Question Multiple drives not appearing at startup

Fatpatboss

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This is one of the weirdest problems I have ever encountered. About 3-4 weeks ago my WD Black 4TB drive just randomly stopped appearing in both file explorer and disk management. Ran health check and everything, came back fine, replaced both cables, same problem. I ordered another of the exact drive, got that formatted and all and while I was at it, I ran a factory rest on my whole system. Problem didnt fix, so I swapped mobo with a brand new one, everything worked for the day or so. I installed both my 4TB drives because I was going to setup RAID for them, but only my older drive appeared, but not the new one (they are both 4TB WD black drives). The only fix for the day I have found is to turn the PC off and unplug and replug in the HDDs and they work when I turn PC back on. Turn PC on today, neither HDD appear in file explorer, I go straight to Disk management and they both say they need to be initialized, again, turn PC off, unplug, replug, and now they are both working perfectly fine. I have tried with just a single drive and the same thing happens if its been a couple hours since I had my PC on, doesnt appear, appears in Disk management but needs to be initialized. Checked BIOS, its there in BIOS. I have tried everything I can think of doing, swapped cables, new mobo, new drive, factory reset, reformatting drives etc.

Specs: Mobo- Asus B550-F
CPU- Ryzen 9 3900X
GPU- Aorus RTX 2080
PSU- Corsair RM850x
RAM- Corsair vengeance RGB pro 32GB @ 3600MhZ
Drives- 2 4TB WD black, 1 500GB WD black M.2 for OS
 

Satan-IR

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replaced both cables, same problem.
I assume you mean SATA data cables?
Is the BIOS the latest stable version? Have you installed the motherboard chipset and SATA/storage controller or RAID drivers from Asus?

These are SATA internal drives, right? If so have you tried replacing the SATA power cable/s? Or connect them to another SATA port on the PSU?
 

Ralston18

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And I will ask:

Have you tried a new CMOS battery?

How old is the PSU? History of heavy use for gaming, video editing, or even mining?

Any related error codes, warnings, or informational events in Reliability History and Event Viewer that correspond with the times the drives disappear or reappear?

= = = =

Lastly, you mentioned setting up a RAID. Unless there are very specific known requirements for doing so - do not use RAID.

If there are such requirements post accordingly. RAID is very problematic and unlikely to add any value to the host system's performance.
 

Fatpatboss

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I assume you mean SATA data cables?
Is the BIOS the latest stable version? Have you installed the motherboard chipset and SATA/storage controller or RAID drivers from Asus?

These are SATA internal drives, right? If so have you tried replacing the SATA power cable/s? Or connect them to another SATA port on the PSU?
Yep, both the SATA data and power cable have been replaced. The BIOS is good, the whole RAID setup is strictly an idea for future use, not anything I was attempting to do now and yes both of the drives are internal HDD.
 

Fatpatboss

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And I will ask:

Have you tried a new CMOS battery?

How old is the PSU? History of heavy use for gaming, video editing, or even mining?

Any related error codes, warnings, or informational events in Reliability History and Event Viewer that correspond with the times the drives disappear or reappear?

= = = =

Lastly, you mentioned setting up a RAID. Unless there are very specific known requirements for doing so - do not use RAID.

If there are such requirements post accordingly. RAID is very problematic and unlikely to add any value to the host system's performance.
Motherboard is brand new, CMOS battery is fine, PSU is about 2- 2 1/2 years old, gaming has been the main focus with programming and editing on the side but nothing crazy. Checking event viewer and scrolling all the way down to the first start up today, I did have an error in boot it seems, failed fast startup (I simply forgot to turn that setting off in BIOS when I did a factory reset) and I went to CMD and ran sfc/scannow came back with a corrupted file somewhere in C: drive but its been resolved. Yeah the whole RAID is strictly an idea as of right now.
 

Satan-IR

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Yep, both the SATA data and power cable have been replaced. The BIOS is good, the whole RAID setup is strictly an idea for future use, not anything I was attempting to do now and yes both of the drives are internal HDD.
OK, as said above, I wouldn't do RAID it won't really boost storage performance but will cause a lot of headache. Unless your use of the system is beyond home use/gaming.
If so have you tried replacing the SATA power cable/s? Or connect them to another SATA port on the PSU?
You tried different cables but did you connect them to any of the other Peripheral & SATA ports on the PSU? That's a good quality unit but sometimes even good quality PSUs have faulty bits and pieces or outputs.

So I would do what Ralston18 said and check with another known working PSU too, if available.
 

Fatpatboss

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Also give DISM a try.

How to use DISM command tool to repair Windows 10 image | Windows Central

Fix Windows Update errors via DISM or System Update Readiness tool - Windows Server | Microsoft Docs

Do you have another known working PSU to swap in and test with? (Remember: do not mix and match PSU cables.)
Gave DISM a try, no corruptions found. I went out and purchased the exact model of my PSU just brand new, plugged everything in, no luck. My newer drive doesn't appear at all in file explorer but it does in disk management, BUT it says I need to initialize the disk (which has already been done) and even if I tell it to, I always get the error "A device which does not exist was specified". Turn off PC, unplug and replug that drive turn PC back on, that drive is there but now my other drive is not, go to disk management, its there, needs to be initialized (again already been done) but this time it shows the unallocated data, cant initialize the disk because it gives me the I/O error.
 

Fatpatboss

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OK, as said above, I wouldn't do RAID it won't really boost storage performance but will cause a lot of headache. Unless your use of the system is beyond home use/gaming.

You tried different cables but did you connect them to any of the other Peripheral & SATA ports on the PSU? That's a good quality unit but sometimes even good quality PSUs have faulty bits and pieces or outputs.

So I would do what Ralston18 said and check with another known working PSU too, if available.
Power supply has been completely swapped with a brand new one and the same problem persists
 

Ralston18

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And you used the connection cables that came with the new PSU and with no other cables mixed in - correct?

Also reading back:

"I go straight to Disk management and they both say they need to be initialized " Post #1.

Are the disks shown as "Offline"? Can you right click and change to "Online"?

Instead of unplugging the PC etc.?
 

Fatpatboss

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And you used the connection cables that came with the new PSU and with no other cables mixed in - correct?

Also reading back:

"I go straight to Disk management and they both say they need to be initialized " Post #1.

Are the disks shown as "Offline"? Can you right click and change to "Online"?

Instead of unplugging the PC etc.?
I tried both the factory sata cable that came with the new PSU and my aftermarket sleeved cables, same problem

Disks always show "online", it gives me option tow switch to offline, i've tried that, does nothing. My brand new drive will appear in disk management as not initialized and wont show the unallocated space, cant initialize, get the error of "the specific drive selected doesn't exist" and the other drive, which is my older one will show as uninitialized WITH the unallocated space showing, but cant initialize, I get the "I/O error" every time. I have tried one drive by themselves in the system doesn't work, I get the problems listed above. If both are plugged in and secured, its always one of them doesn't appear in the file explorer and it has said problem in disk management.
Normally its the newer drive that doesn't appear for some reason, its never both at the same time, its always one or the other doesn't appear and appears to need to be initialized, but like I said, they both are and I get errors any time I attempt to do it again when it shows they aren't initialized.
 

Fatpatboss

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Let's go back a bit:

This motherboard?

https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/SocketAM4/ROG_STRIX_B550-F_GAMING_WIFI_II/E18592_ROG_STRIX_B550-F_GAMING_WI-FI_II_UM_WEB.pdf

[ Verify that I identified the correct manual.]

Per physically numbered Page vii (Storage) - what M.2 and what SATA ports are being used?
Both M.2 slots are in use, I am aware that the SATA6G 5/6 port is disabled when M.2_2 is in use. I have tried SATA connection on SATA 1-4 on the board, currently they are connected to SATA 3/4. Before even installing a second M.2 these problems occurred.
 
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Ralston18

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I am leaning towards a potential PSU/power problem.

Thought being that, depending on conditions, the PSU (both the old and the new) were/are unable in part or in whole to provide sufficient power to the drive(s).

Look in Reliability History and Event Viewer: are there any error codes, warnings, or even informational events specifically indicating a drive or occurred when the described problems occurred?

Start with Reliability History. Reasons: 1) much more user friendly and, 2) presents a timeline format that may prove revealing.
 

Satan-IR

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get the error of "the specific drive selected doesn't exist" and the other drive
Just saw this. It might seem unlikely as your older drive used to work OK before. Have you checked the permissions for the disks/drives for the active user account?

When they appear in Windows Explorer right click on the drive and click the Security tab. Then click on the Edit button and choose your user account and under Permissions, make sure the Full Control checkbox is ticked.

When you're sure Full Control is checked click on the Apply button and then click OK. After that check and see if the drive would click on the Apply button and then hit OK.

Now see if the drives appear as they should and you can modify their settings and such. I would even reboot once and check after. It won't hurt to check if the user account has full control over the drive/s anyway.

Although I too think it can be a power issue or even the SATA headers on the motherboard might have become faulty or cracked or something. I woould inspect the ports/headers and their plastic shroud on the motherboard with proper light.

I tried both the factory sata cable that came with the new PSU and my aftermarket sleeved cables, same problem
You had these aftermarket sleeved cables from the get go with the old PSU? Did you get them later? Problems didn't start after you got the cables perhaps?

Also wouldn't hurt to have the motherboard on latest stable BIOS and chipset drivers for better performance of storage devices.
 

Fatpatboss

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I am leaning towards a potential PSU/power problem.

Thought being that, depending on conditions, the PSU (both the old and the new) were/are unable in part or in whole to provide sufficient power to the drive(s).

Look in Reliability History and Event Viewer: are there any error codes, warnings, or even informational events specifically indicating a drive or occurred when the described problems occurred?

Start with Reliability History. Reasons: 1) much more user friendly and, 2) presents a timeline format that may prove revealing.
I checked Reliability History, the only errors I get is that windows didn't shutdown properly, which I don't see how that's possible considering any and evetime I power my system down, all applications are closed and I hit shutdown, I never do it manually unless absolutely necessary
 

Fatpatboss

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Just saw this. It might seem unlikely as your older drive used to work OK before. Have you checked the permissions for the disks/drives for the active user account?

When they appear in Windows Explorer right click on the drive and click the Security tab. Then click on the Edit button and choose your user account and under Permissions, make sure the Full Control checkbox is ticked.

When you're sure Full Control is checked click on the Apply button and then click OK. After that check and see if the drive would click on the Apply button and then hit OK.

Now see if the drives appear as they should and you can modify their settings and such. I would even reboot once and check after. It won't hurt to check if the user account has full control over the drive/s anyway.

Although I too think it can be a power issue or even the SATA headers on the motherboard might have become faulty or cracked or something. I woould inspect the ports/headers and their plastic shroud on the motherboard with proper light.


You had these aftermarket sleeved cables from the get go with the old PSU? Did you get them later? Problems didn't start after you got the cables perhaps?

Also wouldn't hurt to have the motherboard on latest stable BIOS and chipset drivers for better performance of storage devices.
I have full permissions on everything, that is across all drives. The motherboard is brand new, this problem I am having happened on both my older board and my newest one that I just installed last week, same motherboard model.

This issue occurred before I ever bought the aftermarket cables, that was actually my first attempt at solving the issue, unfortunately to no prevail. BIOS is updated. I physically inspected the SATA ports on the board on the old and new one, both show no signs of damages.
 

yossibac

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What troubles me, you replaced the PSU with the same model, and you are working with two of the same HDs, and maybe you replaced the same model motherboard, all that doesn't give you a lot to experiment with. One or more of those components could have a fundamental design fault. I would try and connect the HDs to a completely different PC even via USB and see what happens.
 

Ralston18

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This:

"the only errors I get is that windows didn't shutdown properly ".

Does not necessarily mean that you did something wrong. It means that for some very small amount of time that some component lost power just long enough for Windows to begin shutting down.

But power recovered to some extent but the drive(s) and other affected components did not recover.

Take a look at the power path to the computer: outlet, power strips, surge protectors, extension cords serving the PC and other devices.

Simplify as much as possible, try other power sources on other outlets and circuits. Swap power cords.
 

Fatpatboss

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This:

"the only errors I get is that windows didn't shutdown properly ".

Does not necessarily mean that you did something wrong. It means that for some very small amount of time that some component lost power just long enough for Windows to begin shutting down.

But power recovered to some extent but the drive(s) and other affected components did not recover.

Take a look at the power path to the computer: outlet, power strips, surge protectors, extension cords serving the PC and other devices.

Simplify as much as possible, try other power sources on other outlets and circuits. Swap power cords.
Sorry I am just now getting back to this, life has been interesting to say the least, BUT I have tried many different solutions, two different PSU cords, a different outlet and surge protector etc. Ive been getting lucky, I turn my PC on, problem occurs, I hit shutdown and turn it back on and all drives appear and are fully operational. Ive kept my back panel off to monitor the drives when I power the PC up, both HDDs in the back are getting power, I can physically feel the disk turning and booting up whenever I turn on the power, but one of them doesnt always turn on. Recently its been more common for the newer drive to not appear on first boot.
 

Ralston18

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Understand that the motherboard is fine.

Reading back - Post #5: "CMOS battery is fine".

Is that battery the original that came with the Motherboard or did you install a new, known fresh working battery?

As a matter of elimination, I suggest a new CMOS battery. Especially if the existing battery is OEM....

Clear CMOS per the Motherboard's User Manual, install new battery, and reconfigure as necessary.
 

Fatpatboss

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Understand that the motherboard is fine.

Reading back - Post #5: "CMOS battery is fine".

Is that battery the original that came with the Motherboard or did you install a new, known fresh working battery?

As a matter of elimination, I suggest a new CMOS battery. Especially if the existing battery is OEM....

Clear CMOS per the Motherboard's User Manual, install new battery, and reconfigure as necessary.
CMOS cleared, and Battery swapped. Problem remains.
 

Ralston18

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Intermittent failures are often due to a loose connection. Connectivity gets "restored" when heat causes temporary expansion. That connection only lasts until the next cool down.

Unfortunately, despite all of the component swaps etc. the problem - system works but with intermittent drive failures - remains.

Consider that there is could be an intermittent short somewhere. Maybe between case and motherboard(s)......

All but the case has been swapped out - correct?

Check I/O panel, stand-offs, case switches, connections, etc.. Could still be heat related, vibrations may be involved.
 

yossibac

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It does look like hardware fault rather than software. Could be incompatibility. Try to eliminate the hard drives by connecting them to another PC. Please let us know what you find.
 

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