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Old 11-13-2006, 03:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
Newb Techie
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3
Default Computer has trouble starting (sometimes)

Here are some details. I built the computer myself. The relevant parts are:

-Mother Board: ASUS A8N-E
-Hard Drive: Maxtor DM10 250MB 16MB cache connected via SATA150
-OS Windows XP Pro - this version worked on other machines so it is fine.
-Antec 400 watt PSU
-I am running Windows XP SP1

Other parts:
-A64 X2 3800+
-2x1 GB Corsair XMS DDR400.

My system does not have a floppy drive and uses NEC's DVD burner (the one everyone else has

Now, most of the time my computer stars just fine, and always works fine once it starts. Sometimes, however, it takes longer to start than usual, spending a lot of time on the screen where it says Windows XP and there is that blue bad that slides across repeatedly.

Then there are times when the computer does not start at all because it stops seeing its hard drive and gives me the error of "boot disk failure" because it does not see its hard drive (like if I go into BIOS, there would be no hard drive listed). It would usually start seeing the hard drive again after several times of replugging the SATA connector to various SATA ports on the mobo (there are 4 total). It can work and stop working with any of them, so all SATA ports are equal. I have also changed the SATA cable with no effect, so it's not the cable either.

Right now it is doing the not seeing the hard drive again. Once I replug the cable/just turn the computer completely off/on (as opposed to just using the restart button) it see the hard drive again. Once I try to load though, it takes forever on that sliding bar screen and eventually it just stops and the bar stops. If I restart, it does not see the hard drive and I have to do the whole unplug-replug and switch off/on again and it repeats. My prediction is eventually it will load up again and work fine for a while.

However, amidst this, I can start the system in Safe Mode, and it loads up fine, it only "loses" the hard drive when I try to load in normal mode.

This problem occurs every few months. More often (like once every few loads) the computer takes longer to load through that sliding bar screen. It is occurring now.

Anyone know what the problem here might be? Thank you in advance.

It was suggested to me at another forum that this could be an issue with SATA drivers, and I needed to install new ones. How do I do that, and where can I find these drivers for my mother board? Also, let me know if you think it can be something else.


phexac is offline  
Old 11-13-2006, 11:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
True Techie
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 158

Definatly could be the drivers, and that would be the easiest thing at this point past replaceing the cables which youve already done. You need to go to the motherboad manufacturers website and find the most recent drivers for your sata. If you know what chipset is on your PCB you could just go that route too.

If its not the drivers, it could be the actual sata connectors or bus lines on the motherboard, shorting out for some reason or the PCB was poorly printed. Bus lines can get cross connected if dust builds up on the back of the motherboard, causing a short, which could definalty yield results of sometimes working, sometimes not. You have a very unpredictable problem.

A help desk would replace the HD first, then the motherboard. Phantom problems like yours, if they arent contained they usually just eliminate whatever hardware could possibly be causing the problem. In your case im sure you dont want to do that.

Hope some of that helps.

Good Luck.
sCribes is offline  
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