SATA HDD on a IDE-only mobo -- won't boot

February 5, 2010 at 08:08:55
Specs: Windows XP
Compaq Presario S3190UK Desktop PC (purchased 2002/2003)
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...
A7N8X-LA (Escape) motherboard
Windows XP

My old 80GB Western Digital IDE HDD showed signs of imminent failure, so I bought a brand new 500GB Western Digital SATAII HDD as a replacement, not realising that my motherboard has no SATA ports (I know... I'm a bad person).

So my first attempt to get it to work was a SATA PCI Expansion Card (VIA VT6421a chipset) made by Pluscom. I got this working and was able to see the disk in Windows (disk would show as a SCSI device) and clone it from my old one using Acronis True Image (WD Edition) so I had an exact copy of my old IDE disk. However, I couldn't boot from the new SATA HDD because the BIOS POST wasn't detecting it: my BIOS only looks for IDE devices to boot from, so wasn't seeing the PCI card (PCI card doesn't have it's own ROM either).

My second attempt was a Bi-Directional IDE / SATA Converter made by Iomax using which I connected my SATA drive to the IDE port 0 and booted up again. Now the POST tries "Auto-detecting Pri Master..", hangs for about a minute, then gives up telling me there is no bootable media attached.

So either my converter is not doing the job properly, or perhaps my mobo/BIOS is too ancient for this size of disk?

Any other ideas what the problem might be, and if I can do anything to fix it? I feel as though I've run out of options except buying a new box (or just buying an IDE disk... but now I'm concerned that anything other than another 80GB will be too big)!

Thanks in advance for any assistance,

Mark


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#1
February 5, 2010 at 11:30:05
The smart thing to do would have been to return the SATA HDD & exchange it for an IDE HDD. And cloning the HDD was not the way to go because you have no SATA drivers installed...or do you?

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#2
February 5, 2010 at 14:32:15
Well, the smart thing would've been to buy
the right disk, but I wouldn't be here if I'd
been smart! Anyway, once I'd removed the
packaging, tried to install it and discovered
my error it was too late to return it. So ...

I'm completely new to SATA, so I'm sorry if I'm missing something totally obvious. I don't have any drivers installed, but I must admit since no driver was required to make the drive function via the PCI card, it never occured that I would need one.


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#3
February 5, 2010 at 14:42:47
It will work using the pci card, so you can use it for storage. You just can't boot from it because your BIOS doesn't give you the option to use a Sata drive. Buy another IDE and use it to boot.

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#4
February 5, 2010 at 15:35:23
By the way, all the IDE to SATA oir SATA to IDE adapters that I've examined the specs of limit the max UDMA burst speed of the SATA drive to 133mbps or 150mbps (megabytes per second).
PCI SATA controller cards drives have a max UDMA burst speed of 150mbps (SATA specs) or 300mbps (SATA II specs - if the card is capable of that - usually it is these days - most new drives this days are SATA II), the same as when the drive is connected to a mboard SATA drive controller that can support the max speed. .
On the other hand, the max UMDA speed is hype - the drives cannot run at those speeds for more than a short time in one continuous go - a few minutes at best - how long they can do that depends on the size of the memory cache on the drive's board - most of the time the drives are running at a much slower sustained (continuous) max data transfer speed, at best - e.g. never more than 100mbps or so for recent drives, or slower.

For recent and fairly recent mboards with their faster cpus, faster ram, and faster FSB speeds, the hard drive's max sustained data transfer rate is the narrowest performance bootleneck.
.........


"My second attempt was a Bi-Directional IDE / SATA Converter made by Iomax using which I connected my SATA drive to the IDE port 0 and booted up again. Now the POST tries "Auto-detecting Pri Master..", hangs for about a minute, then gives up telling me there is no bootable media attached."

"....there is no bootable media attached."

That's normal for that situation.
Assuming the drive was connected properly, there was no bootable media attached.

The drive cannot be bootable unless it has an operating system installed on it. If it has no data on it, it can't be bootable.

If you boot the computer with an XP CD and install Windows on the drive, the drive will be bootable.
The drive you're installing Windows on does not have to be bootable, and the Boot Order or similar settings for the hard drive itself in the bios, do not have to be correct before you run the XP CD to install Windows on it.
XP will install on the drive and reboot it's stages automatically no problem in any case.
It's only when Setup has finished that it becomes a problem if the Boot Order or similar settings in the bios are wrong.

See below about
- your Boot Order settings may change when you add or remove an IDE drive
Also, if you connect more than one IDE drive and one wasn't connected before, or you had more than one and remove one or more , which drive the bios attempt to boot first may change. When more than IDE drive is connected, there is either ...
- list of hard drives in the bios, often near the Boot Order or similar - the drive you want to boot from must be first in the list - usually they're listed by their model number.
- or - not common - you can select more than one hard drive in the boot order list - the drive you want to boot from must be first in the list -sometimes they're listed by their model number, sometimes by HDD0, HDD1, or similar, the number being in the numerical order in which the bios sees them as being connected to the drive controller(s).

- the requirement of your XP CD having to have at least SP1 updates built into it in order to have Setup recognize your 500gb drive as it's full size.

As far as the adapter is concerned, it will probably recognize the size of the drive properly even if your mboard bios doesn't show it properly or detect the size properly.
The size is probably correct in XP's Setup (if the CD has at least SP1 updates included) when run from the CD, and in Windows, if Windows has at least SP1 updates installed.
If it isn't, you must use a PCI controller card, or check the info about the adapter to see if you need to install a driver for it.(See below regarding when you boot from the XP CD, if Setup doesn't see the drive attached to the adapter or recognizes the drive's size as ~128gb.)
...................................................................

Older mboards that do not have SATA controllers built into the mboard don't support SATA in the bios, but they often DO support booting drives from SCSI drive contollers, a much older technology, almost as old as IDE if not older. When SATA controllers became available, instead of making available new SATA only support in the operating system, Microsoft made use of the long time existing support for SCSI controllers and SCSI drives to support SATA controllers and drives.
(When you look in Device Manager after the SATA drivers have been installed, the SATA controller is listed as a SCSI device.)

You must be able to select SCSI or similar in your computer bios's Boot Order or similar in order to be able to boot from a bootable hard drive attached to the PCI card, no matter whether the card is EIDE or SATA or SCSI.

(Modern PCI card drive controller cards will recognize any size of hard drive properly, even if your mboard bios version or main chipset doesn't.)

The drive cannot be bootable unless it has an operating system installed on it. If it has no data on it, it can't be bootable.

If you don't see SCSI or simlar, you can NEVER boot from a drive attached to any PCI drive controller card on this computer.

If you DO see that, SCSI or similar has to be before any other hard drive in the boot order, but it doesn't have to be first. A CD or optical drive should be before SCSI - if you have a floppy drive, that should be first in the list.

NOTE that your bios defaults to attempting to boot IDE hard drives (or drives detected as IDEdrives) if they're connected, whether they're actually bootable or not - if the hard drive isn't bootable, it won't attempt to boot anything else listed after it in the Boot Order or similar list. When you attach or remove an IDE drive, the boot order settings may change automatically by default - check your Boot Order or similar settings after you have installed any IDE hard drives, bootable or not, on this computer to make sure the boot order still boots the SATA drive on the PCI card first - SCSI or similar in the right place, if that's what you want.
......

If you CAN set SCSI in the boot order or similar....

If your computer has a legacy floppy drive, or if you don't have one if you can borrow one and a floppy data cable, (or buy those, they're cheap) and can connect one (most desktop mboards have a floppy data cable header even if your model came with no floppy drive) you can get XP's Setup to recognize the SATA controller card's chip/chipset, and in turn, the SATA drive.

You copy drivers needed for the SATA controller to a floppy - they're on the CD that came with the card (or the controller may have come with a floppy with the drivers already on it) , or can be downloaded from the manufacturer's web site. They're *.inf files.
If the card supports RAID, and if there is more than one driver on the source, use the one for RAID - it also supports non-RAID use - the driver for a non-RAID chip usually will NOT work with a RAID capable chip. If there are drivers for more than one model, find the model on the main chip on the PCI card that is the same or similar, and use the driver that has that or similar in it's name.

When you have a legacy floppy drive hooked up properly and working or detected as being there in your bios Setup and/or in Windows.....

Boot the computer with the XP CD.
Press F6 very early in the loading of files from the CD when you see a message "Press F6 to...." at the bottom of the screen .
Setup will load more files, then there will be a message saying it doesn't have the drivers for the SCSI controller or similar, and will ask you to provide the drivers.
At that point, insert the floppy that has the SATA drivers on it.
If more than one model is listed.......
If the card supports RAID, and if there is more than one driver on the source, use the one for RAID - it also supports non-RAID use - the driver for anon-RAID chip usually will NOT work with a RAID capable chip. . If there are drivers for more than one model, find the model on the main chip on the PCI card that is the same or similar, and use the driver that has that or similar in it's name.

You will be told by Setup if you chose the wrong driver - try another one if you need to.

Setup will continue to load files, and when that is finished, it will find the SATA drive fine.

NOTE.
If the XP disk you're using does NOT have at least SP1 updates built in, your 500gb drive will NOT be seen as it's full size.
Setup will see it as ~128gb, or ~131,072mb.

Regular XP CDs with SP2 or SP3 updates included have SP2 or SP3 printed on the CD. All the regular XP CDs that have SP1 updates included that I've seen DO NOT have SP1 printed on them, but their volume label - the label you see for the disk volume in Windows - is different for XP CDs with no SP updates than it is for CDs with SP1 updates - you can search using the volume label to see which is the case.

If Setup sees it as ~128gb, or ~131,072mb, then, if you want Setup / Windows to see the full size of the drive.....

- you need to make yourself a "slipstreamed" bootable CD that has the contents of your CD that has had the SP3 updates integrated into it. While you're at that, you might as well integrate the SATA drivers for the PCI card into it too.
Search for : slipstream XP SP3 or similar on the web - they are lots of sources of info about that. You need to be able to make it on a burner drive, of course. Burn it to a CD-R for the best chance any drive can read it.

You use the bootable slipstreamed CD to install XP instead of yours. Your Product Key for the original CD will work fine with it.
.....

2000's and XP's Setup cannot recognize anything but a floppy in a floppy drive as a valid source for the SATA or other drive controller card's drivers early in Setup. They cannot find driver files on flash drives, cards in memory cardreaders, on external drives, or on CD or DVD drives.
......

When you make partitions on the drive in Setup, I recommend you DO NOT make just one partition, which is the default. Make at least two, if not more. Specify a size smaller than the default for the partition Windows is installed on (1,024mb per gb) - you can software partition and format the remaining un-allocated space in Disk Management at any time after Setup has finished.

The max sustained data transfer speed of hard drives is the bootleneck with recent computers with their fast cpus, fsb speeds, and ram.
..................................................


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#5
February 10, 2010 at 00:59:40
Tubesandwires, thank you for that really comprehensive reply...

"The drive cannot be bootable unless it has an operating system installed on it. If it has no data on it, it can't be bootable. "

Quite right, but my drive absolutely should be bootable, in that it is a direct clone of my old drive, including OS and all, which I boot from daily.

"your Boot Order settings may change when you add or remove an IDE drive."

Using either the adaptor or the converter, the new drive is not detected inside the BIOS, so cannot be selected when choosing the boot order.

"As far as the adapter is concerned, it will probably recognize the size of the drive properly even if your mboard bios doesn't show it properly or detect the size properly."

"Older mboards [...] often DO support booting drives from SCSI drive contollers. [...] When you look in Device Manager after the SATA drivers have been installed, the SATA controller is listed as a SCSI device. [...] You must be able to select SCSI or similar in your computer bios's Boot Order or similar in order to be able to boot from a bootable hard drive attached to the PCI card."

"If you don't see SCSI or simlar, you can NEVER boot from a drive attached to any PCI drive controller card on this computer."

Yes, the adapter actually works very well at getting the drive to work: it will show up in Windows, full size, as a SCSI device. However, my BIOS has no option to boot from a SCSI device, only IDE, which is why I'd given up on it. When I plug in the drive using the converter direct into the IDE slot, remove all other drives, it still isn't detected, either in the boot order in BIOS, or when POST is "Auto-Detecting Pri-Master.."

It knows something is there because it tries to detect it for about a minute or so before giving up.


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#6
February 10, 2010 at 11:28:23
It appears for this particular mboard with it's brand name system specific bios version, you need to

- IF AND ONLY IF you can select a USB device to boot from in your bios Boot Order or similar settings, and you can list it before any hard drive - buy yourself a SATA external drive enclosure (e.g. ~40 $ and up - one with a fan is better), install the SATA drive in that, and boot from it.
It must always be connected, and it MUST be plugged into a USB port it can actually work properly with and can get 500 ma of current from.
See Response 9:
http://www.computing.net/answers/ha...

If Windows won't fully load when you connect the external drive enclosure to your computer, you need to see the info about running a Repair installation of Windows - see below.
.......

- or, the least work involved - get yourself an EIDE hard drive, and, install Windows from scratch on it,

- or, a lot more work involved - if you already have a lot more than just Windows on the 500gb SATA drive, you could install a free program that can copy the entire contents of the drive in one go to the EIDE drive, available from the hard drive brand's web site (the program can only be used if at least one drive installed on the computer is the same brand as that of where you got the program) , on another IDE drive on this computer that has had Windows 2000 or higher installed on it
- or install the program in Windows2000 or higher on another desktop computer's hard drive you have access to, and connect the new EIDE drive to that as well,
- and copy the contents of the entire 500gb SATA drive to the new EIDE drive (they don't have to be the same size, as long as the data will fit on the new drive).
THEN, if Windows won't fully load when you connect the EIDE drive to your own computer, you need to see the info about running a Repair installation of Windows - see my next comments and info.

E.g. Seagate's current version of MaxBlast is a somewhat crippled version of Acronis software - you can copy the contents of the entire drive, but you can't copy individual partitions if there is more than one on the drive. (If you don't want to copy other partitions on the drive and don't need their data contents, delete the partition(s) before you run MaxBlast.) The program can be used only if you have at least one Seagate or Maxtor drive installed on the computer that it can detect (it might not detect the SATA drive on the SATA adapter or on the controller card in a slot).
Seagate also has another alternate program that can do the same thing.
Western Digital also has a similar program that is a somewhat crippled version of Acronis software.

""The drive cannot be bootable unless it has an operating system installed on it. If it has no data on it, it can't be bootable. ""

"Quite right, but my drive absolutely should be bootable, in that it is a direct clone of my old drive, including OS and all, which I boot from daily."

Ok - good to know.

However, if you could get it to boot.....

When you install a hard drive that has had XP (or 2000) installed on it when it was connected to one mboard, then move the drive and connect it to another mboard, if the hardware (main chipset, I/0 chip, etc., primarily) of the mboards are more than a little different, the hard drive still boots fine, but Windows will NOT fully load. Typically, you see the first bit of Windows graphics, then a black screen with a blinking cursor top left, and nothing further happens.
You can fix that by running a Repair installation of Windows if you boot from an XP CD, without you losing your personal settings and data you have added to the partition Windows was installed on (if you have other partitions they are never harmed by the procedure).
I prefer to call it a Repair Setup.
How to do an XP Repair Setup, step by step:
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/win...

However, there are things you need to be made aware of before you run it. If the Repair installation procedure is unable to complete Setup, and you quit Setup, your existing Windows installation will be trashed (on the partition Windows was installed on, only), and the second Repair choice in Setup will probably NOT appear when you try booting with the CD again.

""your Boot Order settings may change when you add or remove an IDE drive.""

"Using either the adaptor or the converter, the new drive is not detected inside the BIOS, so cannot be selected when choosing the boot order."

A drive connected to a card in a mboard slot will definately not show up in the bios when the controller is on a PCI card, or on newer computers, on a PCI-E card (there are PCI-E X1 SATA and SATA/EIDE controller cards available - I have a PCI-E X1 SATA/EIDE controller card on a friend's computer I'm working on at present). However, if you can select SCSI or simlar in the Boot Order or similar in the bios Setup, if SCSI is before other hard drives in the list, you have no problem booting from a bootable drive connected to the card. However, I don't think you would be able to dual or multiboot from more than one bootable drive or more than one bootable partition on one drive connected to card.

""As far as the adapter is concerned, it will probably recognize the size of the drive properly even if your mboard bios doesn't show it properly or detect the size properly.""

I haven't used an IDE to SATA or a SATA to IDE inline data cable adapter, but it's quite possible in theory drives connected to those won't show up in your bios either, even when the bios does have SATA support.

""Older mboards [...] often DO support booting drives from SCSI drive contollers. [...] When you look in Device Manager after the SATA drivers have been installed, the SATA controller is listed as a SCSI device. [...] You must be able to select SCSI or similar in your computer bios's Boot Order or similar in order to be able to boot from a bootable hard drive attached to the PCI card.""

""If you don't see SCSI or simlar, you can NEVER boot from a drive attached to any PCI drive controller card on this computer.""

"Yes, the adapter actually works very well at getting the drive to work: it will show up in Windows, full size, as a SCSI device. However, my BIOS has no option to boot from a SCSI device, only IDE, which is why I'd given up on it. When I plug in the drive using the converter direct into the IDE slot, remove all other drives, it still isn't detected, either in the boot order in BIOS, or when POST is "Auto-Detecting Pri-Master.."

It knows something is there because it tries to detect it for about a minute or so before giving up."

I've found that in some brand name system bios versions, which often have fewer settings than in mboard manufacturer's retail versions, e.g. for an old Dell Optiplex Pentium system I acquired, the SCSI selection is not there, or there is an auto detect or other oddball setting you can select but using it does not result in you being able to get a bootable drive to boot when it is connected to the card. The drive works fine as a non-bootable drive.

On the other hand, mboard manufacturer's retail versions made since the early 90's or earlier almost always have the selection SCSI or similar available in the bios.

Laptop bioses are always brand name specific, or the same but specific for several brands /models (some are the same thing with different brand and model labelling).

However, brand name system builders often did not make the mboard in their systems - it was supplied to them by a major mboard manufacturer, and usually merely has a brand name system specific bios version on it. Sometimes it can be determined who actually made the desktop mboard, and what model it actually is, and if it isn't an OEM only mboard version (made only for brand name system builders), and is identical to a mboard manufacturer's retail model, you can often use the mboard manufacturer's bios updates on the mboard. The possibilty of that would need to be examined on an individual basis - e.g. HP and Compaq systems often use a Phoenix bios version - most mboard manufacturers other than Intel use an Award or AMI bios version - you can't successfuly flash when that is the case, unless you find specific instructions that are known to work. In any case, by default, the boot block portion of the bios code is not normally flashed when you update the bios version - you would have to use a special procedure to flash that too, especially if the boot block code in the bios brand versions are different.

Also, if you do use a mboard manufacturer's bios version on a brand name system, there is the disadvantage that you often can't use the Recovery disk or disks for the specific model to re-load the original software that came with the model - the Recovery prgram often checks to seewhther the bios isa version made by the brand name - if it isn't the Recovery program refuses to load the software, or just quits.


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#7
February 15, 2010 at 04:43:08
I am pleased (and slightly embarrassed) to annouce that the SATA II drive now works ... It seems that the first time I tried it with the converter (which plugs directly into the mboard's IDE slot), a loose connection or a bit of dust or something was causing the POST to hang at "Auto-Detecting Pri Master" ....

I was inspired by something Tubesandwires wrote in another thread re trying some jumper settings to see if forcing the disk into SATA I mode would help. First though tried it again without any jumpers and it booted up no problem!

So, for future reference, this is the converter that worked for me : http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos...

It only goes as fast as SATA I, but works with SATA II and very very cheap. Have to see how long it lasts!

Many thanks for sharing your knowledge, to everyone who replied. Really appreciate it, I learnt a lot.

Mark


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#8
February 15, 2010 at 06:27:49
We're glad to hear you got the IDE to SATA adapter to work !

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