4 hard drives, 1 IDE controller, 1 problem

By liquidfire ยท 7 replies
Oct 17, 2004
  1. Thanks for reading...

    Currently I have 2 hard drives hooked up to my motherboard which operate just fine.
    -Primary: I just installed Windows XP about 2 weeks ago (contains files) (cable select)
    -Slave: My old hard drive from my last computer. (contains files) (slave)

    I installed an IDE controller (Belkin Ultra ATA/133 PCI Card), and plugged in 2 hard drives to it.
    -One hard drive is not partitioned (brandnew) (empty) (slave)
    -The other hard drive is the hard drive i've used for the past 8 months. (contains files) (slave)

    When I try and bootup with the 2 current hard drives plugged into IDE1 (motherboard) and the IDE controller plugged into the PCI slot I have no problems.
    When I add the other 2 hard drives to the IDE Controller I am prompted to hit F3 and enter Raid Setup. If I don't hit F3 I never make it to Windows Desktop If I hit F3 this is what I get:
    F1: Delete Raid Set
    F2: Create Raid Set (beep)
    F3: Create Spare Drive
    F4: Resolve Conflicts (beep)

    When I hit F1 it prompts me to choose a Raid set to delete and gives me 1 option. I'm not entirely sure what a Raid set is so I have not deleted.
    When I hit F2 and F4 my motherboard speaker just beeps every time the key is pressed and I never go to a next screen.
    When I hit F3 it tells me that there is no Mirror Set.

    The end result i'm looking for:
    Primary Hard Drive, 3 slaves, and no loss of data.

    Thanks to all that read and respond.

    P.S. Techspot is my hero.
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    By default your computer will boot from the first HD attached to the primary (integrated) controller.

    It may be that your IDE controller doesn't even have boot capability or that you have to tell the computer in BIOS setup to use the external controller as the boot device.

    You are better off booting from the integrated IDE controller and running the other non-OS drives off the new separate one.
  3. liquidfire

    liquidfire TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17


    I have the primary hard drive plugged in by the primary ribbon head. My 2nd hard drive (slave) is on this same ribbon. This ribbon plugs into IDE1 on my motherboard. <- no problems here.

    My CD burner is connected to IDE2. <- No problems here.

    My other 2 hard drives (slaves) are connected to my IDE controller. I have tried each of the 2 IDE holes (if you will) on the IDE controller... Still the same problem listed in above posting.

    I have even switched the 2 hard drives (slaves) onto the IDE2 of my motherboard and my CD burner onto the IDE controller. It picks up the CD player no problem. But I'm still having problems with these 2 slaves even on IDE2 of my motherboard.

    The 2 hard drives (slaves) on the IDE controller:
    1 is not even partitioned and the other one DOES have an OS on it [with a password (not sure if it matters as it is a slave)]

    Hope this clarifies a little more.

    Thanks Nodsu.
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Your problem lies in a conflict on the Belkin card.
    The first HD on that card should be Master. You can't have two slaves on the same channel.
  5. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 664

    As realblackstuff said, you need to set one of the two additonal hard drives to master.

    Also, it would probably be wise to change your main drive over to master rather than cable select.

    How exactly are the drives plugged in, i am assuming something like:-

    IDE1 -> Boot Drive (cable/select) & old drive (slave)
    IDE2 -> Optical Drives

    Belkin Card:
    IDE3 -> New Drive (slave) & new drive (slave)
    IDE4 -> Empty

    if so, you may be better off moving either the old drive from IDE1, a new drive from IDE3, or an optical drive to IDE4, in order to reduce IDE contention and potentially improve performance
  6. cardpopper

    cardpopper TS Rookie


    you might wanna try my program OSL200 it gives you a choice of which hd to boot from ....its easy and works great

  7. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

  8. liquidfire

    liquidfire TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Related issues with reformatting... 2 years later.

    The previous instructions were correct, although I don't remember which tweak ended up fixing my problems. :(

    I've decided to reformat all my hard drives to improve my performance after windows started having various errors that I don't know how to fix.

    When I insert the Windows XP Pro CD and hit "any button" to boot from CD it starts loading windows. I have the option of New Install or Recovery. I wanted to wipe the hard drive clean and start over so I choose New Install. I'm prompted with a message that says "No HD are detected."

    If I don't choose any options, it boots Windows XP like normal straight to my desktop.

    When I go to my computer and right click my 2nd HD to reformat, it says the hard drive is in use and cannot be reformatted. I have nothing open in my task tray or start bar. I assume there's some process running off of of that drive, but I'm lousy at that stuff. I did manage to reformat my 3rd hard drive by right clicking it in My Computer.

    Any suggestions on how I can wipe the main hard drive and my 2nd hard drive to start fresh?
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