IPC 1GHZ Laptop sometimes fails to detect the hard disk at post

Hi chaps
I have a problem with an IPC laptop,  it's around 3 years old.  6 months ago had a new hard disk replaced due to clunking and data corruption - the Laptop only gets used say every 3 weeks and suddenly it has problems getting past the POST - I.e can't detect the H/D- I've checked in the bios when this tends to happen and there is no sign of the 20GB Hitachi Drive listed in there.  If i power down the Laptop and fire it back up then it seems to pickup the drive and Windows will boot normally.  This does only happen when it's been off for a while and once it's warmed up you can shut it down and it will fire back up ok.

I was wondering if this could be CMOS battery related, or possibly a Mainboard IDE problem.
~The drive is fine.

Thanks for any help.
JohnAsked:
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Gary CaseConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
You've already identified the two possible problem areas:  the mainboard IDE controller or the CMOS is losing its configuration data.   Is the laptop plugged in during the times you aren't using it?

... if not, I'd guess it's most likely the CMOS battery => but the only site I could find with IPC disassembly notes is in German, so I don't know how helpful it might be [http://old.rde.de/main-web/topnote_h.htm ] ... and I'm not even sure if it shows the CMOS battery.

Are the symptoms the same whether you're on battery or A/C power?

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KREDIERSCommented:
Can you check your hard drive physical connection.
Does it directly connect from the socket to the disk or is the a small flat wire in place?
You can try to refit the hard-drive solving possible bad connections.
If possible try to upgrade your bios. (If you already have the latest version try to overwrite it - "force")
Does the machine have only a primary ide controller or are HDD and Optical drive on a different controller.
When you are having problems with your hard drive is your Optical device still working?
Can you boot from a CD when you're having the HDD problems.

Does your machine already support booting from USB?
Then you can try to put a BARTPE iso on a USB stick with Flashboot.
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nobusCommented:
this is sometimes cause d by the harddrive, that starts up slowly; you can check in the bios to disable quick post or quick boot for testing, allowing it more time to get up to speed.
It can also be due to the fact it uses a bit more power than the old one, which the power supply cannot deliver during the general power up sequence
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JohnAuthor Commented:
Thanks for everyones help.
the Laptop drive is connected through the 2.5" caddy - which has the appropriate interface.
I've unplugged and refitted to no avail - when it does finally boot up everything is fine with no errors showing in the event log.

Nobus - I will try the quick boot disable idea but i don't think that will work.

Garycase - I suspect too that it's the battery as this keeps the parametres - although it's not loosing time and date settings yet but i think that chip users less power.

Anyway it's not my laptop so i will write it off - keep the spares and get them a new one. LOL
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