Is this IDE controller failure?

vbimport

#1

While master hard drive was being defragged, Avast gave “Virus data base has been updated” message, and slave hard drive wasn’t seen when Defrag completed. At first I thought Avast may have caused this, but I now think Avast wasn’t the cause due to subsequent events. Next I restarted the system after a couple of hours with everything appearing normal, copied some files and folders from slave to master drive using Explorer, but then all icons on desktop disappeared as well as task bar including start menu, shut down, etc when Explorer was closed. The only way to shut down was manually with power switch. Upon restart the slave drive was again missing. A few BIOS settings were changed and system restarted a couple of times with slave drive still not showing. Then another restart try resulted in a blank screen with blinking cursor in upper left corner with no error messages. Boot to floppy and CD worked a few times after which CD boot failed, and now only boot to flolppy and CD via external USB DVD drive is possible. During boot to either shows no drives found during boot sequence and finally no valid CDROM device drivers found. All drives show normally in BIOS, but IDE drives aren’t seen during boot to floppy or CD in external DVD drive. I tried changing IDE and power cables to see if that was a problem, but results are same after changing cables. The occurrence during Defrag now appears just coincidence and a symptom of much more serious issues

This progression of failures seems to me to point to failing and finally failed IDE connection on mobo or other mobo failure. Could these kinds of failures be caused by CPU or PSU issues, or is it more likely IDE controller failure? The mobo also has Onbaord SATA-IDE Controller settings in BIOS with options of RAID, SATA and Disabled and is currently set to RAID which I don’t use. Would changing this BIOS setting to Disabled effectively change those mobo connections to IDE connections and allow trying connecting IDE drives to those connections?


#2

Hi,quote=bevills1;2086576
All drives show normally in BIOS, but IDE drives aren’t seen during boot to floppy or CD in external DVD drive. I tried changing IDE and power cables to see if that was a problem, but results are same after changing cables. The occurrence during Defrag now appears just coincidence and a symptom of much more serious issues[/quote]Please get a Knoppix (or any other Live Linux CD/DVD) and see if you can access your drives properly.

The mobo also has Onbaord SATA-IDE Controller settings in BIOS with options of RAID, SATA and Disabled and is currently set to RAID which I don’t use. Would changing this BIOS setting to Disabled effectively change those mobo connections to IDE connections and allow trying connecting IDE drives to those connections?
What Sata controller is this? Normally the settings are:
RAID - Controller is configured as Raid controller
Sata - Controller is configured as non-Raid controller
Disabled - Controller is disabled totally

The “Sata” setting should be okay for hooking up one or two single HDDs. But note, Windows likely won’t boot since the drivers for this controller are probably not installed.

Michael


#3

Try uninstalling your primary ide controller in the device manager, reboot.


#4

It’s Via chipset and is shown in BIOS as Onboard SATA-IDE Controller, and settings choices are RAID, SATA and Disabled. All drivers that came with mobo were installed, but I don’t know if that included SATA controller drivers. That’s of little importance because none of my drives are SATA anyway. Nothing can be done in Device Manager because Windows won’t boot. As I stated the only way the machine can boot is to floppy or CD via external DVD drive.

I also have tried disconnecting all drives, started the PC, and error message is given as expected. Then primary HDD was connected and seen in BIOS, but it gives “Media test failure, check cable. Reboot and select proper boot device” error messages when trying to boot. Boot to Win98 Startup disk shows no drive and no valid CDROM drivers found; it also shows drive C has no valid FAT or FAT32 structure and may need partitioning. Fdisk shows Primary partition with scrambled characters for that partition. Booting to Win2k install CD via external DVD drive gives INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE error message. There’s no doubt the partition is corrupt, but there’s no way to access it to fix it that I know. Even if I did fix it, I’d fully expect the problem to recur due to bad mobo, PSU or what ever the cause.


#5

Hi,[quote=bevills1;2086762]It’s Via chipset and is shown in BIOS as Onboard SATA-IDE Controller, and settings choices are RAID, SATA and Disabled. [/quote]Okay. Then these settings only affect the Sata ports.

Booting to Win2k install CD via external DVD drive gives INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE error message.
That’s normal.
There’s no doubt the partition is corrupt, but there’s no way to access it to fix it that I know.
Try to boot a Live Linux CD/DVD from your external drive. Maybe you can use “Testdisk” to repair the partition. At least you can try to scratch some data from the HDD.

Michael


#6

According to http://www.howtoforge.com/data_recovery_with_testdisk “Testdisk” is good for data recovery caused by faulty software, certain viruses and human error such as accidentally deleting a partition. My problem is most certainly a hardware problem since boot to IDE CD drive is not possible. I need to figure out cause of the hardware problems first and fix that. The sequence of events I’ve observed includes disappearance and reappearance of partitions and then disappearance again that escalated to loss of boot to CD from internal CD drive. It makes no sense to try to recover partitions only to have them lost again. Knoppix may be useful for recovery once the hardware problems are resolved, but I believe I need to determine the cause of hardware problem and fix it first.


#7

A Knoppix CD is good to check whether you can still access your internal drives, and if so, to back-up data to an external HDD or similar.

[quote=bevills1;2086889] My problem is most certainly a hardware problem since boot to IDE CD drive is not possible. I need to figure out cause of the hardware problems first and fix that. The sequence of events I’ve observed includes disappearance and reappearance of partitions and then disappearance again that escalated to loss of boot to CD from internal CD drive. [/quote]I suspect a bad motherboard and/or PSU. Also, a faulty drive can cause issues.
You might disconnect all drives apart from a CD-ROM (or whatever you have) and try rebooting from CD.
You might also reset your CMOS (please read your mobo manual about that).

Michael


#8

Well it turns out the second IDE cable tried was bad. A third IDE cable was tried, internal CD drive booted to CD with no problem, a Ghost image was restored to C drive, and everything is back to normal. Who’d have thought 2 bad cables would be encountered? Thanks for the info on Knoppix; that’s good to know in case it’s needed.


#9

[quote=bevills1;2087143]Well it turns out the second IDE cable tried was bad. A third IDE cable was tried, internal CD drive booted to CD with no problem, a Ghost image was restored to C drive, and everything is back to normal. Who’d have thought 2 bad cables would be encountered? Thanks for the info on Knoppix; that’s good to know in case it’s needed.[/quote]Glad, I was wrong with my assumption of a bad mobo :slight_smile: