PC always boots to BIOS (SSD dead / dying)

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  1. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    PC always boots to BIOS (SSD dead / dying)


    Hi,

    I left my Windows 10 Pro PC alone for an hour or two a couple of nights ago. When I came back to it it had frozen. Totally unresponsive (but screen still displaying). I can't remember if I just used the power button to switch off, or actually turned it off at the PSU, but I powered it down.
    I came back to it yesterday, and it always boots to BIOS. Everything looked unchanged there.

    Luckily I had my USB stick with the Windows installation media on it, so I tried...

    1) Startup repair - 'diagnosing PC' took > 1 hour, didn't work
    2) Command prompt, BOOTREC /FIXMBR (success!), BOOTREC /FIXBOOT (success!) - didn't actually work
    3) Command prompt, examined directory structures... c:\ was my old d:\, d:\ was my old e:\ etc etc... the C: drive has disappeared. Trying to look at F: caused it to hang, had to force power off.

    The main problem is the System Repair utility takes 20-30 minutes to go from 'Windows logo loading screen' through to 'Choose your language'... each step through the user interface dialogs takes forever (well 20-30 minutes) to load. It looks like the dead / dying drive prevents normal functioning... if I unplug the drive then everything works fine, and I can skip through the different screens without a problem. If there's *only* the malfunctioning drive (Sandisk 120gb) plugged in, then I get a black screen hang after the Windows loading screen.
    It's disappointing (to say the least) that the utility can be brought to its knees by the very thing it's there to fix!

    I might have a system restore point that I could try, but I'm thinking the SSD has died on me, and if I can't view the drive contents at all it does feel rather terminal. Is it worth going through the 60-90 minutes it would take to get to the appropriate screen in System Repair?

    I've got a new SSD on order, so I can bin the old one and re-install windows, but ... you know ... arggh.
    Is there anything else I should try?

    Any thoughts much appreciated :)
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 8,226
    windows 10
       #2

    Welcome to the forum. Ideally you need to run a disk check from a test program you can get from disk makers website as that is specifically for their drive. If you boot from usb then c drive will have a different drive letter but if you can see it as d that's a good sign you could booting to cmd prompt. Then try check disk. I wonder why it boots to the bios does the bios see disk ok?
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Samuria said:
    Welcome to the forum. Ideally you need to run a disk check from a test program you can get from disk makers website as that is specifically for their drive. If you boot from usb then c drive will have a different drive letter but if you can see it as d that's a good sign you could booting to cmd prompt. Then try check disk. I wonder why it boots to the bios does the bios see disk ok?
    Hi Samurai, thanks for the reply :)
    I shall look for a Sandisk utility, that's a good shout.
    Unfortunately the drives I could see from Command Prompt are my other drives (2 x SSD and 1 x Ye Olde Worlde Spinny Platter). My system drive can't be accessed.

    I could plug it into my daughter's PC and try to view it in there - but I'd only want to do that if it's not going to kill her PC It should be alright, shouldn't it? And then I can try the utils on it...
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 30,784
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       #4

    RostokMcSpoons said:
    Hi Samurai, thanks for the reply :)
    I shall look for a Sandisk utility, that's a good shout.
    Unfortunately the drives I could see from Command Prompt are my other drives (2 x SSD and 1 x Ye Olde Worlde Spinny Platter). My system drive can't be accessed.

    I could plug it into my daughter's PC and try to view it in there - but I'd only want to do that if it's not going to kill her PC It should be alright, shouldn't it? And then I can try the utils on it...
    ideal would be to put it in external USB enclosure. This would enable you to check its health.

    Did you check SATA cables? Presume it is a SATA drive. Also change SATA port.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #5

    AndreTen said:
    Did you check SATA cables? Presume it is a SATA drive. Also change SATA port.
    Yup, I swapped it on to a SATA cable where one of the other (working) drives was... no dice
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 30,784
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       #6

    RostokMcSpoons said:
    Yup, I swapped it on to a SATA cable where one of the other (working) drives was... no dice
    do you have an external USB enclosure?
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 5,414
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
       #7

    You need to check and see if SSD drive is detected by BIOS.

    Also check system time if its wrong you need to replace the CMOS battery.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #8

    AndreTen said:
    do you have an external USB enclosure?
    No, but I can just open her case and plug it in... are SSD's hot-swappable these days? I can't remember. I'd just connect it in when it's off, to be safe.

    FreeBooter said:
    You need to check and see if SSD drive is detected by BIOS.
    Also check system time if its wrong you need to replace the CMOS battery.
    Ah, yes I did see the list of connected SATA drives in BIOS, but at the time I wasn't sure which one would've been my system drive. I'll check later (I'm at work at the moment, away from the PC in question).

    Pretty sure the mobo battery is ok as the rest of my BIOS settings looked correct. But I'll check.


    I've got an M.2 SSD on order, arriving tomorrow, so I'll be set for a fresh install if need be

    Thanks for the help so far :) I'll report back tonight or tomorrow after I've meddled with it later!
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 14,051
    Windows 11 Pro X64 22H2 22621.1848
       #9

    Are you sure you Gigabyte Z370 Aorus supports M.2?

    I see it does: Triple M.2 with Thermal Guard
      My Computers


  10. Posts : 8
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Ztruker said:
    Are you sure you Gigabyte Z370 Aorus supports M.2?

    I see it does: Triple M.2 with Thermal Guard
    Better yet it supports NVME, so I've ordered one of these:
    ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB M.2 Gaming Solid State Drive (SSD), black

    I've already received a cheapo Kingston 120GB M.2 card, but I read the reviews and wasn't overly impressed when I compared it to other drives. I'll give it to my daughter, who's using my old Asus Z87-Plus system. Even that supports M.2, I was surprised to find!

    I plugged my failed Sandisk into her PC... it's really, really knackered - it black screened her PC, made it hang. Luckily I unplugged it, rebooted a couple of times (after one heart-stopper where the login screen didn't start!) and it's fine. The Sandisk will go in the bin
    Presposterously, whilst looking for the M.2 stand-off screw in the mobo box, I found my old C: SSD from before the Sandisk was installed. I've plugged it in and my system is now working again It's missing 18 months of Windows updates but I'll use it until the Adata arrives and I can be bothered to swap over
      My Computer


 

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