Unusual HDD fault Solved

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  1. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 11,653
    10 Home x64 (1903) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #1

    Unusual HDD fault


    Never seen an HDD fail in this way before.

    My System One below has been working well for years, but on a Restart it failed to boot. Simple, I thought, I'll just boot from my Macrium rescue USB and restore a recent image. However, while I could bring up the boot device menu using F12 and select the USB it wouldn't boot from that either. However long I waited it would just sit on a black screen.

    The only way to get the PC to boot from anything, USB, CD/DVD or HDD was to remove the original HDD. Controller failure? Not on the motherboard at least, I replace the HDD with one containing an installed Windows 10 and that booted correctly. The machine could also boot from USB while any HDD (apart from the original one) was present.

    OK, so it must be the internal controller of the HDD that was at fault. But here comes the really strange bit - put it in an external USB housing and it is fully functional (read and write) and Chkdsk says it's healthy, BUT....

    ....if this disk is left connected, even in the USB enclosure, no PC it is connected to can boot from anything, its own HDD or a USB.

    I'm not looking for help to fix this HDD. As I said, the drive is fully read/write functional and currently being cloned to a spare known good HDD.

    What I'm asking is whether any of the HDD Gurus have come across a fault as strange as this - and if so, can they explain what exactly has failed?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 278
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro
       #2

    I was having some strange behaviors on my Z170 desktop.
    I did a BIOS re flash. ("updated" with same version). Fixed all issues.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 11,653
    10 Home x64 (1903) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Megahertz said: View Post
    I was having some strange behaviors on my Z170 desktop.
    I did a BIOS re flash. ("updated" with same version). Fixed all issues.

    Thanks, but I don't think a bios problem applies in my case. The laptop where the problem started boots successfully from any other HDD. In fact, I'm using it to post this reply, having booted from the successful clone of the original 'problem' HDD.


    This particular HDD (and only this one) prevents any PC from booting from any type of device if it is still connected at boot time (internally or by usb). Connect it after booting and it behaves normally, all tests I've tried (chkdsk, CrystalDiskInfo) say it is as healthy as it ever was. I've never seen anything like this before, can any HDD Gurus such as @jumanji explain why it does that?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    #4

    I also think it's the HDD internal controller. It may have an issue responding to queries from the BIOS during the boot process and thus blocks the Boot process.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Compumind's Avatar
    Posts : 1,101
    Windows 10 Pro x64, Various Linux Builds, Internet Security Specialty.
       #5

    @Bree -

    Very strange.

    Could you set all your BIOS settings back to default (temporarily - not re-flash) to test and reboot?

    Could be the Controller. Try a HDD diagnostic.

    Here -

    HDDScan ? Free HDD Test Diagnostics Software with RAID and USB Flash support

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    #6

    Had the same problem.


    I had the same issue with a 2TB seagate. But I could not even get to the bios. I would recommend that you simply use the working HDD as the MSI motherboard somehow died and was sent for warranty repair. The New Asus MB started not booting and having the exact same issue as the last. Once I started using the back up drive, the problem stopped. So the blame apparently was the HDD. I was afraid that what ever was with the HDD might damage the new MB.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  7. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 576
    trying to install win10
       #7

    Techymike said: View Post
    I had the same issue with a 2TB seagate. But I could not even get to the bios.
    I have had the same. Initially suspected a mobo problem because, like you, I was unable to even get into bios. The problem was a faulty seagate HD.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 11,653
    10 Home x64 (1903) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Compumind said: View Post
    Could you set all your BIOS settings back to default (temporarily - not re-flash) to test and reboot?
    They were the defaults in the first place...

    Could be the Controller. Try a HDD diagnostic.
    Here....
    Passes those HDD diagnostics too. Only issue found is a solitary reallocated sector that has been there to my knowledge for some three years without causing problems. Anyway, difficult to diagnose any further as the HDD appears to have spontaneously 'fixed' itself and will now let any PC it is connected to boot normally.

    HAL 9000 said:

    Yes, it's puzzling. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like this before. I would recommend that we put the unit back in operation and let it fail. It should then be a simple matter to track down the cause. We can certainly afford to be out of communication for the short time it will take to replace it.
    Currently the original drive is back in the laptop, I'm not sure I trust it now but at least I have a working clone should it fail again.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    #9

    Bree said: View Post
    .........the HDD appears to have spontaneously 'fixed' itself and will now let any PC it is connected to boot normally.......
    Thank Heavens! Eversince I saw the notification and for the last two hours or so I was scratching my head trying to reason out a cause for this unusual problem. Many things were running in my mind -Corrupt host Protected Area(HPA) ?.....,Device Configuration Overlay (DCO) ?....... - How to nuke it? .....

    What is an HPA? What is a DCO? : Tabernus Support

    BCWipe Total WipeOut can identify the number of sectors hidden by the Device Configuration Overlay (DCO) function (present since ATA-6 standard) and can wipe the DCO hidden sectors. In addition, BCWipe Total WipeOut can recognize and wipe Host Protected Area (HPA) on hard drives (supported since ATA-4)
    BCWipe Total WipeOut - USB All Features | Jetico

    And suddenly everything cleared but still it will remain a mystery - cause not known .

    Now I can hit the sack and sleep peacefully .
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 278
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro
       #10

    Try this:
    If you have a Legacy BIOS, when you boot it looks for HDD. It can be that the MBR is corrupted.
    Open Disk manager and set active partition as non active.
    Reboot ans see if the problem persist.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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