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PCI to IDE card not recognized by MOBO

By fredarmando ยท 8 replies
Sep 3, 2007
  1. Hi there,

    I'm putting together a new computer and got stuck with something. I'm hoping you can help. By the way, yesterday I posted a question about cable connections (power sw, hdd led, power led), but that's not important right now. There's something else that is much more urgent.

    Here's the info on my system:

    Motherboard: ASUS M2A-VM AM2 Micro ATX
    Case: from an eMachines T3104 I had lying around (don't worry, though... I upgraded the PSU)
    PSU: Thermaltake TR2-430W
    CPU: AMD 64 X2 6000+ with stock heatsink and fan
    RAM: 2x1GB (Crucial DDR2 PC2-4200)
    HD: Seagate Barracuda 250GB (7200RPM) IDE
    Optical Drive: CD/DVD-ROM (IDE)

    I also had to install an IDE port card on one of my PCI slots, since my motherboard only came with one IDE connector. Here's what it says on the box: IDE RAID 2 Port PCI Host - PCI 2-channel Ultra ATA/133 IDE host controller based on SIL0680, with RAID 0, 1IO+1 function. I'm leaving that one for the CD/DVD-ROM and connecting the hard drive directly to the mobo.

    And that's where the problem lies. When I turned on the system for the first time and went to BIOS setup, the motherboard showed the HD as primary master, but did not show the CD/DVD-ROM at all. When I exited the setup, there was an option to enter the RAID utility (press F3), which I did not do. But along with that option I could see information on the CD/DVD-ROM. However, the computer did not boot from the CD (I had already changed the boot sequence in the BIOS). End result: the computer did not recognize that there was an optical drive installed. (Just to let you know, both the HD and the CD/DVD-ROM have their jumpers set to cable select.)

    Then I tried switching things around and connecting the CD/DVD-ROM directly to the motherboard and the hard drive to the PCI IDE port card. When I turned the computer on and went to BIOS setup, the CD/DVD-ROM was shown as primary master and the HD did not show up at all. When I exited the setup, I saw the same option to enter the RAID utility, along with information on the HD (size in MB).

    I did this many times, and even tried to enter the RAID utility, but that only lets me create RAID pairs. However, it seems that the PCI to IDE card is being recognized, but whatever is connected to it does not show up on the BIOS setup and later does not function at all.

    I need to install Windows and do not know what to do to solve this problem. Can anyone help?

    I'll really appreciate any and all suggestions.

    Best regards,

  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,452   +7

    Silicon Image is evil. You should never use their products..

    What you are seeing is exactly how it should be and how it is with all add-on controllers. The controller card and the controller on your motherboard are two completely separate things. Also, the motherboard BIOS and the controller BIOS are totally independent. You will never see things attached to the controller in system BIOS or vice versa.

    It is normal for IDE controller cards not to support booting from CD. Read the product manual to see what exactly works. Read The Friendly Manual.

    As for booting from devices connected to the controller card.. You may have to tell your motherboard BIOS to boot from "other" or "SCSI" device. You may also have to explicitly configure booting in the RAID BIOS. Read The Friendly Manual.

    It common that (crappy) IDE controller cards do not support booting from optical devices. Read The Friendly Manual.

    You probably have to configure your hard drive as a RAID0 "array" in the RAID BIOS to make it usable. Since it is a (crap) SiI device, then you may even have to load special drivers using a floppy disk to make it play with Windows. Read The Friendly Manual.
  3. fredarmando

    fredarmando TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, but it still doesn't work

    Hi everyone.

    Thanks for the replies.

    First off, to Codex Computing:
    My other thread can be found here. I still haven't gotten any replies on it, but maybe it is a very basic question. I ended up leaving the power led cable out and guessed right the polarity on the hdd led.
    Anyway, on this current problem, I can't connect both the HD and the CD/DVD-ROM on the same cable because they're too far apart. Also, I want to add a second hard drive after I get the system working. Right now, an external optical drive is kind of out of the question. I need to get this machine working as fast and for as little money as possible. But thanks for the suggestion, though!

    To Nodsu:
    Thank you for all your ideas! Reading the manual was, of course, my first impulse. However, the problem is that there is no real manual to speak of. The photocopied sheet of paper that came with the card had only very basic instructions on how to connect the card to the PCI slot and connect the cables. Then it jumped to how to install the drivers in the several versions of Windows It didn't even show a picture of the card or anything. There was also a manual in PDF format in the CD that came with the product. But that was also useless, as it was only about installing the drivers.

    Anyway, I tried two things, with various degrees of unsuccessful results:

    I tried hooking up the CD-ROM to the controller. I turned on the machine and went to BIOS setup. As expected, the CD-ROM was not there, but when I went to define the boot sequence, one of the choices was the description of the optical drive (TSSP Corp. CD/DVDRW or something like that). Well, I selected that as my first choice, then the hard drive. When I restarted the computer, it tried going to the CD-ROM, but ended up restarting by itself. I let it do it a few times and when I saw that it was useless, I turned the computer off.

    Then I switched things around and connected the HD to the controller and the CD-ROM to the MOBO. I adjusted the boot sequence in the BIOS setup and after that went to the RAID utility and created a RAID 0 configuration with the existing hard drive. This way, I was able to boot from the Windows CD. It gave me a choice to install a third-party RAID controller, which I tried to do, but it would only accept the drivers through a floppy drive, which I don't have. I looked everywhere to see if I could select the CD drive and insert the CD that came with the controller, but was unsuccessful. If I try to install Windows without this, it simply tells me that it can't go on because there is no HD installed.

    I really am in a tough spot here. I don't know what to do. Do I have any other alternatives? Maybe I could return the RAID controller and get a better one? Or maybe I can return it and try to get a SATA to IDE adapter, so I could connect the hard drive through the SATA port? Do you guys think it would work? I really wanted to try and find a solution that didn't require spending a lot of money or waiting a week or so to get the stuff in the mail. This computer is my work tool and it's been really hard to get anything done without it.

    Anyway, I thank you all for your comments. If anyone else has any suggestions, I would really appreciate them too.


  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,452   +7

    The floppy drive is the only way to load drivers to windows XP setup unless you go and create a custom CD with your controller drivers already on it. You shouldn't have pinched that $10 by leaving out the floppy drive :p

    If you feel like hacking the XP CD, look up the SATA driver slipstreaming guides. They apply to you and the SiI IDE controller too.

    You could indeed get a SATA to IDE adapter, but then you would have to load the SATA drivers to XP, which is exactly the same problem you are having at the moment. Another option would be a decent IDE controller that doesn't need special drivers to work with XP.
  5. fredarmando

    fredarmando TS Rookie Topic Starter

    You're right, of course


    You're right. I got a cheap card and thought I had solved my problem and saved some money at the same time. Thing is... you get what you pay for, right? I learned that the hard way.

    About the floppy: I didn't skip it to save money. I really don't use it and haven't had one for over 5 years. Then again... I haven't needed to assemble my own computer from scratch until now. :eek:

    This whole thing is making me think that I should just ditch the whole idea of using only IDE hard drives in this machine and buy me a SATA hard drive. A good 320GB SATA HD goes for about $80 at a well-known and respected online retailer (not sure if we can discuss vendors here). Under the circumstances, that's a small price to pay to get this computer working.

    Do you think this would solve my problem? I could then install the cheap-as-hell IDE controller after installing Windows XP, so I could still use my 250GB IDE HD as a secondary drive. Would this work or am I just hallucinating because it's 4:00 AM and I'm still working?

    In any event, if I had to buy a decent IDE controller, which one would you recommend?

    Thanks a bunch for your help!
  6. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,412   +629

    Here is what I think you can do. You say you can't put the IDE hard drive and the IDE CD drive on the same cable because they are too far apart. Why not temporarily move the IDE hard drive closer to the CD drive so you can use the same cable. Perhaps you can temporarily secure the hard drive in the space that a floppy would go or even just screw in one side of the hard drive in a optical drive space. You could support the other end by letting it rest on a piece of plastic or wood. OR you can figure out some other setup to get the drives closer together. You can even remove one or both of them from the case altogether.

    Once Windows is installed you can install the PCI card and install its driver. You'll never be able to use that card or anything attached to it until you install the card's driver. With your configuration you can't do that before installing Windows. Once Windows and the PCI card its driver are installed, you should be able to shut down and move the connection of the CD drive to the PCI IDE card and physically move both of your drives back to where they should be. Of course, don't forget to change the jumpers. Master and slave when they are on the same cable and once they are separated, master on both.

    When the optical drive is installed on the PCI card you should be able to use it to install all the rest of the drivers and programs (or install the rest before separating the two drives). However, once it is installed on the PCI card you might not be able to establish the CD drive as a bootable drive but at least you got Windows and everything else installed. Because of the booting issue, that's why you need to install the hard drive on the motherboard IDE controller.

    I've never tried this myself but it seems like it should work. At least you are using only your existing hardware and it won't cost anything to try this.
  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,452   +7

    Windows XP does not know anything about SATA, so you will need to supply the drivers for your onboard SATA controller on a floppy or slipstreamed..

    You could have a look in your system BIOS if you can set your SATA controller to standard IDE mode. If you can do that, your SATA controller will look like a standard (working, supported) IDE controller. Then hook up your IDE drive with an adapter or a native SATA drive and they should be recognised no problem.
  8. fredarmando

    fredarmando TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It worked!

    Sorry for the late post. Between getting the computer ready and my work, I've been pretty busy. Anyway, here it goes:

    To mailpup:
    Dude, excellent idea! Very practical. Way to think outside the box (literally!). I did what you suggested and, of course, it worked like a charm. I now have the HD connected to the MOBO and the CD to the controller card. Of course I can't see the CD drive in the BIOS set-up (as Nodsu had already explained), but after Windows boots, I can see it in My Computer and it works beautifully. Thank you very much! The one thing I haven't tried yet is to see if I can boot from the CD. But even if I can't, I'll worry about that later. I got my computer to work and that's what's important right now.

    To Nodsu:
    The way I see it, the correct way to go here would be to get a SATA drive in the not-so-distant future and use the IDE drive as a slave. But you say I will still need a floppy drive with the drivers, correct? Would that be true even if the SATA ports are on the motherboard? How about for Windows Vista?

    Anyway, guys... thank you all for your help.
    This forum is pretty darn good! :)


  9. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,412   +629

    Terrific. I'm glad you got it running.

    Edit: Let me try to answer some of your other questions. Slave and master do not apply to SATA drives. Each SATA drive connects to one controller on a one-to-one basis. If your potential plan is to switch Windows from an IDE drive to a SATA drive, I've never done that so I don't know the best way to do it.

    Since Windows is now installed you don't need to use the F6 and floppy method of installing SATA/RAID drivers. That method is usually used when installing Windows on a SATA hard drive on a new system. You can download SATA/RAID drivers from the motherboard's website that you should be able to install within Windows.

    I don't have Vista myself but I believe Vista has enough SATA drivers "built-in" so you might not have to install separate drivers like you sometimes do in XP.
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