Want to boot from a non-RAID SATA drive

May 12, 2011 at 21:47:42
Specs: Windows XP, I5 Dual Core 4Gig
DELL Optiplex 9800. WXP on a RAID SATA.

I installed a swap-bay for SATA drives so I could boot from various SATA drives (each with its own unique configuration of applications, etc.). However, I doubt very much that these SATA drives were configured as RAID.

Problem -- Can't boot from the non-RAID SATA drives on the Optiplex system. The disks boot fine on other machines, just not on this one.

I suspect this is because the drive controller (motherboard) is only looking for RAID SATA? I get an option when I money around to switch the controller to Legacy mode (or other RAID modes) but it comes with warning that the disk may be non-bootable. I need to keep these SATA so they do boot on original machines, so don't want to risk it.

Suggestoin/Input?


See More: Want to boot from a non-RAID SATA drive

Report •

#1
May 13, 2011 at 06:43:15
Changing the Controller setting to Legacy mode will not affect the drive. All it will do is have the SATA be "seen" as an IDE drive, meaning no SATA drivers are required. It will either boot or it will not. If it does not, simply change the BIOS setting back to the way it was.

Report •

#2
May 13, 2011 at 09:22:19
"DELL Optiplex 9800"

There is no such model.

If that was supposed to be Optiplex 980 (that series CAN have an I5 dual core cpu), there are three possible types of systems in the series that it could be -
Desktop, Mini-tower, or Small form factor

Go here for how to find the Service tag "number":
http://support.dell.com/support/top...

Tell us what it is.
.....

There is a big difference between a hard drive WILL NOT BOOT (from the correct partition on a hard drive), and a hard drive DOES boot (from the correct partition on a hard drive) but the operating system will NOT load normally.
.....

When there is more than one hard drive connected to a computer....

If a hard drive WILL NOT boot from the correct operating system partition on a hard drive that you want it to, then the default bios setting or the settings you have set the bios to regarding which hard drive the bios tries to boot from first is NOT correct.

If the mboard has only SATA data headers (the Optiplex 980 series has no IDE data headers), the bios detects hard drives in the order of which SATA data header they are connected to.
E.g. if you connect a drive to the first SATA data header, the bios will attempt to boot from a partition on that hard drive first.
If you connect the hard drive you want to boot a particular operating system from to a SATA data header such that the bios detects it first by default, the particular operating system you wanted to boot from will attempt to load.

If there is a bootable operating system on a partition on that drive, then the bios does not try to boot from anything else.
If there is NO bootable operating system on a partition on that drive, then the bios does NOT try to boot from any other hard drive after the first one


If the bios does not boot by default from the particular operating system you want to boot from the way you have the drives connected to the SATA data headers, then.....
You must change a setting in the bios Setup.
It has either
- a list of hard drives, often near where the Boot Order or similar settings are.
The hard drive you want to boot a particular operating system installation from must be listed first - usually they are listed by their model numbers - Save bios settings.

- or - less common in modern bioses - there is no list of hard drives, but there is more than one hard drive listed in the Boot Order or similar settings - the hard drive you want to boot a particular operating system installation from must be listed first - they may be listed by their model numbers, or generically according to the order in which the bios is detecting their data connection - e.g. HDD0, HDD1, etc.. Save bios settings.
...........................

If the hard drive DOES boot from the correct partition on a hard drive that has the particular operating system you want to boot from, but the operating system will NOT load normally, that's a different matter.

E.g.

If the hard drive has a Windows 2000 or XP installation on it that was installed when the hard drive was connected to a different mboard, and you tried booting from that with it connected to the subject mboard, if the hardware of the present mboard is more that a little different, the operating system will often NOT load normally.

That can be fixed without losing the personal data on the Windows partition, by running a Repair installation of Windows, if you have a suitable Windows CD to boot the computer from and if the circumstances otherwise meet the requirements for running a Repair installation of Windows.)
............................

A mboard has either a drive controller that supports RAID, or it doesn't.
The same mboard model may be available with or without the RAID hardware capability and be identical otherwise.
The same bios version is often used for both situations, so you may see the setting to set your drive controller to RAID mode even when it doesn't support RAID mode.

(There is NO mention of RAID support in the Optiplex 980 series Technical Specifications .)

If the drive controller supports RAID, that's always optional.
It also supports non-RAID use.
You have to set up a RAID array if you want to use RAID, BEFORE you install an operating system.
In most if not all cases, you must have at least two physical hard drives connected to the same RAID capable drive controller in order to set up a RAID array - you can't set up a RAID array on one drive.
Depending on the type of RAID array, usually one drive in the array will NOT load an operating system normally on ANY computer.
.........

XP has no built in SATA drive controller drivers.

If the hard drive has a Windows 2000 or XP installation on it that was installed when the hard drive was connected to a different mboard, and you tried booting from that with it connected to the subject mboard, if the drive is SATA, the existing Windows installation may have suitable SATA controller drivers embedded in it for the SATA controllers on the original mboard, but they may not work with a different mboard, and in that case the operating system may not load. You may need to set the bios Setup so that the SATA controllers are in an IDE compatible mode of some sort, then the SATA drive will be detected, as an IDE compatible drive, and the operating system will attempt to load.


Report •
Related Solutions


Ask Question