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Computer specs:

Mobo: Gigabyte ultradurable 3 - GA-970A-UD3
Processor: First gen I7 3.2GHZ
Ram: 8GB Kingston DDR3 1066
Video Card: EVGA NVidia GTX 460 1GB
Hard Drive: 500MB 7200rpm x2 (can't remember brand, sorry I'm at work.)

Last week my developer preview for Windows 8 ran out so I put my copy of windows 7 back on the computer. The computer at that point started suffering from frequent freezing and crashing. When I rebooted the computer sometimes it wouldn't find the system HD at all. When I looked at the post screen it seemed to show that it wasn't finding either of the HDs.

Then yesterday when turning on the computer I just got GRUB as a message (not a GRUB> prompt, just GRUB) I haven't had a dual boot of Linux for at least a year.

I loaded windows 7 recovery console from the disk and ran:

bootrec /fixboot
bootrec /fixmbr

Which did not help. At that point I just installed Ubuntu 13.04 over the windows 7 install and still received the GRUB post.

I went into the BIOS and switched the Hard Drive priorities and then it loaded into Ubuntu fine. For several days everything was just hunky dory until I installed the Ubuntu version of Steam, install Portal and tried to run it.

At that point the computer froze and after hard rebooting couldn't find the hard disks again. Then after restarting the system it loaded up fine again and no issues since. (I have not tried to launch portal again).

My next thought is to remove the system hard drive and try to use the secondary as the master to see if the primary HD is bad.

I'm sorry if this has been confusing, I'll answer any questions I can.

Any thoughts?

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I would try swapping out hard drives or try a new hard drive. If that doesn't work then it's possible that the disk controller on the mobo is dying. – Justin Pearce Sep 25 '13 at 18:53
That's my fear as well. :( – todd.pund Sep 25 '13 at 18:55
@JustinPearce: If it only had issues seeing the one harddrive, I would agree. However, I find it unlikely that the same issue would simultaneously occur on two separate drives. I would say that it is likely either the motherboard or disk controller, if you have a separate controller. – razumny Sep 25 '13 at 18:58
@razumny I agree. But if the mobo had trouble (not specifically the same trouble) with a known good drive, then it rules out a faulty hard drive. – Justin Pearce Sep 25 '13 at 19:07
Well, I pulled out the master HD last night and installed ubuntu on the secondary (now master). I have noticed a marked improvement in almost every way. Reboots are faster, less chugging, etc. No freezes yet, but it could just be that whatever issue I have is just intermittent and still present. I'll let it go a day or so before ruling it the MOBO. – todd.pund Sep 26 '13 at 18:30
up vote 0 down vote accepted

The hard drive failed to boot sporadically, because the hard drive was just bad. Running on a single HD for now until I can get the time to replace it.

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