XP does not boot from IDE HD with SATA HD

Wd Caviar se wd1600aajs 160gb hard drive
September 29, 2009 at 22:24:28
Specs: Windows XP PRO, P4/2GB
Hello to all. This is my first post.
My system:
Biostar P4M800-M7a motherboard
1 Hitachi 160GB HD (IDE)
Sony DVD-R
Recently purchased a new WD1600 (SATA) to use as a back-up, however i'm having some problems.
The existing IDE drive is connected directly to one of the IDE ports, the two optical drives are connected in a Master/Slave configuration to the second IDE port.
The new drive is connected to one of two SATA ports.
Booted up and configured BIOS. All 4 Drives are listed with the Hitachi Drive as the boot drive.
Problem is that this computer will not boot into Windows. It goes as far as to display windows logo with the blue scroll bars but nothing further. (it does not appear to freeze)
I have also installed the most recent VIA VT8237 using drivers via a floppy (F6 option)-- not using RAID.
The computer will boot only with the WD disconnected.
I also noticed that the booth sequence does not stop if i reconnect the WD drive soon after the "num lock" keyboard flash. This is the only time i can see the drive in "my computer".
When the computer is up and running it recognizes when the WD drive is connected or disconnected, however the problem remain upon reboot.
I should also mention that the MB only supports 1.5GB SATA. The WD Drive is 3.0 and because of that i placed a jumper across pins 5-6 but that did not make a difference.

I've read tons of postings but no solution has worked.

Any help is appreciated.

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September 30, 2009 at 10:10:37
connecting and disconnecting a drive during a bootup or when the system is live is asking to be toasted.

Boot this sata drive alone. Wipe any parititions off the drive so it is raw. See if you can boot up properly now.

I suspect it has a partition that is effecting the drive letter enumeration in Windows. This means windows can't find its brains [files] because where its looking for them isnt' the same place anymore.

Once you can boot use windows disk management to partition/format and assign a drive letter.

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September 30, 2009 at 12:43:53
Thanks for the idea.
This is a brand new drive and i had these issues from the beginning.
Yesterday i partitioned it for the first time using Acronis which created a drive (J).
I connected the drive and had the same issue. Since that time i used Acronis tool to wipe out all partitions and cleaned the drive, (took about 1.4 hours to complete) but that did not resolve the issue.
I think we are on to something but can't figure it out just yet.
I have double checked the BIOS to make sure Hitachi is the first drive.
Are they other ideas to try?

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September 30, 2009 at 12:58:01
It only takes seconds to delete all partitions on a drive.
We aren't talking about writing zeros the entire drive are we?

Something must be wrong with that drive if it took that long to delete the partitions. Since the bios doesn't support 3gig sata we most likely have a compatibility issue.


What drive letters are what here?
I would expect the following;
1 Hitachi 160GB HD (IDE) = C:
Sony DVD-R = D:
Sony DVD-RW = E:

The next drive letter should have been F: not J:

Being a hard drive not managed by Windows the next drive letter would have been D: since hard drives are enumerated first then other devices.

If your 160 is partitioned into c: and d: the added drive would have taken d: [assuming it had a primary partition] and the 160 second partition would have been e:

If you still can't boot into Windows, in any mode, with the drive raw and attached I would have to think you have a compatibility/hardware issue.

As an experiment I would have partitioned, formatted and made bootable with something like a 98 boot the sata drive and then with all the rest unhooked from power see if I could boot the drive alone in the system. This would clarify if the drive could work in the system or not.

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September 30, 2009 at 17:31:48
Ok the reason the drive was designated " J:" is because they are 4 removable Drives and J was the next available drive letter. -- no problems there.

What i did was set the SATA as the startup drive, formated and partitioned it and installed XP. Once that was done the computer restarted without any issues.
With the SATA connected i set the IDE as the startup drive and the boot problem remain.
With this test i can confirm that the SATA drive works in the system when the IDE drive set as the second drive, but the computer will not boot when the IDE is set as the first drive and the SATA second.
The IDE boot drive is "C:", the SATA boot Drive is "J:" so there should not be any conflicts there.. right?
Thanks again for your time.

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September 30, 2009 at 21:19:27
You have no problems. This is normal behavor.

When you installed xp to the sata drive the drive was c:
That is what you say here:
"What i did was set the SATA as the startup drive, formated and partitioned it and installed XP. Once that was done the computer restarted without any issues."

To explain this:
"With the SATA connected i set the IDE as the startup drive and the boot problem remain."
you need to understand the boot process. Skipping thru the detail, by making the ide the boot device you accomplished two things that make this fail:
1. the ide drive has no boot information to mount the OS on the sata drive.
2. the xp install on the sata that referances c: in the registry is now a different drive letter.

If you want to boot the sata drive from the ide you have to do a repair install of xp on the sata drive while the ide is the primary drive. This way the ide boot will include [now a multiboot since you have xp on the ide] both the ide and sata boots. The repair will alter the ides boot.ini and correct the registry entires of the sata xp.

Alternatively you can just change which is the boot device in the bios. You should be to boot the sata when it is set as primary and the ide when it is primary.

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October 1, 2009 at 07:22:25
Thanks again.
I may have ignored to state that i left the IDE drive connected. All i did was to switch the start-up drive in BIOS to the SATA drive then proceeded to installed XP on it. The SATA drive was given the letter "J" not "C"-- because "C" was already assigned to the IDE.
I only did this to see if there was a problem with the SATA drive which i want to use as a backup. So i have verified that the drive is working but i don't intend to use it as my primary drive or a dual booth system. All i want is for my computer to boot up from the IDE drive and be able to back up my files to the SATA drive.
I have another IDE drive that works as a slave but its old and only 8MB.

I don't understand why XP won't boot given the drive has nothing on it and connected to a different port.

Thanks again.

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October 1, 2009 at 09:26:53
Not unusual for the drive to be j: if you have a card reader or other devices installed while you install xp. It is always best to remove such devices when install xp and add them back afterward.

"All i want is for my computer to boot up from the IDE drive and be able to back up my files to the SATA drive."

Easy. Remove all other drives/etc except a cd and install from scratch. The sata as the only boot drive. Then set the ide as boot and use the sata for storage. YOU WILL NOT BE BOOTING THE SATA FROM THE IDE.

Then if you need to do recovery you set the sata as a lone drive again and it will boot. It will contain what ever you stored there. But since the sids are different between the xp installs you will need to take ownership of those storage files as the sata boot administrator before you can access them.

Google taking ownership of files for more info.

Additonal reason for this setup is lets assume your present boot ide dies. You remove it from the system. Given your present config of sata on j: with the ide gone it won't be j: and won't boot until you get another ide in place like it exists now.

"I don't understand why XP won't boot given the drive has nothing on it and connected to a different port."

Eh? both the ide and sata have xp boots on them right? What connections, type of drive does not matter. It is boot order which also determines drive letter assignments.

I would suggest you read up on multiboots. Not to do one but how and why they work. It will clarify for you why your setup isn't working as you desire.

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October 1, 2009 at 11:16:03
When you say 'install from scratch" -- do you mean install xp on the SATA drive or simply follow that process to physically connect the drives to the MB?

I went ahead and used partition magic to delete all partitions from the SATA drive.. so it should be clean of partitions.
What's puzzling to me (and yes i will read up on that stuff):
Why does windows not boot from the IDE drive if that is the way it is set up in BIOS?
Why does it look at other drives in the system that may or may not have data and not designated as start drives?.
The reason i ask is prior to installing this SATA drive I had no boot issues after installing a WD 8.4MG IDE HD set up as slave. I removed it because it was too small for my backups.

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October 1, 2009 at 11:51:40
Windows when it starts enumerates the drives by controller. Lets say ide1 has two primary partitions and ide2 only has one. MS will give c: to the first primary on ide1. It will give d: to the first primary on d:. Then it will come back to ide1 and give the 2nd partition e:

When you have two controllers it will do the first controller then the second. It will follow the order I gave above. After MS has enumerated the drives on the ide controller it moves on to the sata controller.

When I say install from scratch I mean the sata is the only drive in the system. Just disconnect the power from the other drives. Sata is set as the primary. No other devices except a cdrom. Install xp. XP is now on c: for this drive.

Then supply power to the ide/rest of the devices. Set the ide as primary boot. Boot xp on the ide. Go into disk management and confirm you see the sata and what its drive letter is. It will not be c: since the ide should be c: [if it was installed standalone as I have described for the sata]

You should be able to create a folder on the sata and use the sata for your backup.

If/when the ide dies you set the sata as primary and disable the other devices so its the standalone. Boot it and after taking ownership of the backup folder you are where you want to be.

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October 1, 2009 at 13:22:12
Got it!!!
I will try that and post my findings.. thanks for the lengthy and thoughtful explanation..
makes more sense now. :)

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October 1, 2009 at 17:25:25
OK.. did as you recommended, and found that XP will not booth from the IDE when the SATA is connected.

So i disconnected the SATA drive and reconnected it after windows startup. Went into my computer and found the SATA drive listed as "F" (this is before connecting the removable drives) and the IDE as "C"
rebooted computer but still no joy.
For some reason it will not get by the initial windows startup process.

I'm probable going to have to purchase an IDE drive for backup and use this SATA on a new build.
I was also hopping to clone the IDE using Acronis but that option won't work because the computer has to reboot for that process to begin and thus far the computer will not boot with the SATA connected.

I do thank you for your insight and help.

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November 22, 2009 at 08:38:45
Wow, I can't believe that no one in this thread has ever installed a new drive right out of the box. If you noticed the cd in the box, you would have saved yourself a lot of trouble. It is there for a reason, this is not linx gnu crap for you to try and reinvent the wheel, use the damn cd, follow the instructions, and then call me in the morning. I guarantee that you will be up and running how you should in no time.

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November 22, 2009 at 15:50:52

You don't need a CD to install a hard drive. All the Hard drives I have bought in the last 10 years came as just the drive and no CD.

I have moved hard drives between PC's and they do not require an installation CD.


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November 22, 2009 at 16:50:21

When you say you are setting the IDE drive as the startup drive are you highlighting that drive from a list then hitting Enter?

As far as the jumper to throttle the SATA to 1.5GBPS look at the link below to verify you have installed the jumper correctly. Easy to get it upside down.

One other thing to note. You may need to install the SATA controller drivers in WinXP BEFORE connecting the SATA drive. Otherwise WinXP doesn't know what to do with the drive because there are no native SATA drivers in WinXP.

Conversely, depending on your board, you may have a setting to run the SATA drive in IDE mode or AHCI mode.

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