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Question about SATA


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#1
Phtsalis

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Hey guys this is my first time posting in this forum as well as my first time building a computer.

I've ran into quite the annoying problem when trying to connect 3 SATA devices onto my motherboard.

These are the parts that I'm using:

ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe ATX Mobo
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813131464

WD Caviar 250GB 7200 RPM SATA HD
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822144154

WD Raptor 73GB 10000 RPM SATA HD
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16822144160

Plextor SATA DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827131329

I wanted to install a system with the OS and my games on the 73G HD for quick access and my music/movie files on the 250GB.

My Mobo has two SATA connectors that are non-RAID and two that are RAID. The problem lies here. My BIOS will not detect anything plugged into the RAID SATA connectors and only detect the two plugged into the non-RAID ones. I've tested this out by switching the connectors around and the BIOS as well as Windows will only detect two SATA devices. They are detected as the third and fourth IDE masters.

As of currently I have the 73G HD and the Plextor DVD plugged into the non-Raid and I have installed Win XP on my 73G to see if I could get Windows to detect my other hard drive. Windows has not detected it.

However, since the 250G HD is plugged into the RAID SATA connectors it is detected by the Promise FastTrack RAID controller (I think that's what it is) and it is always asking me at startup to define an array for the 250G HD as thats the only HD RAID detects.

I read up on RAID and realized that I didn't want to install it and would just rather have two HDs and a DVD installed in Windows all on SATA. I've tried to turn off RAID settings in the BIOS, such as changing "Configure SATA as RAID" to No as well as changing the Operating Mode of "Onboard Promise Controller" to IDE instead of RAID. But nothing seems to work. I've even tried to put the 250G HD as the third IDE master and formatting it by using the windows disk and then exiting as soon as windows installation starts.

Does anyone know a way of either using the BIOS or Windows to completely disable RAID and use the two RAID SATA connectors as simple SATA connectors? Or if thats not possible anyone know how I can, using RAID, set up my two SATA HDs as well as the DVD?

Thanks in advance for your help.
:tazz:
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#2
Deadringers

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my first time building a computer.


sorry but should you really be building your own...oh well how better to learn :tazz:

but what you saying is that the 70gig and 250gig work on their own fine yes?
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#3
Phtsalis

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Sorry, wasn't clear in the first post

whichever two I plug into the non-RAID SATAs are detected by Windows and BIOS, the one I plug into the RAID SATA connector is only detected by the Promise Fasttrack Controller and not by Windows and BIOS.

Basically, they all work, but as of currently only two are detected at the same time.
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#4
audioboy

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the raid sata ports will only work with 2 or more drives set up in a raid configuration.
the idea behind the board being set up like that is for a raid to be setup, with the OS installed on that. then you have 2 extra sata ports for adding extra storage, or sata CD drives, etc.

unfortunately, there is no way to get things going without some amount of hassle for you now.
to set up a raid, its best to have 2 identical drives, to maximize performance, and mostly because the smallest drive will determine the size of the overall raid, be it striped or mirrored. so if you tried to set it up with your current drives, you would essentially be wasting 177GB on the 250 drive.
also with raid 0 setup (striping for performance), configuring the raid would wipe anything on the drive. there goes all your install time...

you could pick up a PCI card to connect sata drives to, but it will slow down the performance of that drive.

you could buy another hard drive (another 73 gig), and set up a raid 1 (mirroring). this would give you an extra level of data security, as if 1 drive failed, everything is on the second drive. replace the failed drive, rebuild the array, and your up and running again, no data loss. unfortunately, this means spending more money, and raid 1 is generally impractical for the home user, especially if a regular backup schedule is followed.
you should do that anyway, in case of virus infection or other catastrophy.

you could return the mobo and get a model with 4 standard sata ports, but then you gotta rebuild the pc, do a repair install of windows, etc. hassle.

best bet would be to return the sata CDR, and pick up an IDE model.
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#5
Phtsalis

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Thanks for the reply man I figured out a solution to the problem.

I completely reinstalled windows, but this time, I changed the Promise Controller mode to IDE in BIOS before I did the installation of XP. This time the fasttrack controller would show me that it detected a 236GB HD at startup, and after Windows installed it detected the HD too! Just waiting for it to format now and I got my computer all set up and finished :tazz:.
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#6
audioboy

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so you have the 250 hd plugged into the raid sata controllers, and by switching the raid controller to IDE, it allows you to use the sata ports individually?
thats cool, I didnt know you could do that.
always happy to learn a cool new trick. thanx for posting back dude! :tazz:
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