|Further info and corrections.|
ATAPI = a standard a drive controller must adhere to (meet) in order to support recognizing ATAPI devices - optical drives - CD and DVD drives, and possibly other devices such as Tape backup drives which are obsolete these days.
The Via and the Promise SATA controller components on this moboard DO NOT support recognizing ATAPI drives - CD or DVD - drives.
The Via VT8237 chipset
- supports 2 channels (Pri and Sec) IDE (up to 4 drives) and they support ATAPI devices, and UDMA 66/100/133 (and probably UDMA 33 and Pio) modes.
There is no RAID support for the IDE component.
No drivers needed for the IDE component other than what's in the Via Hyperion (4 in 1) main chipset drivers. (The IDE controllers will work without those drivers but drives may not be able to run at their max speeds without them, and in some cases, sometimes ATAPI devices won't be recognized on the Secondary channel if those drivers were not installed. XP may have all but the Via IDE drivers already built into it, but it doesn't hurt to install them all. )
The SATA controller component supports 2? (maybe 3; some mboards with VT8237 have 3 SATA headers) channels and RAID 0, RAID1, and JBOD modes, and the original SATA 150mb/sec data burst speed.
SATA II drives (all more recent SATA drives are SATA II; 300mb/sec data burst speed) may be recognized as SATA (150mb/sec) drives automatically, or if not you may need to install a jumper on the drive in order to limit it to 150mb/sec (the original SATA) specs - some SATA II drives have the pins for that - some don't. In any case, SATA II drives are limited to 150mb/sec burst speed with this VT8237 chipset.
JBOD mode is another type of RAID array - NOT = IDE compatible mode as I said above - so the VT8237 cannot be set to a (SATA ) IDE compatible mode of some sort like newer SATA controllers can. JBOD - Just a Bunch of Disks or Just a Bunch of Drives - a.k.a. a Spanned array - stores the same data on multiple drives by combining the drives into one logical drive.
You must install drivers for the SATA controller(s) component of the VT8237.
Windows recognizes SATA controllers as SCSI devices (when they're in a SATA mode of some sort) , because Microsoft chose to use legacy SCSI support to support them.
If you want to use the VIA SATA RAID utility, you press Tab while booting to access it.
You DO NOT have to set up a Via RAID array.
I have a slightly older mboard - Asus A7V600 - on one computer that has the VT8237 - I did NOT set up a RAID array when I had a SATA drive connected to it. I merely installed the VT8237 SATA drivers (I wasn't booting Windows from that drive, so I installed them on an existing Windows XP installation on an IDE drive).
It appeared it was running in a plain SATA mode just fine.
There's even less info in it's manual about it than there is in yours, although you access the Via SATA RAID utility the same way, and there are instructions for the utility in the manual like there are in yours. The settings in the bios related to it are different from yours, and apparently I can select JBOD (SPANNING) mode in the Via SATA RAID utility - you may not be able to.
The Promise 20378 RAID controller - two Serial ATA and one parallel connectors with RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 0+1 functions
"The Promise controller can be Enabled / Disabled in the bios settings.
It has it's own rom (bios) too.
When it's enabled, there is a setting for
Operating mode - RAID or Onboard IDE Operate mode"
This probably applies to the Promise controller, NOT the Via controller ...
"When it's enabled, a line probably pops up early while booting, asking if you want to set up RAID - if you don't press the specified key, the boot continues after about 5 seconds."
- it has RAID support for IDE and SATA drives/ connectors.
- combos of IDE and SATA drives can be in a RAID array.
- Onboard IDE Operate Mode is either a SATA IDE compatible mode, or it's a heading that can be set in a submenu to an IDE compatible mode.
- It's IDE component requires you install drivers for it.
- It's SATA component requires you install different (RAID / SATA) drivers for it.
- Probably, if you install both drivers, you can use the Promise SATA controller set to either RAID or Onboard IDE Operate (IDE compatible) mode.
You probably DO NOT have to set up a RAID array for this either if a SATA drive is connected to it.
If you DO want to use a RAID array, it usually must be set up BEFORE you install an operating system on the array, unless you're using RAID 1 (mirroring)
NOTE that when a SATA drive controller has RAID capability, if you are given the choice of RAID and non-RAID drivers for the same controller series, in all situations for me so far (JMB or Silicon Image or Via chipsets) , the RAID drivers must be used even if you don't intend to use RAID - the non-RAID drivers will not work with a RAID capable controller - the plain SATA mode support is there too.
I don't recall how a SATA hard drive shows up in the A7V600's bios - the power supply on that computer presently has no SATA power connector, and the two wiring adapters I have for that are presently being used by a friend's computer for a rigged up power supply until I can replace her power supply.
I'm guessing the drive's model shows up just like the IDE drives models do.
When you have more than one hard drive, there is always a way of specifying which one you boot from in the bios. ( The default one selected by the bios may not be the one you want to boot from. Some bioses default to booting from the first IDE drive detected; some default to booting from the first SATA drive detected.)
- a separate list of hard drives - the model you want to boot from must be first (at the top)
- you can select from more than one hard drive model in the boot order settings - the model you want to boot from must be selected
- possibly in the case of the Promise controller, if the drive model connected to it does not show up in the bios, if you want to boot from a drive connected to it, you must use SCSI in the boot order list rather than (a) hard drive - in that latter case I would think only one drive connected to it (or only one RAID drive array) can be booted from.
If you're installing an operating system, e.g. XP or 2000, on a SATA drive on this computer, on either controller, you must press F6 early in the loading of the files from the XP CD, and later provide the SATA controller drivers on a floppy in a regular floppy drive when prompted, and the XP CD must have at least SP1 updates included in it's contents, 2000 must have at least SP4 updates included, in order tio recognize SATA controllers.
XP (and 2000) at this early stage of loading files cannot recognize driver files on most USB floppy drive models, unless it's one that existed when XP first came out, or on any hard drive, or on any CD, or on any USB flash drive. XP (and 2000) probably cannot be installed from the Windows CD when it's in any USB CD or DVD drive.
If you can't connect a regular floppy drive (even most recent mboards still have a floppy data header), or if the CD does not have new enough SP updates included, you must make yourself a "slipstreamed" CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, that has the SP updates and the SATA controller drivers integrated into it - instructions are plentiful on the web for how to do that - e.g. integrate SP3 updates into XP, SP4 (or later?) updates into 2000. Then you use the "slipstreamed" CD rather than the original one to install Windows.