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Hard drives seen by BIOS but not by Windows..??

Posted on 2013-01-14
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Last Modified: 2013-01-15
I've got a system with the following configuration...

1 x 1TB system drive
1 x 2TB storage drive
1 x 2TB backup drive (external)
1 x 750GB - virtual machine drive

Unfortunately, my system drive seems to have crashed on me.  I sat down to my computer and it was still on with Windows loaded, but nothing would open and I explorer was stuck.  I couldn't get to task manager or anything, so I had to do a hard reboot.  Upon doing so, I was greeted with boot-up errors that there was a disk failure.

I went and purchased a new hard drive and replaced the system drive.  When I first tried to re-install Windows fresh (from a USB drive or a DVD) it would get to the point of "Starting Setup" and wouldn't ever move passed that point for some reason.  At least not until I unplugged the power out of my additional drives so that only the new system drive was in place.

At this point Windows 8 installer came up nice and quick and I was able to install it without any issues.  

Then I plugged my additional drives back in, but for some reason only my internal 2TB storage drive is showing up in Windows.

My 750GB virtual machine drive and my 2TB external drive are not showing up at all.  I don't see them in Windows Explorer and they aren't listed in Disk Management either.  I do see the 750GB internal drive in BIOS, though.

I find it very hard to believe I had 3 drives go bad at the same time, and I'm not getting any errors during boot like I was with the actual failed disk plugged in.  

On that note, I tried to boot up with the failed disk only and was just getting a message that the OS was not found, but I actually wasn't getting any disk failure messages.

So I'm pretty confused.  If we just focus on the 750GB drive alone, it shows up in BIOS but not in Disk Management in Windows.  Why would that be?
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Question by:Andrew Angell
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11 Comments
 
LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:pcchiu
pcchiu earned 167 total points
ID: 38775924
It may be the computer motherboard/memory issue, do you have another computer to test out the hard drive?
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LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:Scott C
Scott C earned 166 total points
ID: 38775931
Just for testing purposes try connecting the drives to another computer to see if they are recognized.

If they are, then there might be a BIOS issue.

If they are not, then it looks like something might have happened that caused a massive disk failure.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 38775952
You probably haven't loaded all the drivers for your mainboard yet.
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LVL 11

Author Comment

by:Andrew Angell
ID: 38775953
If it was a problem with the BIOS wouldn't the drive not show up there?  In BIOS it looks just fine.  It's just Windows that isn't seeing it.
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LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 38776512
Have you initialized these drives? Check the cables first and then double check  in Windows right click on My Computer - Manage - Disk Management. Do you see there your drives waiting for your attention?
And yes you are right if the problem was mobo or drives the BIOS would not show them.
Also one of the cause of such problem could be weak power supply unit which is not designed to support so many drives.
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LVL 92

Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 167 total points
ID: 38777278
i suggest to only connect 1 drive, and try installing
you can also run a diag on all suspected drives, to ensure they are OK
download UBCD -  make the cd, and use the disk diag for your disk brand
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                              ultimate boot cd
http://ubcd.mirror.fusa.be/ubcd511.iso                        direct link UBCD
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LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 38777326
What was the solution?
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LVL 11

Author Comment

by:Andrew Angell
ID: 38779519
Noxcho,

I wound up replacing both the system drive and the 750GB drive that was giving me issues.  The new drivers are working just fine.  

I plan on adding the other drives to a different computer and running through tests as outlined by users above.

I just wanted to give people points and get this closed so it wouldn't start screaming at me for abandoning it.

The reason I didn't include you in the point split is because you apparently didn't read my original post.  I specifically mentioned that the drives were not showing up Disk Management.
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LVL 46

Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 38780237
Hi angelleye,
Thanks for feedback. It is strange that such number of drives failed together on one system.
No problem with the points, I am not a point hunter and we get no benefit from these points other than your thanks and sometimes tshirt from the forum.
Most important to know how it got resolved.
Take care
Noxcho
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LVL 11

Author Comment

by:Andrew Angell
ID: 38780272
Yeah, I'm still a little confused.  It seems to just be the original system drive and the 750GB that aren't working now.  So still odd that 2 would fail at the same time, but my workstation is up and running again, at least.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 38781568
i suggest to run the diags on allthose failed drives - difficult to believe they're all bad
if you have a 2nd pc, you cna leave the long diags running on it, while working on the first
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