just have to go into the settings then restart.

AND...if I restart Without powering down...it will boot to Windows just fine.

But, again, when booting after being turned completely OFF, it will do the same thing (have to boot to bios, then exit and restart).

I Have Tried removing the CMOS battery to reset every back to factory...but it does the same thing.

Any help greatly appreciated.- THANKS

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#1
August 2, 2011 at 16:03:48
P.S. - Forgot to mention that the date and time are retained...(the pc only a couple of years old)....it seems to be retaining BIOS settings just fine.

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#2
August 2, 2011 at 17:40:22
Can you put a delay on the hard drive? Maybe it is spinning up a bit slow, or timing out.
Might try a different drive, just for the fun. See what happens. It doesn't need to boot into Windows completely, drivers are not an issue at the moment.

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#3
August 2, 2011 at 19:18:02
I doubt you will have an option to delay hard drive seek but if so, set it to the max. Sounds like your drive may be startng to fail. Run a fitness test from the drive manufacturer on it.

Try re-seating the data cable on the drive too. Folding a SATA cable too tightly can degrade the signal.


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Related Solutions

#4
August 2, 2011 at 19:47:49
Did it ever work correctly? Do you do something and then it didn't work?

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.


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#5
August 3, 2011 at 18:36:26
I have tried different cables and also using the other sata connectors on the board...with the same results.

The thing about booting from being powered off AND going into the BIOS.....you HAVE to go into the BIOS setup first.....then rebooting thereafter will work...as long as you don't power it off.

But, if you start after being powered off.....but DON'T go in to the bios (which will result in that no boot device error)...then restart.....it will still go to the error.

You HAVE to F2 into the BIOS settings then F10/Exit out ....to get it to boot. Then rebooting thereafter (can't power down) will work.

I'll try another hard drive tomorrow just to see if the same thing happens.

Thanks

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#6
August 3, 2011 at 19:06:43
As modify pointed out, the drive may not be spinning up fast enough. When you do the F2 stuff the drive then has time to spin up.

I recommended above that you perform a drive fitness test. The drive may be failing. Do you have S.M.A.R.T. enabled in the BIOS?


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#7
August 3, 2011 at 20:19:47
In addition to the above recommendations, what mode is the sata set to ? Could it be set to raid 0, 1, etc. ? Also, what is the boot order in the bios ?

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#8
August 6, 2011 at 14:57:17
If the issue is spin-up time....would that be ruled out by a warm-boot?

When the error message about no bootable volume found occurs (but it does see the drive).....I can wait a few moments....then press ctrl-alt-delete to reboot (since that allows a fresh boot...with the drive already at normal speed)...but the error still occurs after this warm, drive-spinning reboot (unless I go into the bios settings first).


I have done a Factory restore....updated the BIOS on the MOBO...and proceeded to the items below:


This mobo has 2 drive modes ( ATA or AHCI ). Default is AHCI....I tried ATA. The no-boot message does not appear...but the drive just continually reboots.

Have also tried other cables....tried other sata connections on the board....and changed the BOOT order around (HD first...CD first....etc).....with the same results.

NOTE: Other Odd Results: Using another Dell almost identical to this one (same HD, case, name, etc...except that it had an intel processor/mobo...this one has amd)....I can swap the drives. The other drive boots fine in this computer....and....the drive from this problem computer boots fine in the OTHER PC.

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And just to restate the original issue...

Windows 7 Home Premium

If you start after being powered off.....but DON'T go in to the bios, the error will occur. I can do a WARM boot and the error will still occur after restarting.

You HAVE to F2 into the BIOS settings then Exit out (NOTE...exiting with "save" or "discard" does not matter)....to get it to boot...and it boots just fine...and runs fine. WARM Rebooting thereafter (can't power down) will result in it booting and running normally.

THANKS Very much for any help with this very puzzling issue.

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#9
August 6, 2011 at 15:54:08
Is the SATA drive a SATA II or SATA I?

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#10
August 13, 2011 at 11:17:24
I am not sure...it is less than 2 years old, so I'm assuming it would be II (?)

I did d/l Seagate utilities and ran all of the extended tests...everything checked out fine.

HOWEVER...since getting the machine to boot is a very minor work-around (the F2 then esc / exit process only adds about 10 seconds or so to the boot time....and even that's only needed when booting after a shutdown)....we just decided to live with it.

When/if the drive fails...we'll deal with it then.

Thanks for the feedback

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