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Old 02-02-17, 09:49 AM   #1
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PXE-E61 and the Disappearing HDD

Just got an inexpensive refurbed Laptop from Woot. Booted it up to get a PXE-E61 error.



Looked at the BIOS - the boot order was all wrong, they had Network Adapter at the top of the list and HDD at the bottom. I updated it to 1-Optical 2-HDD 3-USB 4-Network, saved my changes + reboot to try to recreate the error - and it works fine. Right into Windows, which updates itself and boots a couple of times. I shut it down, thinking everything is good.

Next day, I power it on, and I get a HDD fail message. I boot into BIOS, which reports it can see the HDD. Do a SMART scan - pass. Do a Quick test - pass. Decide to skip the Comprehensive 3-hr test and reboot. Works fine. I download WD's Win-10 Disk Check Utility and let it run.... no problems.

Restart - works okay.

Power off / Power on - can't see the HDD.

I check the BIOS version - it's old and there's a recent update available, so I flash that. Get that done, reapply power, HDD works. Power off/power on - can't see the HDD.

I pull the HDD and put it in a USB dock, allowing a different machine to scan it - works fine. So I'm pretty much convinced that the HDD is okay.

The HDD "disappears" ONLY when I'm bringing the Laptop up from a Powered Off state - and when I do that it only happens about half the time. It never happens when I'm rebooting after a successful Power On. When it sees the HDD, everything is great. So I'm thinking it's probably something simple, like the SATA cable, though looking at the innards I'll be darned if I know how to dig that out to replace it.

The Laptop only cost me ~$300 and I can return it for a full refund. Woot has also offered me a partial refund of $30 if I want to keep it and get it fixed locally. I've got 30 days, not sure which way I should lean on this.

Any suggestions?
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Sweed goes down with an achillies injury. As a Steelers fan, this is great news. - Tarantino, 5-02-10
If Tebow beats the Steelers today, I will post a pic of me Tebow'ing in one of my Pittsburgh jerseys. - Tarantino, 1-08-12
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Old 02-02-17, 10:15 AM   #2
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Re: PXE-E61 and the Disappearing HDD

Sounds like an issue with the MBR or whatever they call it now, if you have a Windows 7/8/10 disc or Thumb Drive put it in and attempt Start Up Recovery.

ie: https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-perf...dows-7-2626170
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Old 02-02-17, 10:55 AM   #3
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Re: PXE-E61 and the Disappearing HDD

Ah. Didn't think to try that.... I've been looking for a H/W problem.

Stupid question.... do I need a Win 10 disc for this or can this repair be attempted with other Win OS media? Yes, Win 10 is installed on the Laptop (and on several other machines I own), but all of the other machines were "live upgrades" from Win 7 and the Laptop came with Win 10 preinstalled. I have *no* Win 10 media on hand.

I *can* burn recovery media from the Laptop - I'm allowed ONE such burn - but I do not know if that media would also help with Start up Recovery.
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Sweed goes down with an achillies injury. As a Steelers fan, this is great news. - Tarantino, 5-02-10
If Tebow beats the Steelers today, I will post a pic of me Tebow'ing in one of my Pittsburgh jerseys. - Tarantino, 1-08-12
I am glad you've allowed the medical community to try and fix your laziness - aktick, 4-20-16
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Old 02-02-17, 11:09 AM   #4
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Re: PXE-E61 and the Disappearing HDD

Nvm, I think I just answered my own question:
https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/...dows-10-a.html

I can use Win 10 to create a Recovery USB, and since I'm only intermittently unable to boot the machine I should be able to do this whenever it comes up properly.
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Sweed goes down with an achillies injury. As a Steelers fan, this is great news. - Tarantino, 5-02-10
If Tebow beats the Steelers today, I will post a pic of me Tebow'ing in one of my Pittsburgh jerseys. - Tarantino, 1-08-12
I am glad you've allowed the medical community to try and fix your laziness - aktick, 4-20-16
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Old 02-02-17, 11:13 AM   #5
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Re: PXE-E61 and the Disappearing HDD

Give it a shot, at the very least it's something to check off the list
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Old 02-15-17, 09:59 AM   #6
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Re: PXE-E61 and the Disappearing HDD

What Brand/Model laptop

It sounds like the laptop isn't detecting the HDD immediately after power on.

Basically, the HDD is taking to long to fully turn on and connect, so the laptop thinks it isn't there because it isn't responding right away.

There may be "Fast Boot" option in the BIOS. Try turning that off. It should take longer for the laptop to go through boot, which may give the HDD time to respond.
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Old 02-16-17, 11:34 AM   #7
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Re: PXE-E61 and the Disappearing HDD

Could also try setting the boot order to 1-HDD, then 2-Optical, etc. perhaps system is getting "stuck" looking for optical disc on initial boot. Long shot but simple to try.

Good Luck

Rick
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