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Now you see it, now you don't....

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Now you see it, now you don't....

Thought I'd run this one past you guys as I'm a bit stumped myself.

Am looking at a PC for a friend where by the hard disk is randomly not seen by the motherboard / bios. This PC has been working in the same (household) environment for some time now but recently started to play up.

Sod's law says when I first turned it on, everything was fine, booted up into Windows ok. More often than not though, when it's switched on the Award Bios will not see the drive at all, but will see the other 2 CD drives (secondary controller).

I've tried a different cable, swapping controllers (primary and secondary etc, the drive by itself, and possibly a few other combinations, but it won't work. Then for an example, this morning tried it again and no problem, booted up fine.

I don't have all the specs with me at work, but it's a Soltek m/b with Award Bios roughly 3 - 4 years old with an AMD 700 Duron chip. The drive concerned is a Fujitsu MPG3204AT-E 20.4 gb.

I've found some non-destructive test software on Fujitsu's web site and plan to give that a go to see it if thinks there is a problem somewhere.

Basically, does anyone have any thoughts ? I'm wondering if it might be a temperature problem. Had read something online today to that effect.

Regards,

Dave W
5 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,983
Thanks: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Now you see it, now you don't....

Ive had this before on a PC. It happened just before the HDD went bye bye for ever. Cry
So it looks like the hard drive is about to give up the ghost. You need to get everything transfered across to a new drive if they want to save it all.
May be a good opportunity though for a good clean up and a fresh install as knowing how the general public treat their computers its probably full of all sorts of dross by now. :roll:
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Now you see it, now you don't....

I agree with you John.... is probably not long now until it packs up properly. Surprisingly though there isn't much dross on there since I setup it up for him a year ago (one of the better users I guess). Apart from a annoying dial-up dialog box appearing quite often (something to do with Norton AV I think) it's in pretty good nick (when it works !!)

Will source a new(ish) replacement for him and will probably end up installing all he needs, fortunately there's no documents and the like that need to be saved first.

Thanks John for confirming my thoughts/fears.

Regards,

Dave W
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Now you see it, now you don't....

I would also agree the disk may not be becoming ready in time which is an indication of pending failure.

Does the disk support SMART and does the BIOS also support this. If both do, try enabling SMART in the BIOS and see if the disk reports as bad on starting the PC.

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Apart from a annoying dial-up dialog box appearing quite often (something to do with Norton AV I think) it's in pretty good nick (when it works !!)


Make sure IE tools -> internet options -> connection settings tab is not set to dial the default connection - i.e. set it to never dial.
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Now you see it, now you don't....

Hi Peter,

I can't be sure, but am fairly sure that SMART is enabled in the bios (will have to check). Assuming that it is, there have been no warning of any possible problems.

Re dial up box, I did actually look in there, but for some stupid reason I didn't actually change the option (was getting late last night...) Your quite right, that'll sort that problem out.

Cheers for the advice,

Dave W
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Now you see it, now you don't....

Try using Active SMART to check out the SMART params on the drive.

Also it's possible the drive itself does not support SMART which sounds likely in this case.