Question Motherboard will not display video if any SATA drive is connected, but otherwise works somehow ?


Oct 5, 2002
I had posted about this before a while ago, but I didn't have replacement parts or a second system at the time to try to figure out what's wrong:

The specs were listed there but:
CPU: i7-3770K
Motherboard: ASUS p8z77-v Deluxe
RAM: 32GB DDR3 (4x8)

STILL trying to at the very least try to figure out what is wrong with this thing to try to pull some data off of it that I need to boot into Windows to get. What I discovered now though is at least some fairly-repeatable problems (it still sometimes just happens to work).

So I replaced the PSU, and the motherboard is now in a new case because I am re-using the old one for my new build. I now found out that the integrated GPU seems to work fine as long as no SATA drives are connected. If I connect no SATA drives at all, even if I plug in USB drives, it displays video through the iGPU just fine. But as soon as I connect a single SATA drive regardless if it's a HDD, SSD, or even an optical drive, no video..... usually (about 1 out of 15 or 20 or so boot attempts the video will work). And a "VGA" light on the motherboard turns on when this happens.

When this happens the board seems to refuse to display video at all even if I disconnect the drives after completely powering it down, I seem to have to wait a bit with it powered down before it will display video again. Sometimes the bios resets when this happens. (Yes the battery is good)

At first, this seemed like it was just simply not posting at all if a SATA drive is connected, and back then as shown by those links there was a possibility it was the PSU as well. However, now that I have replaced the PSU and managed to reconstruct the boot drive, I have been able to test it a little better.

I noticed that the power button would not work anymore once I tried plugging in the reconstructed boot drive, and there was a lot of disk access noises. So I tried plugging in speakers and rebooted it, sure enough after a minute or two I heard the Windows startup sound. So it appears that not only is it actually POSTing... but it's even booting properly..... but for some weird reason not displaying any video (again, about 95% of the time, a few rare times it will) if a SATA drive is plugged in.

So I am very confused now of what is happening. Why out of all things, if a SATA drive is plugged in then the iGPU does not work about 95% of the time, but otherwise the system appears to be working fine. And any ideas of what I can possibly try? I am considering getting a cheap GT 710 or something to see if it will display video through an external card, and another option is to get a SATA/RAID card to see if it can boot through an external card (the card would have to support RAID mode though, because this install of Windows was done through RAID even though it's a single drive). Anyone ever seen an issue like this before?