Windows Server Disappearing Drive Issue

Brad McAfee
Brad McAfee used Ask the Experts™
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We have Windows Server 2019 installed on a latest generation Dell Optiplex.  (We needed server OS capabilities without the server hardware.)  

The machine has a SSD on SATA0 and HDD on SATA1.  They are both installed at the factory by Dell.  The SSD has the OS and HDD has the data storage.  No RAID.  Drives connected to board.

The installation completes without an issue.  We double check the BIOS and drivers from the Dell website and update.  The machine is setup and placed into service without issue.

After a few days, we find that the HDD is not showing up in Windows nor Disk Management.  We are of course shocked and reboot into BIOS.  The drive is showing fine.  We have enabled to report SMART error reporting.  It physically seems to be fine (not hot, making noise, et cetera).  

We return to Windows Server 2019 OS and the drive is back and working like nothing happened?

This has now happened twice -- the drive disappears out of the blue in the OS and a reboot makes it reappear.  

I'd be more than happy to replace the drive, but is it the drive?  OS?  Board?  SATA Port?  Other?
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Top Expert 2016

Commented:
If under warranty have dell replace the entire unit
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Good advice above.  Also consider that workstation BIOS may possibly not be compatible with Server 2019.
Top Expert 2014
Commented:
Have you tried reseating the cables between drive and motherboard?
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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage

Commented:
Curiosity question: What's the PC being used for?

Is uEFI set up in the BIOS along with SecureBoot?
The OS and the data drive should be set up as GPT. Are they?

Dell has a habit of delivering PCs with the BIOS setting for the SATA ports at RAID. Flip it to AHCI. If this is the case a re-install of the OS will be required or there are blog posts out there that explain how to flip an existing OS from the RAID setup to AHCI if there is a desire to preserve the already installed OS.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
check also if that drive is not set to conserve power  - and gets inactive

Author

Commented:
Nobus: All power saving is disabled.

Author

Commented:
Phillip: What is the best way to check UEFI/SecureBook and GPT settings?

Author

Commented:
andyalder: Yes I have tried that but I am going to try to move it to a different SATA port later this morning and will report what happens!
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
then test with other cables and ports

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