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SATA CONNECTORS - Blue, Black or does it matter please?

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December 21, 2005 7:30:48 PM

Apologies if this is wrong section but I could not find my specific motherboard in the sub-sections. My first posting and I am hoping to build a computer essentially for music recording and movie editing. Starting to get bits and pieces together.

Some items just purchased and opened boxes.
Lian-Li case PC-6077
Intel Motherboard D955XBK
Enermax PSU ATX 12V Ver 2.0 EG701AX-VE(W) 600W

All I have done at present is to screw the PSU into place and undo the cables! Completely overwhelmed - but will come back to all that in another posting elsewhere on cabling. What was the first thing I did - contact you? No I PANICKED and then I contacted you!!

Opened up motherboard box and took out manual and other papers and started reading.

Came across reference to SATA and I will be installing later 2 SATA HDD 250MB each. The confusion for myself is this. There are 2 sets of SATA connectors 4 of BLUE and 4 of BLACK. I have no interest in RAID whatsoever, despite the fact this motherboard would do most things RAID I believe. I just want to have 2 SATA 150 drives and use them independently how I wish, no mirroring or whatever.

The manual does refer to them differently - in this way.

"Up to eight Serial ATA channels (one device per channel)
Four RAID capable Serial ATA (3.0 Gb/s) connectors (black) via the ICH7R

Four RAID capable Serial ATA (SATA) connectors (blue) via the discrete controller"

So I became confused. Also in the second part above it puts (SATA) in brackets but did not do so in the first part.

Be very grateful for a few pointers on the above. Perhaps in the end it does not matter if I put one in Blue and one in Black. But I really do not understand this at all. It is not so much the how to connect and power and so on, but the WHERE.

Many thanks for your help on this my first posting.

Picture of Intel D995XBK motherboard

David :?
December 21, 2005 7:57:26 PM

Use the black. They are the chipset SATA ports and should not require extra drivers when installing Windows.

The blue ones are extras, added on by the mobo mfg, and require drivers installed before they can be accessed by Windows.

Make sure RAID is turned off in the bios, install the drives in the Black headers (I guess you should probably do it the other way around LOL - install drive first, then boot & go into bios) and you should be good to go.

Mike.
December 21, 2005 8:12:34 PM

Quote:
Use the black. They are the chipset SATA ports and should not require extra drivers when installing Windows.

The blue ones are extras, added on by the mobo mfg, and require drivers installed before they can be accessed by Windows.

Make sure RAID is turned off in the bios, install the drives in the Black headers (I guess you should probably do it the other way around LOL - install drive first, then boot & go into bios) and you should be good to go.

Mike.

Thanks Mike. Spot on, just what I was looking for.
With regard to turning RAID off in the BIOS, I note in the manual I have to press F2 to enter BIOS (at this point before I have done anything would the drives be working) for example would they have been recognized by Windows XP Professional SP2 and accessible for formatting and partitioning by the OS?

There is a reference to "Configuring the BIOS for Intel Matrix Storage Technology" and then at item 3 it reads:
"Go to Advanced - Drive Configuration - Configure SATA as: ensure RAID is selected."

Is this where I have to go, where it is possible maybe that RAID is not selected. If so does this cover your instruction to me for ensuring that RAID is turned OFF please? And, therefore if this were the case then I would have nothing further to do in this respect.

Thanks again and also for responding so quickly for me.
David
Related resources
December 21, 2005 8:36:35 PM

Quote:
With regard to turning RAID off in the BIOS, I note in the manual I have to press F2 to enter BIOS (at this point before I have done anything would the drives be working) for example would they have been recognized by Windows XP Professional SP2 and accessible for formatting and partitioning by the OS?

As long as RAID is not enabled in BIOS then yes they should be accessible to XP. The reason I asked to make sure is because some mobos (probably not yours - Intel is pretty good about setting normal bios options right) have RAID enabled and it causes problems.

Quote:
Is this where I have to go, where it is possible maybe that RAID is not selected. If so does this cover your instruction to me for ensuring that RAID is turned OFF please? And, therefore if this were the case then I would have nothing further to do in this respect.

Exactly - make sure that is off or disabled then you should be all set.

Mike.
December 21, 2005 8:46:47 PM

Thanks again Mike, all understood. A little way to travel yet.... more boxes to open - onward I go.

But next few questions will probably be in the CASES section regarding connectors and there seem to be 10 or so minute female connectors on 2 or 3 types of cables.. where they go????

But that will keep for now until another time soon! Perhaps you will see my posting in that section and know something about all those too. I hope so.

Kind regards.
David :) 
December 21, 2005 11:02:19 PM

Manual should state if there are prefered locations for connecting HDD. If not, then put them where you want. Different colors are more than likely for different controllers nad would help someone doing a RAID identify the correct SATA ports to install their drives into.
December 22, 2005 8:00:35 AM

Quote:
Manual should state if there are prefered locations for connecting HDD. If not, then put them where you want. Different colors are more than likely for different controllers nad would help someone doing a RAID identify the correct SATA ports to install their drives into.

Yes, see what you mean Rugger and thanks for that. On page 79 of the Intel Product Guide it begins a section on "Configuring for RAID (Intel Matrix Storage Technology". Just like you pointed out.

However for me I will just press that F2 to enter the BIOS and make sure the "Configure SATA as" is NOT selected and then hopefully when I reboot any reference to the Intel Matrix Storage Manager option ROM status message which is supposed to come on screen will not be present. Then I can just proceed with the 2 SATA drives regardless of RAID.

Kind regards and thanks again.
David :) 
a b V Motherboard
December 23, 2005 3:45:45 AM

The connectors for the front panel ports should be labeled. Most cases have a solid 10-pin connector for the USB header, and individual connectors for any IEEE1394 firewire port.
December 23, 2005 7:32:09 AM

Quote:
The connectors for the front panel ports should be labeled. Most cases have a solid 10-pin connector for the USB header, and individual connectors for any IEEE1394 firewire port.

Thanks Crashman, yes I see that solid 10-pin connector and in fact it is from there that these other pins seem to be wired in. However I imagine (and I am no way there yet!) these other wires would not stretch very far across the board if the 10-pin connector was joined to the USB header.

However I will refrain from discussing it here, as being a newbie I will probably have to go to the appropriate section. Nevertheless your reference to it is very much appreciated.

I couldn't help noting the difference between the postings of a newbie like me (4) and yourself. You have done a few more postings than me I think (38909) !! :) 

Again, many thanks.
David
a b V Motherboard
December 23, 2005 3:15:00 PM

The FireWire port is sometimes branched from a 10-pin to individual wires to allow it to be plugged straight in for some boards, or for the pins to be connected in a different order for other boards that have a different pin arrangement.
December 23, 2005 5:07:29 PM

Quote:
The FireWire port is sometimes branched from a 10-pin to individual wires to allow it to be plugged straight in for some boards, or for the pins to be connected in a different order for other boards that have a different pin arrangement.

Thanks and appreciated. Just looked at the Product Guide for the Intel Board D955XBK and on page 54 I think it is dealing with the point you have raised.

It gives a section on the IEEE 1394a/b Headers. Then goes on to identify each Pin and the Signal Name for each pin. There are two tables one for the pink coloured IEEE1394b header and then one for the blue 1394a header. I am getting there slowly!! with the help of this Forum. Glad I came across it and joined, that's for sure.

So thanks for all that.
David
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