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Some time ago my power supply died. It's a long story from then till now, but the important bit is that I ended up with a new hard drive and a new power supply. I tested to see if my original hard drive was still alive, and it booted and worked perfectly until I turned it off. When I started it again it would not boot. I bought new SATA cables, assuming that the one I had was not seating properly (it was cheap and wobbly), but no dice.

Upon start-up I am presented with a message telling me to insert boot media into the selected drive or add a drive and restart. Neither the new or the old drive is detected by BIOS, my Vista install disk, or from my bootable Linux USB drive. When I remove all of the RAM the computer ceases outputting visual information, and upon reinstalling the ram and starting up again gives me a "failed overclock" error.

So, does anyone have an idea as to what might be going on? I'm completely lost at this point.

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Are you using 1.5, 3 or 6 Gb/s SATA connection? I had a problem where my drive wasn't detected until I changed from 6 to 3 - dunno how relevant this is to you. – Pubby Oct 12 '11 at 0:37
Your hard drive is toast. RMA if you can, chuck it if you can't. – Sammitch May 14 '13 at 21:54

Is your hard drive one of the ready to fail Seagate drives? I had a problem very similar. Was working until I turned the machine off and the bamb the drive was gone. I later got it replaced as Seagate had a firmware problem that killed hard drives. There is information on their site so you can check out weather your drive is effected or not.

A computer is never going to boot with no memory and the error about failed overclock is likely because the system knows it started but couldn't successfully POST.


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I don't think so, both of my drives are manufactured by Western Digital. Any other ideas? – user28927 Feb 22 '10 at 0:56
The initial spin-up cycle of hard drive stresses them, and they draw more power during that time. It's possible a teetering hard drive could kick the bucket at that point. If it doesn't work in another system you are looking at things like trying to replace the PCB on the drive or professional, expensive data recovery. – LawrenceC Jun 24 '14 at 12:10

Are you sure that the drive is good? Have you tested it on another system? It could be that the drive has also failed... Unlikely, but a bad power suppy can damage anything plugged into it...

Also check your motherboard's bios for drive settings, see if there is a legacy mode for the sata drive. Try that setting....

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Well, I suppose it is possible that the drive failed after using it for an hour on the new power supply, and that my new drive is defective, but I haven't got the resources to test that at the moment. As for the SATA legacy mode, I'm not seeing such a setting in my BIOS. Is it likely that I'm missing this, and if so where is it hiding? – user28927 Feb 26 '10 at 7:16
What Bios do you have? – Benjamin Schollnick Feb 27 '10 at 22:37
American Megatrends AMIBIOs v2.6. – user28927 Mar 2 '10 at 20:58
A cheap way to test the drive is a SATA to USB adapter or dock, which you can usually find for less than $20. If it's a 3.5" drive, you'll need a powered adapter. – rob Jan 20 '14 at 23:35

SATA legacy mode can be under many forms. It can be called IDE mode, legacy mode, NON-SATA mode Is your ODD (CD/DVD unit) detected correctly ? If yes, try to disconnect it and put a hard drive on that SATA port, assuming the ODD is also SATA.

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regardless of legacy mode or regular AHCI mode, the BIOS should still detect the drive. If it does not that either drive, cable, power or controller are dead. – Hennes Dec 22 '15 at 8:45

When a disk is not detected in the BIOS it usually means that:

  1. Either it does not get proper power.
  2. Or the data cable is not connected.
  3. Or the data cable is broken.
  4. Or the disk is broken.
  5. or the controller/port on the motherbord is broken.

Testing 1) is easy. If its gets power it will spin up*1. No daata ables is needed, and you can swap power cables around to test with.

Or the data cable is not connected/broken.... Obviously not the case here, but listed for completeness.

Or the disk is broken... Possible. If it was just one drive then it was even likely. Some time ago my power supply died. this however add the option that the disk was damaged and died a bit later, doing damage whilest dying.

Neither the new or the old drive is detected by BIOS

That shounds like a SATA controller failure. Either damaged, or disabled in the BIOS. You could try restoring the BIOS to default, if it was disabled it should detect the drives*2.

*1: Not always true. But since we are dealing with a regular setup and not with servers this is true enough.

*2: Ignore anything about normal SATA mode (AHCI), legacy mode or RAID modes. The drives should be detected. Those settings are only important once you try booting from the disk, but right not we first want the firmware (BIOS) to actually detect the disk.

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