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Hello,
First post, and I'm not entirely certian it's in the correct place. It could be in mobos, I suppose.

Here's the long version:
I bought some new memory, bumping up my slow 1gb to better 2gb. This is all fine. Works well for a day, then one of the chips steps off the ledge, and pc won't boot into XP or Ubuntu. Memtest 86+ shows more fails then I care to repeat. I return RAM and get new. Come home and plug it in. Hmmmmmm, pc won't even post. Take the new RAM out, old back in, still won't post. Reset cmos, and we're off to the races. To reset the cmos, I had to unplug my 1.5tb WD SATA drive (my os's run on a 250gb WD IDE). I had left it unplugged, in case I had to reset again, so when I booted okay, I plugged it back in. Restarted just to be sure, and once again, no post. Unplug SATA, and everything is fine, and I can plug it in, in both XP and Ubuntu and the drive works perfectly. It just can't be plugged in when I restart, or the computer won't post. And for some reason, it decided to do this tonight, when I installed new RAM (identical to RAM that already worked in my system).

So, any ideas? I would rather not have to plug my SATA drive in manually everytime I boot.

Thanks in advance for the help,
Chris

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Last Post by erikas_boy
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Try leaving everything connected, then reset the bios.
I don't understand why you disconnected anything at all before resetting? I have never done that.

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Sorry, should have been clearer: I unplugged the SATA cable because it was blocking my access to the cmos jumper. I moved the drive down a bay, and tried resetting with it plugged in. Still nothing. Any other ideas?
Thanks for the advice so far, crunchie.

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Seems like an issue of low power rather than some setting issue. What's the load inside the box and what's the SMPS spec ?

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Wow, ummmmm, no idea. I can see slapped on the side of my power supply that it is a 405w. I wouldn't know where to begin checking the load. Tops of the drives? Mobo instructions?

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by load i meant what all devices are connected to your machine (no. of HDDs, CD/DVD drives, LAN, USB, etc.)

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Ah, I see, I thought you meant electrical load.
2 HDDs
1 DVD-RW
1 WLAN
2 USB pci cards

It's been running perfectly fine with this set-up since I added the 1.5tb about 3 months ago.

Thanks
C

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What is the size of HDDs and their type (ATA/PATA/SATA).

And you said you upgraded ur ram from 1g to 2g rite ?

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BIOS tends to shuffle the HD boot priority order, so it is possible that it tries to boot from 1.5 Tb drive first when it detects it.

What you should do is plug everything in, and access BIOS settings, making sure you are booting from the right drive.

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Chaky,
The problem isn't a boot order issue, the computer won't even post with the SATA HD plugged in.
Thanks,
C

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Oops,
Just realized I never posted an earlier reply.
HDs are 250gb WD PATA
and 1.5tb WD SATA,
and yes, I went from 1gb to 2gb RAM (DDR2 667mhz, if it means anything)

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You say "Unplug SATA, and everything is fine, and I can plug it in, in both XP and Ubuntu and the drive works perfectly."

As in you plugg it in while PC is running?

I don't think that is a good practice.

Anyway, it seems to me that the drive is not in question here, but the controller. (in other words: mobo)

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Chaky,
SATA is plug and play, so plugging it in once booted is effectively the same as plugging in a flash-drive, or inserting a diskette. It appears in the removable hardware list, so it can also be dismounted and unplugged.

I agree entirely that the fault seems to lie in the mobo, I'm just trying to establish what, exactly, is the problem. I have never come across a situation, in my experience or in web searches, where a SATA drive causes the computer to be unable to post. Like itech7 has suggested, it may be power related, though it seems to have happened very suddenly.

Speaking of which, to add info to the mix, when I power-up, the drives spin, my DVD self-checks and the leds blink as per usual, as do the leds on my front panel, but there is no post beeps and no bios screen.

I have also run WD's disk utility on both drives and they come back clean. And for the sake of thoroughness, I ran both Malware-bytes and Avira last night, and both came back clean. I'm really stumped. And a bit annoyed: All of the images I edit for work are stored on the 1.5tb (obviously also backed-up elsewhere), so I am currently leaving the side of my case open to plug in my drive every morning. Blah!

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To expand on the thought of plugging in my drive once booted:
It is actually a bad practice for two reasons:
SATA cables (at least the el cheapo ones that come with mobos) are not really designed for regular plugging/unplugging. They will eventually wear and fail.
Also, I am reaching my hand into a live box. The drive in question is now at the bottom of the bays, and pretty well out of reach of everything else, but still. For the health of my computer and my body, it is technically safer not to regularly reach into a running computer.
So in that context, you are absolutely correct, it is not a good practice to be in.

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Oops,
Just realized I never posted an earlier reply.
HDs are 250gb WD PATA
and 1.5tb WD SATA,
and yes, I went from 1gb to 2gb RAM (DDR2 667mhz, if it means anything)

This surely is indicative of low power. SMPS is unable supply the reqd power. As you said in your first post, removing the 1.5tb drive boots successfully.

Consult an engineer to get a higher rated SMPS. (Around 500-600W)

Edited by nileshgr: n/a

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itech7,
Thanks for the reply. Is this normal, though? It booted fine the first few times I used it before the first set of DIMMs crapped out. It also now doesn't work with the old 1gb DIMMs, which ran perfectly fine since I installed the 1.5tb a few months ago. Is the power supply loosing juice? I replaced that in the spring, and it's still under warranty, if it's failing. As well, when I replaced the power-supply, I did some research into how much wattage I would need, and it seemed like 405w actually left me with some headroom. Is that not accurate?

I don't mean this to sound argumentative; I'm very thankful for the help. I would just hate to shell out for another new power supply, only to find there was still problems. The next two items on my list to purchase was a new processor and a set of new lcds/video card, a power-supply was *way* down the list.

Thanks again,
C

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I think that the power consumption is the same whether or not the data cabel is plugged in. (the power cable is plugged in all the time, right?)

You should try smartmon tools (or alike) to see what S.M.A.R.T. has to say about it.

Now, thinking about S.M.A.R.T., I could think of one or two effects that plugging the drive in while PC is running could have on the S.M.A.R.T. monitoring itself. I think that it ispossible that it could generate some false-positive readings of slow spinups ans such, that can accumulate and eventualy give you a warning on every single time you try to boot with that drive pluggd in, telling you that "it will fail soon".

Maybe, you should disable the S.M.A.R.T. for the time being. (no need to have it enabled, I think, to collect the data with smartmon tools)

Edited by Chaky: n/a

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itech7,
Thanks for the reply. Is this normal, though? It booted fine the first few times I used it before the first set of DIMMs crapped out. It also now doesn't work with the old 1gb DIMMs, which ran perfectly fine since I installed the 1.5tb a few months ago. Is the power supply loosing juice? I replaced that in the spring, and it's still under warranty, if it's failing. As well, when I replaced the power-supply, I did some research into how much wattage I would need, and it seemed like 405w actually left me with some headroom. Is that not accurate?

I don't mean this to sound argumentative; I'm very thankful for the help. I would just hate to shell out for another new power supply, only to find there was still problems. The next two items on my list to purchase was a new processor and a set of new lcds/video card, a power-supply was *way* down the list.

Thanks again,
C

That's quite a funny behaviour with the SMPS. Actually it should work with the old RAM. Before replacing try with a sample SMPS of higher rating. It must be available with the engineer.

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So, just in case anybody comes across this having the same problem, I have solved it, though I don't exactly understand how.
I recently came into a dvd-rw that is sata instead of ide. Once I plugged it in, the computer started booting just fine. So it seems my hdd just wanted a little sata company.

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