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Motherboard or Drive Issue, Can't Figure Out.


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#1 Freezer Boy

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 07:56 PM

So here's my problem, I have a gaming PC I built a little over a year ago and it's been running great with no problems until about two weeks ago.  One night I came home from work and when I went to turn my computer on it kept hanging during POST.  The way my computer normally boots up is it will list the CPU, memory, and then all my drives before going into Windows.  It kept hanging right after listing my CPU never getting to my memory or my drives, I couldn't even get into the BIOS at all either.  Initially I tried clearing the CMOS and that didn't help, then someone suggested unplugging my SATA drives and trying to start up again.  That did it and then when I reconnected them in again everything worked fine and I was able to boot into Windows.  At that point I thought it may have been a fluke and I was in the clear.  Unfortunately a few days ago it happened again and this time it wasn't so easy to fix. 

 

Once again I tried unplugging my SATA drives and then reconnected them back in, but it wasn't working like last time.  Eventually I rearranged the ports that I was connecting them to and I finally got it up again.  At this point I feel like it couldn't have been a fluke but I'm just not sure what the issue could be.  I haven't shut my computer down since the last time it's happened since I'm afraid I won't be able to boot it up again, but obviously that's not a permanent solution.

 

At first I thought it had to be a motherboard issue but now I'm not as sure since messing with my SATA cables seems to fix it, at least temporarily which got me thinking it could be one of my drives too.

 

I was hoping someone here may have some ideas on what the issue could be or maybe let me know some ways I could troubleshoot this issue since I'm pretty stumped now.  If you need any more info just let me know.



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#2 KingdomSeeker

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 04:02 PM

Just for clarification, when you say ports do you mean the optical drive and the HDD or multiple HDDs? From the symptoms I believe I'd start by replacing a cable. SATA cabled are known for breaking easily and it sound like a bad connection. They're also pretty inexpensive. When you changed ports and it booted fine supports this idea. Meaning the cable to the nonbootable drive is the first suspect.



#3 Freezer Boy

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 05:46 PM

Yeah I meant the optical drive and multiple HDDs, sorry for the confusion.  I have an SSD as my boot drive and then a larger HDD for everything else.  I'll try replacing the cables and seeing if that does it since I have a few extras laying around.

 

 So you're saying I should try replacing the cable to my larger HDD first and not the SSD or did mean something else when you said nonbootbable drive? 

 

So a bad SATA cable can really cause my system to hang like that?  I'm not doubting you I was just shocked to hear it could be that simple of a fix, I instantly assumed the worst and thought it was the motherboard.



#4 KingdomSeeker

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 07:26 PM

It may be more complex but it may not be. I'd start with your bootable drive. That was a mistype. If the problem persists, I'd change the other one. My idea is based on the fact that it works fine in one plug but not in another so a good place to start.



#5 Freezer Boy

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 01:25 PM

Okay so I replaced the SATA cable to my SSD with a brand new one I hadn't used before and I booted up right away with no problems.  It doesn't mean the problem is gone for good yet since last time it lasted about 2 weeks before it happened again, but still so far so good. I'll keep using my PC like normal now I suppose and turn it off regularly, and if I see the issue again I'll replace the SATA cable to my other HDD.



#6 Freezer Boy

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:06 AM

So it's been about a week since I swapped out the SATA cable and things have been going good until this morning when it started hanging again during POST.  This time it was a little different however, since the CPU and memory were both loaded, it was hanging on detecting IDE drives which I don't even have any.  So my first thought was to try replacing the SATA cable to my larger HDD, but that didn't change anything, the system was still hanging.  Then I once again rearranged the ports the SATA cables were connected to and I got something different.

 

The system was able to POST but I got a Windows error message one a blue screen, but not the BSOD.  The message said:

 

     Your PC needs to be repaired.  A required drive isn't connected or cannot be accessed.  Error code: 0xc000000e.  You'll need to use the recovery tools on your installation media.  If you don't have any installation           media (like a disc or USB device), contact your system administrator or PC manufacturer.

 

     The I had the options of pressing enter to try again or F8 for Startup settings.  Pressing enter got the following message:

 

          Your PC needs to be repaired.  The application or operating system couldn't be loaded because a required file is missing or contains errors.  File: \Windows\system32\winload.exe  Error code: 0xc000000e.  The               rest of the message was the same as the previous one.

 

     After that enter did nothing, nor did F8.

 

Now at this point I'm thinking it has to be an issue with my drives, probably my SSD.  So I tried booting up without the SSD and I still got the message, which I thought was weird since Windows should only be installed on my SSD not the larger HDD which was all that was connected at the time.  After trying that I reconnected my SSD and was able to boot into Windows finally.

 

Any ideas what this might all mean or am I right in thinking it's probably my SSD going bad?


Edited by Freezer Boy, 07 January 2014 - 08:16 AM.


#7 KingdomSeeker

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 02:24 PM

If you are able to use the computer please do these.

 

Please Publish a Snapshot using Speccy - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic323892.html/page__p__1797792#entry1797792 , taking care to post the link of the snapshot in your next post.
 
 
If you cannot do the Speccy Report, please use another computer and download and burn Seagate HDD Test
 
 
 

Download the following, after reading the instructions...burn the .iso file to CD...then run the long/extended generic diagnostic, please.  Do not attempt any "fixes", just run the long diagnostic and post the results.

 

Guide, SeaTools For DOS - http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/SeaToolsDOSguide.pdf

 

SeaTools for DOS Download - http://www.seagate.com/support/internal-hard-drives/consumer-electronics/ld25-series/seatools-dos-master/

 

Windows 7 and 8 have a built in ISO burner.
  1. Insert a recordable CD, DVD, or Blu‑ray Disc into your disc burner.

  2. Open Computer by clicking the Start button , and then clicking Computer.

  3. In Windows Explorer, find the disc image file, and then double-click it.

  4. If you have more than one disc burner, from the Disc burner list in Windows Disc Image Burner, click the burner that you want to use.

  5. (Optional) If you want to verify that the disc image was burned correctly to the disc, select the Verify disc after burning check box.

    If the integrity of disc image file is critical (for example, the disc image file contains a firmware update), you should select this check box.

  6. Click Burn to burn the disc.



#8 Freezer Boy

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:05 PM

Okay here's my specs: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/RWI7BCy3h3LwGVTgQJj1sdr

 

So I ran the SeaTools diagnostic tool on both my drives and they passed all the tests.  My one question is do those tests work on SSD's?  I didn't see any mention of it in the instructions and I wasn't sure if this test was just for HDD's.  Either way my HDD passed all the tests and if it works for SSD's then mine passed that too.



#9 KingdomSeeker

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:43 PM

The Speccy report showed the HDD to be fine. Since I'm not sure that it works on SSDs please try this one too. I know this one does. Be sure to pick the test for your model.

 

Hard Drive Diagnostics:

http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287

 

Make sure you select the tool which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.

Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.

If downloaded file is of .iso type, use ImgBurnhttp://www.imgburn.com/ to burn .iso file to a CD (select "Write image file to disc" option), to make the CD bootable.

For Toshiba drives, see here: http://sdd.toshiba.com/main.aspx?Path=ServicesSupport/FujitsuDrivesUSandCanada/SoftwareUtilities#diagnostic



#10 Freezer Boy

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 03:28 PM

Sorry, I'm still a little confused.  I went to the link you posted and I'm not sure what tool I should be using,  my SSD is made by Samsung but there are a few different tools listed for Samsung with none mentioning that they're for SSD's.



#11 KingdomSeeker

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:29 PM

This is your Samnsung "SAMSUNG SSD 830 Series ATA Device". This should be the link. http://www.samsung.com/global/business/hdd/support/downloads/estool_FDD.zip. I see you have 3 drives, which is your bootable drive?



#12 Freezer Boy

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:30 PM

Yes that's my drive, but when I go that link it doesn't list my SSD or any SSD's anywhere, only HDD's.  The SSD is my bootable drive, the 1TB Western Digital HDD is where I store my programs and other files, and the smaller Seagate is an external USB HDD.



#13 KingdomSeeker

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:41 PM

It should still work for your SSD



#14 zingo156

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:46 AM

If you go into the bios (should be f1, f2 or delete key) check and see what sata devices are connected. If your ssd is missing from the list and you have tried a new cables (both power and data) and a known working sata port (like the one the other 1tb is plugged into), I would start to suspect your ssd is having issues. I have seen ssd's stop working in an instant and never come back while others have intermittent problems. I would recommend backing up essential data the next time it boots. There is a possiblity that it could be a motherboard issue, I have seen generation 1 sandy bridge sata controllers go bad a few times. However when these failed no sata devices would be recognized when the controller was set to AHCI. Which brings me to the next step...

 

In the bios you should be able to set the sata operation to either ata or ahci or possibly "compatibility" (write down the current setting you will need to set it back) try switching the sata operation to ata or compatiblity, reboot and go back into bios and see if the ssd appears. One thing to NOTE: you will likely get a bsod on boot to windows in ata or compatibility mode, just set it back to ahci or whatever was in that field to begin with.

 

If you never see the ssd in the bios, you could try to connect it to a different computer, if that new computer fails to see the ssd at a bios level, then I would assume the ssd itself has failed. Best of luck!


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#15 Freezer Boy

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 02:53 PM

It should still work for your SSD

 

But which one would I download?  It seems like each HDD has a different set of tools.

 

If you go into the bios (should be f1, f2 or delete key) check and see what sata devices are connected. If your ssd is missing from the list and you have tried a new cables (both power and data) and a known working sata port (like the one the other 1tb is plugged into), I would start to suspect your ssd is having issues. I have seen ssd's stop working in an instant and never come back while others have intermittent problems. I would recommend backing up essential data the next time it boots. There is a possiblity that it could be a motherboard issue, I have seen generation 1 sandy bridge sata controllers go bad a few times. However when these failed no sata devices would be recognized when the controller was set to AHCI. Which brings me to the next step...

 

In the bios you should be able to set the sata operation to either ata or ahci or possibly "compatibility" (write down the current setting you will need to set it back) try switching the sata operation to ata or compatiblity, reboot and go back into bios and see if the ssd appears. One thing to NOTE: you will likely get a bsod on boot to windows in ata or compatibility mode, just set it back to ahci or whatever was in that field to begin with.

 

If you never see the ssd in the bios, you could try to connect it to a different computer, if that new computer fails to see the ssd at a bios level, then I would assume the ssd itself has failed. Best of luck!

 

Well right now my computer does detect the SSD, it's been working for the past few days.  It seems to work for about a week or two before the problem happens again and I have to rearrange the SATA cables to get it booting again.  And when I'm having this issue of not being able to boot up I can't even get into the BIOS, so I'd have no way of knowing if it detects the SSD or changing the SATA operation.






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