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Need Help with Ultra DMA/133 and DVD/CD Drives on A8V

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November 25, 2004 4:21:59 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

I don't understand all I need to about this motherboard and BIOS.

I have two Maxtor 120GB PATA drives, one 7200 rpm, the other 5400. I
just want to install them as C: and D:. I also want to install a DVD
writer and a CD/RW.

From the User Guide and reading the posts here, the Promise does not
support the CD or DVD drives. So I guess I need to use the VIA8237
controller to support the CD/DVD drives.

It is not clear to me from the User Guide how to use the VIA
controller. If I disable the Promise controller in the BIOS, is the
VIA controller automatically used?

When the systems boots (and I'm having some problems with this - I am
going to go get a 500W power supply tomorrow), I do not see the screen
shown at the top of page 3 of the "VIA8237 SATA Quick setup guide.pdf"
file on the MOBO CD. And pressing "Tab" does not give me the screen
shown on that page and on page 5-26 of the User Guide. Any help
getting there would be appreciated.

I assume that not wanting the RAID features, I cable all the drives to
the IDE connectors shown on page 2-22 of the user guide.

I'm an electrical engineer, and I know a lot about computers, but I am
really floundering here. I will appreciate any and all advice.


--
Neal

Note: To contact, unmunge and remove the "@giganews.com" from the address
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 25, 2004 5:41:01 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

>I don't understand all I need to about this motherboard and BIOS.
>
>I have two Maxtor 120GB PATA drives, one 7200 rpm, the other 5400. I
>just want to install them as C: and D:. I also want to install a DVD
>writer and a CD/RW.

Just hook them up. The OS looks for the master drive on each bootup.
As long as you don't have HDD and optical drives on the same cable
everything will work fine.
November 25, 2004 10:55:58 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

In article <7nacq0lokqbo951c2349b7j2042kbhgbrt@4ax.com>, Neal
<nealUNDERSCOREsmithATrocketmailDOTcom> wrote:

> I don't understand all I need to about this motherboard and BIOS.
>
> I have two Maxtor 120GB PATA drives, one 7200 rpm, the other 5400. I
> just want to install them as C: and D:. I also want to install a DVD
> writer and a CD/RW.
>
> From the User Guide and reading the posts here, the Promise does not
> support the CD or DVD drives. So I guess I need to use the VIA8237
> controller to support the CD/DVD drives.
>
> It is not clear to me from the User Guide how to use the VIA
> controller. If I disable the Promise controller in the BIOS, is the
> VIA controller automatically used?
>
> When the systems boots (and I'm having some problems with this - I am
> going to go get a 500W power supply tomorrow), I do not see the screen
> shown at the top of page 3 of the "VIA8237 SATA Quick setup guide.pdf"
> file on the MOBO CD. And pressing "Tab" does not give me the screen
> shown on that page and on page 5-26 of the User Guide. Any help
> getting there would be appreciated.
>
> I assume that not wanting the RAID features, I cable all the drives to
> the IDE connectors shown on page 2-22 of the user guide.
>
> I'm an electrical engineer, and I know a lot about computers, but I am
> really floundering here. I will appreciate any and all advice.

I'm not sure I understand what you are unclear about.

In your description above, there are two controllers. There is
the VT8237, and it has some interfaces on it. There is a second
chip, the Promise controller, and it uses a separate set of cables.
There is no interaction between the two sets of hardware.

The BIOS enumerates the controllers (finds them on the bus), then
looks at the cables, to see if any drives are connected. The order
of enumeration, especially when the OS is starting, is what
might determine the default drive lettering.

The state of the Promise controller is of no concern to the
VT8237, and vice versa. When the Promise controller is disabled,
it is something as simple as preventing the chip from seeing a
chip select, and that means the chip is not enumerated (it does
not answer, when probed by the BIOS), no BIOS driver is loaded
and so on.

As for the capabilities of non-Southbridge storage controllers,
they are poorly documented. A RAID controller will generally
be associated with ATA drives (hard drives), and there is
really no good reason for a RAID chip to support ATAPI
(ATA packet interface - CD/DVD). If a storage controller was
intended mainly for vanilla IDE interfacing, then the designers
may have put in ATA and ATAPI support, and in fact the RAID
capability could be a software contrivance (softRAID, the
slowest kind).

One thing I noticed, and haven't experimented with further,
is I put an IDE drive on a Promise controller, used the ATA
driver instead of the RAID driver, and did some Partition
Magic work. When I moved the drive to another computer's
Southbridge IDE interface, the first partition went missing.
I assume that means when the Promise controller is operated
in ATA mode, it still retains elements of its RAID core, and
it perhaps is still using a "hidden sector" on the disk, to
store RAID setup information. A RAID controller that support
vanilla IDE operation, should be able to do it and be perfectly
compatible, so I don't know what to make of my Promise 20378
experience. (What this means is, if you put a hard drive on
the Promise, and prep it there, then it may not be safe to
move it to a non-Promise controller, without doing a backup,
reformat on the new interface, and restore. Better to be
safe than sorry, or at least try the experiment with dummy
data first.)

It is funny how some parts of the computer industry never
improve. The vast majority of questions about setting up
new boards in this group, seem to revolve around disk drive
issues, and yet the contents of manuals, either provided by
Asus, or by Intel or Promise etc., just never seem to improve.
PDF documents are relatively cheap to provide to users, and
don't the developers of these hardware devices, understand
how they work ?

HTH,
Paul
Related resources
November 25, 2004 10:55:59 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

If I understand the gist of you reply:

1. The Promise controller works on drives connected to the RAID ATA
connector (page 2-23 of the User Guide).
-
2. The "default" controllers recognizes drives connected to the
primary and secondary IDE controllers (page 2-22 of the User Guide).

3. I'm not sure where the VIA controllers fit in, but since I'm not
implementing a RAID at this time, I shouldn't worry about it.

I swear, setting up a SGI (56 x 146 GB drive) RAID 5 at work was
better documented than this is.

Thank you.


On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 19:55:58 -0400, nospam@needed.com (Paul) wrote:

>In article <7nacq0lokqbo951c2349b7j2042kbhgbrt@4ax.com>, Neal
><nealUNDERSCOREsmithATrocketmailDOTcom> wrote:
>
>> I don't understand all I need to about this motherboard and BIOS.
>>
>> I have two Maxtor 120GB PATA drives, one 7200 rpm, the other 5400. I
>> just want to install them as C: and D:. I also want to install a DVD
>> writer and a CD/RW.
>>
>> From the User Guide and reading the posts here, the Promise does not
>> support the CD or DVD drives. So I guess I need to use the VIA8237
>> controller to support the CD/DVD drives.
>>
>> It is not clear to me from the User Guide how to use the VIA
>> controller. If I disable the Promise controller in the BIOS, is the
>> VIA controller automatically used?
>>
>> When the systems boots (and I'm having some problems with this - I am
>> going to go get a 500W power supply tomorrow), I do not see the screen
>> shown at the top of page 3 of the "VIA8237 SATA Quick setup guide.pdf"
>> file on the MOBO CD. And pressing "Tab" does not give me the screen
>> shown on that page and on page 5-26 of the User Guide. Any help
>> getting there would be appreciated.
>>
>> I assume that not wanting the RAID features, I cable all the drives to
>> the IDE connectors shown on page 2-22 of the user guide.
>>
>> I'm an electrical engineer, and I know a lot about computers, but I am
>> really floundering here. I will appreciate any and all advice.
>
>I'm not sure I understand what you are unclear about.
>
>In your description above, there are two controllers. There is
>the VT8237, and it has some interfaces on it. There is a second
>chip, the Promise controller, and it uses a separate set of cables.
>There is no interaction between the two sets of hardware.
>
>The BIOS enumerates the controllers (finds them on the bus), then
>looks at the cables, to see if any drives are connected. The order
>of enumeration, especially when the OS is starting, is what
>might determine the default drive lettering.
>
>The state of the Promise controller is of no concern to the
>VT8237, and vice versa. When the Promise controller is disabled,
>it is something as simple as preventing the chip from seeing a
>chip select, and that means the chip is not enumerated (it does
>not answer, when probed by the BIOS), no BIOS driver is loaded
>and so on.
>
>As for the capabilities of non-Southbridge storage controllers,
>they are poorly documented. A RAID controller will generally
>be associated with ATA drives (hard drives), and there is
>really no good reason for a RAID chip to support ATAPI
>(ATA packet interface - CD/DVD). If a storage controller was
>intended mainly for vanilla IDE interfacing, then the designers
>may have put in ATA and ATAPI support, and in fact the RAID
>capability could be a software contrivance (softRAID, the
>slowest kind).
>
>One thing I noticed, and haven't experimented with further,
>is I put an IDE drive on a Promise controller, used the ATA
>driver instead of the RAID driver, and did some Partition
>Magic work. When I moved the drive to another computer's
>Southbridge IDE interface, the first partition went missing.
>I assume that means when the Promise controller is operated
>in ATA mode, it still retains elements of its RAID core, and
>it perhaps is still using a "hidden sector" on the disk, to
>store RAID setup information. A RAID controller that support
>vanilla IDE operation, should be able to do it and be perfectly
>compatible, so I don't know what to make of my Promise 20378
>experience. (What this means is, if you put a hard drive on
>the Promise, and prep it there, then it may not be safe to
>move it to a non-Promise controller, without doing a backup,
>reformat on the new interface, and restore. Better to be
>safe than sorry, or at least try the experiment with dummy
>data first.)
>
>It is funny how some parts of the computer industry never
>improve. The vast majority of questions about setting up
>new boards in this group, seem to revolve around disk drive
>issues, and yet the contents of manuals, either provided by
>Asus, or by Intel or Promise etc., just never seem to improve.
>PDF documents are relatively cheap to provide to users, and
>don't the developers of these hardware devices, understand
>how they work ?
>
>HTH,
> Paul

--
Neal

Note: To contact, unmunge and remove the "@giganews.com" from the address
November 26, 2004 2:56:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

In article <hl0dq0dne4es41qi0v53ausq2p2g41oe6i@4ax.com>, Neal
<nealUNDERSCOREsmithATrocketmailDOTcom> wrote:

> If I understand the gist of you reply:
>
> 1. The Promise controller works on drives connected to the RAID ATA
> connector (page 2-23 of the User Guide).
> -
> 2. The "default" controllers recognizes drives connected to the
> primary and secondary IDE controllers (page 2-22 of the User Guide).
>
> 3. I'm not sure where the VIA controllers fit in, but since I'm not
> implementing a RAID at this time, I shouldn't worry about it.
>
> I swear, setting up a SGI (56 x 146 GB drive) RAID 5 at work was
> better documented than this is.
>
> Thank you.

Looking at a picture of the motherboard, it looks like

Promise 20378 --- "PRI_RAID" IDE connector
\ \---- "SATA_RAID1" SATA connector
\----- "SATA_RAID2" SATA connector

VT8237 ---------- "PRI_IDE" IDE connector <--- The "normal"
---------- "SEC_IDE" IDE connector <--- connectors.
---------- "SATA1" SATA connector \____ These 2 identical to
---------- "SATA2" SATA connector / a separate Via chip

PRI_IDE and SEC_IDE are the "normal" connectors. AFAIK Windows
by default understands the four drives on PRI_IDE, SEC_IDE as
they are at fixed memory mapped I/O addresses with fixed IRQs
used for them. Other storage devices generally are in the PCI
address space. And that is why the "SATA1", "SATA2" interfaces
are referred to as VT6410/VT6420, because they are in a
sense, a RAID controller chip packaged inside the 8237. I
believe Via makes a standalone SATA chip, and the logic from
that chip is incorporated into the Southbridge for driving
"SATA1", "SATA2".

With the Via Serial ATA Boot ROM disabled, perhaps then the
vaunted automatic recognition by Windows of the SATA interfaces
on the Southbridge will happen. This is what little info is
available from VIA, concerning their Southbridge (pg.4)

http://www.via.com.tw/en/downloads/whitepapers/chipsets...

There is even a claim in that document, that the SATA interfaces
on the Southbridge go directly to the V-link (Northbridge to
Southbridge bus), thus eliminating the PCI bus as a bottleneck
for SATA operation. That is a similar claim to how Intel does
the ICH5/ICH6 SATA.

Focusing on RAID for a moment, you can RAID four drives on the
Promise controller. A better config would be to connect just
two drives that you plan on using in a RAID config on that
chip. The config to avoid is placing the RAID drives both on
the Promise IDE cable. One IDE drive plus one SATA, or two
SATA drives would be the best combinations for a two drive RAID.

At the same time, you can place two SATA drives on the VT8237
and RAID them.

What that means, is you could have a RAID stripe source array
and a RAID stripe destination array, and do some kind of
hypothetical streaming data application, with very high potential
bandwidth. The Via array should be able to beat the Promise
array by maybe 20%, if both are equipped with Raptor drives.

Hope I got this straight, as there is at least one Asus board
where the SATA connectors are mislabelled, and the user is left
to puzzle out why they cannot access the drives after installing
the (wrong) drivers :-) In writing this, I tried to verify the
connector labels, by looking for copper tracks leading to the
connectors.

Paul

>
>
> On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 19:55:58 -0400, nospam@needed.com (Paul) wrote:
>
> >In article <7nacq0lokqbo951c2349b7j2042kbhgbrt@4ax.com>, Neal
> ><nealUNDERSCOREsmithATrocketmailDOTcom> wrote:
> >
> >> I don't understand all I need to about this motherboard and BIOS.
> >>
> >> I have two Maxtor 120GB PATA drives, one 7200 rpm, the other 5400. I
> >> just want to install them as C: and D:. I also want to install a DVD
> >> writer and a CD/RW.
> >>
> >> From the User Guide and reading the posts here, the Promise does not
> >> support the CD or DVD drives. So I guess I need to use the VIA8237
> >> controller to support the CD/DVD drives.
> >>
> >> It is not clear to me from the User Guide how to use the VIA
> >> controller. If I disable the Promise controller in the BIOS, is the
> >> VIA controller automatically used?
> >>
> >> When the systems boots (and I'm having some problems with this - I am
> >> going to go get a 500W power supply tomorrow), I do not see the screen
> >> shown at the top of page 3 of the "VIA8237 SATA Quick setup guide.pdf"
> >> file on the MOBO CD. And pressing "Tab" does not give me the screen
> >> shown on that page and on page 5-26 of the User Guide. Any help
> >> getting there would be appreciated.
> >>
> >> I assume that not wanting the RAID features, I cable all the drives to
> >> the IDE connectors shown on page 2-22 of the user guide.
> >>
> >> I'm an electrical engineer, and I know a lot about computers, but I am
> >> really floundering here. I will appreciate any and all advice.
> >
> >I'm not sure I understand what you are unclear about.
> >
> >In your description above, there are two controllers. There is
> >the VT8237, and it has some interfaces on it. There is a second
> >chip, the Promise controller, and it uses a separate set of cables.
> >There is no interaction between the two sets of hardware.
> >
> >The BIOS enumerates the controllers (finds them on the bus), then
> >looks at the cables, to see if any drives are connected. The order
> >of enumeration, especially when the OS is starting, is what
> >might determine the default drive lettering.
> >
> >The state of the Promise controller is of no concern to the
> >VT8237, and vice versa. When the Promise controller is disabled,
> >it is something as simple as preventing the chip from seeing a
> >chip select, and that means the chip is not enumerated (it does
> >not answer, when probed by the BIOS), no BIOS driver is loaded
> >and so on.
> >
> >As for the capabilities of non-Southbridge storage controllers,
> >they are poorly documented. A RAID controller will generally
> >be associated with ATA drives (hard drives), and there is
> >really no good reason for a RAID chip to support ATAPI
> >(ATA packet interface - CD/DVD). If a storage controller was
> >intended mainly for vanilla IDE interfacing, then the designers
> >may have put in ATA and ATAPI support, and in fact the RAID
> >capability could be a software contrivance (softRAID, the
> >slowest kind).
> >
> >One thing I noticed, and haven't experimented with further,
> >is I put an IDE drive on a Promise controller, used the ATA
> >driver instead of the RAID driver, and did some Partition
> >Magic work. When I moved the drive to another computer's
> >Southbridge IDE interface, the first partition went missing.
> >I assume that means when the Promise controller is operated
> >in ATA mode, it still retains elements of its RAID core, and
> >it perhaps is still using a "hidden sector" on the disk, to
> >store RAID setup information. A RAID controller that support
> >vanilla IDE operation, should be able to do it and be perfectly
> >compatible, so I don't know what to make of my Promise 20378
> >experience. (What this means is, if you put a hard drive on
> >the Promise, and prep it there, then it may not be safe to
> >move it to a non-Promise controller, without doing a backup,
> >reformat on the new interface, and restore. Better to be
> >safe than sorry, or at least try the experiment with dummy
> >data first.)
> >
> >It is funny how some parts of the computer industry never
> >improve. The vast majority of questions about setting up
> >new boards in this group, seem to revolve around disk drive
> >issues, and yet the contents of manuals, either provided by
> >Asus, or by Intel or Promise etc., just never seem to improve.
> >PDF documents are relatively cheap to provide to users, and
> >don't the developers of these hardware devices, understand
> >how they work ?
> >
> >HTH,
> > Paul
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
November 26, 2004 10:04:18 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

I have a A8V Deluxe myself, and having used both the PATA and SATA
interfaces on it, I'd suggest the following:

Don't use the Promise controller -- disable it in BIOS.

I have done this myself and haven't regretted it for a second. Unless
you have so many drives that you are compelled to use it, it's much
more straightforward to use the interfaces provided by the VIA chipset
than the Promise controller. Boot-up is faster if the Promise
controller doesn't need to be enumerated.

Given the two PATA drives, the DVD and CD-RW drives you wish to
install, you have all you need with the standard primary and secondary
IDE interfaces on the VIA controller.

I hope this helps,

- Leo


--
Leomania
November 26, 2004 10:30:32 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

I'd like to thank all who replied. I got a GOOD power supply this
morning (it weighs about 4x what came with the case) and everything is
up and running.

It would be so simple for them to say "If you want to use PATA drives
without RAID, hook them up here and do not install any of the
following drivers. IF you want PATA drives in a RAID configuration,
then ...."

Again, thanks.


On Fri, 26 Nov 2004 07:04:18 +0000, Leomania
<Leomania.1gbh0b@news.computerbanter.com> wrote:

>
>I have a A8V Deluxe myself, and having used both the PATA and SATA
>interfaces on it, I'd suggest the following:
>
>Don't use the Promise controller -- disable it in BIOS.
>
>I have done this myself and haven't regretted it for a second. Unless
>you have so many drives that you are compelled to use it, it's much
>more straightforward to use the interfaces provided by the VIA chipset
>than the Promise controller. Boot-up is faster if the Promise
>controller doesn't need to be enumerated.
>
>Given the two PATA drives, the DVD and CD-RW drives you wish to
>install, you have all you need with the standard primary and secondary
>IDE interfaces on the VIA controller.
>
>I hope this helps,
>
>- Leo

--
Neal

Note: To contact, unmunge and remove the "@giganews.com" from the address
!