Win 10 losing contact with hard drive

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  1. Posts : 67
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit

    Win 10 losing contact with hard drive

    Generally this happens after the machine has been on for a few hours.
    Shutting down and turning it back on (*not* restart) clears it up.

    476GB SATA SSD (one big partition)
    C drive -- Boot, page file, crash dump,

    698GB Seagate (where the problem shows up)
    SYSTEM (no drive letter) -- System, active, primary partition.
    D drive -- Primary partition.
    E drive -- Primary partition.

    The Seagate is transplanted from a Win 7 system that crashed.

    Disk management reports all partitions as 'healthy'.

    All my day to day application software and system files are on the C drive.
    After a few hours of this or that activity, if I try to use the D or E drive (typically to make a back up), I get a message that it cannot be found though it is still listed complete with the bar graph of space used in file explorer.

    Any help?
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 4,633

    I would mark the os partition active

    then open an admin cmd prompt and type:
    bcdboot c:\windows /s c:

    to check all is ok select the ssd in one time boot menu.

    if it boots successfully, remove the active marker from the partition on the hd.


    After that you can start checking the hd and replace if necessary. You could use the manufacturer tools to test it.

    How to use SeaTools for Windows | Support Seagate US


    In addititon the ssd could be converted to gpt if so desired.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 67
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    OK I just did this one -- bcdboot c:\windows /s c:
    And I got the message -- Boot files successfully created.

    Bye for now, will report back soon.

    Just one question -- I see this will make the Seagate SYSTEM partition not be used? Correct?
    That is a good thing.

    But will it also clear up losing contact with the D and E drives?
    What exactly was going on?

    I want to understand not just do a fix.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Booted from the SATA SSD just fine. A little slow but not outrageously so. I'm going to try a restart.

    Disk management looks the same as before.

    - - - Updated - - -

    if it boots successfully, remove the active marker from the partition on the hd.
    Please explain how to do this bit in detail.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 4,633

    your os partition ( C) should now display as System and Boot in diskmgmt.

    To remove the active flag fom the partition on the HD

    either use a decent 3rd party tool e.g. diskgenius free or aomei partassist
    DiskGenius: Data Recovery, Partition Manager, Backup & Disk Utilities

    or for this particular task diskpart should suffice

    at admin cmd prompt type:

    lis vol
    ( get number of the old system partition on the hd and use instead of # )
    sel vol #
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 67
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Adding screenshots in case it's helpful.


      My Computer

  6. Posts : 4,633

    You MUST mark C active. Can be done easily in diskmgmt - rt click C and mark it active from the context menu.

    then try booting using the one time boot menu (F12 at post beep on my system might be a different key on yours ) and select the ssd from the pop up boot menu.

    when that has booted C should show as System and Boot in diskmgmt.

    then you can remove the active flag from the hd using diskpart.
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 67
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Look again at my previous post, edited to show before and after.

    Is that good now? Can I rename or reallocate SYSTEM?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Update: Shut down and reboot again. Looking good, but the test will be later.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Looking good, but I want to give it a full day with no adjustments before marking it solved.

    I'll worry about retrieving the space used by SYSTEM later.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quick load time this morning, but that can vary.

    What is significant is the time between the screen where you can access the BIOS menu and seeing the Windows logo while the OS loads. It went from several minutes to subjectively instantaneous.

    Will report back later about the status initial problem.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Marked as solved.

    I'd still like some information about whether it's OK to reallocate or rename the SYSTEM partition.

    Thank you.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Addendum (after being solved):

    I notice in my obsessive testing of totally everything that I can still boot up from the old drive if I select it from the boot menu, so SYSTEM stays. It's not like I particularly need the space.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I still do think everything I did was absolutely worth doing and made things run smoother.

    But the original problem happened again.

    Hardware problem? Something else I can do with software to handle the fault automatically?

      My Computer

  8. Posts : 4,633

    I notice in my obsessive testing of totally everything that I can still boot up from the old drive
    If you select a disk from the boot menu that has an active partition that contains the boot critical files, then it should boot. Why is it surprising?

    if you think there are problems, then you should test the disk with the manufacturer tool which is linked in post#2
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 67
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Will do. I'll report back later.

    - - - Updated - - -

    After running Sea Tools tests and recovering some bad sectors using CHKDSK, I back up the files on that disk to a USB drive.

    Then I use Sea Tools again to run 'Fix All Long', but it aborts at 90% plus.

    These are the same before and after the attempted fix. It was on this basis that I ran CHKDSK.

    OK now what?
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 4,633

    It is giving FAIL on retired sectors count.

    I would put that disk in the bin and get get a new disk. Good opportunity to replace it with an ssd.

    compare to one of my disks

    Win 10 losing contact with hard drive-retired-sectors-count.jpg
      My Computer


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