FT ARY X 1x2 Mirror, XP Home upgrade to Pro

August 30, 2010 at 14:27:05
Specs: Windows XP Home, ?/1G
Hello - a client of mine simply wants to upgrade her XP Home to XP Professional so she can run a particular software package that only gets "support" when users are running Pro. So, sure, I said, I can upgrade that for you. Little did I know what I was getting into.

Inside are 2 160G IDE drives connected to a Promise Technology FT2000 card and they are set up 1x2 Mirror.

No hard drive is found when I try to use upgrade CD so that's a no go.

Am wary of taking any further action without some expert input. Client is completely OKAY with wiping the whole PC (Oh, it's a Dell Dimension 8300, btw) but I don't want to proceed and cause any unnecessary down time or damage. We just want to start fresh with XP Pro and no fancy mirroring or anything (unless that is necessary).

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
R


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#1
August 30, 2010 at 15:37:48
"Inside are 2 160G IDE drives connected to a Promise Technology FT2000 card and they are set up 1x2 Mirror.

No hard drive is found when I try to use upgrade CD so that's a no go."

You probably need to load the drivers for the Promise controller card's chipset, in order for the Upgrade CD to detect the drives connected to it.
If you can load the drivers for it while loading the initial files from the CD, the Upgrade CD should see the drives fine.

When one has SATA drives, the XP CDs have no SATA controller drivers built in, so, if the onboard SATA controllers are set to a SATA mode in the bios, or if the SATA drives are connected to a SATA controller card in a slot, the XP CDs will not detect SATA drives by default.
The same applies for any drive controller chipset XP doesn't have the built in drivers for, (or that XP has but normally doesn't load).

(If the SATA controllers are onboard, usually you can set the SATA controllers in the bios Setup to an IDE compatible mode. If you can do that, you usually can, the XP CDs see SATA drives fine, as IDE compatible drives, and you don't need to load SATA controller drivers in order to run Setup. After the main chipset drivers for the mboard, and for other things not built into the operating system, have been loaded after Setup has finished, including the SATA controller drivers, you can go into the bios and set the SATA controllers to a SATA mode again. )

With the regular XP CDs, you have to press F6 when you see the line "Press F6 to load drivers for..." early in the loading of the files from the XP CD, then later you are asked to provide the drivers (if the drivers are not ones XP has but doesn't normally load). You must supply them on a floppy disk, usually on a floppy that's in a legacy floppy drive - at that early point, the XP CDs cannot find files on most USB floppy drive models, and they can't find files on other CDs, other hard drives, or on USB flash drives or USB or firewire external drives.

If you see "Press F6 to load drivers for..." early in the loading of the files from the Upgrade CD, then you can use that method to install the Promise card's drive controller drivers.
If the computer has no legacy floppy drive, one can be connected as long as the mboard has a floppy data cable header.
.......

Alternatives ?

With the regular (full version) XP CDs, you can make yourself a "slipstreamed" CD, preferably a CD-R for the greatest drive compatibilty, that has the contents of the original CD that has had SP2 or SP3 updates integrated into it - you can also integrate drivers for things that aren't built into Windows into the contents of the CD while you're at it, such as SATA contoller drivers.
You use the "slipstreamed" CD, rather than the original CD, to install the operating system, along with the Product Key for the original CD, or the Product Key found on the Microsoft label on a brand name system, only if it's an OEM CD you made the "slipstreamed" CD from (either an operating system re-installation CD that came with the same computer model, or a regular OEM XP CD that has "For distribution with a new PC only." printed on it).

You should be able to do that with an Upgrade CD as well.


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#2
August 30, 2010 at 17:23:30
I appreciate the quick response, Tubesandwires!

I downloaded from
http://firstweb.promise.com/support... the

MS Windows 2000 & XP Logo drivers file and unzipped to a floppy disk.

Selected "S" to install Special drivers after F6. Came back with unrecognizable file system. Huh?

Isn't there just a way to take the TX2000 Controller/Mirror out of the loop? Just plug one of the drives directly to the board and reinstall from scratch? (I kinda tried that but still no drive recognized) I'd love to keep as is and just upgrade but looks like might not be worth the hassle on a system that is just going to be used as a POS/Register.

sigh...


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#3
August 30, 2010 at 19:06:31
There are no drivers in the root folder of the extracted files. I don't know if the CD will auto find the right *.inf file when there's multiple folders on the floppy. There's no *.inf file in the root folder to point XP to where to go, just an OEM file.

Did you navigate to the XP folder, and click on FASTRAK.INF ?

I haven't bothered to load SATA drivers this way very often - I usually set the SATA controllers in the bios to an IDE compatible mode instead - but I don't remember pressing S.

If you can't navigate to there when you are asked to provide drivers, you may need to just copy the contents of the XP folder (not the folder itself) to the floppy, and not have the other files on it, except the three files in the root folder should be okay to have on it.
........

I found confirmation on that page you pointed to .....

Troubleshooting Tips
http://firstweb.promise.com/upload/...

Top of page 2

- In Win2K/XP/2003 and Win NT, the driver needs to be loaded in order for the drives to be recognized by the OS

farther down

- When installing Win2k/XP/2003 or Win NT onto the RAID array, make certain that you hit F6 to load support for 3rd party drivers when the OS CD starts to boot, .....

- several notes about WD drives
........

"Isn't there just a way to take the TX2000 Controller/Mirror out of the loop? Just plug one of the drives directly to the board and reinstall from scratch? (I kinda tried that but still no drive recognized)"

I know very little about drives in RAID arrays.
I don't know if only one drive that's in a mirrored set when connected to the onboard non-RAID controller would be bootable, or both would be, or neither would be.
You could try downloading and reading the User manual or similar.

In any case.....
The mboard's bios should find the drive - it doesn't matter to it whether the drive 's bootable or what operating system or RAID array it has on it, unless you're trying to boot from it.

- the mboard's onboard bios must support 48bit LBA - be able to recognize drives > 128gb binary - otherwise the 160gb drives will be seen as 128gb and may not be seen as bootable or as having data on them ( a Windows partition) when they are. If the system / mboard was made after about early 2001, it probably does.
- whatever IDE controller the drive it is connected to must be enabled in the bios
- the drive connections should be set to Auto detect drives, by the method Auto or LBA
- the jumper on the drive would have to be set correctly for the situation.
- some drives, e.g. many WD models, have two ways they can be set to Master - Master, single, or similar, for when it's by itself on a data cable, and Master, with slave, or similar, for when it's on a cable with another drive set to slave. That must be set correctly
- rarely, if there is another drive on the data cable, a drive may not be recognized when it's set to Master, or visa versa, when it's on the cable with certain other drives, but it's recognized fine when the two drives are jumpered the opposite way.



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#4
August 31, 2010 at 11:41:23
BecandCall you do not want to physically remove the hardware mirror. That setup protects the client from a hard drive failure. This does not eliminate the need for regular backups.

Load the correct driver for the promise card and this should be a done deal.


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