Windows can't read my SATA drive

By gavilan
Dec 26, 2006
  1. Hi,
    Forgive me if this is a little long, I wanted to cover as many bases as I could in hopes that my problem could be pinpointed faster. Here goes...

    I recently attempted a clean reinstall of Windows XP (with SP2) on my system, and now, for some reason, whenever it tries to read one of the drives in my system, it hangs. I have an Asus P4C800-E Deluxe mobo with a Seagate 120GB hard drive on primary IDE, two DVD burners on the secondary IDE, a Seagate 200GB on SATA0 and a WD Raptor 500GB on SATA1. A third IDE and two more SATA connectors are available via onboard Promise RAID controller, they are unused.
    I normally have my windows installation on a primary partition on the 200GB HD (SATA0). I formatted that partition, and reinstalled Windows on it. Right after the install finished (as it was doing it's first boot into the normal desktop environment), it froze. I tried restarting it and it did the same thing. I then tried to attempt the reinstall again, and as the install CD was loading it froze on "Scanning 500 GB disk on blah..." I then determined that there must be a problem with my 500GB drive. I unplugged that drive, turned my machine back on, took out the install CD, and sure enough, Windows booted right up.
    I tried putting the drive on another controller, and I even tried the SATA connectors on the Promise controller. Now when I put the drive on the Promise controller, Windows booted up fine. But once I installed the ATA mode driver for the Promise controller (and Windows detected the drive,) it froze when I tried to access the drive. A subsequent reboot also led to the original freezing problem.
    And for the record, I also tried resetting the BIOS setting to the factory defaults.

    Now, if you are still reading this: The logical conclusion I came up with was that my 500GB hard drive had suffered an untimely death. That was until I booted from a Knoppix CD, and Knoppix linux found and mounted the drive right away. I could access everything on the drive and the drive seems to work normally in linux (go figure.)

    I would just say, screw it and install linux, but I need windows for some programs I run that cant run under linux/wine.

    Your questions/suggestions/ideas are very much welcome! I really need to get this system running again! (WITH the 500GB drive!)
  2. gavilan

    gavilan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 62

    Oh yeah, my system specs:
    Asus P4C800-e Deluxe
    Pentium 4 3.0E Prescott
    2GB RAM (2 X 1GB Corsair ValueSelect DDR400 in dual channel mode)
    (see above for hard drives)
    ATI X1600XT 512MB AGP
    Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card
    ATI TV Wonder 650 HDTV

    and I'm running a 3 month old 500W PSU
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    never mix IDE and SATA. Use one or the other. I've been warning people about this for ages here on techpot and this is precisely the problem you'll run into. Windows defaults to IDE during errors, so if there is a driver or other issue, it will attempt to write to IDE even if the OS is on your SATA drive. This will cause a double OS resulting in a hard crash.

    Solution: Use one or the other type with the correct drivers for SATA

    Also this question belongs in the storage forum.
  4. gavilan

    gavilan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 62

    Well, I have been running this setup forever without problems. The problem only arose when I attempted to do a clean reinstall. I also tried unplugging the IDE drive and it still does the same thing. It also stalls when the windows XP setup disk tries to read the hard drive, so I'm thinking it might be something beyond a driver problem.

    Also, I'm going to post this in the storage forum.

    EDIT: that should say Maxtor 500GB SATA, not WD.
  5. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    like I said. It will run fine until you get errors, then all heck breaks loose.
  6. gavilan

    gavilan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 62

    So is there anything I can do to just get the drive working under Windows again just so I can get everything running again? The drive is a SATA drive, it is not the system drive (just an extra data drive) and it does mount under Linux, so the data is intact. I have an IDE to SATA adapter; I plan to use that on the IDE drive (which still works without any incident) once I get windows running again.
  7. billabott

    billabott TS Rookie

    This is my first post here. Oh Good Grief!

    Welcome to the reveal of another MS turf protection scheme.

    The Bios of new PCs will only allow current crop of Linux distos to run - IF - the drive controllers are in 'legacy' mode which XP doesn't like. XP is precluding a dual boot on your new PC thanks to the BIOS creators and MS.

    My supporting evidence is found in the Owner's manual for your PC. Find the page(s) that describes the Bios optional configuration for 'legacy' mode with reference to SATA and PATA. Or you could look online at HP dx2200 documentation for instance.

    MS obviously didn't want XP to co-exist with Linux on the desktop. We all learned in grade K what happens to those who cannot play nice in the school yard. Read this. They loose out to "freely distributed open source programs such as the Linux OS and OpenOffice desktop apps".
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