HP DV7-1245DX drive controller cuts in and out

By sethbest
Mar 11, 2012
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  1. I posted about this previously and thought it was fixed. I got a laptop from a client, thought it was dead. It boots fine, shows hp screen, memory scan, bios, but cannot find any boot devices. No cd's or dvds, no hard drives (tried several different ones), no bootable usb sticks. Just messing around I threw in two hard drives from other laptops and it booted right up. Put the old drive back in and it boots fine, no issues, but there is occasionally a error in the logs:

    "Event 11, Disk
    The driver detected a controller error on \...\DR3"

    This would seem miraculously, except at random intervals, sometimes a few days, sometimes a week or two the problem occurs again. It is not always easy to fix either as it seems the trick is to have two bootable drives with operating system in them, pull the bios battery, unplug everything and unplug the ram. After this I reassemble and it usually works, but other times I have to try a few times or switch out the drives I used.

    This would seem to indicate to me a failing drive controller. It is just odd that it starts working again for a time. This puts me in a tough spot because I cannot sell it like this, and it is not extremely useful to me as if I'm traveling I don't want to have to carry a bunch of extra hard drives and screw drivers.

    This time I think I will try setting up another drive as its permanent drive and see if that makes a difference.

    Note that I have already reinstalled the OS (first vista, then windows 7 ultimate), checked error logs, switched out memory modules.

    Any tips or ideas are appreciated, thanks.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Have you talked, on the telephone, with the relevant techs at HP?
  3. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Is the cooling assembly clean and free of dust and other debris? Have you inspected the motherboard carefully for heat damage?
  4. sethbest

    sethbest TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 79

    Raybay. I posted on the HP support boards and they confirmed it was likely a controller issue, but they had no idea why it worked when I swapped drives. I never bother with the phone support anymore since they do their best to run you in circles to get you to give up rather than helping (at least my extensive experience with their faulty dv6000 and dv2000 lines with the overheating video chips).

    Tmagic, cleaning the cooling assembly is a good idea, as it may at least keep this problem from getting worse. As for heat damage I have never found a reasonably priced board level repair service or reflower in my area, so even if I identify overheating chips not much I can do about it. Thanks for the tips though.

    Someone just responded to my original post about this system from six months ago that a new bios has been released that says it fixes this problem. I just flashed with it and will update if the system runs a few weeks without a repeat of the drive issue.


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