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Possible bad sata controller

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#1 cloud32187


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Posted 05 August 2011 - 07:23 PM

Hey guys,

First time posting here, but recently had a computer that fails to recognize any SATA devices at all (cdrom/hdd specifically). The hard drive spins up but is just not recognized in the BIOS.

Computer Info:
-HP Pavilion p6310y
-Motherboard: Pegatron M2N78-LA
-Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache

Here's what I have tried so far:
1: Swapped out power supply for known good one
2: Swapped out hard drive for brand new one
3: Check, Checked and Triple Checked bios settings (sata controller is enabled, also tried IDE and AHCI settings)
4: Tried different jumper settings
5: Swapped out different sata data cables/sata power connectors

This leads me to believe its the sata controller on the motherboard. Everything else works fine, I can boot to a windows install CD via usb-cdrom and i can boot from a USB stick to UBCD4/Hirens Boot CD but i still have no access to the hard drive. Whats everyone's take on my little predicament?

Also i would like to know if it was in fact just the sata controller, i would be able to just get a PCI-E sata controller card and be ok? looking for the cheapest and fastest solution.

Thanks in advance

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#2 dpunisher


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Posted 05 August 2011 - 09:54 PM

I found a pic of the board. It looks to have 4 SATA ports. Are all of the ports controlled by the NVidia chipset, or are 2 of them on another controller (Marvel/SI etc)? I know it's not too old of a system, but are any caps near the southbridge chipset bulged/leaking etc? I had to recap a board a couple months ago that had a similar problem.

I think you went above and beyond with your troubleshooting. I would bet on a fried southbridge/SATA controller.

EDIT: Yes, you should be able to get another SATA controller card as long as you have a free slot. I have never had any troubles with SATA cards, except some compatability problems with optical drives, but that was a few years ago. Never have had problems with cheapie VIA or Silicon Image Chipset controllers.

Edited by dpunisher, 05 August 2011 - 09:59 PM.

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#3 cloud32187

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 10:01 PM

Hey, thanks for the quick reply

Yeah I did go a bit overboard in troubleshooting haha, but i wanted to be sure i suppose. As for the swollen or exploded caps, there were none. Also there are in fact 4 sata ports all on the same controller, none of which work at all.

So whats your recommendation, new motherboard?

EDIT: oops just saw your edit, thanks again for the help

Edited by cloud32187, 05 August 2011 - 10:01 PM.

#4 HiroPro


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Posted 06 August 2011 - 11:50 PM

Yet another reason to built a PC with a quality motherboard using QUALITY caps. If one lacks the skill to build such a machine I'm most certain your local shop would do it for you! Asus and Gigabyte and good brands to look for. Also make sure the board uses all metal Japanese caps. It will take the standard 5 year MAX lifespan of a Dell/HP/crapolla brand and bump it up to decades in terms of electronic component failure rates. And it won't cost you any more money either...

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