[CS-FSLUG] SATA Hard drive problem

Nathan T. celerate at gmail.com
Sun Jun 17 17:35:42 CDT 2007

Hey everyone,

My computer running Mandriva is out of commission, if it weren't for  
my Mac I'd be stuck in Vista land until the motherboard is replaced.

I had a Western Digital WD1600JS hard drive in there, it's a SATA 3Gb/ 
s 8MB cache 7200RPM 160GB and I installed a Seagate ST3250620AS  
7200.10 3Gb/s 16MB Cache 250GB in there, upon doing so I discovered  
that my second SATA port was dysfunctional. I will be dealing with  
ECS in order to get a warranty replacement.

First when I plugged this thing in it wouldn't see the drive, because  
I had removed the jumper which caps the speed at 1.5Gb/s I put the  
jumper back on and started the computer up a again still to no avail.  
I turned off spread spectrum clocking and removed the matching jumper  
from the WD drive, but still no go. I tried unplugging either drive  
and swapping the SATA connections around, and what I found was that  
either would work when plugged into the 1st SATA port, but neither  
would work when plugged into the second even if the first was empty.  
The motherboard would even stall when a drive was plugged into the  
second, it would take it a good minute or two to get past the post  
screen without finding that second SATA drive. Finally I gutted the  
computer, cleaned out the ports on the motherboard with some  
compressed air, and give it another shot.

What I discovered after cleaning the board was that by holding the  
2nd SATA cable firmly into the port and pushing it just the right way  
the computer would see the drive, but when the cable was left to  
return to it's natural position the drive would loose it's connection  
to the motherboard. I have mentioned all of this to ECS, but if  
they're anything like Linksys I'm concerned that they'll stonewall me  
and refuse to do authorize an RMA for as long as they can get me to  
repeat the same troubleshooting steps over and over again until I  
hang up.

I was wondering if there is still any doubt after all this that the  
problem isn't a defective motherboard, and also if anyone has dealt  
with ECS before and how difficult it was?


Nathan T.

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