Soulflight

Sim-HDD prevents PC from booting....

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I recently got an issue with the HDD my FSX is stored on (saving it is crucial, of course ;) ), a Seagate barracuda 500GB. Whenever it is connected to the PC, the machine gets stuck at the BIOS boot screen. When I disconnect it from the motherboard, the PC boots normally. Also the HDD sounds as usual.

I used an adapter device that allows mounting internal HDDs as USB drives and as soon as I do that when my Windows is already booted up, the HDD is recognized and fully accessible, but, of course, at a reduced speed. With the USB connectors of the HDD adapter plugged in while powering up the PC, the problem is exactly the same and the boot process gets stuck.

Does anyone have an idea how to fix that, befor I buy a new HDD and simply clone my FSX partition on it?

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Have you tried booting with the HD connected via SATA, not USB?

Cheers!

Luke

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Yes, thats how the problem arised. ;) So far, i made the following combinations:

SATA and PC power supply, connected on startup: fail

SATA and Adapter power supply, connected on startup: fail

USB and Adapter power supply, connected on startup: fail

USB connected when machine is already running: success.

Do you mean i should try to plug it into SATA while the PC is on?

 

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No. If it won't boot with the drive in either interface, you're probably better off preserving the data and replacing the drive.

Cheers!

Luke

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Try looking in the bios for HDD boot order, perhaps it's out of proper order.

 

Might as well look at other bios settings too while your are there to see if anything is a miss.

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2 hours ago, Soulflight said:

Whenever it is connected to the PC, the machine gets stuck at the BIOS boot screen. When I disconnect it from the motherboard, the PC boots normally. Also the HDD sounds as usual.

Have you tried a different SATA cable or a different motherboard SATA connector? Also, make sure in the BIOS that the problem drive is not set as the first boot HDD.

2 hours ago, Soulflight said:

With the USB connectors of the HDD adapter plugged in while powering up the PC, the problem is exactly the same and the boot process gets stuck.

Is your BIOS set to use a USB device as the primary boot drive? If it is, and your HDD (via the USB connector) isn't a system drive (boot disk) that could be what's causing the problem.

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15 minutes ago, vortex681 said:

Have you tried a different SATA cable or a different motherboard SATA connector? Also, make sure in the BIOS that the problem drive is not set as the first boot HDD.

Is your BIOS set to use a USB device as the primary boot drive? If it is, and your HDD (via the USB connector) isn't a system drive (boot disk) that could be what's causing the problem.

Yes I swapped cables with the other HDDs in my PC without any difference, it did always work, however, when I removed the power cable from the problem HDD, shutting it down.

About BIOS I cant really tell you because when I try to boot with the problem HDD connected, either USB or SATA, I cant even access the boot menu anymore because it freezes even before that.

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17 minutes ago, Soulflight said:

About BIOS I cant really tell you because when I try to boot with the problem HDD connected, either USB or SATA, I cant even access the boot menu anymore because it freezes even before that.

Your BIOS may be set to look first for a USB device, then a CD-ROM, then a HDD in that order. If you start without the problem drive connected, you'll be able to access the BIOS and ensure that the drive that boots successfully is set as your primary boot drive.

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36 minutes ago, vortex681 said:

Your BIOS may be set to look first for a USB device, then a CD-ROM, then a HDD in that order. If you start without the problem drive connected, you'll be able to access the BIOS and ensure that the drive that boots successfully is set as your primary boot drive.

OK, checked on that, but no luck. I disabled everything for boot except the drive where my OS is on, but still no changes. Funny thing is, that as soon as I connect the problem HDD to my PC while BIOS settings are open (with the USB adapter) the machine freezes.

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No more ideas, I'm afraid. As you can plug it in as a USB drive after boot, I think it's time to accept the inevitable and make a full backup for a new drive. I would do this now, while you still can, even if you decide to continue troubleshooting this drive. I know from experience that HDDs are unpredictable when things start to go wrong and what starts as a small problem can quickly end in complete drive failure. New HDDs are very inexpensive now (perhaps consider an SSD for much faster loading) and at least you won't have to worry about whether or not it will work.

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Hello Soulflight,

Have you tried disabling ( S.M.A.R.T ) in bios temporarily.
Sometimes, if a HDD is on its way out the S.M.A.R.T  drive health detection can prevent your system from booting with the defective drive attached. This is quite normal as S.M.A.R.T is doing its job protecting you from doing further damage to your data or HDD or motherboard controllers.
By temporarily disabling S.M.A.R.T you are effectively bypassing its stringent analysis during the PC boot  and handoff to the first bootable drive.

If you are able to successfully boot without S.M.A.R.T enabled, with both the OS HDD and the failing drive attached to SATA & power the very next thing you should do is Clone the failing drive to new drive, perhaps of a higher Gb capacity for future expansion of your FS hobby.

Incidently, just last weekend I cloned a WesternDigitalBlue WD10EALX 1Tb (32Mb cache) 7200rpm drive, containing FSX onto a new WesternDigitalBlue WD10EZEX 1Tb (64Mb cache) 7200rpm drive.  The former drive was not using advanced format, its clusters were only default 512bytes whereas the new drive has 4096byte (4k) clusters. I am finding the new drive much faster with better features than the old one, and even better loading for FSX.  (I paid $69.00 AU+P&H for the WD10EZEX 1Tb drive)
SSD's are still too expensive for the same capacity, as well you must leave much more unused space, with little real benefit after FSX loads. WDBlue HDD's are cheaper than WDBlack at the same capacity but beyond 2Tb the blue ones have reduced drive speed 5400rpm.

If you have any WesternDigital drives attached, you should download "WesternDigitalDataLifeguard" and run the drive tests once the system is booted, it will check the S.M.A.R.T condition/health of any attached drive including non-WD drives. It requires that you have at least one WD drive attached and suckling the teat.

Cheers Jethro

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37 minutes ago, Jethro said:

If you have any WesternDigital drives attached, you should download "WesternDigitalDataLifeguard" and run the drive tests once the system is booted, it will check the S.M.A.R.T condition/health of any attached drive including non-WD drives. It requires that you have at least one WD drive attached and suckling the teat.

Or try CrystalDiskInfo (https://crystalmark.info/?lang=en) which works with any make of drive and can run continuously in the background.

I wasn't aware that S.M.A.R.T could actually stop a drive from working - my understanding is that it's just a monitoring/failure prediction system which gives information about the health of the drive.

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Try unpluging all the drives (including CD if any) then plug your FSX drive. If it works then plug back one a a time. Try reseting your bios to default, make note of your previous settings.

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Yes Vortex681,

S.M.A.R.T can put a halt on the boot process, I read an article a while back (can't recall where though) that sited S.M.A.R.T was not only there to "alert" about the condition of a drive, but to provide a stop condition so that a serious drive error could be identified early and subsequent drive disabled for further investigation. How many of us regularly check the Health condition of our drives. Better to have an early sign rather than a late one.
Cheers Jethro

 

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3 hours ago, Jethro said:

How many of us regularly check the Health condition of our drives.

That's the beauty of CrystalDiskInfo - it runs in the background and uses next to no resources but alerts you if it detects any issues.

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