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Old May 30th, 2003, 12:42 AM   #1
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Hard drive / CD / DVD setup?

Hi,

What is the best way to attach my IDE devices?
Note: The system/boot drive is a separate SATA drive.

I have these drives:
IDE Hard Disk (secondary drive)
CD-RW
DVD-RW

Question: Is there a benefit to attaching the IDE hard drive to the SATA controller?

Thanks,
Michael Wisniewski
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Old May 30th, 2003, 09:30 AM   #2
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I haven't got any experience with S-ATA so I cannot comment
on that. Usually it is okay to have two CD devices like your
CD/DVD burners on one IDE channel. I have that here without
any problems. Personally I would put each harddisk (again I
can't speak for S-ATA) on its own channel when connected to
the mainboard.

I have a Promise Ultra ATA133 card in my PC and this device
safely allows mixing of different harddisk speeds etc. on one
channel. Also this gives me more channels to play with.

How do you like S-ATA?
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Old May 30th, 2003, 11:54 AM   #3
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Hi Rob,

S-ATA has been working well. Physical installation was much easier than IDE because the cables are simpler. Otherwise, pretty much the same as IDE.

Installing a secondary S-ATA drive with an IDE system disk was a breeze. Install the drivers and it's plug and play.

The one issue I encountered was setting up a S-ATA system disk. The installation programs for Win2K Pro and XP Pro don't recognize S-ATA drives, so you have to press F6 during the install and then supply the drivers on a floppy ... I didn't own a floppy drive until that point.


I'm using the new 10K rpm Western Digital Raptor drive. It has really perked up the system response.
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Old May 30th, 2003, 03:34 PM   #4
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"The one issue I encountered was setting up a S-ATA system disk. The installation programs for Win2K Pro and XP Pro don't recognize S-ATA drives, so you have to press F6 during the install and then supply the drivers on a floppy"

Hi Michael,

Sorry for changing the subject, but...

Getting ready to put my system together tonight (waiting on FedEx) Also going to use the Raptor 10,000 rpm drive as my primary, just wanted to find out a little more about how you set that up the first time (since I'm going to be doing it tonight)

my system
Asus p4c800 deluxe
XP Pro
WD 36 gig S-ata drive (primary)
2 Seagate 7200 rpm 120 gig S-ata drives (raid0)
Matrox Parahilia video
1 gig Corsair XMS ram
sony dvd drive
floppy

Thanks
Jeff Troiano
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Old May 30th, 2003, 04:59 PM   #5
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Hi Jeff,

You'll need to copy the S-ATA drivers to a floppy disk. As far as I can tell, the Win2k Pro and Xp Pro installs require the drivers to be on a floppy disk drive ... this was vexing for me because I haven't owned a floppy drive since 1998 ...

When you start the install, press F6, you should see a prompt for this at the bottom of the screen. The install will finishing loading the files it needs, then it will ask you to (S)pecify which device to use - it will read the drivers off the floppy disk after you press S for (S)pecify.
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Old May 30th, 2003, 05:06 PM   #6
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Thanks Michael

Good thing I saw your post, hopefuly you saved me some hair pulling tonight.

Jeff
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Old May 30th, 2003, 05:10 PM   #7
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May I jump in? Essentially what Michael is refering to is the fact that whenever you install an OS on anything but the native IDE ports you have to load the drivers for this "third-party controller" at the beginning of the Windows install (Windows will prompt you to press 'F6' for any third party drivers and when you see this you should press it).

This is true for any add in IDE, RAID, or SCSI cards you want your system to "see" during the intial Windows setup (also true for add-in onboard controllers, which many motherboards have now since 1998 for mass consumption). Otherwise, if you fail to do this during the install, Windows will complain that it is unable to find a disk to install on.

Your motherboard or if it's an add-in S-ATA card should have come with a floppy you can use during setup. Might want to see if there's a newer driver available however and make your own floppy.

You should also enter the BIOS and set which device you would like to boot from once everything is complete. There will probably be an entry for you to boot from S-ATA as opposed to a native IDE port or from floppy.

I notice you are also planning on using S-ATA RAID? I have yet to set one up for S-ATA but I've done IDE RAID for every one of my machines. This is setup in hardware and there should be a way to get into the S-ATA controller's RAID setup. Probably a key combination during boot-up and just after the initial BIOS screens. This is where you should double check with your motherboard or S-ATA controller's manual. Once this is setup properly your machine will always think those two drives are really one big drive and Windows will care less whether or not it is actually RAID 0 beneath it all. This is why hardware based RAID is different from software based RAID.

How many S-ATA devices can your machine support? It's never a good idea to slave RAID drives, they should both be masters in their own ports ideally (do S-ATA drives still use the master/slave convention or has this been resolved?)
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Old May 30th, 2003, 05:14 PM   #8
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Sheesh...and there was me thinking that I didn't need to bother with a floppy drive for my new edit box! :-/
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Old May 30th, 2003, 05:21 PM   #9
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Chris, on the board I am using (Asus P4C800 Deluxe) There is you standard IDE controller, also there is an S-ATA X 2 Controllers, plus 2 x S-ATA RAID Controllers for 0 , 1, and 0+1.

I was going to use the 36 gig raptor as my primary, (setting this up first) and then I was going to get back inside and hook up the two raid drives (after windows had been loaded). According to the boards manual, the bios should automatically start up and promt to set up raid. Was going to put each Raid drive on it's own controller (I think I can do that, at least I hope so, I only bought single drive S-ATA cables)

Any how, its suppose to work that way, I've never set up a RAID, or used S-ATA before so this is a first for me, but every other computer I've set up, I've never just put everything in and then booted up, I always go one piece at a time.

Jeff
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Old May 30th, 2003, 05:21 PM   #10
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Floppy drives are pretty useful that way. Extremely valuable when you need to do troubleshooting outside of the OS. And of course I can't think of a way of updating/flashing the system BIOS without a floppy. Updating the BIOS is not necessary but let's say your motherboard manufacturer updates the list of processors your motherboard can support (a very common BIOS update). Having a floppy drive will let you flash the BIOS so you can use faster CPUs in your machine.

Jeff, that sounds like a nice setup. I don't think you'll have any problems especially if you go about doing it that way, according to the different subsystems of your machine. The only minor thing is the drive letter assignment the RAID will have, Windows will probably give it one following the CD/DVDs already in place but this is completely fine. Sounds like fun. I'm itching to upgrade too now...
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Old May 31st, 2003, 04:02 PM   #11
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Would like to say THANK YOU to Michael Wisniewski,
and Christopher Go. You guys made my night a little shorter by giving me a few heads up on my RAID install. Messed things up a little at first but did it all right the second time, well almost, computer thinks there is a dual boot system, just have to go into the System Registry and delete a couple of lines. THANK YOU both again.

Jeff Troiano
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 11:40 AM   #12
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Booting information is in your boot.ini. Be careful with it though,
destroying the wrong kind of information (as I once did by
accident) will get you a non-workable system!
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 08:30 PM   #13
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No problem, Jeff. That is odd though about the dual boot, I hope everything works out. How do you like your computer's speed?
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Old June 2nd, 2003, 11:40 PM   #14
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I love the new computer, it smokes. The reason it dual boots is because I loaded windows and it wasn't reconizing the RAID drive. I had to format, but it wouldn't let me, so I ended up going back into the XP pro setup disk, and chose to format that, but then it start to load windows onto that partition. I didn't let it finish, but it loaded the partition information on the main drive boot sector. I just had to goto msconfig, and change the boot.ini. But I love this thing it smokes. Just have to finish with the audio portion. and buy 3 more hard drives than I'll have it the way I want it (also forgot the software, but we'll get to that soon enough)

Thanks again
Jeff
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Old June 3rd, 2003, 12:41 AM   #15
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I really don't like this idea of not having a floppy drive in your computer. Quite frankly it seems stupid; they're indespensable when you're system crashes and they're perfect for boot disks or small files. Anyway, that's just my 2 cents :)
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