Posted 20 September 2008 - 07:24 AM
I'm leaning towards a motherboard issue here as this does appear to be a communications issue between the mobo and the hard drive. The key here is that this happens with 2 hard drives. To be sure, I'd hook one of the drives to another computer just to verify that it's good and accessible.
I'm unsure how your motherboard is setup, but some motherboards have more than 1 SATA controller onboard. If this is the case with yours, I'd suggest trying the hard drive on one of the other controllers. This will help to rule out a bad controller or a bad plug on the mobo.
And, just as an aside, I've seen stranger things caused by malfunctioning hardware, so it's not necessarily just a hard drive or mobo issue. For example, I've had several bad NIC cards (lightning struck) that have caused similar symptoms (questionable motherboard issues).
To be sure you'll have to strip the system down to bare essentials to see if the problem is replicated there - then substitute the essential parts one-by-one to rule them out. In the end (using this method), you'll either identify the problem - or will be left with a choice between the motherboard or CPU.
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