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Windows 7 No Drives Detected


Senior Member
Jul 22, 2011
This PC started having erratic behavior, then everything went downhill. Sometimes it will boot up into Windows, but quickly freeze up, with no response at all, no choice but to force reboot. Most of the time it will not reboot at all, giving me a message to select a boot drive. The BIOS appears to be correct, but it seems that the PC cannot detect any drives at all, in order to boot up. I just selected F9 on boot-up, which runs the HP Diagnostic Tools prior to boot-up. CPU checked good, memory checked good, but the Diagnostic Tools gave me an error code BIOHD-2 and said "No drives detected."

I'm at a loss to figure this out. I have replaced the optical drive, even tried another hard drive, plugged them into other SATA ports, still nothing. It seems the PC is losing any way of communicating with all the drives. Occasionally it evidently can detect the drives, boot up, but then freeze up. Most times, it cannot detect any drives at all.

I have removed the CPU, re-seated it, cleared the BIOS, and this did initially make it find the drives. But when it booted up, back to the same freeze up, then unable to find the drives.

Could this be a SATA controller failure? If so, which controller card would work best with this older PC?

HP Pavilion p6257c
AMD Athlon II x4 620 Quad-core processor
8GB Ram
640GB Hard Drive
NVIDIA GeForce 9100 Integrated Graphics
ASUS DVD drive
Windows 7 Home Premium SP-1
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I suppose there could be a couple if possibilities for your situation and the controller could be one.

I have also seen such activity when a bad drive was connected to the system, or even an external drive that interferes with the boot.

You can try booting without the hard drive attached using a bootable DVD, like Ubuntu, to see what happens. If you had a second hard drive, using it alone might give some indications where the problem resides.

I have even had brand new hard drives that would install the OS fine but after the install was complete, on the next few reboots would cause the system to fail.
Whenever I see odd, inconsistent hardware behavior, I want to ensure I am feeding my electronics good, clean, "stable" power. So if me, I would swap in a known good power supply and see what happens.

And since the initial drive detection is done in the BIOS and your system is 4 years old, I would replace the CMOS battery too. Just be sure to unplug the computer from the wall, and you touch bare metal of the case BEFORE reaching in. Once the new battery is in place, reconnect power and boot directly into the BIOS Setup Menu. Set the date and time, and check to see if your drives are properly identified. Then Save and Exit to boot normally.

Most motherboard use CR2032 wafer batteries available at most battery/camera/watch counters. Take the old battery with you as most counters will recycle.