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SATA drive "disappears" in XP

By Electric Ray
May 12, 2007
  1. Hi - I have a home-built PC (Asus A8NE, Athlon 64) running three hard drives:
    * C: drive is a MAXTOR 160GB IDE drive is the Boot drive;
    * D: drive is a Seagate barracuda 60GB IDE drive,
    * I have recently added a SATA 300GB drive, which, when it feels so inclined, shows up as the F: Drive. (E Being an optical drive)

    This is the issue: it doesn't always show up. I can "remind it" to appear by going into bios at start up and looking at the hard drive configuration (it is always there in the BIOS, and seemingly be simply looking at it it reminds windows to load it; but if I don't access the bios at boot up, it usually forgets to include it.

    I have been into the disk management utility to rescan and refresh, and this doesn't seem to make any difference - the only way I can "jog XP's memory" is by actually looking into the BIOS.

    The only thing I can think which might have a bearing on this is that I have set up the SATA drive as a shared drive for a newly acquired IMAC ( I keep all my pictures and Itunes on the SATA drive for this very reason).

    This isn't a huge problem - more of a pain, really. I suspect I'm doing (or not doing) something really obvious - I'm a dabbler and a fiddler with PCs, not someone who really understands them per se - but would appreciate the consideration an expert!

  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,419   +77

    Ideas :

    Have you installed manufacturers SATA driver, or are you leaving it to the XP built-in driver?
    Try moving the optical drive to say W:, so your SATA drive becomes E:
    Try disconnecting your 2nd IDE drive for a few days, see if XP consistently recognises SATA then
    Try turning off sharing of the SATA drive similarly to check consistency
  3. Electric Ray

    Electric Ray TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks - I'll try all these things - all sensible suggestions. I was leaving it to the XP driver - my hunch is that it's not a big problem, possibly something I've set wrongly elsewhere - something to do with firewalls or some such. Thanks for the suggestions.
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,419   +77

    Leaving it to the Windows driver is the most likely cause, I think. You need a chipset driver (i.e. motherboard driver) very often to get the correct interface to Windows for SATA drives to work correctly. The generic Windows driver is possibly not picking up the necessary information from the chipset until the chipset is 'refreshed' and Windows is then informed 'something has changed', but of course, next boot, the information is not 'new' and is once again ignored.

    I have no knowledge if installing the correct chipset driver for your motherboard post-Windows install will work, but it is certainly worth a try.
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