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Error code 0X0000007E - drive missing when windows 7x64 tries to start after recent large updates

Probook 4540s
Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)

HP Probook 4540s This pc is 7 years old. It has never issued any faults before. A recent windows large update prevented the system from starting with a 0x0000007E stop code. I know this means the Hard disk. Its a Tosh 3261GYSN ie a 320GB sata 300 drive. Windows 7 has implemented a driver which affects access to the drive in such a way that it will not let windows start. Attempting to roll back is futile as the fault means windows decides the drive is not there so cannot roll back anything because it cannot see the disk. Performing a complete system recovery WORKS which means the HP bios and the HP Recovery Boot kernel likes the disk. However implementing a windows update(all 175 of them) results in the 0x0000007E error code again. Prior to the updates if starting from a succesful recovery without connecting to the internet for updates, installing seagate seatools and doing a Quck DST test on the disk WORKS. Doing a full DST test WORKS. No disk sector faults at all, and no SMART triggered. *** now the question is has HP or INTEL messed up the SATA chipset driver such that it cannot determine the TOSH 3261GYSN drives sata interface speed such that it chooses sata 600 mode and then the drive cannot answer properly and causes a 0x0000007E error? and what can i do about it? and setting the bios to sata 300 makes do difference as the DRIVER in the OS does what it wants to do and NOT what the BIOS setting tells it. any ideas much appreciated.

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