Another Windows/Motherboard/Chipset/Hardware Issue...

By alanerrichiello
May 26, 2006
  1. Specs;

    AMD Athlon 64 3400+
    Corsair 2 GB RAM
    ASUS K8N-E Deluxe (nForce3 250) - BIOS v1012.007
    2 Hitachi SATA II 250 GB Drives
    1 Maxtor SATA I 300 GB Drive w/16 MB Cache
    eVGA GeForce 6800 GT 256 MB RAM


    I am having issues getting all components to work correctly together. I used to have a pair of Western Digital 80 GB in a RAID 0 configuration working perfectly with my 300 GB drive as a storage drive but both WD drives went completely bad. I purchased the pair of Hitachi's listed above.

    My first issue was resolved by reading these forums about the nVidia v5.11 ethernet drivers, because I too was getting the BSOD upon installation. Knowing that, I'll use the 5.10 drivers instead as they seem to be more stable.

    One question I had, was I read somewhere in these forums that someone successfully used the nForce4 drivers for their nForce3 motherboard? Can several people confirm or deny that this indeed works?

    My second issue is getting all drives to be recognized. I'm attempting to use my 300 GB drive as the main drive and my two Hitachi drives as storage drives set up in a RAID 1 configuration for redundancy. I leave the storage drives unplugged while installing Windows XP.

    The problem that arises with this is that Windows does not recognize the total amount of space. I've gone to Maxtor's website, downloaded the boot utility and the registry modification and I still cannot get Windows to recognize the total capacity of the drive! It only recognizes approximately ~130 GB. After quite an effort I gave in and am only using the 130 GB.

    I have the main system drive connected to the nVidia SATA1 port. The two storage drives are connected to the Silicon Image SATA1 & SATA2 ports respectively. Has anyone had success using one RAID option over the other?

    I then proceed to plug in and power the two storage drives and I cannot get Windows to recognize these either. And to top it off, I've just "lost" one of my IDE optical drives! Computer Mgmt in Windows does not recognize this drive, although my BIOS does, and is enabled in the BIOS.

    I believe this to be potentially several issues;

    1.) BIOS Version
    2.) Driver Version
    3.) BIOS Configurations

    I do not believe any hardware is bad, unless it is my motherboard.

    Can anyone offer any advice or suggestions as far as good working versions of the BIOS and the drivers and configuration settings?

    Thank you.
  2. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    You didn't mention what version of Windows XP you have installed. Do you have at least SP2? If you are trying to install from a non-SP1 or higher disc, Windows won't be able to recognize large partitions ( >~127GB).

    I used the K8N with the nForce 2/3 driver set, and never had issues. I wouldn't suggest using the nForce 4 drivers on them.
  3. alanerrichiello

    alanerrichiello TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yea, others suggested slipstreaming my Windows XP installation with SP2 to enable the LBA. I'm going to do that and that'll solve that particular issue.

    Which SATA ports do you suggest using for RAID as opposed to regular normal port usage?
  4. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    I've never had issues with using the software assist raid on either the SiL controllers or the nVidia controllers on the nf3 boards... just make sure you never remove a drive from the set, because even if you don't actually boot the drives, the controllers may still consider the raid broken permanently.
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