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So today I finally restarted my computer after something like 20 days and upon booting it just froze on the Lenovo starting screen. Upon trying to fix the problem, I discovered that unplugging my secondary HDD (a 1TB WD Blue) solves the problem.

I've tried out multiple SATA cables, tried all SATA ports on the Motherboard, tried disabling AHCI, nothing helped. I was about to accept the fact that the Hard Drive is fried, when I had an idea. I put the HDD in an USB HDD Docking Station and, surprise surprise, it's working.

I ran Crystal Disk Info to check the HDD, it says Health Status good, temperature is good, and all seems to be running quite smoothly, apart from the performance of course.

I'm now at a crossroads. Could it be the HDD itself or could it really be MB-based? Or am I missing something entirely?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Additional info: The drive is detected in BIOS when connected over SATA. The drive is 4 months old. Never made any problems. Curious fact, possibly related: before restarting (also the reason for the reboot) Windows 10 Start button and search pane were not working.

Update: Tried another driver over SATA aaaaand... it works. Which begs the question: Why is the old one working over the USB Docking Station (which also uses SATA, obviously)? The drive seems to be in perfect condition otherwise.

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    A healthy status, reported by the S.M.A.R.T data, simply means the firmware has not detected a problem. The firmware cannot detect all mechanical problems or any eletronic problems its not programmed to track. I have seen hundreds of disks that are deader that possume on the side of the road , but hours before that reported its health as healthy. – Ramhound May 5 '16 at 15:50
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    The only way to determine if its a motherboard problem, would be to attempt to mount, a entirely different SATA HDD. I/O device problems have known to cause delays, since Windows spends time, waiting on those I/O device to respond to its request. A HDD that had failed, while Windows was running, would explain your inability to boot Windows and your inability to access the Start Menu. – Ramhound May 5 '16 at 15:54
  • That explains a lot. Will definitely try that out. Cheers! – Peter Noble May 5 '16 at 16:25
  • @Ramhound Updated. – Peter Noble May 6 '16 at 20:35
  • Sometimes hardware does strange things, it fails, but sometimes not all the way. I suggest you backup the data on the HDD and replace it under warranty, you run the manufactures S.M.A.R.T diagnostic program, to see if it fails. – Ramhound May 6 '16 at 21:22
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The enclosure is likely defective. Test the ext. drive in another PC. If it fails then you have your answer.

If it works in another PC then I would guess there is a corrupt entry in the USB device table on your PC referring to that drive that prevents its running. It will need to be purged so the PC can rewrite it.

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    Which enclosure is defective? The enclosure that the author put the HDD clearly works, since the HDD that was not working, was able to be mounted by the operating system.. You should read the question again, because this answer, does not seem to actually answer the proposed question – Ramhound May 5 '16 at 15:52

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