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I have a machine that has had a fairly long term problem that is rather erratic. It might be fine for weeks then go through periods where the problem is there almost all the time. The problem is that I get controller errors for the secondary IDE channels. Messages like "The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Ide\IdePort1".

I suspect it not to be a software problem as it has persisted through having Windows Vista (briefly), Windows XP (for over a year) and now Windows 7 RC. I suspect that it might be a hardware fault on the motherboard, which is unfortunate as I can't really afford to replace it right now. Would you agree that this is the likely cause? Do you have any suggestions on how to accurately analyse the problem to find the root cause?

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Remove the cable and replace it. If there is a poor connection (e.g. oxide build up) this should free it.

Also, while the cable is out, give it a good check for damage, and the connectors on the motherboard and drives. If damaged, replace.

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