SATA controller issue?


We have a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop. It was experiencing problems where it was randonly crashing and displaying system file errors on boot.

We ran checkdisk through the XP recovery console each time and it seemed to fix the issue for a while, until it kept failing on a daily basis. We then decided that it was probably a failing hard drive and it was best to replace it

So, we replaced the SATA hard drive with a brand new one. However, we are still experiencing problems in particular with delay write failure messages. Added to this the BIOS will intermitantly report that there is no hard drive in the machine. The next time you switch it on though it might boot up fine.

I'm beggining to think that there may be a problem with the onboard SATA controller.

Does anyone else have any thoughts, or anyway of testing the SATA controller? The Dell onboard diagnostics do not check the SATA controller.

Any advice will be much appreciated.

Who is Participating?
CallandorConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I don't think there is a test for the actual controller - you make sure the hard drive is a good one by testing it in a working machine, and then you run a benchmark program like HDTune to see if the drive performs like a normal drive.  Make sure it isn't a cable problem, if the drive doesn't connect directly to the motherboard.  Of course, if it is the controller, you'll have to replace the motherboard, or if it's cheaper, the whole laptop.
David WallCommented:
Yon could possibly try something like seagate seadisk or the eqivalent for the make of harddrive you have look on the nanfacturers web site for diagnostic tools these sometime test the controllers,
>>  testing the SATA controller   <<   you do it by running the disk diag.
pick the one you need here :
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