I’ve already spent quite some time researching this problem and hope to find some answers here.
The HDD in question ( WD5000AAJS-22YFA0 / SATA / 500 GB / Firmware: 12.01C02) originates from an Acer OEM PC system ( Aspire M5100 , Mainboard ID: F690GVM).
The drive is not recognized by my Asus M3N78-VM. When using IDE-SATA mode, it’s simply ignored and no errors are reported. Using AHCI, the device is found, but not recognized (AHCI drive error) in BIOS.
The drive spins up and is audibly being actuated during the board’s attempts to recognize it.
I have two other SATA HDDs working without issues with my Asus MB (Samsung HD502HJ and SP2504C). Both work in any configuration of SATA-cable, power plug or SATA-port (the M3N78-VM supports up to five SATA drives up to 3GB/s, with ports 1-3 supporting IDE mode and ports 4-5 only AHCI. This has already been taken into account.)
Using IDE mode, Windows starts normally, but no drive is detected.
Using AHCI, Windows hangs up during boot.
[OS: Win7 32bit]
Through thorough testing, I have ruled out a bad cable or connector as the cause. I still wonder if it might be a power problem, but it shouldn’t be - I have tried removing any other drive (HDD / CD-ROM) and only connecting the WD drive - besides, there is a 650W PSU providing more than enough power for my Asus system, while the Acer PC merely sports a 500W PSU (both systems have very similar CPU and extension cards installed).
PC health readouts report slightly lower voltage on the 12V rail for the Asus board compared to the Acer PC (Asus: 12V = 11.669; Acer: 12V = 12.03), but that’s within ATX specs and software readouts are inaccurate anyway (a windows based too reported 12.3V for the Asus, e.g.).
When I boot from USB and run the Data Lifeguard Diagnostic tool on the Acer, all tests are passed with no errors reported. When I try the same on the Asus, command error 0132 is reported.
I have only three theories at this point:
The WD drive somehow doesn’t work with the other PSU even though other SATA drives do and all reported values are within specs (no way to confirm that short of taking both systems completely apart to swtich out the PSUs, which is a last resort to do on a mere hunch).
The WD drive is somehow locked to be incompatible with other mainboards resp. SATA controllers than the one provided with the Acer setup (I’ve been told on other message boards that the intentional lockup of a hard drive chip in such a fashion is unheard of / not practiced by OEM manufacturers, is that true?)
The WD drive is accidentally incompatible with the specific SATA controller my Asus board is using even though these things should be very much standardised (has anyone of you ever heard of such a case?).
I’m at a loss here and would welcome any input. There must be a rational explanation, and I am quite determined to figure this out.