COMMON HARD DISK PROBLEMS

Forums are full of posts with people inquiring about a disk that is not working. One of the most common problems is due to BIOS errors. Its advisable to use BIOS defaults and only select AHCI for modern hard disks only. Even modern UEFI boards default to IDE for legacy operating systems.

If the hard disk is not seen in the BIOS, then the power or data cables are likely at fault. SATA cables tend to have bad connectors so swapping hem is the first step before power problems are suspected. We suggest buying lots of SATA cables as they are very low cost and tend to be the weakest component. Power supplies are much less likely to be at fault. Older power supplies should be retrofitted to save on electrical costs.

If the hard disk is visible to the BIOS, its now likely the operating system has been corrupted. We suggests using a spare disks and install an operating system with the problem disk connected to a secondary channel.

Low cost 4 port RAID cards can add extra SATA ports for recovery purposes when an operating system is corrupted. Modern motherboards today offer more SATA ports reducing the need for low cost RAID cards.

The BIOS may have some SMART warning message if the disk is very old or has faults.

With a fresh operating system installed, if the disk is available, then recover files.