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BIOS Doesn't Recognize Hard Drive, But Win 10 Does


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#1 warcat

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 08:31 PM

I am working on a Dell Optiplex 745, running Windows 10 Pro 64 bit. It has an Intel Core 2 6600 processor running at 2.4GHz, 4 Gb RAM and a 1 TB Seagate Barracuda drive partitioned as follows: C: Local Disk, 148 Gb; E: Back Ups, 782 Gb. Here is my problem:

 

When I try to boot from the hard drive, the BIOS does not recognize that a hard drive is installed. However, when I insert my Windows 10 USB Media, the machine boots normally, with my regular desktop and everything that is stored on the C partition of the hard drive. I powered down the computer, removed the Win 10 USB drive, powered up the computer, and the BIOS still does not recognize the Seagate drive. What could be causing the BIOS to not recognize that a hard drive is installed, especially when Windows 10 has no problems at all with it? And, more importantly, how can I fix it?



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#2 Platypus

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 08:52 PM

Are you saying that without the USB flash drive in place, the system does not boot into the installed Windows at all, since the HDD is not recognized as a boot device, but with the flash drive present it is? Is the HDD shown as present if you go into the BIOS setup screen?

 

If that's the situation, it's possible the HDD is having trouble starting up, and does not ID itself to the BIOS quickly enough. With the USB drive present, the BIOS spends extra time finding boot devices, giving the HDD time to get into gear. When the drive is not ID'd what happens if you warm boot (Ctrl-Alt-Del)? I'm assuming you get the prompt saying no boot media found.


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#3 warcat

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 08:57 PM

Yes, that is correct. It does it in a warm boot as well. Also, when I clicked on the Safely Remove Hardware icon to see if I could remove the USB media, Windows responded with the message that the device was busy and could not be removed at this time.

 

The computer has been working flawlessly for most of the day. It's my boss's computer, and he only discovered the problem about 4:30 this afternoon.



#4 warcat

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 09:00 PM

Also, the computer has been turned on for several days, and the problem just presented itself without the computer being rebooted.



#5 Platypus

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 09:04 PM

Do you mean the system "lost" the hard drive while Windows was up and running? Apart from the HDD simply having developed an odd fault, I'd look at the SATA cable connections for HDD, if possible try another SATA cable.

 

Have you been able to check whether the drive shows in the BIOS setup screen or not?


Edited by Platypus, 16 May 2017 - 09:06 PM.

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#6 warcat

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 09:08 PM

If I reboot with the USB drive installed and go into the BIOS, the then hard drive does appear!



#7 warcat

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 09:10 PM

If I reboot with the USB drive installed and go into the BIOS, the then hard drive does appear! While at the BIOS screen, I removed the USB drive, and the computer booted normally.

 

UPDATE: I just did another warm reboot without the USB media present and the computer booted normally


Edited by warcat, 16 May 2017 - 09:13 PM.


#8 warcat

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 09:17 PM

Yes, it lost the hard drive while the computer was running. With it being a Dell, it has an incredibly long SATA cable; it certainly isn't short like many of them are, so I might have to see if I can order one.

 

UPDATE: Powered down the computer and powered it up without the USB media present, and got the no bootable device available message again from the BIOS. I guess we will run it with the USB media in it until I can get a replacement cable and see if that works.

 

Thanks for all your help!

 

I measured the cable cable and its about 23 inches (58.42 centimeters) long. It runs from the motherboard up over this combination fan shroud/cable holder and then nearly to the top of the case where the hard drive bays are located. Pretty crazy.


Edited by warcat, 16 May 2017 - 09:35 PM.


#9 Platypus

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 09:22 PM

The optical drive is IDE isn't it, so no SATA cable to swap.

 

If it has now been able to boot fully from the HDD, yes I feel the SATA cable is the best thing to try.

 

It's possible just jiggle and unplug/replug each end could polish up a tarnished contact if that's what it is, but might not be reliable long term.


Edited by Platypus, 16 May 2017 - 09:24 PM.

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#10 warcat

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 09:48 PM

The optical drive actually is SATA, but the cable is much shorter and won't reach the HDD. Can you tell me if SATA 3 cables are backward compatible with SATA 2 cables?

 

UPDATE: I ordered a new SATA cable for it, and took the computer back up to my boss' desk and hooked everything up. However, when I powered it up, it did boot off the USB media this time. I canceled it and then it booted from the HDD. There has to be something going on with the cable or with the HDD, that's for sure. I also went into the power settings and set the HDD to never power off.

 

It's after 10 pm here, so better call it a night. Thanks for all your help, Platypus!


Edited by warcat, 16 May 2017 - 10:15 PM.


#11 Platypus

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 11:15 PM

All the SATA speeds are backwards compatible, glad to assist.


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#12 warcat

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 02:44 PM

Replaced the SATA cable on the HDD, and for good measure, replaced the motherboard battery. The BIOS recognized the HDD and it booted right up without the "jump start" from the USB drive. Thanks again for your help.



#13 Platypus

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 03:30 AM

Glad to hear it, thanks for the update!


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