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Computer losing boot drive occasionally - mwhals - 11-10-2012

Three times in the last two weeks, windows vista has suddenly dropped to the reboot screen and then I see Bootmgr is missing.

I go into bios and my boot drive doesn't show up. I then change the port on the motherboard and it works fine.

After a while or a few days, does the same thing. Switching the drive back to the original port corrects the problem again.

It takes switching ports to get the drive seen by bios every time. My other three drives don't have that problem,

I am thinking the SATA controller or ports on the motherboard are going bad. If it was the hard drive, I don't believe changing ports would help. Also the drive sounds fine and doesn't have search issues or anything that would indicate a problem.

So is it time to finally build my new PC or do you think there is another possibility I am missing?

I just switched cables from the missing drive to one that has never disappeared. This changes the port to one that hasn't seemingly failed and also changes cables.

Once again, the problem is corrected. I wonder for how long.


Computer losing boot drive occasionally - mwhals - 11-10-2012

Chkdsk did not detect any problems with the drive. I am thinking it is the motherboard SATA controller since it has happened on two different SATA ports.


RE: Computer losing boot drive occasionally - Konvikt - 11-10-2012

You changed the Sata cable of the boot drive with another Sata cable from another drive or a spare?

What exactly is your bootdrive exactly? I'd almost suggest a full reinstall blindly here. Did you try that already?

A controller going haywire like that out of nowhere could also indicate a tiny defect on your motherboard. Circuitry undervoltage due to too less solder. Longshot however.

Did you try booting without the other drives and working for a while?

Nice puzzle you have here!


Computer losing boot drive occasionally - mwhals - 11-10-2012

I swapped cables with a drive that has never dropped. The drive is a Western Digital 150 GB Raptor.

I did reinstall the software, but the software wouldn't cause the drive to not show up in BIOS. Also, the SATA cables have been proven for several years and haven't been touched until the recent issue. They are the locking type. I don't believe a cable would work 98% of the time and then decide not to work when it clearly isn't loose.

I think it is the drive or the controller. The PC is a month from seven years old.


Computer losing boot drive occasionally - mwhals - 11-11-2012

I really think it is hardware problems as software would not make a drive disappear from bios. It isn't the cable or drive as those have been ruled out.


RE: Computer losing boot drive occasionally - PwnBroker - 11-11-2012

disappearing drives and boot drive order sequence is one symptom of a bad cmos battery, and since its 7 years old, have you tried replacing the cmos battery?


Computer losing boot drive occasionally - mwhals - 11-11-2012

Good thought. The clock and CMOS keep their settings, but who knows? I never replaced the battery in the 8 year old PC I gave the church and it has never had this problem.

With the CMOS, it is still odd only the boot drive doesn't show up once in a while considering there are four hard drives in this computer.


RE: Computer losing boot drive occasionally - PwnBroker - 11-12-2012

(11-11-2012, 12:48 PM)mwhals Wrote: Good thought. The clock and CMOS keep their settings, but who knows? I never replaced the battery in the 8 year old PC I gave the church and it has never had this problem.

With the CMOS, it is still odd only the boot drive doesn't show up once in a while considering there are four hard drives in this computer.


yeah, just a thought. unless that computer has been shut off a lot, the cmos battery will last for years.


Computer losing boot drive occasionally - mwhals - 11-12-2012

This PC did spend more time off while the other one was on 24/7. It still retains the time and BIOS settings. Windows kicks out to show no mstrboot. Subsequent check into bios shows drive gone, but the other three drives still show. I still think it is something other than the CMOS battery. I haven't had a problem since I swapped cables and ports with a different drive.


RE: Computer losing boot drive occasionally - PwnBroker - 11-12-2012

if it still keeps time then its not the battery. so you tried with different ports and the same cable, then with different cable and different port and problem disappears? might be a defective cable, maybe?