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  1. I'm working on a Dell Inspiron 570 Desktop. Sometimes it won't see the SATA hard drive on startup. I get an error about no valid boot device being available and told to press F1 to retry or F2 to enter setup. The DVD Drive is also SATA and it shows up fine every time. I can enter the BIOS setup and the HDD is not detected there either but saving settings and exiting the BIOS results in the computer booting just fine when it restarts. I've updated the BIOS and the HDD firmware. I've scanned the drive with Seatools and found no errors and a good healthy drive. Once the computer is booted Windows 7 runs just fine with no issues at all. It's a fresh install. So I'm down to trying a new SATA cable or a new CMOS battery. I would think a bad cable would not be so intermittent. This doesn't happen every time either. Sometimes it boots just fine from a cold start. Any other ideas what the issue could be?
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
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    Almost always this problem is caused by a bad SATA cable that sometimes works, sometimes doesn't, or a connection between the motherboard and disk drive that isn't tight. I and others say this and it's often followed by the OP adamantly insisting that his cable could not possibly be bad nor could the connection be any tighter, followed by it still not working. If your SATA cable doesn't have L shaped connectors on it and you switch to one that has L shaped connectors, it will very likely solve your problem.
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  3. I'm hoping that's all it is. I have a spare cable here somewhere so as soon as I find it I'll see if I can get this resolved. I have pulled the cable and cleaned the connection. It's pretty tight, but my spares have locking ends on them so maybe that'll do better. Thanks for the input.
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
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    Yeah, that's why I specifically mentioned those L shaped connectors. Those babies lock tight. I was previously using some cables with straight connectors and it looked fine, but it actually wasn't. Having disk drives disappear on me, sometimes in use, sometimes in reboot, was a symptom I saw. When I switched all my SATA cables to use those L shaped connectors, I never again even once had the disappearing disk drive problem.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: Australia
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    Dropping off a hard drive can be caused bad battery and interrupted mains power supply ... system returns to bios defaults after 20mins or so ... check what the bios time and date is ... if its out replace battery.
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  6. Member fritzi93's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: U.S.
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    Just to add: My experience mirrors jman's. Hard drive(s) intermittently, randomly disappearing? That's exactly what happens with an iffy connection. Cheap SATA cables have poor connectors on them.

    I've replaced my cables with much better ones with an L connector at one end (to connect to the drive), and locks at both ends. They're also only long enough to reach (plus a little extra) so there's minimum flex exerted at the connector. That cuts down on the tangle of cables inside the box as well. I got a few different lengths.

    As you can surmise from the above, the problem really annoyed me and I was determined to fix it.

    Good luck.
    Pull! Bang! Darn!
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  7. I haven't seen the issue reappear in the last couple days. I did go ahead and switch the cable last night. So far so good but I'll watch it for a few days to try and make sure. The time in BIOS was fine so I don't think there is a battery issue.
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