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Thread: SATA drive gone missing!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2

    Exclamation SATA drive gone missing!

    Help! My Baracuda 200 GB drive has disappeared. I was booting off of it using a Seritech 1S2 card. TechTool doesn't see it, Disc utility doesn't see it, Norton doesn't see it. (unless I'm using em wrong)

    I have been booting off the Baracuda for 2 months and no problems. This morning the Mac was frozen. So I hit the reboot button and it rebooted but put me onto a different (previous boot) drive. This brand new SATA Baracuda doesn't show up on the desktop, can't be selected as a starup drive, isn't showing up in Disc Utility, Tech Tool or Norton, and I'm distressed. I just bought the drive like 2 months ago.

    Here's what I'm running:
    Boot Drive (gone missing): Baracuda 200GB on Seritech 1S2
    Boot Drive (from before): ATA 75GIG
    OS9 Drive: 60GIG
    System: OS10.3.4
    Mac: Dual Processor G4 450mhz
    Ram - 1.5Gigs or so
    Uses: Photoshop Illustrator Final Cut etc.

    I'd love to recover this thing and get my data back and go on with my life as it was before, but I'm more concerned about loosing a drive that is so new. This thing was supposed to solve my problems.

    Anyone know what my next move should be?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,787

    Default

    If Disk Utility does not see it....that's not good.

    Possible problems: cable/connection issue, failed SATA drive, failed SATA card, failed PCI slot/PCI conflict.

    If you start the machine up open - careful not to touch anything - can you hear or feel the drive in question? Be sure the power cable is snuggly inserted. Is it making any noise - good noises or bad noises? No noise/vibration at all = unpowered or dead drive.

    If the drive appears to be spinning up OK, check and recheck the cable connections. Try to rule out a cable issue: unplug and replug both ends of the data cable(with the Mac off or coarse), and also try the second channel on the SATA card. It is possible the data cable is bad, but no way to check without a second one.

    Does System Profiler see the SATA card? If not, power down and reseat the card, or try a different slot. Does it report anything attached to it?
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Mobius Strip
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    13,045

    Lightbulb

    Other thoughts...

    Never install Norton (and I prefer to not install TTP 4.0.4 even).
    Boot from Panther CD (some day, consider making an emergency CD using BootCD) and maybe have Disk Warrior 3.03 as first or second line of defense (after Disk Utility and two backup sets so you always have one backup that is off-line). But Norton... unreliable and can damage a drive more often than I like (and no longer being supported, thankfully).

    For now, knowing your ATA drives (master and slave) work, I'd leave them disconnected and see what happens booted from CD. My guess is that those ATA drives are also showing their age.

    Also, Disk Utility in 10.4.2 is better able to repair drives (if you have Tiger DVD available - even 10.3.9 has enhanced DU First Aid somewhat).

    And, boot into Open Firmware and reset nvram while reseating any PCI cards.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Under the Midnight Sun
    Posts
    656

    Default unclemac on the right track..

    only thing I would comment on is this;

    if the system failed while using (abrubtly) then I would rule out cables.

    do you have any other computer which has a power connector on it? When disconnected from a bus, you should be able to apply power and hear it spin up (as unclemac suggested).

    have you reset Pram-Nvram?

    O-F-Option-Command at chime

    then type;

    reset-nvram (then hit return)
    set-defaults (then hit return)
    reset-all (then hit return, mac should auto clear nvram and reboot, if it does not reboot then type mac-boot)

    Reset Pram by holding down P-R-Option-Command for 3 chimes. (not as good as above, but should be tried first).

    I would pull drive after this and test on another SATA machine, or at least try bare power from another machine to see if it spins.
    MacBook Pro Uni 2.4GHz with express card slot

    iMac G5

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2

    Question Ok, it gets better, but...

    First of all, thanks for your help.

    I did things one at a time to figure out what was causing this:

    Plugging and un plugging the cables didn't work.

    However, switching the cable from port one to port two on the SATA card seemed to do the trick.

    Why would this happen? I don't feel a lot of confidence in my equipment at this point; what can I do to make sure this doesn't occur in the future? I bought the card and the drive from MacGurus because your advice and equipment is more reliable. I want to trust my equipment and am not sure what my next move should be. Please advise and also please accept my thanks for your help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,787

    Default

    No doubt you gotta trust your gear....

    If one port stopped working, then about all you can do is verify cable connection (did that), and verify that the card is firmly seated...might try a different slot to rule it out.

    If the port is in fact dead, sounds like it should be replaced under warranty. Seritek stuff is the best, but everybody has an occasional defect. Looks like you were just unlucky.

    BTW, do you have a backup strategy in place? A "near miss" of data loss is one way to get someone's attention.....
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

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