Question All SATA Drives repeatedly become uninitialized... what's triggering it?

Oct 20, 2020
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I've had this weird problem for the past few months. Randomly, all of my internal SATA drives will become uninitialized. This means that in order to use them, I have to go back into Disk Manager and initialize them, obviously losing any data that was on them. The data right now isn't a concern, I had it backed up. But the fact that I cant use any drives is a real problem.

The machine is a new build and I transplanted these drives from my old setup. The machine was put together in June.

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
ASUS ROG STRIX AMD Ryzen X570-I
Gigabyte NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER
2x 1tb Intel Solid-State Drive 600p
2x 500gb Samsung 850 EVO (5 years and 3 years)
1x 1tb Seagate ST1000DX001 SSHD (6 years old)

My two M.2 drives don't cause any problems. I have 5 external USB drives connected and they're all fine. But the two Samsung SSD's and the Seagate SSHD all disappear together at random times- sometimes after a reboot, sometimes during use. The machine can still see them... I CAN reinitialise them, but I know it's just a matter of hours until they go again.

I tried new drivers. I tried a new Windows install. I tried changing caching and power settings. The drives are all different ages and pass all SMART checks. When they're initialised, they're in perfect drive health. I tried looking through the BIOS but I cant see anything to change that could stop this. I updated the chipset and the BIOS. I swapped out all the SATA data cables and reboot... gone again.

Normally, you'd think that the drive was dying. But three different drives, of two different technology types, from two different manufacturers and all of different ages and all with different usage times that all disappear together? I don't think it's the health of the drives.

What am I missing?
 
I have seen this same problem in several storage forums, but have never found a cause. The solution, albeit a temporary one, is quick and easy and does not require a reinstall.

Can you show us the Partitions windows in DMDE?
https://dmde.com/

The problem is that something is trashing sector 0, but I don't know what is doing this or what is triggering it. A few clicks with DMDE should recover your partitions, until the next time.
 
Oct 20, 2020
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I have seen this same problem in several storage forums, but have never found a cause. The solution, albeit a temporary one, is quick and easy and does not require a reinstall.

Can you show us the Partitions windows in DMDE?
https://dmde.com/

The problem is that something is trashing sector 0, but I don't know what is doing this or what is triggering it. A few clicks with DMDE should recover your partitions, until the next time.
You'll have to forgive me, I'm not familiar with this app. Is this the right one?

 
Yes, that's it. However, all appears to be in order at the moment.

If the problem comes back, then r-click the "Main Disk" partition and select "Insert the partition (undelete)". Then Apply Changes and reboot.

I suggest you repost your partition view before doing this, though, just so we can confirm that you are experiencing the same problem that others have experienced.
 
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Oct 20, 2020
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Yes, that's it. However, all appears to be in order at the moment.

If the problem comes back, then r-click the "Main Disk" partition and select "Insert the partition (undelete)". Then Apply Changes and reboot.

I suggest you repost your partition view before doing this, though, just so we can confirm that you are experiencing the same problem that others have experienced.
I thought I'd try another experiment, so I swapped out the HDD with another HDD, in the same slot with the same cables. It too disappeared after a reboot. I'm positive that the drives are completely healthy and it's something else doing this TO them. I just have no clue how to figure out what that other thing is.
 
Did you examine the partitions again? DMDE is a disk editor, so it can show us the data in sectors 0, 1 and 2. That's where the corruption is most likely happening. If your problem is reproducible, and if it is related to particular slots, then that may help to narrow down the cause.
 
Oct 20, 2020
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Did you examine the partitions again? DMDE is a disk editor, so it can show us the data in sectors 0, 1 and 2. That's where the corruption is most likely happening. If your problem is reproducible, and if it is related to particular slots, then that may help to narrow down the cause.
This is from one of the SSD's, now uninitialized. However, I dont really know what to look for...

 
In the present case the "New Volume" partition has been deleted from LBA 2. You can restore it by r-clicking "New Volume" and selecting "Insert the partition (undelete)". Then Apply Changes and reboot.

Other people have experienced corruption in sector 0, but your problem appears to suggest deliberate deletion rather than corruption per se.
 
Oct 20, 2020
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In the present case the "New Volume" partition has been deleted from LBA 2. You can restore it by r-clicking "New Volume" and selecting "Insert the partition (undelete)". Then Apply Changes and reboot.

Other people have experienced corruption in sector 0, but your problem appears to suggest deliberate deletion rather than corruption per se.
Thanks for your patience and suggestions. The problem is driving me crazy. It's getting to the point where I can only think of bigger causes like the PSU or motherboard somehow causing it. It's so frustrating to not be able to even always reproduce or pin down the root cause.
 
Well, at least you now have a painless way to restore the partitions rather than having to go through a tedious rebuild.

It might be a good idea to examine the partitions with DMDE just prior to each shutdown, or after running a particular application. This will tell you if the corruption is being caused prior to the reboot, or after the reboot.
 
Oct 20, 2020
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Tiny update- I downloaded the October update from Microsoft's website (nothing was available from the inbuilt Windows Update function) and installed it. I also had a few AMD update to install and three days later... no disconnects. I'm still not confident enough to say it's sorted but it 'feels' like it's fixed.
 

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