SATA-only system troubleshoot

By Ninjaalice ยท 7 replies
Jul 12, 2006
  1. Hi. This is my first post.

    Recently, my IDE HD failed (physical failure) and I had to acquire a new harddrive, which I got a WD SATA drive. I'm trying to set up my machine now to run SATA as primary without any IDE HD. Previously, my machine was set up (not very cleanly though) with IDE as primary and SATA as secondary, with XP OS loaded into both for a duel-OS set up.

    Right now, with the SATAs plugged into the board, I can't pick-up anything on the screen, not even the BIOS. I currently run an ECS 478socket 848P V2.0, P4 3.2, with two DVD drives (plugged into the secondary IDE plug on the motherboard). the light on the two drives just keep blinking when it is powered on...everything is running (or so I think, since the motherboard isn't the best) when powered.

    anyone have any solutions? please?
  2. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    Check in the bios and make sure that BOTH Sata and PATA ( IDE) is enabled.
  3. Ninjaalice

    Ninjaalice TS Rookie Topic Starter


    ok. so i tweaked the BIOS so i could get to the BIOS, which recognizes the two SATA drives. I disabled the primary IDE and left the secondary IDE alone.

    Now the task is to install a fresh copy of XP. However, booting from the DVD-Rom drives (either of them) is causing trouble. I get to the "setup is checking for system configuration" or whatnot and it just hangs in a black screen.

    i tried disconnecting the cdrom drives and left the SATAs by themselves, and it goes through to the previously installed linux on the primary SATA. (oddly enough, XP was installed on the 2nd SATA drive, but even when i changed the master SATA port to the 2nd SATA drive, it still goes to the linux OS)...

    what's causing the hang up?
  4. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    try installing it from a minimal setup: 1 stick of ram, 1 dvd drive, the hdd you want windows on, and a floppy if needed.
  5. pcaceit

    pcaceit TS Rookie Posts: 315

    Hi, Hope this is of some help!

    Can you determine which HDD had your System files and boot manager on? there is difference between a SYSTEM partition and a BOOT Partition/drive

    you can have many bootable partitions/drives but you should have only one ACTIVE SYSTEM Partition/drive.

    the System partition/drive is the one you had connected to Primary IDE chanell or it would be the first Hdd/partition that the bios could read when you installed the first OS, the system partition/drive will have the boot manager for the dual boot.

    The system Partition/drive is the one that would hold the boot information for all the other partitions/drives on your system, if the system partition is not the first drive accesed(active partition) by the bios then your system will not boot.

    so because linux still boots i assume that the drive that is your system drive is the one that you have connected to Primary IDE or primary SATA.

    You should boot up your system with a partition magic or similar bootable HDD manager to determine which drive is which.

    Note: you should NOT have more than one ACTIVE partition on your system so when you use one of the above utilities above you should remove ACTIVE from any Partition that you do not intend to be your SYSTEM partition/drive.

    hope that helped.
    but i think you need to resolve this issue before installing xp again.
  6. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    Only one primary partition can be set as active in a given PC session
    see Acronis
    thats 1 per drive
    I have 2 drives in one machine
    on managed boot the sata or scsi can load
    both have 1 active partition with boot loader mbr
    I can use bios to change boot order
    should try 1 sata at a time and write down each config
  7. pcaceit

    pcaceit TS Rookie Posts: 315

    Sorry Samstoned,

    See Attached screenshot (open in wordpad)

    The Active primary partitions were all set With Parogon.

    The system partition C: is a resized copy of Active Partion J:

    When i reconnected J: to IDE secondary as slave, my bios automatically Booted it as it is a System drive (even though first boot hdd in Bios was set to boot Disk 2 Drive C:)

    Most partition managers will not automatically remove active when you set another active partition on the same drive. Windows Disk management will remove active from the First boot partition on any drive you set another partition Active, but will leave other still set to active.

    The reason that windows tries to implement this only one active partition policy is because some Bios's will not boot a system with multiple Active partitions, or will attempt to boot the first active partition it reads based on the primary/secondary master/slave order convention.(Newer Bios programming are follow a more universal convention) However some boot managers will Hide some active bootable partitions which makes dual booting more Compatable with Bios Booting.

    So I believe that Ninjaalice has a linux boot manager on that disk in the drive and should format or repartition to prevent it controlling the boot up of the new xp installation.

    Regards, pcaceit.
  8. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    did not say the same drive read it again
    and I am not using 2 ide drives one sata one scsi
    there may be more to scsi and sata boot profiles
    an I can boot to one or the other so go fig.
    I can remove one the other boots fine
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