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Backup hard drive gives non-system disk error

Posted on 2013-11-16
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Last Modified: 2013-11-25
I have a backup hard drive that had been running fine for months.  After I disconnected the system and moved it around, then reconnected, I got a non-system disk error.  By trail and error I figured out that if I disconnected the backup drive everything works fine.

But, the hard drive is fine if I plug it in to a different desktop.  It was originally the backup drive on the second system when it belonged to someone else, when I picked it up I salvaged the hard drive fro my 'first line' system.

- the first system is a ZT Systems 7332 Ma, AMD Phenom II X4 processor, running Windows 7 Home Premium, 64-bit
- the second system is a HP, Intel Core2, running Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit
- Seagate 1TB Barracuda 7200.11 drive
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Question by:eljohn101
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Expert Comment

by:EhntilZa
ID: 39654154
It sounds like the sata cable placement is confused in the bios.  You added it to a system and it is in a lower number port than the original drive in the system.  

Make sure your primary boot disk is in sata port 0. Then add the other hard and optical drives in order after that.
e.g.
primary drive - port 0
backup drive - port 1
cd/dvd - port 2
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by:nobus
ID: 39654195
probably it got  another drive letter, so : try giving it a fixed drive letter, eg  X:
http://www.uwe-sieber.de/usbdlm_e.html
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Author Comment

by:eljohn101
ID: 39655350
On about the 7th time I tried plugging it in, the backup disk ran fine on my main system.  I then switched it back to the salvaged system (where it had been running fine earlier that day) and I got the non-system disk error again.

Could there be something flakey about the hard drive itself?  Maybe sometimes it spins up fine and sometimes it doesn't?
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by:EhntilZa
ID: 39655434
Is the backup drive bootable?  If not, as it looks, the salvage system appears to be trying to boot from the backup drive.  You either need to adjust the bios and/or the cabling as I noted previously.
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by:nobus
ID: 39655653
did you give it a fixed disk letter on the flakey PC ?
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mysticaldan earned 300 total points
ID: 39656862
Try connecting the drive and run the Startup Repair for windows 7. Also you might want to swap the cabling. Connect the Backup drive to the cable connecting your primary drive and vice versa. Dont change how these cables are connected to the mobo.
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Expert Comment

by:EhntilZa
ID: 39657852
Is the backup drive an internal or external drive?  Is it USB/Sata/IDE?
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Author Comment

by:eljohn101
ID: 39658203
Thanks for the suggestions, all.

-  backup is flaky on both systems.  Sometimes it works fine on both.  Sometimes cause non system disk error.
- it is SATA
- one odd thing - since I salvaged it, it says only ~ 600GB available, even though it is a 1TB drive.  But nothing listed in the directory as to where the 400 GB is. I did not try re-formatting the drive.
- am going out of town tomorrow, will get back to this on Saturday
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39658546
it looks like the disk drive has problems
best is to recover your data - if you can't copy it, use recovery soft - here some links :
http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm      pc Inspector -FREE -
      http://www.piriform.com/recuva/download/standard            FREE  -  Recuva
      http://www.stellarinfo.com/                              Stellar
http://www.runtime.org/                              GetDataBack
http://www.ontrack.com/                              Ontrack
http://www.recovermyfiles.com/                              RecoverMyFiles
http://www.snapfiles.

note: if you can take the disk out of the external case, and hook it to a sata cable, that is the best way (and the fastest) to handle these problems
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Author Comment

by:eljohn101
ID: 39661523
nobus -

Since this is the backup drive, the data is still OK on my main drive.   If it really is a drive problem, sounds like I just need to get a new one.  And yes, it is on a SATA connector, not an external/USB one (sorry I didn't state that earlier).
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39661696
then i would run a diag, and if that has no errors,  follow it up with a chkdsk
if still problems, you cna also run HDDRegenerator, irt saved many drives for me
http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html
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Author Comment

by:eljohn101
ID: 39674718
Swapping the cables did the trick, though not clear why this is the case since I didn't open the box until after the non-system disk errors start.

Ran Tools -> error checking and no errors found, so it appears the disk itself is OK

Thanks for all the inputs
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Author Closing Comment

by:eljohn101
ID: 39674785
Swapping the cabling worked
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