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I've been troubleshooting some issues with my desktop recently. I have Windows 7 installed but saw some strange behavior. I thought maybe it was because I had my 2 SATA harddrives plugged into the SATA 3 (6 Gbit/s) ports using SATA 3 cables, but I believe they are SATA 2 drives (3 Gbit/s). After POST, it would always claim the data speed was SATA 2, so I'm assuming they are actually SATA 2 drives. So, I powered down and swapped the cables for SATA 2 and plugged them into the SATA 2 ports on the mobo. Now, after POST, it claims it can't find any harddrives. If I go into BIOS, both harddrives are listed. Also, the OS will still load properly, so the machine obviously can find the harddrives. But why don't they show up after POST? What can I do to get them to show up properly?

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Do they appear in Disk Management? They may be listed as Offline and you will need to put them Online. – paradroid Nov 16 '10 at 15:55
Could you clarify what you mean by Disk Management? Are you referring to the Disk Management tool available after Windows 7 has finished starting and I'm signed in? – Chaulky Nov 16 '10 at 16:01
@Chaulky: Right-click Computer on the Start Menu > Manage > Storage > Disk Management. – paradroid Nov 16 '10 at 17:04
@jason404 - In Windows 7, you might prefer to just type 'Disk Management' into the Start Menu. ;) – Shinrai Nov 16 '10 at 17:33
@Shinrai: Yeah, I actually considered saying that instead, but as it does not appear with that name in the search results, I thought it may cause some confusion. Also, it would be helpful for Chaulky to know where all those MMC snap-ins are, as he appears to not know about them. – paradroid Nov 16 '10 at 18:18
up vote 2 down vote accepted

After the discussion here and some more testing, I've determined that this really isn't a problem. i still don't know why the hard drives don't show up in the screen after POST, but the OS loads just fine and I haven't seen any negative side effects.

So I guess the answer is... It doesn't matter. :)

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Make sure the controller is enabled in the BIOS - SATA 3 and SATA 2 ports on a board generally use a different controller and will have different settings (you could, in theory, run one in AHCI and one in RAID, for example...but this also means they can be selectively disabled.)

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I've checked the BIOS settings and both SATA 3 and SATA 2 are enabled. I'm not all that concerned with getting them up to SATA 3 speeds, really I just want my computer to function normally. – Chaulky Nov 16 '10 at 16:00
@Chaulky - That's that, then. I suspect jason404's comment may be right (and he does mean the one in Windows 7, I believe). – Shinrai Nov 16 '10 at 16:13
Thanks for the suggestion anyways, could easily help someone else to stumbles across this question in the future. Out of curiosity, would an "offline" drive still show up in BIOS as normal? – Chaulky Nov 16 '10 at 16:16
@Chaulky - Yes, it should. The BIOS generally doesn't care about anything except that a drive is actually cabled and detectable. – Shinrai Nov 16 '10 at 17:33

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