New Sata Drive

  chub_tor 19:04 10 Dec 2007

I have had some recent problems turning on my desktop PC click here and the problem now seems to be with the hard drive (a Maxtor 250Gb IDE drive. If I disconnect the power from this drive and just leave a small slave in place the PC powers up OK, when I re-connect the boot up drive it takes many stabs on the power switch to get it to stay on. Once it is on it is OK, in fact I am using it right now.

Hoping that one day I will build a newer faster dual core machine I have decided to replace the existing 250Gb IDE drive with a new SATA unit click here.

My motherboard is an ECS NForce3-A click here which supports SATA but is about 3 years old.

Can anyone see any compatibility problems with the hard drive that I have chosen and any installation problems that I might encounter? I have ordered a SATA cable and a SATA power cable connector.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:27 10 Dec 2007

Installing XP on SATA drive
Once you have the drive(s) connected you are ready to start installing XP.
Master and Slave
Remember since it's serial you can only have one device per SATA port/cable so SATA drives don't have jumpers. On the Motherboard SATA1 Port is for the primary device, SATA2 port is for the secondary device etc.

SATA controller driver
Your Motherboard or SATA controller card requires a driver to work properly. Drivers may be written into BIOS, Try and see if windows CD can see the drive, if not then the SATA drivers can be located on the installation CD that came with your Motherboard or preferably, download the latest SATA controller drivers from the manufacturers site. Once you have located the drivers copy them to a formatted floppy disk. Make sure they are in the root directory i.e. not contained within any folders. If you did not get a Floppy Disk with the SATA driver included with your Motherboard you may have to make one.

BIOS settings
When you turn on the PC hit the Delete key when prompted and you will enter the BIOS (Basic Input Output System). Here you set the first boot device to be the CDROM drive, the option is usually found under the Advanced Options section but this depends on your BIOS and you may have to look around for it. Once you have done this save and exit.

Installing the SATA controller driver
Once you have set the PC to boot from the CD make sure the XP CD is in the CD drive and start the installation as per usual. Within the first minute or so of the installation Windows will prompt you to press F6 to install RAID or SCSI drivers, do this. Windows will continue to install then ask you to locate the driver. now with the floppy disk created earlier in drive A: select the driver and hit Enter.
With the SATA drivers installed you can now continue the Windows installation as usual.

BIOS settings revisited
Once Windows has finished installing you will need to make sure the PC is set to boot from the SATA drive. To do this make the first boot device SATA if the option is available. If not you have two options: HD0 - If there are no IDE HDs present, or SCSI if you do plan on running an IDE HD as a secondary device.

  paul€ 19:47 10 Dec 2007

Your motherboard just supports SATA1 aka SATA150. Your new drive is SATA2 aka SATA300.

You will need to go to the manufacturers web site to see if the drive can be slowed down to 150 speed. This is usually done by jumper. It could be that the drive will automatically drop it's speed down, check that.

If you can not slow it down to 150, it will not work on the motherboard.

  paul€ 19:58 10 Dec 2007

To make the drive work at SATA 150, you will have to cover the oins 5 and 6 with a jumper. click here

Then the hard drive will work on your motherboard.

  paul€ 20:00 10 Dec 2007

thats pins and not oins;))

  chub_tor 20:12 10 Dec 2007

Thank you all for your replies, my worries are considerably alleviated and I await my new hard drive with much less trepidation.

  chub_tor 19:31 14 Dec 2007

OK I have to reopen this thread I'm afraid as I am having no joy in getting the new Sata drive to work. Initially I seemed to have it under control and I was able to boot up with my old failing drive and under windows and with the aid of the Western Digital Lifeguard CD I sopied from CD to CD. All seemed well except that at the end I got a statement that 3 files were not copiedand when I tried to see what they were all I could see was _MSRSTRT.EXE. On rebooting using the new drive only and the old one unplugged I got an Error loading Operating system message and since then it has been downhill all the way.

My old hard drive has now gone completely, so I can't copy from it - yes I did use Files and Settings Transfer to keep most of my data. but no matter how often I try mo manner of formatting, partitioning seems to let Windows XP finish setup.

I have tried one huge 500Gb partition, two and even 3 partitions under the 137Gb limit but at the end of each one I get that same error message when windows automatically reboots having loaded its files from the CD.

I am using a floppy that I made for use with the F6 prompt, but to be honest I am not sure if I have the correct files - there seems to be so many of them on the disk. Some for IDE and some for RAID. I have made separate floppies from each of the XP folders but I still can't get the drive to be recognised part way through setup.

The BIOS sees it, Lifeguard allows me to resize it, repartition it and in my first play around when my old drive was still functioning I even saw it under MY Computer, but it still wouldn't be seen as a Boot Drive.

Any thoughts and any suggestions as to where I might find these SATA drivers for an ECS Nforce3-A v1.0 motherboard would be most welcome.

Incidentally I did try jumpering the hard drive to lock it at SATA 1 speed but that didn't help either.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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