Windows 10: Is my hard drive dying?

  1.    17 Mar 2016 #1

    Is my hard drive dying?

    My system has an SSD boot drive and a secondary internal hard drive. The hard drive is assigned drive letter E. I use it for general storage, downloads, etc.

    Starting today the system hangs at boot time on SATA Port 6 - which is where the hard drive is connected. If I pull the power connector off the drive and boot the system boots OK but (of course) without drive E. If i then connect the power cable to the drive it appears as a removable drive and works fine. CHKDSK finds no errors. Update Driver says the driver is current. Device Manager & Disk Manager show the drive properly. Basically the drive works OK.

    The only way I can get the system to run properly is to unplug the power cable from the hard drive and then reconnect it after the system boots. So is this telling me the drive is bad? Even though it works OK when mounted as removable?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    17 Mar 2016 #2

    In bios make sure your SSD is set as the priority (first) boot device and disable booting from SATA 6 and the hard drive connected to SATA 6.

    Also with all drives connected and visible in Device Manager/Disk Management, please post a screenshot of Disk Management. Make sure to read the tutorial, we need to see all the information in the expanded columns:
    Disk Management - How to Post a Screenshot of - Windows 10 Forums
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    17 Mar 2016 #3

    Some improvement

    I was able to get the system to boot with drive E powered on by stopping the Samsung Magician software from starting at boot time. My boot drive is a Samsung 840 EVO and it looks like their Magician software defaults to auto-start. But it really isn't needed, so I have disabled the Auto-Start function.

    Now. although the boot still gets temporarily stuck on "Detecting SATA Port 6", it does boot OK with drive E: powered on. But after booting Drive E is not shown. Here is a screenshot of Disk Manager after booting is complete:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	before.JPG 
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Size:	139.4 KB 
ID:	69919

    and here is Disk Manager after I have unplugged/replugged drive E's power cable:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	after.JPG 
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Size:	134.3 KB 
ID:	69920

    My BIOS (Asus P6T motherboard) shows all 6 SATA ports, but only 2 are active: #2 with the SSD and #6 with the HDD. I've tried moving the HDD to a different port and the results are the same. The BIOS only lets me select boot order from existing drives; there is no option to disable booting from any specific SATA port.

    After showing up in Explorer drive E works fine. My best guess at this point is that something got whacked in the drive's firmware that makes it think it is only a removable drive (or something like that). My other removable drives USB connections) still behave properly. So this is a very obscure situation for sure.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    17 Mar 2016 #4

    Do you have an option to turn on/off hotswapping on the SATA ports in bios? You will want hotswapping turned off.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    17 Mar 2016 #5

    Nope - no such option.

    What gets me is yesterday the whole system worked fine. I wonder if there was some update that got installed automatically that has fouled things up.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.   My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    17 Mar 2016 #7

    Thanks for the tip _ I was not aware that CHKNTFS existed. But no joy - it simply said Drive E: is not dirty. So using the /F switch won't help because when the system boots, it boots without drive E: visible. The only way I can make it visible is to unplug/replug its power cable after the system is running.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    17 Mar 2016 #8

    Good news! I formatted the drive and that seems to have fixed the problem. The system now boots ok and shows the drive. Will do some testing to make sure everything is OK.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    18 Mar 2016 #9

    bbinnard said: View Post
    Good news! I formatted the drive and that seems to have fixed the problem. The system now boots ok and shows the drive. Will do some testing to make sure everything is OK.
    Cool! Thanx for the feedback :)
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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