Can SATA controller on MOBO die?

By kenfast
Jun 8, 2007
  1. I have an HP a1230n with an ASUS Socket 939 motherboard and 200GB SATA drive running XP. The other day our power went out for no reason. When I restarted the machine it said "Disk Boot Failure..." After a couple of tries I got it started. After that it was harder and harder to get started, and now it wont boot at all. In the bios it does not even see that a HDD is present. Neither does the Windows Recovery Console. I put the drive in another machine and XP booted right up from it, no problem, and all my data was there. I put another drive with Vista on it in the machine and it was not recognized at all either.

    I thought it was a BIOS problem. After a long story I was able to update the BIOS successfully. But it still does not see any hard drives. ???

    Should I try getting a PCI SATA controller, or should I just get a new motherboard?
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Does the BIOS see the drive after you push the reset button or ctrl+alt+del at the error message to reboot? (Do not power off!) Does the HD actually spin up?

    Maybe the PSU was damaged so that it can't supply enough power to spin ip the HD? Make sure you have no CDs in drives. Try the HD on another molex connector?

    Yes, of course, any component can go bad..
  3. kenfast

    kenfast TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The disk does spin up. I powered up with the disk connected, but outside of the case. I checked the PSU for 12v, it reads 11.91 (?).

    The BIOS does not appear to see the disk. When I go to BIOS setup it shows the two CD/DVD drives, but no disk drive. I tried another working SATA drive and got the same results.

    Would I be able to boot the machine from a drive connected through a PCI SATA controller?

    Is it odd that I was able to successfully update the BIOS and go into the BIOS setup with no problem if the HDD controller is not working?
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    It's not odd at all.. BIOS doesn't contain any sanity test routines for peripherals. It just checks whether the controller is present or not (or just assumes that it is). It is not the BIOS' concern whether the thing has gone bananas or not.

    Whether you can boot from a PCI sata controller, depends on your BIOS and the controller card.. Better get a card that is advertised as "bootable" or try one out first.
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