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SATA Drive Problems

By newners ยท 14 replies
Jun 30, 2005
  1. I have been running the following system for a few months now with no probs.

    Celeron 2.4
    Asrock P4VT8+ mobo (via PT800 chipset and VIA 8237 sata /raid controller)
    512Mb elixir DDR400
    DVD +/- RW
    ATI 9200 graphics card
    Belkin wireless NWork adapter
    Floppy drive
    Maxtor diamond plus 9 160Gb SATA hard drive with win xp pro sp2, AVG and router & windows firewall on.

    The system was shut down normally after some browsing ( no updates or downloads - I think ).

    Upon restart - windows start options screen appeared. Tried all the options one after the other. none worked. Now pc only boots to the win xp pro splash screen then restarts again and again. Tried repair install after loading SATA drivers (F6). Takes 15-20 minutes to inspect the hard drive and then reports the whole hard drive is unpartitioned do I want to install win xp on it!? (quitted with F3). Tried recovery console but hangs and does not show "C:\ windows". It looks as though the drive has been completely wiped!

    In order to see if I can recover some data from this drive I then put this drive in another machine running XP pro on an IDE drive (SATA available on mobo). Even though the BIOS boot priority is IDE, CDROM, Floppy, it always tries to boot from the problem SATA drive even with sata DISABLED IN THE bios!

    I put in a new IDE hard drive on the original system with problem SATA drive attached . Loaded XP ( no F6 etc this time), no probs all fine. SATA drive not seen in XP! Upon Re start and despite correct BIOS boot order can not stop attempts to boot from SATA drive.

    Why can I not boot from IDE drive and then see the SATA drive in XP?
    What could have caused this prob?
    Are there any SATA drive diagnostic tools (maxtor ones don't work with embedded SATA controllers)?

    Any help much appreciated.
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,412   +629

    I think I would scan for viruses, trojans, etc.
  3. newners

    newners TS Rookie Topic Starter

    How do I scan for viruses when I cannot even access the drive?

    Any clues?

  4. IronDuke

    IronDuke TS Rookie Posts: 801

    Enter the bios and deselct 'try other boot devices' (can't recall the exact wording).
  5. newners

    newners TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I 've done that and I've disabled the SATA on board controller in the BIOS. Still tries to boot from SATA drive!! I've also tried F11 on boot up to select 'boot from' selected PATA drive gets to windows splash screen then restarts again and again!!
  6. IronDuke

    IronDuke TS Rookie Posts: 801

    In Windows Explorer
    Select Tools | Folder Options View tab
    Choose 'Show hidden files and folders'
    Tick 'Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) Windows will query this say yes.

    Go to C:\boot.ini right click and select Properties. Untick 'Read Only'
    Open it in Notepad
    Where it says default=
    cut & paste the line from before the = of the operating system on the PATA

    It should look like this

    I think your one may say disk(1)
  7. newners

    newners TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the help ID.

    I couldn't find boot.ini following your instructions. However, by running 'msconfig' I got into the boot.ini file and the default= line is exactly as you described it should be ie disk(0) etc.

    However, this is with the SATA drive disconnected from the motherboard. I cannot boot into windows or safe mode or anything with either drive when the SATA drive is connected to the motherboard!!

    I even tried 'hot plugging' the sata drive while in the windows xp pro desktop as both board and disk are supposed to be able to hot plug ( correct sequence used ). As soon as the SATA drive is hot plugged the computer re-boots to the XP pro splash screen then restarts etc. etc. etc. ie the SATA drive takes over!

    When I loaded XP onto the new PATA drive with the SATA drive connected I was able to boot from the XP CD ROM ok. Should I have pressed F6, loaded the SATA drivers, then when the screen for selecting which disk to setup windows on appears select the PATA drive? Would this have made any difference?

    I still have no idea why this happened in the first place could a virus do this?

    The SATA drive has about 20 Gb of music and photo's on it which my son doesn't want loose so I would really like to access it if I can to save the data and then try and figure out what cased this ie disk failing or something.

  8. IronDuke

    IronDuke TS Rookie Posts: 801

    You need to tell XP when you install that you have SATA. This is at the F6 prompt.
    Try doing an in place upgrade to load the SATA drivers.
    Here is a link to Rick's guide.
  9. newners

    newners TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I didn't think I needed to load the SATA drivers at that point because all I wanted to do was get XP on the PATA drive. I then loaded the SATA driver from windows on the PATA drive and it shows up in device drivers as SCSI RAID controllers - VIA SATA / RAID controller.

    Any way I will try an upgrade install as you suggest this time using F6 but when I tried this before with only the SATA drive in place it took 20 minutes to scan the 160 Gb SATA drive and then reported it as an unpartioned drive! There was no option to do a repair install.

    Are you suggetsing I boot form the xp cd load the SATA drivers at F6 then select repair on the PATA drive good windows installation?

    Sorry if this is getting confusing and thanks for your patience and help.
  10. IronDuke

    IronDuke TS Rookie Posts: 801

    Yes reinstalling XP on the PATA. You need to tell the system that you have SATA otherwise it won't see it.
    It is not really a good idea to have the whole of a large disc as one partition, but that is a digression.
  11. newners

    newners TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok I'll give it a go and get back with the results tomorrow.

    In hindsight you're right about partitions. What would you suggest with a 160Gb drive? say 40Gb for OS & programs and the rest for data?

    Cheers for all your help
  12. IronDuke

    IronDuke TS Rookie Posts: 801

    Well it is quite a personal thing. 10 - 15GB is plenty for the OS. The rest I'd split into a few drives. These small drives mean quicker defragmenting and also smaller trees in you file manager. I personally use this a lot and I find this helps out.

    Here is a link to a good guide.
  13. usk

    usk TS Rookie

    I have teh exact same problem!
    Maxtor diamond plus 9 160Gb SATA hard drive with win xp pro sp2
    ASUS A7V600 motherboard.

    Please tell me there is a way to debrick the SATA HDD.

    Can it be the onboard controller that has a problem.

    when I run the viasata.exe (Diagnostic tool ) I get this:
  14. usk

    usk TS Rookie

    ok the viasata.exe works and finds the controller if you boot the system in DOS, now I just have to try again with the sata hdd connected.

    I think it is strange that so many ppl with a maxtor 160gb sata disk is haveing the same problem at about the same time.
  15. usk

    usk TS Rookie

    you can read your data with a tool on this cd http://ubcd.sourceforge.net/
    the too can copy data from the NTFS part to a FAT part.

    it's called NTFS reader or something like that, it under "filesystem tools"

    I'm so exited right now I can't remember. Maxtors own tool couldn't even see the disk and this just works!
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