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Problem adding SATA drives to XP running on IDE

By Fantomas77 ยท 16 replies
Oct 2, 2007
  1. Hi,

    I recently decided to switch from XP Pro to XP Media Center Edition. Last night I did a clean install of XP MCE on my IDE drive. Everything appeared to work fine, all the drivers went in OK, but my WinXP Promise FastTrak 378 Controller is displaying a yellow exclamation point in device manager and will not start.

    My setup is 1 IDE drive and 2 SATA drives. As of now the SATA drives are not recognized by XP. In my previous XP Pro installation, the SATA drives were recognized just fine.

    When I loaded MCE I did not hit f6 during setup to load a third party RAID drive, as I figured it was not necessary since I was installing to an IDE drive. The two drives are recognized during POST by the controller, and are also present in the BIOS. It should be noted that the two SATA drives are not setup in a RAID array, and RAID is turned off in the BIOS.

    Since the drives are not recognized I have tried the following solutions with no luck:

    1. Reloading the OS and pressing f6 to load third party drivers (obtained directly from MSI). Even when I did this the drives weren't recognized by the XP setup program.

    2. Reloading the drivers in XP for the WinXP Promise FastTrak 378 Controller. I tried both MSI drivers and drivers.

    3. Uninstalling the Promise FastTrak 378 Controller and rebooting to let Windows find it.

    4. Checking disk management to see if the drives are recognized but not formatted.

    I have a MSI Neo2 865PE motherboard, and the SATA drives are Western Digital and Seagate. Please help!
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,160   +460

    You were right the first time. You don't need to F6 SATA drivers if you are installing XP to an IDE drive. However, after Windows is installed you have to install SATA/RAID drivers if you want devices connected to the SATA controllers to work. RAID may be turned off in the BIOS but is SATA enabled in the BIOS?

    It's not clear to me what drive is connected to what. Can you go over again which drives are connected to the motherboard and which (if any) are connected to the Promise Controller?
  3. Fantomas77

    Fantomas77 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Erm, I think we may have confused each other. My device manager lists the Promise FastTrak 378 Controller as unable to start. From your post, it sounds like you're taking the Promise Controller as being a separate card from the motherboard?

    All the drives are plugged directly into the motherboard. The Neo2 865PE S comes with 4 SATA ports built in (although oddly enough only 2 will be recognized during POST).
  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,160   +460

    You're correct. I misunderstood and that's why I was confused. I thought it was a controller card.

    I'm glad you included the "S" in the motherboard name this time because I tried looking up your motherboard before and I wasn't sure which one you had. Just checking, but is this the SATA driver you downloaded and tried to install? Promise 20378 S-ATA RAID/Ultra Drivers. This is a link to the MSI download page for your motherboard drivers if I got it right.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +419

    If it is unable to start, I believe that means it has the drivers, just something is preventing it from loading. I've seen this happen with a Vista beta and a Wireless Network Card. I was unable to find a fix. You may have to do something with IRQs, but I know almost nothing about screwing around with them.
  6. Fantomas77

    Fantomas77 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yep, I definitely got the right drivers.

    Here's some additional info:

    During post the BIOS for Promise TX2Plus (sp) is loaded and recognizes both drives on D0 and D1. The motherboard has 4 sata controllers and from what I can tell the TX2Plus handles the bottom 2...I'm not sure what handles the top 2. When I plug one drive into a bottom port and one into a top port only the one on the bottom is recognized.

    I had an IDE CD-Rom drive plugged into IDE 3 (if you look at the pic on MSI's site, the yellow IDE channel between the SATA channels). I unplugged that to check for IRQ conflicts but it didn't help.

    I've tried changing every BIOS setting I can find relating to IDE/Raid with no luck (yes I've changed them all back to the defaults).
  7. Fantomas77

    Fantomas77 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, I found a sort of solution.

    Turns out the bottom 2 SATA ports are controlled by the Promise FastTrak 378 Controller, while the top 2 are seen as normal Intel Ultra ATA ports. In the BIOS I switched the integrated ATA to Native Mode and set it for PATA + SATA. Upon doing so, both the upper ports work, and now I have both drives on those and Windows XP is seeing them.

    I still have the problem with the Promise Controller not starting up, but at least I have a workaround for now. If anyone can figure out why it won't start up, let me know.
  8. Tedster

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

    I have argued for a long time here on TS that it is not recommended to mix these types of drives (IDE and SATA) on the same system - just for this reason. But few listened. Some motherboards (mostly older ones) have a hard time handling both types of drives. I suggest using one type or the other.
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +419

    Thats not what you've been arguing at all Tedster. You've been talking about catastrophic failures where the OS will refuse to boot and things are wiped out.

    This looks to me like an OS conflict with the SATA controller, the OS is preventing the controller from loading up. This will happen regardless of whether a drive is connected to it at all:
    Currently he is running SATA and IDE on the same system at the same time. He just isn't using the controller that for some reason the OS is not loading up.
  10. Tedster

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

    I never said data would be wiped out. I did mention the OS not loading on some systems. This is an issue that is more common than most are aware of. Again, I hold my position.
  11. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Just FYI, the Promise TX2plus has both SATA and IDE ports... It's designed to use both simultaneously. So this is a non-issue here.
  12. sghiznaneck

    sghiznaneck TS Maniac Posts: 403

    Have to back up the Tedster on this one. (Great to see you back, also). The mobo may be designed to run both simultaneously, but in the majority of cases that I've seen (a few dozen or more), they just don't get along. What I can't understand is why anyone would upgrade to a faster access SATA drive and then negate that by additionally installing the IDE drives. If it's a matter of data, get a larger SATA drive and transfer the data. They aren't as expensive for larger volume drives as they used to be and they don't seem to fail as often as the IDE drives either.
  13. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Can we get a better explanation of this phenomenon? I'd like more details, as in exactly what the symptoms are and what your opinions are on how and why they are caused.

    Sure, the SATA interface is faster than the IDE interface, but the actual drives themselves are really, truly the same "speed". In fact, SATA and IDE drives have the same mechanics and many of them are literally an IDE drive with a SATA port strapped to the back.

    Also, having an IDE drive installed in a system with SATA doesn't "make the SATA drive slower", much like having an IDE CDROMs doesn't slow down your SATA drive either... If that's what you are eluding to.

    Any links on this? I'd be interested in seeing a study done that proves this.
  14. Goalie

    Goalie TS Booster Posts: 616

    I've called BS on this before, and I'm going to again. I have run and do run SATA and IDE in harmony on three different boards, no conflicts, no problems. Yes, I suppose there is the chance of a crappy controller, but pretty universally they get along fine.

    I'm with Rick here. Big time. Tedster, sghiznaneck, I want to see links. Not just forum posts of people who misconfigured their systems, but reliable sites stating as fact the two do not get along. Preferably from a hardware manufacturer or OS company. Just once I want to see evidence backing this.

    </flame gun>

    Argh, I am so tired of this battle.
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +419

    Also, what is the source of this percieved conflict? Is it only happening with SATA and IDE hard drives? What about CD/DVD drives on an IDE interface? Is it when the OS is on the SATA drive or the IDE drive or both? Which is most likely to have problems if it is both? Why? What about IDE HD with SATA optical drives? What if its SATA on the motherboard and IDE on a PCI controller card? How about IDE on the motherboard and SATA controller card? Again what happens when the OS drive is on either?

    I simply do not believe there is any problems running both at once, and I've yet to read anything more than a forum post saying so.
  16. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    sghiznaneck has no extra information? :\

  17. Ph30nIX

    Ph30nIX TS Rookie Posts: 243

    No point arguing as clearly it works in some situations, as it does for me. I did have to initiate my 500gb hdd and format it the first time but that was fine.

    In regards the to controller not starting, my network card did this after installing a firewire card, and sometimes continues to do this even though the firewire is no longer present.

    to fix it all I do is disable the device, apply settings and close the window, the reopen it and enable the device. For me this works every time, but since the hdd has data on it which may be loaded during startup this could cause serious problems.
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