PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM/Is my motherboard bad?


QUESTION: Hi and thanks for your time!!
I have a new Lenovo H430. When I first bought it last month I had my tech take out the HDD with Window 8 and put in two other HDD: one with Win7 and the other my old HDD with my data on it. The BIOS recognized both drives.
I won't go into the whole gory story, but now I have put the Windows 8 drive back and loaded all of my data.
I want to install a slave drive but the BIOS will not 'fully' recognize the slave drive. The first tab of the BIOS gives a system summary which shows a slave drive, however the tab dealing with the starup boot order doesn't see the drive.
I can boot through to Windows 8, however I can't see the drive in Windows Explorer (now file explorer), Disk Management or Device Manager. Nor can Seagate's Disk Wizard 'add a disk' utility see the drive.
I've tried three different drives: one SATA with data only 325GB; one SATA with Windows 7 2TB; and one SATA Windows XP 1TB. All produce the same results.
I switched the SATA cable to see if that was a problem. Nope...
I don't even know which way to turn next.There are four ports on the motherboard: three colored and one black. The colored have the boot HDD, the floppy drive, and my intended slave drive. Do you know what the black one is for? Perhaps my slave should be plugged into that one?
I am out of things to try. :-(   I know the motherboard will recognize two HDD because we had that setup first. ...of course perhaps it has a problem now because of something I've done.
The BIOS doesn't care what the OS is does it? ...so it shouldn't be a Windows 8 problem.
Well, any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER: You would be correct in assuming that the BIOS doesn't care what OS is on the drive. The black slot may just be a dummy indicator for the manufacturer who slaps the parts all together in the factory that the black port is "slot one" and that by default in the BIOS that black slot will be booted first of the hard drives regardless of how many are added later.

What the problem sounds to be is similar to what Dell does in some of their newer BIOS settings. Go into the BIOS and look for settings that are specific to the SATA controllers/ports. There is most likely a setting that allows you to turn the controllers On and Off and by default are all off except the slots used previously. If such options are available, change them to on. Only turn on the slots that will be used however. I say this because if you turn on a SATA controller and there's no drive there to be detected, the POST screen might complain, which though won't hurt anything, might be a little annoying since it will likely throw out extra beeps or require acknowledgement by having you press a key every time you turn on the computer.

If that doesn't work, get back to me and I'll be glad to help you further. I don't think your motherboard is damaged by any means. Have a great day!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

BIOS settings page 1
BIOS settings page 1  

BIOS settings page 2
BIOS settings page 2  
QUESTION: Thanks so much for such a prompt, complete reply. I will try to do as well. I've been working on making a Word copy of my BIOS settings and will attach it. This attachment gives all the possibilities that I know of along with my current settings. Of course some of the listings can't be changed. (Or can't be changed unless something else is changed.)

First off, I was mistaken when I said the BIOS didn't see the 2nd drive in the Boot Order. It does. I apologize.
Under 'STARTUP' - 'Primary Boot Sequence' it shows the floppy (SATA 1), the BOOT HD (SATA 2) and the installed SLAVE(SATA 3).

Windows 8 still doesn't show the drive like I said in my original question.

I guess perhaps this is a Windows 8 problem??

At any rate, I looked for the controllers and the only thing I could find was in 'DEVICES'-'ATA Devices Setup'. There is a 'SATA Mode' and it gives three choices: IDE, AHCI, and Disabled. Currently the setting is AHCI. My attachment says IDE but that is incorrect. It is AHCI.

Incidentally, all of the SATA cables are plugged into the COLORED ports. There is nothing plugged into the black port on the board.

I hope this helps and wasn't too confusing. I am VERY confused at this point. :-/

Thanks again for your time and help!!!


Ok, according to your spreadsheet (looks good by the way), all three hard drives are detected by the BIOS with no problems. I see you have an external Western Digital terabyte hard drive that of which is excluded from the boot sequence (makes sense to have it that way). Everything else appears just fine. I wouldn't mess with anything except the individual boot order of the hard drives. In your boot order according to the spreadsheet, you have two Seagate hard drives as SATA 2 and SATA 3 and the onboard DVD drive on SATA 1.

If you want to boot to the other hard drive instead of the Windows 8 hard drive, just hit the appropriate key to do a "one time boot". The one time boot will give you a menu of currently ready devices to boot from. If there is an operating system on said drive you select in the menu, it will boot from it. If there is not, it will default to the next item on the list that has an OS on it. If you want the choice for booting to the other hard drive to be permanent, just swap the two choices in the BIOS boot menu so that hd 9yn164 becomes SATA 2 instead of SATA 3, and hd 9yn162 becomes SATA 3 instead of its current SATA 2.

Windows 8 is full of bugs and is not something I'll ever buy for myself. I can not knowingly say Windows 8 is causing a problem about detecting the hard drives, but from the diagnosing we have done so far, your motherboard is fine. If you are able to boot to another hard drive given the instructions above, play around and see if it detects the other drives. I would try your Windows 7 hard drive to boot from with the instructions above given it will be the most lenient on booting without the proper drivers, from then which you can play around with detecting the other hard drives, including the hard drive Windows 8 is currently installed. If Windows 7 detects the other drives just fine, your problem is Windows 8 and there's absolutely nothing I can do about that. From there I would suggest contacting Microsoft (often called Microsuck).

On another note, you said you have a Windows XP operating system on a 1TB hard drive that you tried hooking up earlier. I'm curious to know if you actually have Windows XP running on that motherboard without issues. Windows XP is practically impossible to get on these newer machines due to driver support. I run nothing but Windows XP due to its high reliability, speed, and "most make sense of an operating system". If I can't run Windows XP, I run Linux because I refuse to run these newer Windows operating systems due to all the problems they cause, such as possibly the one you are facing.

Hope this all helps. Let me know how it goes. Have a great day!

PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM

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I can answer most No POST problems, compatibility between parts, upgrade options, troubleshooting, etc. Before you ask me a question, please do some research. I do not give PC speed reviews for video games.


Many, many years of experience working with the hardware components of many types of computers including desktops, laptops, kiosk computers, and even running Windows 3.1, 95, and 98 on the PSP (Sony PlayStation Portable). I've replaced capacitors on desktop motherboards making them working like new again with a high success rate. This is my hobby/job every day.

Associates of Science in Computer Information Technology

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