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Old 05-08-2013, 06:13 PM
 
28,622 posts, read 40,604,922 times
Reputation: 37303

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
It's not going to reset anything, what you're doing is making sure the cables are connected properly. You might have cable that is little loose and not making a proper connection. It's just a plug, pull them off both the mobo and the drives one at a time and reconnect. You don't have to push like a madman but firmly plug them back in.

When you open the case up make sure you touch a metal part of the case before doing anything else. If there is any static charge that will discharge it safely instead of frying something
I also have a tendency to keep some part of my hand or arm (or my chin on occasion) touching a metal part. Murphy's Law follows me around.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:55 PM
 
Location: 10110001010110100
6,385 posts, read 10,845,236 times
Reputation: 5589
Pitts, by disconnecting and re-connecting the drive cables, you are not resetting anything but merely making sure you do not have a loose or broken connection whether it is power or data.

I uploaded a few pictures from one of my older gaming machines which has a different motherboard than yours but all essentials connections (ports) regardless of their location on the motherboard, their quantity or color, would be same from one motherboard to another at the most basic level.

This particular system is quite complex and I doubt yours is anywhere near has that many drives and connections points. This system has 1x SSD HD for boot, meaning where the operating system is installed, 2x SATA Hard Drives in RAID configuration for data and 2x SATA DVD-RW drives for multimedia operation.
I am guessing yours probably has 1x SATA hard drive and may be 1x SATA or IDE (older type where a wide grey ribbon data cable was used) DVD drive. The motherboard may have other SATA ports that are available (free) which you could also try connecting the hard drive for troubleshooting purpose where you want to eliminate a faulty SATA port on the motherboard that could be the culprit but do that as a last resort.

Open the case (side panel) and touch the PSU (Power Supply Unit) as coalman mention. Since it is a given and quite known, I often neglect to mention it:


All hard drives will have the following 2 cables; serial ATA and serial power. Serial ATA (SATA) cable for data communication and serial power cable to power up the hard drive. In the following picture, the power cable is already connected and I am pointing to the Serial ATA (data) cable:


The other end of the serial power cable goes to PSU, the component you briefly touch with your hands to release Electro Static Discharge (ESD) buildup in your body. The other end of the Serial data cable goes to the SATA port on the motherboard:



Here is a close-up view:



As you guess, logically if BIOS sees the drive and displays its properties (type, brand, capacity) accurately, chances are the both the power and the data cables are properly connected at both ends but sometimes, it doesn't hurt to surrender the logic and go with the "I wonder" approach and test all possibilities just in case.

From all the info you have given, BIOS cannot find a bootable drive then the image on the presumably OK HD is definitely trashed. It might be fixable but probably not worth wasting time as a novice user. Is the data bad? Since BIOS sees the drive and SMART checked out, my guess is, your personal data is quite possibly OK hence having someone connect this drive to a working system to see if they can salvage your data. If they can, that will prove that the drive is fine but operating system image was bad. After salvaging your data, you can do a fresh install. IF you want to be extra cautious that you will not lose any data. Get another drive, a new drive and install the OS on that drive. Keep your old drive as it is just in case some data was not backed up, you can always use a USB based SATA reader unit ($15-$20) to connect your old drive to your system and look for the missing data. Also, makes more sense to do a fresh install on a new, possibly more reliable drive than on the old drive where the image had gone bad for whatever reason.

IF the shop or your skilled friend is unable to read any data off of the old drive even though it was seemingly functional, then that drive was indeed the culprit regardless of BIOS seeing it and SMART test saying it was OK. No software test can 100% verify the integrity of a drive, imho.

So far, we know there is a problem with the image on the drive but if the data was accessible, then why would your PC tell you that there was no bootable partition/media even when you inserted the recovery disc?

Logically, at least one of the following would be the case:
A- Recovery disc is not bootable
B- Recovery disc is not readable
C- DVD/CD drive is faulty (of course make sure all cables are connected properly, drive may open and close which means it has power but data cable could be lose or disconnected!)

Which brings the post to my final recommendation, use another -known to be working- bootable disc to see what happens. If you don't have one, then visit UBCD site to download the free UBCD iso image then using a free ISO burning software (links to some are also provided on that site) to burn it onto a CD to create a bootable CD.

If you still get the same error, the DVD/CD drive is likely to be bad!


PS. When disconnecting/re-connecting drive cables, always disconnect and re-connect one cable at a time to prevent making any mistakes.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:04 PM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
11,723 posts, read 11,309,113 times
Reputation: 7699
On a 5 year old PC, you may have to put the DVD drive in IDE Compatibility mode to get it to boot.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
15,400 posts, read 19,794,980 times
Reputation: 11070
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
It's not going to reset anything, what you're doing is making sure the cables are connected properly. You might have cable that is little loose and not making a proper connection. It's just a plug, pull them off both the mobo and the drives one at a time and reconnect. You don't have to push like a madman but firmly plug them back in.

When you open the case up make sure you touch a metal part of the case before doing anything else. If there is any static charge that will discharge it safely instead of frying something
Thanx....That sounds simpler/easier. I thought I would need to disconnect all leads then reconnect.

Don't know how connection could loosen but it happens so I'll try it after I gain more confidence.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
15,400 posts, read 19,794,980 times
Reputation: 11070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
I also have a tendency to keep some part of my hand or arm (or my chin on occasion) touching a metal part. Murphy's Law follows me around.
Florida is usually extremely humid......never gotten a static charge buildup like up North but I'll heed the warning.

Murphy's Law follows me as well.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
15,400 posts, read 19,794,980 times
Reputation: 11070
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurcoLoco View Post
Pitts, by disconnecting and re-connecting the drive cables, you are not resetting anything but merely making sure you do not have a loose or broken connection whether it is power or data.

I uploaded a few pictures from one of my older gaming machines which has a different motherboard than yours but all essentials connections (ports) regardless of their location on the motherboard, their quantity or color, would be same from one motherboard to another at the most basic level.

This particular system is quite complex and I doubt yours is anywhere near has that many drives and connections points. This system has 1x SSD HD for boot, meaning where the operating system is installed, 2x SATA Hard Drives in RAID configuration for data and 2x SATA DVD-RW drives for multimedia operation.
I am guessing yours probably has 1x SATA hard drive and may be 1x SATA or IDE (older type where a wide grey ribbon data cable was used) DVD drive. The motherboard may have other SATA ports that are available (free) which you could also try connecting the hard drive for troubleshooting purpose where you want to eliminate a faulty SATA port on the motherboard that could be the culprit but do that as a last resort.

Open the case (side panel) and touch the PSU (Power Supply Unit) as coalman mention. Since it is a given and quite known, I often neglect to mention it:


All hard drives will have the following 2 cables; serial ATA and serial power. Serial ATA (SATA) cable for data communication and serial power cable to power up the hard drive. In the following picture, the power cable is already connected and I am pointing to the Serial ATA (data) cable:


The other end of the serial power cable goes to PSU, the component you briefly touch with your hands to release Electro Static Discharge (ESD) buildup in your body. The other end of the Serial data cable goes to the SATA port on the motherboard:



Here is a close-up view:



As you guess, logically if BIOS sees the drive and displays its properties (type, brand, capacity) accurately, chances are the both the power and the data cables are properly connected at both ends but sometimes, it doesn't hurt to surrender the logic and go with the "I wonder" approach and test all possibilities just in case.

From all the info you have given, BIOS cannot find a bootable drive then the image on the presumably OK HD is definitely trashed. It might be fixable but probably not worth wasting time as a novice user. Is the data bad? Since BIOS sees the drive and SMART checked out, my guess is, your personal data is quite possibly OK hence having someone connect this drive to a working system to see if they can salvage your data. If they can, that will prove that the drive is fine but operating system image was bad. After salvaging your data, you can do a fresh install. IF you want to be extra cautious that you will not lose any data. Get another drive, a new drive and install the OS on that drive. Keep your old drive as it is just in case some data was not backed up, you can always use a USB based SATA reader unit ($15-$20) to connect your old drive to your system and look for the missing data. Also, makes more sense to do a fresh install on a new, possibly more reliable drive than on the old drive where the image had gone bad for whatever reason.

IF the shop or your skilled friend is unable to read any data off of the old drive even though it was seemingly functional, then that drive was indeed the culprit regardless of BIOS seeing it and SMART test saying it was OK. No software test can 100% verify the integrity of a drive, imho.

So far, we know there is a problem with the image on the drive but if the data was accessible, then why would your PC tell you that there was no bootable partition/media even when you inserted the recovery disc?

Logically, at least one of the following would be the case:
A- Recovery disc is not bootable
B- Recovery disc is not readable
C- DVD/CD drive is faulty (of course make sure all cables are connected properly, drive may open and close which means it has power but data cable could be lose or disconnected!)

Which brings the post to my final recommendation, use another -known to be working- bootable disc to see what happens. If you don't have one, then visit UBCD site to download the free UBCD iso image then using a free ISO burning software (links to some are also provided on that site) to burn it onto a CD to create a bootable CD.

If you still get the same error, the DVD/CD drive is likely to be bad!


PS. When disconnecting/re-connecting drive cables, always disconnect and re-connect one cable at a time to prevent making any mistakes.
THANKYOU so much for the pictures and information. I understand the possible problems much better now and have learned a lot more about Computers from you.......Tek and other posters.

THANX to EVERYONE trying to help......I'll keep posters informed on my progress or lack thereof

Hopefully this thread can also help other posters with their computer problems and/or serve as a useful guide and computer tutorial.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
15,400 posts, read 19,794,980 times
Reputation: 11070
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensaguy View Post
On a 5 year old PC, you may have to put the DVD drive in IDE Compatibility mode to get it to boot.
I "see" the DVD Drive in BIOS and recall something about IDE modes.....I'll see IF I can figure out how to change the mode.

I forgot to ask Turco IF the Recovery Discs would work with another new hard drive...I assume they would rather than having to purchase a new OS Installation disc?????
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,545 posts, read 5,680,797 times
Reputation: 2659
Quote:
Originally Posted by PITTSTON2SARASOTA View Post
Florida is usually extremely humid......never gotten a static charge buildup like up North but I'll heed the warning.
That's something that I've had to get used to since leaving FL. We built hundreds of machines and didn't use any anti static measures.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:16 PM
 
40,218 posts, read 41,815,454 times
Reputation: 16767
The static electricity in my old house was so bad I cooked a mouse once, it was like killing a near and dear friend I had for about 7 years. As I went to grab it I saw the charge leap from my finger through the hole around the mouse wheel. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt... it was all over in an instant.

Poor thing, I knew it was done but tried anyway. It did it's duty to the end because the monitor was on but the pointer was lifeless as I tenderly moved my old friend around trying to coax some life into it... <start playing taps>
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:21 PM
 
40,218 posts, read 41,815,454 times
Reputation: 16767
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurcoLoco View Post
I uploaded a few pictures from one of my older gaming machines ....
That's a fantastic cabling job....
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