FORUM QUESTION My Windows 7 PC has four hard drives (C, E, F and G). I've been having a lot of trouble with them lately, and a couple of weeks ago my computer wouldn't start up. I ran through Startup Repair a few times, but it hasn't helped.
I've tried disconnecting my secondary hard drives and reconnecting them one at a time following restarts. Everything worked fine for a while but, after I tried to burn a DVD, I again got a locked-up computer with only two of the four drives available.

Selectively adding the drives hasn't cured things this time, although the C drive continues to work normally. Joe Beaven

HELPROOM ANSWER This could be due to a loose component (RAM, graphics card and so on), the computer overheating or an impending motherboard failure.

First power down the machine, unplug everything and earth yourself. Gently clean the interior and casing of the PC to get rid of any dust. Also check for excessive dust on the processor and graphics card coolers and cables. Turn the PC back on and connect the drives one by one to see whether they now work. Update the Bios to help stave off future problems.

If the problem persists, it may be more serious and your motherboard could be at fault – you may be able to get it repaired under warranty, though. Windows 7 is unlikely to be to blame here, because of the random missing drives. The reboots point to something else.

This question was originally posted in the PC Advisor Helproom Forum. Read the full thread here.

See also: How to clean up a congested hard drive

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