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# 208935 6-Mar-2017 10:31
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I had a SATA drive fail in a peculiar way. At first it was intermittent, but then it stopped working completely. The BIOS didn’t recognise it at all (yes, this is old gear). But when I plugged it into a USB enclosure I could read the data without problem. I cloned the main partition from the USB with Matrium Reflect and the cloned drive booted perfectly. It is still working fine. Can anyone explain more about this? How is it that the drive could not be read by the BIOS but could be perfectly cloned through the USB port?

 

 





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  # 1730724 6-Mar-2017 10:39
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sure it wasnt a power issue in the case but it worked fine when powered in the enclosure off a different supply?





Richard rich.ms



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  # 1730736 6-Mar-2017 11:02
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No, I swapped the cables around while testing so it wasn't a power issue. I also replugged them to make sure there wasn't a connection issue.

 

 

 

 





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  # 1730773 6-Mar-2017 11:40
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Sounds like failure on the on-board SATA interface on your main motherboard.  Often there are up to 4 on-board connectors for SATA drives - I know you said you swapped cables, but did you try another on-board SATA socket?




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  # 1730785 6-Mar-2017 11:53
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Hi, thanks. Yes, I did in effect swap connectors. The computer is set up for dual-boot from two separate drives. I unplugged the power and data connectors from the working drive at the drive and plugged them into the non-working drive. This was an easy way of ruling out both the connectors and the cables. It made no difference. When I put them back, the working drive worked as before. 

 

 





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  # 1730831 6-Mar-2017 12:23
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So I just installed the drive in another computer and am perplexder than ever. This time the BIOS saw it but when I tried to boot it just looped. Windows, ever helpful, offered to 'repair' it. From long and painful experience I know better than to let Windows try to fix anything, but since I had already cloned the drive I figured what the hell? There could always be a first time, couldn't there?

 

Windows spent a very long time tracking back and forth and making impressive-sounding drive head noises. Eventually it rebooted. Immediately I saw a Blue Screen of Death flash by, but of course this is Windows so it went past too quickly to read anything. So Windows has now taken a drive that wouldn't boot and turned it into a drive that flashes an unreadable BSOD message and then doesn't boot. Some might call that progress.

 

 

 

 





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  # 1730854 6-Mar-2017 12:42
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Rikkitic:

 

I had a SATA drive fail in a peculiar way. At first it was intermittent, but then it stopped working completely. The BIOS didn’t recognise it at all (yes, this is old gear). But when I plugged it into a USB enclosure I could read the data without problem. I cloned the main partition from the USB with Matrium Reflect and the cloned drive booted perfectly. It is still working fine. Can anyone explain more about this? How is it that the drive could not be read by the BIOS but could be perfectly cloned through the USB port?

 

 

 

 

That is very odd, I've never come across this situation before. Once a drive is lost to bios, USB has never worked for me. Most likely in my view, is that the drive is failing and some bios/mobo combination fault is conflicting in such a way to cause the drive to completely dropout. 




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  # 1730864 6-Mar-2017 12:59
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It is odd to me too. That is why I posted about it. Initially the drive began to fail intermittently. As stated, I have a dual-boot system using Easy BCD. When one system is booted, I can see the files on the other drive. Sometimes the computer wouldn't boot at all, and I would have to try several times. Sometimes it would boot straight into the working drive. Sometimes I would see the dual-boot menu as normal. When I didn't see the menu I also would not see the files on the failing drive. Finally the drive disappeared altogether and the computer would just boot straight into the good drive.

 

At this point I did some tests. I rebooted and checked the BIOS several times but there was no sign of the failing drive. The BIOS did not register it at all. I am certain of this. I then tested the connections as described. First I unplugged the good drive. No boot, no drive in BIOS. Then I reversed that. The good drive booted normally. No other problems. Then I swapped both cables from good to bad. Nothing. Then I removed the bad drive and put it into the USB enclosure. The computer immediately read it, no problem. I was able to copy all my data and then clone the boot partition to a new drive, which booted perfectly when I tested it. This morning I put the bad drive in a different computer. This time the BIOS reported it with all the correct information. It wouldn't boot but I could read all the data after booting from another drive. I ran Windows repair on it. Still won't boot but I can still read the data.

 

 





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  # 1730941 6-Mar-2017 14:13
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Intermittent HD failures : yes anything can happen :-)

 


In fact , some drives not working via sata will be detectable via USB adapter, just long enough to get data .
Some drives not detected by win : can get the data via Linux.
Some drives, undetectable by bios one day, seemingly OK the next .

 

If its making weird noises, its stuffed .


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  # 1730955 6-Mar-2017 14:27
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Any firmware updates applied to the drive or elsewhere?



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  # 1730985 6-Mar-2017 15:09
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gzt: Any firmware updates applied to the drive or elsewhere?

 

No, nothing like that. Drive also not making weird noises, but like with many drives I can hear the heads moving.

 

When the drive first started having problems I ran Windows diagnostic to check for bad sectors. I am now running other diagnostics on the drive and it is clear that it still has bad sectors so am currently trying to isolate those to see if I can make the drive bootable again. None of this is important since I have my data off it but I am curious to find out what I can.

 

 





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  # 1731046 6-Mar-2017 15:54
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Try using HDSentinel to see it's SMART status.. pretty much the best HDD health utility around.





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  # 1731101 6-Mar-2017 16:59
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According to HD Sentinel my drive is a real mess. Windows and other tools say there are no problems or minimal problems. However my test computer has blue-screened twice, and that reminded me that the same thing happened on the other computer. Apart from weak or bad sectors, the drive seems to be intermittently doing something that crashes the computer. I had forgotten about that.

 

I have no idea what is going on here. The only result I am confident of is that the temperature is healthy. HD Sentinel says overall health is critical at only 9%, whatever that signifies. SMART reading gives two yellow flags having to do with surface condition. I guess the drive is stuffed, but I kind of already knew that.

 

 





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  # 1731111 6-Mar-2017 17:31
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Rikkitic:

 

According to HD Sentinel my drive is a real mess. Windows and other tools say there are no problems or minimal problems. However my test computer has blue-screened twice, and that reminded me that the same thing happened on the other computer. Apart from weak or bad sectors, the drive seems to be intermittently doing something that crashes the computer. I had forgotten about that.

 

I have no idea what is going on here. The only result I am confident of is that the temperature is healthy. HD Sentinel says overall health is critical at only 9%, whatever that signifies. SMART reading gives two yellow flags having to do with surface condition. I guess the drive is stuffed, but I kind of already knew that.

 

 

 

Drive is definitively stuffed :-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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  # 1732148 6-Mar-2017 20:47
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In my experience, Windows knows nothing about drive health. The first warning you will get is when the drive fails to read or write. That's usually far too late.

Your drive is knackered, hit it with a hammer.




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  # 1732178 6-Mar-2017 22:31
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Probably has one or two reasonably strong magnets in it, if you have a use. Good for dangling from a string to find dropped screws.

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