One of our computers started returning a ‘non-system disk’ error or something like that. Text of it doesn’t matter in this case—it’s what happens after POST but before it loads an OS (when it can’t find an OS). I checked connections and then put in an Ubuntu CD I had handy. It booted up fine, then I rebooted and chose the ‘load from local HDD’ option and Windows came up fine.
So it’s an intermittent problem. Architecture is a booting drive and a pair of data drives in RAID 1. I used Acronis to make a full, verified backup of the data drives, so we’re not in any real danger (except time and effort lost).
I pretty much know what I’m doing (don’t believe his lies), but am curious to collect thoughts on what order you’d do things in. My pattern of doing things is based on what’s easiest, not what’s more likely.
My plan is to first replace the SATA cable. Super-easy.
I’m then going to load an old copy of Windows XP on a spare drive to see if it’s the HDD that’s failing (PC will have no network connection for this).
If that works, I’m going to put the drive from the problem machine into an external enclosure and see whether other machines in the house can read it.
Lastly, I’m going to start swearing and seeing if I have a spare motherboard laying around to check the old drive in.
Am I missing steps? What would you do? Different order?