Question

I can't always find my second hard disk in the boot menu.

So I do not know the most about computers, but I will try to describe my problem to the best of my ability. My computer was working fine today until it froze up playing a game, so i had to hold the power down and suffocate the life out of it... (I know not my favorite thing, but my computer was frozen so it had to be done.) Now it says "Reboot and select proper boot device." The problem is I have two hard disks usually, and one of them has windows but the one without windows is the only one showing in the boot menu. I am afraid this is a hardware issue? I am not sure what the other hard disk with windows on it is either. I have a 970 evga graphics card, an intel I5, and a 1tb hard drive if that helps anything. Usually if I restart my computer enough times it will show up eventually, but it is not doing this time. ANY help would be greatly appreciated, first time poster long time visitor here. Thanks for reading.
PS: The hard disk that isn't showing up was like M4-(something-something-something.)

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Answer
UEFI computer?

Desktop. Probably heat problem caused it to drop out of the game. Maybe the heat also affected the hard drive circuitry. Do you have any bootable DVD or USB that can check to see if that also fails to see the drive? (something like LIVE DVD of a linux distro such as ubuntu, mint, others)? If that also will boot and not see the drive, then at least you know it's not a windows software problem. Your likely candidates then would be either a drive's hardware problem, or a BIOS problem (may need to do a BIOS reset). I'm leaning more toward a failing hard drive since the BIOS obviously works enough to see the second drive.

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Thank you for your response

Since the hard drive with windows on it is the one that is not working do you know if there is a way to get windows on the hard drive that is working? I can see all devices besides the one hard drive. The cable that goes from the motherboard to the hard drive is a dual cable that connect to both hard drives. Does this mean that it's most likely the hard drive itself?

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Dual cable

What is this mobo, make and model, that uses a dual cable to connect the hdd's?

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IDE ribbon cable on drives?

I didn't think there were any 1 TB hard drives for IDE connections. Of course you can always try a new cable. If it's IDE, those often had problems.

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are you confusing....

...the power cables with the data cables? Each drive should have a data cable and a power cable going to it. It's possible even SATA would share a power cable, but not a data cable.

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Answer
I've seen this many times.

Causes are not always the same but include.

1. Out of date BIOS.
2. Iffy SATA data cables or connections. The price of cables and time mean we just unplug, replug cables, re-test and if fail, try another cable.
3. A failing or never worked right motherboard.
4. Drives that are old, iffy or don't spin up in time (not ready when the BIOS is asking.)

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Question. Is it "can't always" or always?

My reply is when it's unreliable or dead. If the machine NEVER shows the Windows HDD then you have a connection issue, failed HDD or bad ports on the motherboard issue.

I'm going to write that BIOS setting might matter but most of the time when we see the machine it's not settings in the BIOS since too many people FEAR changing the settings. The BIOS defaults are best for PCs since it means that when the machine is built or a new CMOS battery is put it, you load the defaults and the machine comes right up.

COMMENT HERE. Why I made sure PCs out of our shops worked with the defaults become clear over the years as you run into a PC that required a BIOS change to function. That machine is not good for the long haul as folk will not remember what that setting is.

FALLOUT or what to do with such a machine. Be sure to document that setting and tape the setting to the inside lid as for reasons I can't fathom folk remove the settings label we put on the back time after time.

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Answer
Ideas based on limited information

Curious. I think we need a little more information to hazard a guess at what's going on here. What exactly is the machine? A commercial build - in which case we need the exact make and model? Or a custom build - in which case we need the motherboard make and model, the HDD makes, models and types? What operating system are you running? What power supply (PSU) make, model and capacity are you using?

From what you've said: All the "Reboot and select proper boot device" message is telling you is that the BIOS cannot find a disk with a viable operating system on it. That would be so if, for some reason it can't "see" the system drive at all or if it can see the device but cannot identify it because the device parameters in the BIOS are corrupt. This could happen (I had one once) if for some reason, the missing HDD needed a manual setup, rather than autodetection and your hard power down had corrupted the settimgs. Why you would be using such a disk is unknown.

Except that brings us to the other oddity that Bob_B spotted - this so called dual cable. The GTX 970 has a PCIe connection slot and the processor is a Core i5, which roughly dates the machine to the time that SATA HDDs had replaced PATA drives in consumer PCs. The 1 TB size also points to this being a SATA drive, I don't recall PATA drives of that capacity. But while it was common to daisy chain PATA drives (or even SCSI drives, though these were rarely found in consumer class PCs), SATA drives are not. So what exactly is this dual cable? Is it two separate cables out of the motherboard but with the plugs moulded together because the headers were tight on space (I've seen this too)? As James notes, SATA power cables are often daisy chained but data cables are not.

Reading your post and follow up, it isn't obvious whether you've actually looked into the BIOS or just pulled up the boot menu? You do need to look into the BIOS and see what is in it for the HDDs. If there is, indeed, only one, then as Bob P. suggests, it's most likely a connection problem or a hardware failure in the SATA controller, data cable from it to the HDD, the power cable from the PSU to the HDD or the HDD itself. Unplug and replug all the connectors and see if that helps. If you just touch the outer case of the HDD, you should be able to feel or hear whether it's spinning. If not and you have a free power cable try that and if it still isn't spinning, you likely need a new HDD and reload it from your system image and the emergency repair disk you made. You did make one, didn't you? It's also worth replacing the SATA data cable and if you have a spare SATA connector on the motherboard, try that one.

If the BIOS is showimg both disks but one has corrupt or missing settings, you will need to reset them to HDD manufacturer's spec. Or, if it's set to manual, you could try setting it to autodetect and reboot and see what it comes up with.

NOTE!!! This is all "Best Guess" based on insufficient information. Your call whether you use all, any or none of it! You may think it better to take the machine to a repair shop for diagnosis.

You can also try James's other suggestion of a live Linux CD to boot off and take a look round the machine, which may give more clues. Personally, I use Knoppix because it will mount anything it can identify, when Windows may not but any Live Linux CD/DVD will do. Or try your Windows installtion disk in repair mode. If it can find a copy of Windows, it will try to repair it.

Good luck!

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