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Thread: Another Disk Boot Failure

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    Question Another Disk Boot Failure

    I've checked a few other threads around various places, and while other people have talked about the Disk Boot Failure error I seem to have a slightly different problem.

    Since the computer is a couple of years old I don't have the specification right to hand now, but I can hunt it out if it would help.
    I believe I have an asus a7v motherboard, and a maxtor diamondmax plus 9 120GB drive.

    I've never had any real problems, this morning after switching on I got a Disk Boot Failure message. The Bios could not detect the Hard Drive either and looking at other messages people seemed to be saying that if the Bios can't see it, then its probably a physical error. Maxtor even replied to an email (a post in this forum a few months ago) saying that if the Bios could not detect the drive, and you were hearing 3 differently pitched beeps repeating (which I can) that the drive has had a serious error and should be replaced.
    I decided to continue looking for a solution anyway, not wanting to give up the drive or its data. I booted through a windows installation CD and it was able to see the drive and give me its size. Entering the Windows Recovery section I was even taken to the C:/Windows prompt, perfectly able to view all the data on the drive. Now to me this does not sound like a serious physical error if I can still see all the data.

    Right now I'm running a CHQDSK /R (or somesuch command) which is taking ages to check and 'recover' the disk, so I thought I would ask for some additional help here. I've checked the Maxtor and Asus sites and they don't seem to mention this triple beep noise, I'm not actually sure where its coming from, are Hard Drives able to beep?

    So, if the Hard Drive is still physically there and can be recognised by the windows CD but not by the Bios, what step should I take next to try and get it booting normally again? Oh, I also tried the Maxtor Powermax utility, but it was unable to detect the Hard Drive which seems kind of wierd.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

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    Heres a bit of an update, might spark some more interest

    Found out my main drive is actually a Western Digital 120GB Cavier and the secondary drive is a Maxtor Diamondmax 9 120GB. Now I had these both on the same IDE cable, with the WD as the boot and the maxtor as the slave. The jumpers are also both set to cable select. Now I've just been told that I should not be putting both HDs on 1 IDE cable, or CD/DVD storage on 1 IDE, nor should I be using cable select as that is for Win 95.
    Until now I had no problem with my CD, DVD or either drive. I had set them to cable select since on Master and Slave they had not worked.

    I tried running with just the primary drive connected, and it booted normally. Might this indicate something being wrong with my 2nd drive? I would have thought that even with an error it would still boot fine, just without then showing the 2nd drive.

    The beep code, which I assume is coming from the bios, is quite wierd really. I was laughed at when describing it as a bit of a tune rather than distinct beeeps, but when they heard it they did not think I was so crazy. Checking on a listing of Award Bios Codes all I can think is that it is closest to being :

    Repeating High/Low - Either the CPU is not seated properly or the CPU is damaged. May also be due to excess heat. Check the CPU fan or BIOS settings for proper fan speed.

    Well, the fan looks to be running normally, the bios does not indicate any large amount of CPU heat. Plus of course it runs fine with only one Hard Drive attached, so not sure if this can be what it is, but no other description I can find comes close.

    I thought about rigging up the cables to have 2 HDs, each one set to master with a CD/DVD drive as slave. However, the IDE cables aren't long enough for me to do this no matter how I move around the components.

    Ah, and my motherboard is an Asus A7V333, which is apparently no longer made and has very little support. I flashed it to the latest bios to see if that might help, but no luck.

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    Might well be the second drive or a connector/cable problem. Have you tried unplugging data and power connectors and plugging them back in? On the IDE cable do this at both ends. If all was working well before then cable select should be OK. The IDE cable will be colour coded and/or labelled for master and slave (black for master, gray for slave). I normally put both disks on one IDE with CD/DVD on the other, which is the recommended way. If you can get both disks working it might be an idea to copy all of the data off while you can - just in case it is the disk.

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    No-one's Fanboi Thorsson's Avatar
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    • Thorsson's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASUS P8Z77-V PRO
      • CPU:
      • i5 3570k
      • Memory:
      • 2x8Gb Corsair Vengeance PC1866
      • Storage:
      • 256M4 SSD; 2Tb 7200RPM Barracuda; 2Tb Linkstation
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA GTX970 SC
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX650
      • Case:
      • Antec 300
      • Operating System:
      • Win10 64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2515H
      • Internet:
      • Fibre Optic 30Mb
    I don't believe you should ever use cable select. Theoretically if you set two drives to cable select they determine between them which is master and which is slave. I'm sure you can see the potential problems, but in any case the actual data cables don't support it. God knows how you got it to work at all as you're supposed to need a special cable.

    The boot disk should be master and the other slave.

    Anyway, you should not mix HDs and CD/DVDs as they will slow down the HDs.

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    Thank you for the replies.

    It seems that everything is working normally again. I'll explain what I went through in case it helps anyone else if they have the same problem. Unfortunately it does not make much sense to me, as nothing in the end has changed.
    I had tried switching around all the various cables, setting either HD as master and slave, enabling manual detection in the bios etc. None of this seemed to work so I came to the conclusion that the 2nd HD must be dead.
    Not wanting to give up completely I plugged it in to another computer, leaving it hanging out the side rather than in a bay. Sure enough I could not feel or hear it spinning up whatsoever.
    I then began to look for hard disk recovery options, people seemed to be recommending pretty drastic actions, but then since it was supposedly dead anyway hurting it some could not make it any worse. Suggestions included; freezing, knocking, hammering and dropping from a small height on to a cushioned surface. I decided to go for the least aggressive method first. After a few nudges and shakes it began spinning again, and now appears to be working just as before. I've copied off all the most important data that I would regret losing the most. Need to get some DVDs to write the rest since this is my largest drive and while I could fit everything elsewhere the other places would be jam packed.

    I still have both drives set to cable select. I tried them as master and slave, and even just the boot one as a master on its own, but neither worked. As long as cable select is functioning I'm happy. The manuals even say to but them on cable select or no jumper at all as default to get it running. I guess they work since the master is at the end of the cable (black bit) while the slave is in the middle (grey bit), at least that’s what all the guides I have seen say to do.

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    No-one's Fanboi Thorsson's Avatar
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    • Thorsson's system
      • Motherboard:
      • ASUS P8Z77-V PRO
      • CPU:
      • i5 3570k
      • Memory:
      • 2x8Gb Corsair Vengeance PC1866
      • Storage:
      • 256M4 SSD; 2Tb 7200RPM Barracuda; 2Tb Linkstation
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA GTX970 SC
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX650
      • Case:
      • Antec 300
      • Operating System:
      • Win10 64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2515H
      • Internet:
      • Fibre Optic 30Mb
    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftEdge
    I guess they work since the master is at the end of the cable (black bit) while the slave is in the middle (grey bit), at least that’s what all the guides I have seen say to do.
    As far as Cable Select goes, well Seagate puts it most succinctly:

    Cable Select. The drive is configured at the factory for a cable select setting. This allows the drive to assume the proper role of master or slave based on the connector used on the cable. For the cable select setting to work properly, the cables you are using must support the cable select feature. Current UltraATA cables with the 3 colored connectors do support this feature.

    You clearly do have a correct cable!

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