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My Hard Disk Disappeared Overnight!


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#1 BigGeoff

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 05:03 PM

Please, please someone help shed some light on this problem I have had for over two months now and I am losing the will to live!

I have an Evesham PC with a Foxconn 945P7AA-8KS2 motherboard and a single Western Digital IDE drive running XP home SP2.

I went to bed one night and my PC was fine, next morning I turn it on and get this message:-

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
you can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows Setup using the original Setup CD-ROM.
Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair.

When I put in my Evesham recovery disk and reboot and get:-

Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer.................

If I go into the (Award) BIOS and check the standard CMOS features it shows the two DVD drives on IDE channel 0 as master and slave but shows nothing on any other IDE channel. If I look up the advanced BIOS features under Hard disk boot priority it shows the Western Digital drive as SCSI-0.

I have tried the following:-
replace the HDD cable - no change.
add another new HDD in slave position on cable - still fails to detect either drive (yet still shows both to be SCSI in advanced features).
remove my original drive to another PC (as a slave) and it reads fine.
obtained new identical motherboard - no change, problems persist.
checked 12v and 5v at the drive end of the power cable - both OK.

At first I thought this might be a boot sector problem but I reckon things are pointing towards hardware but where? I am at my wits end here with this problem as there appears to be no logical solution - everything is working - but it's broke.

Can anybody help me out here?

Geoff

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 07:38 PM

Cable...or IDE socket.

Did you try disconnecting the CD/DVD hardware and using that cable in each socket to connect just the boot drive?

Louis

#3 BigGeoff

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 03:15 AM

Louis

I suppose I am reduced to doing just that as I am running out of ways to go. I dismissed that as an option initially because the system wasn't touched between the working and not working times (only 8 hours apart) and then I had changed the HDD cable and now the motherboard too. I will give it a go tonight when I get in from work.

Geoff

#4 hamluis

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 08:16 AM

Let us know the results...

Louis

#5 DaChew

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 09:14 AM

your boot drive should have been a sata not a pata on that motherboard?

the bottom 2 ide controllers look like they are run from an ITE chipset?

the intel southbridge is doing the optical drives and controller 0, there is no secondary ide controller

4 ATA133 devices (based on the additional ITE controller), the latter can form RAID 0, 1 and 0+1


your bios will turn this chipset on or off and it should then enable a raid bios that's seperate?

Of course a windows disk can not see it without the drivers inserted after pressing F6 at the first of the load?

All it takes to hose a load like this is a glitch in a bootup and someone pressing F2 or another key during post which resets bios to defaults and turns off the controller(ITE)

remember western digital ide/pata hard drives have a different jumper setting for standalone master vs master w/ slave present

Edited by DaChew, 08 February 2008 - 09:17 AM.

Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#6 BigGeoff

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 04:36 PM

Chewy

Some of what you are saying is going right over my head, but remember, this system was supplied by a reputable UK company in this configuration and was functioning with this mobo connected to this drive with the correct HD jumper setting for over a year before it just stopped working - it wasn't like I just went in there one night and started pulling it apart. Should I be able to see in the BIOS if the chipset you mention has been disabled?


Louis

I removed cable from both DVD drives, leaving it connected to mobo and plugged the HD into the master plug - it still won't boot but BIOS does correctly identify it and shows it as being present as IDE channel 0 master - advanced BIOS shows it is top of boot priority list. Using the original IDE socket it and the DVD cable it doesn't show up in the IDE drive list but it still appears in the boot priority list but as a SCSI drive.
I dont understand, logic says that surely the original board and the replacement can't have the same fault and why won't it boot if the BIOS sees it? I also don't understand how it gets the idea the HD is a SCSI device - I don't even have a SCSI card in there.

It isn't getting any clearer

Geoff

#7 hamluis

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 05:09 PM

What is the jumper setting on the drive?

If no other drive is attached...and the hard drive is at the end of the IDE cable...the jumper should be set for either Cable Select or Master.

If another drive is attached...and the hard drive is at the end of the IDE cable...it gets tricky. If the drive in the middle is set for C/S, then the drive at the end must be C/S. If the drive in the middle is set for Slave, then the drive at the end must be set for Master.

The jumper setting is the only thing that I can think of (outside of the CMOS battery) that would result in possible non-recognition (proper recognition) of the drive at the end of the cable.

ATA Jumper Settings - http://www.seagate.com/support/kb/disc/ref...r_settings.html

Proper info re setting jumpers should be on the hard drive itself, don't use the info provided in the link to set those.

See if your BIOS reflects the correct time/date, please.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 08 February 2008 - 05:13 PM.


#8 DaChew

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 05:47 PM

http://www.foxconnchannel.com/support/downloads.aspx

please download the manual for your motherboard if you don't already have it

check in bios to see if all the ide's are turned on? the ITE raid ones?
Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#9 BigGeoff

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 07:05 AM

Louis

Both drives I have tried are correctly set for cable select as indicated on the drive case itself. The BIOS reports the correct date and time.

Geoff

#10 DaChew

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 07:34 AM

a single Western Digital IDE drive

correctly set for cable select


that might be part of the problem, what exactly is the drive?

model numbers, not the size

this system was supplied by a reputable UK company


that's why I build my own

Edited by DaChew, 09 February 2008 - 07:36 AM.

Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#11 BigGeoff

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 08:05 AM

Chewy

I was severely tempted to put 'supposedly reputable' in that post as I am slowly uncovering things I don't like about retail PC's.

The drive in when the fault originally developed is a Western Digital Caviar WD1600JB-00EVA0. I have also tried a brand new clean drive - a Hitachi Deskstar HDS721616PLAT80 which behaves the same way. The WD drive was set up for cable select from the beginning and I haven't touched it.

I already have the handbook for the motherboard and I am trying to find some way of answering your previous question.

Are you up early for work or late to bed from night before?

Geoff

#12 DaChew

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 08:30 AM

I would probably test the drive with the wd tools using a new 80 conductor cable with the drive jumpered standalone master at the end of the cable

use the native intel southbridge controller(one your optical drives have been running off of)

if it passes the test froma boot floppy then I would proceed with reloading the OS with the drive hooked to the ite controller after having made a floppy with the raid controller drivers for an F6 load of windows

you could always load windows with the drive connected to the intel and an optical drive slaved on the same cable

the western digital will have to be jumpered master with slave present

In the past I have shown a small company here in the USA to be incompetent with their use of cable select settings

dell has never responded

Edited by DaChew, 09 February 2008 - 08:43 AM.

Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#13 BigGeoff

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 06:05 PM

OK have been through manual and checked the BIOS and according to the book all the IDE settings are enabled. If this drive works OK in another PC then surely the electronics are sound? And if the motherboard is suspect why does a brand new motherboard demonstrate the same problem.

It's all getting too much for me.

Geoff

#14 DaChew

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 06:48 PM

your model mentions a raid manual but I couldn't find it

a picture shows under onboard device a setting for ITE8212 raid controller mode?

what is it set for now?
Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#15 BigGeoff

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 06:14 AM

Both the primary and secondary on chip PCI IDE settings are enabled. As I said at the beginning, I have the 8KS2 variant which doesn't have RAID on board so those settings don't appear in my BIOS. I notice various things are either missing on my screens compared to the manual and in some case there are extra things on my screen not in the manual. Seems unbelievably sloppy to me but there you are. Seems to leave a lot to chance.


Geoff




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