Hard Drives Disappearing causing BSOD


Sep 11, 2014
I built my first PC about 5-6 months ago (running Windows 7) and it was functioning perfectly since (the specs are written below for reference - I'm sure you don't need to know all of them, but I put them just in case). About 2 or 3 weeks ago, my WD hard drive disappeared while my computer was on. I restarted my computer and it reappeared and everything was fine. This happened a few times since the first occurence. A few days ago, my SSD disappeared (the one with windows installed on it) and my computer got a BSOD. It took a few restarts for it to be recognized again. I opened up my PC and reseated the SATA cables and some other cables just to make sure. I noticed that my computer is very dusty but I doubt that can spark a problem this big.

The problem persists and any help would be greatly appreciated.

I really hope that it's not my motherboard but I fear that it very well may be.

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K (OC'd to 4.0GHz)
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyer 212 EVO
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G43 Gaming
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2X4GB) DDR3-1866
SSD (with Windows installed): Samsung 840 EVO 120GB
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Superclocked ACX
Case (I'm sure this is irrelevant): Corsair 200R
Power Supply: Corsair CX600
Optical Drive: LG UH12NS30
Wireless Network Adapter: TP-Link TL-WDN4800


Sep 11, 2014

Thanks for the answer!
What I don't completely understand, is that if it's the graphics card, then why did my computer function perfectly for 4-5 months?
I'm going to school now, so when I come back I will check if the drives and the GPU are connected to the same leg of cable.

I apologize for any ignorance on my part since this is my first PC and I am not too experienced with building computers.


Aug 12, 2012
I know that windows will hide empty drives by default, but I don't think thats your problem. Maybe try to reinstall of the drivers for you motherboard. Especially the sata drivers. Maybe they got corrupted somehow?
if a driver takes too long to respond to windows windows may reset the sata port. if your bios is not set to autoreconnect disconnected drives (hotswap) then the drive will not reconnect and your system will bugcheck later (depending on how much memoy you have installed)
and you will not get a error log entry or bugcheck memory .dmp file because of the disconnect.

generally, you want to
make sure your BIOS is up to date, enable hotswap in the BIOS if you have that setting, install the intel chipset drivers in windows. Maybe check your cables or move your device to another port or SATA controller.

also, even if you do that. You still need to find out why the port is getting disconnected.
A few years ago, the early SSD drives had bugs in the firmware that would cause them to take too long to respond to windows (30 seconds) and windows would reset the port. These tended to be firmware bugs in the SSD. (you had to boot into BIOS and leave the device powered and not in use for some time to allow the firmware to do its drive cleanup) Cleanup routines in SSD get backed up if the drive is almost full or gets put to sleep all the time.
(empty recycle bin, clean up/remove files to make space, set the system to high performance for a while to let the drive do its cleanup)

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