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BIOS not seeing hard drive on cold boot

By AlliOOP · 5 replies
Oct 25, 2010
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  1. I’m working on a friends Acer Aspire x1200 Desktop. It will not cold boot. From a cold boot it will only give the dreaded disk error – insert system disk and press enter.

    It does:

    1) Boot from the recovery or system disc purchased from Acer.
    2) Boot off of the hard drive after a restart from within Windows Vista after said system disc boot.

    The Pheonix – Award BIOS has been flashed to the latest Acer provided BIOS but it has not helped.

    The BIOS does not show the SATA hard drive as a boot disk priority after a cold boot but does show it as an available SATA drive after booting off the system disc. I can then remove the system disc and ctrl-alt-del reboot the system and it will boot off the hard drive installed Vista.

    The BIOS does not read the SATA hard drive as existing in the system but will read the attached SATA optical drive.

    Turning off the AHCI to IDE allows for the auto detection selection in the BIOS and upon telling the BIOS to auto detect for the hard drive, it will not find the hard drive but will find the optical drive regardless of which SATA connection it is plugged into on the mobo.

    Removal of the optical drive and using the cable of the optical drive to plug the hard drive into first, SATA1 and then SATA2 does not force the BIOS to read the hard drive.

    The Western Digital hard drive is a SATA drive only model.

    I reset the BIOS from HD/Optical/Nvidia boot up to Optical/HD/Disabled to HD/Disabled/Disabled. This did not impact the cold boot issue.

    I have flashed the BIOS.

    I have restored to factory settings using the above mentioned recovery disks from ACER.

    I have physically swapped the hard drive cables/ports with the optical drive.
    I replaced the battery and reset the BIOS after letting the system “die off” and then flashed it again.

    I updated to the latest NVIDA drivers.

    I have done all of the above in various orders to try and isolate the problem.

    The BIOS is not reading in the SATA drive on cold boot. It will warm boot from the hard drive as long as the BIOS already has the hard drive listed from a system/recovery disk optical drive boot. Everything else within Vista seems to work correctly.

    Once inside Windows Vista I noticed within system manager the listing on Port 0 was empty, Port 1 contained the hard drive data and Port 2 contained the optical drive data. Can a Boxer mobo detect the boot drive on Port 1?

    Can the BIOS chip be pulled and replaced on a Boxer mobo?

    Any suggestion(s) on how to get the BIOS to remember the hard drive exists during a cold boot?
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,989   +76

    For clarification: Did you change out the SATA cable for this harddrive for a new one? Did you run any harddrive diagnostics?
  3. AlliOOP

    AlliOOP TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I switched the hard drive cable with the one on the optical drive but did not try a new SATA hard drive cable. I will try that.

    Yes, ran checkdisk with damaged sector correction. The drive tested out fine.

    Thanks for the suggestion.
  4. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,989   +76

    I suggest you run the harddrive manufacture's diagnostic utility. It is more extensive.
  5. AlliOOP

    AlliOOP TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So many years have passed:eek::D...
    If you're still around Route44, the friend decided they hated the Acer and dumped it. So much for a real solution;).
  6. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,989   +76

    Lol! Wow talk about resurrecting a thread from the dead! :)

    Oh, and thanks for getting back to us. ;)

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