benm_130
1 Copper

XPS 400 SATA drives not always recognized

Dell XPS 400 P4 HT 3GBR 1TB Seagate Baracuda (primary drive - recent upgrade) 80 GB Maxtor (original drive) both HD run on SATA.

I've never had any trouble out of my computer until recently. The computer itself is almost 4 years old - not sure if that has anything to do with the prob. For Christmas I got a 1TB Seagate Baracuda HD to replace my aging 80 GB Maxtor (factory HD). I installed windows on the Seagate and things were going great. Last month, the computer shut down unexpectedly and when I tried to restart I got a message that no disks were found. I went into my BIOS and turned on all four SATA channels just to make sure the drive was turned on. That didn't work so I unplugged the SATA cables from the drives, switched them and it started right up. It's happened several times since then and now it's happening every time I restart the machine. It will fail to recognize the HDs - both in the BIOS and in the startup. I'll get to the DELL splash screen, and the hard drive lights will light up - 1,2,3, and just stay on. After a long time, it will go to a black screen that says something like, "SATA 00 disk not found, press F1 to continue F2 to enter startup utility. Usually when i unplug them and switch them it will fix itself again. USUALLY. Sometimes that doesn't even work. It's very strange - there doesn't seem to be a pattern to it. I just have to keep trying and restarting until it works.

ANY IDEAS?? I'm stumped...

 

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Sleeperguy
1 Copper

Re: XPS 400 SATA drives not always recognized

I have a similar problem. I used SATA to eSATA cables to a eSATA frame and plugged drive 2 and 3 in to have external eSATA HDD. Periodically I have to unplug the cable from the SATA jacks on the board. Really I think your only supposed to replug them about 3 times. I have to turn them on and off in the BIOS and boot with the external off to restart. then turn it on and boot back for it to set itself up. Then later I get a hard drive 0 and 2 not recognized, unplug, turn off in BIOS then start over. Also to compicate things I dual boot XP and Vista to drive 0 and 1 respectively with easyBCD . I'm hoping the latest SATA drivers might help. These were created in 2006 but I'm not sure if that's what I need. Anyone know?

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