Big catastophe in the studio. During a work session suddenly my Western Digital harddisk disappears out of my Windows 10 system

On first view the pc seems no more repsonsive when trying to access the harddrive. The he comes up with a blue screen before he totally crahses. On the automatically coming up reboot of the system the harddisk is wether recognized by the BIOS nor even found. And because it’s the system drive, the pc stops on the message “isnert proper boot device”.

And then this: if I totally power off the pc and restart it with the power button, the harddrive is there again.And everything boots up properly. Till the moment, when the disk dissapears again.

Well then, what does a willing pc administrator do?! Well, the harddisk is still somewwhat new, so the guarantee ist used and we swqap the drive at the manufacturer. As far as good.
(Of course after lots of hours doing backups and creating system images… sure it was the biggest disk in the system affected…)

But then:
The new arrived harddisk installed, latest system image restored and: …the drive disappears again. And again a BSOD and again it’s not found on reboot.d wieder beim automatisch folgenden Reboot nicht gefunden!


Ok, let’s change the cables, another power plug from the power supply: no changes. Defective motherboard?! Not very likely, as this is one out of four drives in the whole system and only this one is affected.
So up for some more research…

And then!

The latest Windows 10 Update 1607, the Anniversary Update, is the reason! With build 1509 namely everyhing works fine!

To be more precisely: the communication of the Microsoft SATA AHCI driver is causing the problems. It is faulty! It seems to send a stop command to the harddrive to put it into a powersaving state if not used. Causing the issue that the drive is fully turned of. Even if it’s the system drive!

Well, you need to know that I used the genuine Microsoft SATA AHCI driver becuase this one was automatically installed, when I set up my system lately. And there is no genuine driver for my ASUS motheroard with AMD chipset for Windows 10 offered by ASUS. Because they are all integrated within Windows 10. Haha! THats why the internal Windwos update routine does not find any newer drivers than the installed one.

Ok then. First Aid: I installed the Windows 7 dedicated SATA AHCI driver of the board manufacturer and what shall I say: it seemed working. Not more freezes, bluescreens and especially: no more disappearing of the harddisk!

After some deeper research I got the original drivers from the manufacturer of the chipset and installed those.

Everyting working again! What a fuzz!

So, conclusion again:
If you face problems with your harddisk after installing the Windwos 10 Anniversary Update Build 1607 like disappearing or not found harddisks you may be advised to update the SATA AHCI driver from Microsoft to a proper driver from the manufacturer of the chipset of your motherboard. It’s NOT the harddisk being faulty. It’s the Windows Update in combination with the Microsoft SATA AHCI driver.

If you own a motherboard with AMD Chipset you’ll find proper drivers here:
(you need to use “choose driver manually” and click through)

If it’s an Intel Chipset, take a look here:

Its important that there may be no setup routine and you hmay have to install the drivers manually with the Windows device manager.

Hopefully this hint may solve some troubles for some of you!