Problem With Multiple Hard Drives

  joebeaven 14:03 14 Jul 2010


I'm using Windows 7 and I have four hard drives (C, E, F and G) and I've been having a lot of trouble with them lately. A couple of weeks ago my computer wouldn't start up. I ran through Startup Repair a few times but it didn't help. I tried disconnecting my secondary hard drives and reconnecting them one at a time after restarts and everything worked fine for a while.

Yesterday I left my computer burning a DVD and when I came back to it it had gone to the login screen and when I logged in, only my C and G drives were available. I tried switching off and adding one hard drive at a time after a restart as I had before. I was able to access my E and F drives, but the computer kept freezing and crashing so I disconnected them. I can't get access to my G drive at all. The computer works fine with just the C drive connected.

Please can someone suggest what I can do to get access all my drives again without these problems and stop these things from occuring again in the future?


  Press Man 14:28 14 Jul 2010

Are they sata or ide hdd? Which manufacturer?

  Chris_Byers 15:04 14 Jul 2010

Hmm. Sounds like you could have a problem with either a loose component (RAM, add-in cards such as graphics), overheating or a potential motherboard failure. What you should do first is power down, unlug, earth yourself and unplug\disconnect and re-connect all of your comonents (also check for excessive dust on your CPU and Grpahics card coolers and blow off) and cables. Once you have done this see if the problem occurs again. If it does then try updating your BIOS with the latest version (if you already haven't done so). If this still does not fix the problem it may be more serious as it could be your motherboard at fault, and if not covered by warrenty any more you may have to purchase a new one. I don't think that W7 is to blame here due to the random missing drives, it's just not something that happens via Windows unless the drives themselves are faulty, which, given the reboots points to something else.

  jimv7 15:53 14 Jul 2010

Check the power supply is man enough for all your drives.

  audeal 16:40 14 Jul 2010

I have had this problem on many ocations and am having the problem recently up to a few days ago. I find the problem is a poor connection to the drive. It is usually my "D" drive which goes walkies and I have to disconnect it and reconnect it and all is well after that. Sometimes it will occure again in a few days time and I have to do it all over agian.

Checking for dust is probably the best thing to do as others have suggested and also check the power connector to the drive is tight and fits snugly on the pins as a bad connection here will cause a loss of power to the drive.

Also, as jimv7 suggests, check the PSU is powerful enough to cope with all your items.

  joebeaven 18:11 14 Jul 2010

Thank you for your help. I'm using Seagate SATA hard drives. I updated my BIOS a couple of months ago. I've just taken everything apart and put it back together again. I cleaned the card connectors with isopropyl alcohol and hoovered out any dust (there wasn't much). I've been using the computer for over an hour now and it's been fine except for a few minutes ago when it froze up for about 10 seconds and then started working normally again, so I don't think it's completely fixed.

  joebeaven 18:17 14 Jul 2010

Here are the details of my PSU:

AC Output:
100-240V~9A 50/60Hz

DC Output:
+3.3V +5V +12V1 +12V2 -12V +5Vsb
30A 30A 17A 16A 0.8A 2A
180W. Max 396W 9.6W 10W

  jimv7 18:40 14 Jul 2010

With powering the motherboard, graphics card, cd/dvd and 4 hard drives 500 watts might not be enough.

I have an 800watt psu powering 6 hard drives a cd/dvd and a dvd writer.

  T0SH 21:43 14 Jul 2010

If the three additional hard drives are being detected and are visible in BIOS setup, try changing the seting to "not found" "not detected" or whatever your bios equivalent to this setting is

you will still be able to access all your drives from within windows but it any prevents confusion as to which is the boot hard drive

Cheers HC

  joebeaven 11:25 15 Jul 2010

The same thing's just happened again. Two of my hard drives disappeared (the same two as last time even though the drive letters were different) and the next time I attempted to restart the computer crashed. I'm now using the computer with just the C drive attached again.

So what should I do now? Replace the PSU or the motherboard?

  T0SH 14:41 15 Jul 2010

Have a close look at your motherboard especially around the CPU area for leaky swolen capacitors

Pictures here

click here

random errors like the ones you describe can often be a pointer to this problem

On the power supply the extra power loading from 4 hard drives is minimal, also when ATX switch mode power supplies fail the generally do so with a bang and often a small puff of acrid smoke

Cheers HC

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