Need Help Configuring Drive Setup

By EXCellR8 ยท 4 replies
Dec 8, 2008
  1. I've been having reoccurring problems with the SATA controller on my board and I'm wondering if my setup is potentially at fault. I have a slightly awkward configuration as I am using two IDE hard drives, a single SATA-II hard drive and a SATA DVD-ROM drive. Here is how they are set up:

    Master IDE Drive (160GB) - Windows XP - [C:\]
    Slave IDE Drive (320GB) - [D:\]
    SATA port 1 Drive (500GB) - [E:\]
    SATA port 2 Drive (DVD Burner)
    SATA port 3 (empty/disabled)
    SATA port 4 (empty/disabled)

    For some reason I am getting timeouts that cause my video to fail after about 5 secs into a total freeze up. I look in the Event Viewer and I see the error caused by "atapi" which reads:

    The device, \Device\Ide\IdePort3, did not respond within the timeout period.

    I am having a hard time figuring out what that means or what device that message is referring to. There is no "IdePort3" there is only one on my board! I don't have RAID enabled, nor do I think it's possible, but I keep having this problem whenever the SATA devices are hooked up. I was looking in BIOS and there is something called "SATA DMA Transfer" which is enabled. Would that have anything to do with this? I could really use some help with this. Thanks in advance for any input.
  2. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Hi EXCellR8

    First this sounds like a video driver issue but we will proceed as if it is the SATA/IDE chain. Could be indirectly interfering with Video.

    This is a Slave on the same IDE cable and not on a secondary motheboard IDE controller, is that correct?

    Third, do you have a second MB IDE Controller?

    1. Disconnect via the HW wizard all external drives including Flash drives, then physically unplug them.

    2. Boot to Safe Mode. If the 5 second time out is not here and you can stay up then continue below. If all is well in Safe Mode you can about figure this is a video driver issue.

    3. Start-Run
    chkdsk c: /f

    Do this for each drive that is now available (as externals "if any" are now disconnected). To confirm they have no issues. If it asks to do it at next reboot return again to Safe Mode to complete all steps below.

    4. Do my post here:

  3. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,835

    Hey there, thanks for the input.

    I know it does sound like a video driver issue but I have used catalyst software 8.8 all the way to 8.11 and I've had the same problem each time. It seems that the video is being caused by some interference with the SATA controller drivers. I have been running my system with just the two IDE drives for about 2 days straight and not a single crash has occurred. I just recently connected the SATA drives again and it crashed about 30min into regular use.

    Both IDE drives are on the same cable; there is only one IDE header on my board. The OS is installed on the Master IDE drive while the slave IDE and the SATA HDD are just full of files and whatnot. The DVD-ROM drive is also attached to a SATA port. Like I said, system seems fine when both SATA devices are disconnected. Of course, this does me little good as need my 3rd HDD and DVD Burner...

    EDIT: Apparently, on the last crash, the nVidia drivers for the SATA controller were reinstalled automatically.... great.
  4. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    I still think you should run thru my post (without chkdsk) exactly as posted.

    But add this open to check the DVD/CD-Rom category to confirm no ghosted (DIM) entries and remove it anyway if it is the DVD you have disconnected.

    Then plug in only the DVD without the SATA HD. To see if in fact it is only the HD that causes this issue. If issue is still there with DVD then unplug it and run with only the HD.

    And when you do decide to put SATA drive in go into safe mode and do the chkdsk /r on the SATA drive.

  5. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,835

    Well, I thought I had the problem narrowed down to the SATA DVD burner but I guess I was wrong... again. I had just the SATA HDD drive connected to the onboard controller, while the DVD burner was disconnected, and the system was running fine for at least 24hrs before it crashed on me just now. This time, I only saw the video error in the Event Viewer so it probably is the video card after all. This thing is really starting to eat me up as far as problems go. I need to get rid of it and get something else...
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