Windows message: "Drive Not Available"

By captaincranky ยท 18 replies
Jul 31, 2010
Post New Reply
  1. I have a WD "Caviar Black" 640GB installed in a Gigabyte H55 board as a "volume" (Path "G:/") The drive is running under Windows 7, in "ACHI" mode.

    The drive is not being detected upon resume from S-3, possibly from boot also.

    All that is necessary is to remove and replace the SATA connector cable, and the drive responds. (hot plug)

    The problem manifested itself once earlier, and I replaced the SATA cable, the drive then became operative, and I thought the problem was resolved. Apparently this is not so.

    I'm thinking that the drive is defective, since I have no trouble with the system drive, (Seagate 320GB Barracuda SATA 2).

    But, since comparing the Windows drive with a volume drive might be an apples to oranges issue, second opinions would be welcomed.

    Edit, I suppose that it also might be a bad SATA controller, so which is more likely?

    Edit 2: Now I can't make it do it......:confused:
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Are you running the latest BIOS and chipset drivers ?
    I know Gigabyte boards do (or have had) various S3 resume issues- non detection of SATA optical drives (H55M-USB3 heading, first paragraph) as well as the continuous boot cycle issue that plagued P43/P45 boards.
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Haven't seen this problem with the Caviar Black, but have seen it plenty with the Western Digital Blue and Green.
    Western Digital is very good about replacing their defective drives quickly if within a year of the date code on the label...

    But I would try a reformat and reinstall, then try all the helpful software on the Western Digital website..
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Topic Starter Posts: 13,025   +2,557

    OK, I checked this out. I have the UD2H model, Rev. 1.0, but I"m guessing that the BIOS is the same. I'm showing F-4 for the BIOS, and I have a Sony Optiarc SATA DVD burner (running as AHCI), and it is always present and accounted for.. The later BIOS revisions don't specify curing detection issues, IE the F-8 revision is claiming better support for Intel "Turbo Boost", but since this is an i3-530 system, I suppose that update would be moot in this case.
    When you say "this problem" are you indicating a firmware / electronic type of bricking?

    Anyway, thanks for the input guys.

    Update, No "G:/" after several hours in S-3. I accidentally pulled the SATA cable out of the board on "C:/". After the obviously needed reboot, what to my poor wondering eyes should appear but The WD. Oy, I'll keep you posted.

    I suppose that this is going to devolve into a lengthy process of elimination ordeal. First the SATA cable to a different mobo port, then copy and paste 300+ GB of data to a known good drive, and try that. This does seem to be happening more frequently now, or maybe I've just had the damned thing hooked up more.
  5. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    perhaps I have the sequence out of order here, but I was working on a machine a few months back that was acting similar to this I believe and It turned out that I wrecked a few cables because the wire management path took a couple of sharp turns and was cracking the interior of the cable, Im sure you know this but SATA cables are sensitive to stress from bending and stretching. and its the cheapest solution to eliminate.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Topic Starter Posts: 13,025   +2,557

    Suffice it to say, this is not a vanity install. So, no sharp corners, no sudden turns, and no folding, spindling, or mutilating of the SATA cables.

    I replaced the cable at the onset of this issue, with one right out of the mobo box.

    Last night I installed another SATA drive (WD250 Caviar Blue) to to see what would happen. Since this would be a volume drive same as the 640, I wanted to compare apples to apples, and not an OS drive to a volume. Upon resume from S-3, no "G:/", but all three other drives were on line.

    1. The system drive (320GB Seagate Barracuda 12)

    2. The DVD drive, (Sony Optiarc SATA 22X some model number or other)

    3. The WD 250 Blue.

    Once again the WD 640 Caviar Black was unavailable for comment.

    My only reservation about yanking it and returning it, is the BIOS issue the DBZ pointed out, but that really doesn't apply to the F-4 BIOS in my board, or HDDs either.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Topic Starter Posts: 13,025   +2,557

    Actually, I have been wondering about the SATA connector on the HDD PCB itself. While the SATA cable itself is new, a hot replug forced redetection of this drive.

    So, I'm still stuck here with 3 possibilities;

    1. mechanical problems with the SATA port on the drive

    2. Detection issues upon resume with the BIOS

    3. Drive "bricking" via electronic or firmware issues.

    I should probably just replace the drive, as (IMO) even if the issue is with BIOS, every other drive I attach to this SATA controller, works without fault.
  8. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,188   +470

    If every other SATA drive works except this one and it's not a cable issue, I would just RMA it. It doesn't really matter if the problem is mechanical or electronic. It shouldn't be this hard to get it to work.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Topic Starter Posts: 13,025   +2,557


    In anticipation of RMAing this WD Caviar Black 640 GB HDD, I installed a WD Caviar Black 750 GB drive, did a full format, then copied and pasted the files to it, then did a full format on the 640GB drive. I changed the drive letters, and Photoshop Elements Organizer found all the files on the 750, opening the catalog with no problem.

    I put the computer to sleep. and when I woke it up, both the WD Caviar Blacks were gone! Reboot, and what to my poor wondering eyes should appear, but both these drives. It was like they never left. But verily, they did.

    I think it's fair to say, it's not the cables.

    And yet still the system drive never leaves, (Seagate Barracuda 12 320GB), nor does the Optical drive, (Sony Optiarc DVD burner), and rather oddly, neither does the WD Caviar Blue 250GB. (Although it's pretty old, it's low miles. It actually has a molex connector for power) This is a retail drive that came with a locking SATA cable that covered the SATA power connector, hence the molex.

    Maybe it is time to torch this board with a BIOS update. Before I do this, are there any votes for the PSU (Standby power issue, far fetched, probably), or a Windows 7 64 bit issue?
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Topic Starter Posts: 13,025   +2,557


    Not that anybody cares, but here is the final update on my problem. The HDDs disappearing after resume from S-3 sleep, is actually a fault in Windows 7....!

    After a bunch of Email nonsense, software installing, and phoning WD @ service level one. I finally got through to them, that this wasn't an issue with my affected drives running under different OSes and hardware, but rather just in this one machine. After thoroughly alienating a nice lady with a suspiciously central Asian accent, then being hung up on, I was able to call back and have them patch me through to CS level 2...

    As it turns out, with large SATA drives, if they don't spin up fully by ten seconds after attempting resume, Windows 7 issues a stop error. Since my OS is on a smaller drive, instead of a stop error, the large HDDs simply disappear..!

    M$ has issued a hotfix for this problem, KB Article Number(s): 977178

    The gentleman at WD support found this, brought it to my attention, and I am living happily ever after because of it. :)
  11. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Thankyou CaptainCranky,
    You have explained a mystery... we have had clients with this problem, but we have always eventually been able to make it work... but only in Windows 7.
    Good to know.
  12. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

    Thanks for your narrative, Captain!
    Helpful information!
  13. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,477   +126

    Good job at first I thought it was the PSU. I use 4 WD Blue in AMD Quad under Windows 7 U64-bit never seen this issue.
  14. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Posts: 164

    Sorry to bump this old topic, but I used to have this same issue and I ended up just unplugging one of my drives and it stopped happening (I have 2x 1TB drives, a 500GB, and a 200GB IDE, which is the one I unplugged.)

    I visited the link you provided cranky, but when I click to get the hotfix it offers me two files. Am I supposed to install them both?
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Topic Starter Posts: 13,025   +2,557

    The problem this hotfix pertains to, is mostly with very large SATA drives, failing to resume after sleep (S-3, Suspend to RAM). If a drive doesn't spin up fully, within 10 seconds, Windows 7 ignores it, and it disappears.When the drive contains the OS, Windows issues a stop error. The reason this is aimed at large SATA drives primarily, is they are multiple platter, and reach operating speed more slowly than a smaller HDD, which up to 320GB, are now single platter. In my case, I have the OS on a 320GB Seagate, and 2 Caviar Blacks, (640, 750GB) The 2 WDs always went away, the little Seagate never did.

    The interesting thing here is,since SATA is hot pluggable, if you remove and replace the SATA connector while the machine is running, the drive reappears! It's easy to reach the conclusion that the problem is with the cable or that it wasn't plugged in fully under these circumstances!

    So, if your SATA drives are disappearing, this is probably the problem
    No. You have to read that page fully. One is 32 bit, the other 64.

    It is my understanding that this only applies to SATA drives, running as AHCI, under Win 7 and the latest Win Server. They won't even offer you the download if you visit the site with a machine running XP.

    Actually, it's a good idea to keep this thread running, since people may be having this problem, and attributing it to other things. I read a motherboard review at Newegg, where the buyer was having this >exact< problem, attributed it to the motherboard, then RMAed the board. Point being, you don't think to blame the OS first, but in this case, that's the problem.
  16. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    A closer look after contacting all our clients shows that the problems reported to us are only with 1TB drives installed... particularly 2 1TB drives (or larger)... Don't know if they are the 1.5 or 3.0... but it is clear that 1.5 are part of the problem. Most problems seem to be with two drives installed where one of them is a 1 TB drive.
  17. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Posts: 164

    I have 2 1TB drives that I use for storage. I also have a 500GB drive that is partitioned into 3 drives, C:, E:, and R:. E: and R: are also storage drives, C: is my boot drive.

    The problem I was having was with the 1TB drives disappearing, not the 200GB. I just thought it was a power issue and so unplugged the 200GB drive because I don't need it to be constantly plugged in.

    And I'm pretty sure both of the files that I was provided with are x64. I'm on Win7 Ult. x64 and this is what I saw:


    Both files are designated x64, just two different fix numbers. I downloaded and installed them both. The page only provided me with files for a 64 bit system, since it detected that that's what I was on.

    I guess now I'll restart (eventually) and see if it works.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Topic Starter Posts: 13,025   +2,557

    I hope this works out for you. The download I requested was kb977178. I was sent a password protected download zip file numbered 399477.
    That cured the problem.
  19. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,477   +126

    Let me correct that I do have this issue with my WD Blue 1TB, I was working on it and then it disappear and when it reappear it hangs and goes away again. I've requested the Hotfix from MS thanks hope that solves the issue. SP1 doesn't do a thing..

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...