Alienware 17 R4 2017 review
I recently changed PCs and decided to go for a 3400 AMD 64 bit CPU on a K8T NEO Mobo with the intention of hopefully, a bit of future proofing. Because I always previously used to Fdisk using Dos, any HD into two partitions, to keep a backup of important files, I decided instead to have twin SATA Hds.
Because of the 64 bit CPU, I intended to give the new Beta 64 bit version of Windows a try, which I have already downloaded from M/soft. But because I’m definitely not O-fay with twin SATA Hds I felt I should try to install a clean version of XP first, to get a feel of the new PC. Seems like I fell down at the very first hurdle.
I’ve Googled for information on setting up twin SATAs and found during the installation of XP with twin SATAs it asks if you intend setting up RAID drives, at which point you hit F6 and insert the supplied floppy disk, mine is marked Promise 376/378
I very fortunately, didn’t have the bottle like I normally would with a single Hd, to format it and go for gold. So with the prior OS still intact I booted from the inserted restore Cd and at the appropriate moment hit F6 with the floppy inserted in the A: drive, after a few seconds a message came up saying no hard drives can be found, press next to exit. Boy was I relieved to find once this screen had gone to find I could still boot on the original OS. Can anyone indicate what I did wrong, The HDs are by the way shown in the BIOS.
Slight change of topic with a word of warning.
While messing about in the BIOS I found a message saying something like.
Load high performance system defaults….. It does warn you that the system could become unstable and about possible compatibility problems.
But I though what the hell it might go faster and hit the switch, bad move.
Curiosity really is a pain in the Butt
After hitting F10 to save to BIOS and re boot, the monitor went into power save mode and would not come back on, although the PC was running. I couldn’t even get back to BIOS with no display output. Because I couldn’t find the jumper JBAT1 I had to remove the battery to clear the CMOS which then made the monitor work again fortunately I had hard copies of screen dumps of each screen in the BIOS to get back to where I started from.
Curiosity really really is, a pain in the Butt
I mugs guide to what I did wrong at the head of the page would be most gratefully received. Seems like Googling for information didn’t help me much.
I haven't had much experience of the Promise drivers,but reading up on them it would appear that these have to be installed 1st,then cfg'ed to either mirrored/striped RAID then you install the OS.
The "Top Performance" setting in BIOS can alter a range of things.Often,its mainly the RAM's CAS/RAS latency that gets messed with,results(if your RAM works at the faster settings)is a hike in performance from the machine,comparable with increasing the RAM from 256 to 512+mbs(although the more aggresive settings can give a bigger hike than this)
There WILL be a jumper somewhere(I still haven't found mine either on a different mobo)or some boards have a kind of autodetect feature,if the pc has any troubles firing up,it defaults the settings.I had a similar feature on my last mobo that would reset the CPU settings if I went a tad OTT with my overclocking experiments,only trouble then was its insistence that my XP1800 (133)was only 1G(100)but still put up an onscreen message "CPU Overclock Fail,Reset CMOS" or similar. ;-)
Hi Chegs Thanks for the reply
I am now begining to wonder if in fact the Promise 376/378 3.5" floppy is the right disk for the RAID, because I have found info on the disk that came from MSI VIA RAID controllers I have only just got back home and have not had the chance yet to try these, but I'm not to keen on the guess work.
With the Load high performance system defaults mine just locked out but I have since found that this can screw up the output to the display.
But I do take you point about RAM's CAS/RAS latency wish mine would have gone to default.
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