How to troubleshoot SATA problems

There could be various possible causes to result into issues as described.  These include:

-         Dirty SATA connectors:

o       Cause: Dirty substances such as dust, dirt, rust, or oxidized surface on SATA connectors may result in improper contact with its peer, which degrades the signal quality, hence causes SATA communication problems.

o        Suggestion:  Please kindly try the following cleaning procedures and see if this helps to improve the current condition:

1)      Prepare the following (can be found from your local chemist):

·        Some alcohol (ethanol (C2H5OH))

·        A packet of cotton stick

2)      Shut down the system, and remove power cord.

3)      Remove all devices connecting to SATA ports.

4)      Flatten the cotton stick, and moist both ends with ethanol.

5)      Dip the cotton stick into SATA port (the side with golden finger), and move the cotton stick sideways a few times to clean the SATA port. 

6)      Move on to the next SATA ports until the completion of this task.  Note: Do not reuse the used end, and only use one end with each port.

7)      Now do the same for SATA cable and SATA connector on SATA devices.


-         Incorrect settings:

o       Cause: Under many cases, the default settings for additional onboard SATA/RAID controller could have been set to [Disabled] when delivered.  This will cause the controller to stop its function completely.

o       Suggestion: Please refer to your user’s manual for detailed description on how to enable onboard SATA/RAID controller via adjusting jumper or BIOS settings.


-         Controller limitations:

o       Cause: There could have been a known limitation with the existing SATA/RAID controller, such as limited support to particular SATA standards or specifications.

o       Suggestions: Try adjusting the SATA operation mode of the HDD via HDD jumper or specific tools provided by HDD vendors (Please consult your HDD vendor for further assistance.)


-         Driver or HDD firmware issue:

o       Cause: SATA/RAID Driver loaded may need to be matched with specific versions of SATA/RAID BOOTROM, or the controller’s behavior under AHCI mode, in order to allow the controller and device to function correctly.  System may result in fail to install operating system, performance drop, or even not detecting HDD during OS installation process if the drivers are not matched. (Note: Some versions of Windows may have been bundled with a previously existed version of driver for a particular controller.)  Only when this driver also matches with SATA/RAID BOOTROM or controller behavior under AHCI mode, would the controller be able to function without fail.  The same could also happen if the HDD firmware is not fully compatible with such SATA/RAID controller.

o       Suggestion: Always use the latest version of BIOS and drivers available from ASUS download page at: unless specially mentioned on either the download page or FAQ page to avoid this kind of troubles.  For HDD firmware issues, please kindly consult HDD vendor for further assistance.


-         Broken SATA port, controller, cable or devices:

o       Cause: Broken connector, controller, cable, or devices may also be the major causes of this kind of issue.

o       Suggestion: Please try moving or replacing components in the order of:

§         Replacing SATA cable

§         Move among different SATA ports from the same controller

§         Move to SATA ports from a different controller (if available)

§         Replacing SATA devices


Please kindly consult your place of purchase for further assistance if none of the above helps to resolve the issue for your case.