Using a SATA drive and an IDE drive in the same system

I've got a little problem here. I just got a SATA hard drive that I want to run as my primary drive and I want to put some partitions and install windows on it. I've also got an older IDE hard drive setup as Primary Master that I would like to setup as extra storage. Whenever I partition, format, and install windows on the SATA drive, it detects the windows partition as G instead of C. I've tried changing this through windows but it will not allow me to change the letter of the one that I am booting from. I basically want to use the SATA drive as my bootable windows drive, and the IDE as spare extra storage. Does anyone have any ideas of the best way I could set this up?
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More about using sata drive drive system
  1. check in your bios.. make sure that the first boot drive is the sata drive.. i had the same problem in my machine.. but i had 2 300gigs and 2 250 gigs on the ide channels.. with like a million partitions..needless to say my windows was on drive W:
  2. I checked in my BIOS and the SATA drive is the first one and the second one is my IDE drive.

    If it helps at all, the drives are
    Seagate 7200.8 300GB SATA
    Wester Digital 7200RPM 8MB Cache 200GB (something like that)
  3. you could also just try pullin the ide drive out untill after you install windows.. that should trick XP into makin the win partition C:..

    although i dont know if your looking in the right place for the drive info.. you might be but that is the most logical reason I can think of..

    i want to give you a decription of where you should look but i can get a mental picture of my bios right now... my brain is fried...
  4. That's what I was thinking of trying. It makes sense to me and I just hope it's that simple.
  5. Alright, I did that and it formatted and everything like I wanted it to do. But now I'm having another problem. When I have the IDE drive connected, my computer takes forever to POST and load Windows. But when I just unplug it and have only the SATA drive plugged in, it works fine. Maybe something in my BIOS? I don't know, it's just frustrating to have a computer that takes 10 minutes to start up.

    Here's my mobo and drives, if that helps at all...
    MSI P4N Diamond
    Seagate 7200.8 300GB SATA
    Wester Digital 7200RPM 8MB Cache 200GB (something like that)
  6. You shouldn't try tricks. You have a bootable, working "C" drive that you want to save. You will have to be happy with (live with) a dual boot.

    Temporarily pull the data cable on the old IDE.

    Kill the NTFS partition on the SATA with a W98 boot disk using fdisk. DO NOT FORMAT AT THIS POINT. Shut down; reconnect the IDE.

    Power up, go into the BIOS to set the CD-Rom/DVD drive as first, the floppy as second, the IDE as third, and the SATA as fourth.

    Pop in your XP disc and reboot. Install your "new" XP on the SATA. Make sure it does not install on your existing "C:Windows".

    When you are done, at every boot-up, you will be presented with the option to boot from one of the two Windows installs. Choose the SATA.

    You should make the SATA XP the default in the boot.ini file.

    Locate it on your "C" root; (in Tools, Folder options, View, you have to "Show hidden files"). Right-click it - Properties - uncheck Read Only. Double-click it to bring it up in Notepad.

    Right underneath timeout=30, is the default line.

    It should be the IDE drive reading like this:

    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)(back slash here)Windows

    (multi may have 1 after it, disregard this. You're not touching that)

    If you look down at the operating systems section, the SATA drive should look exactly the same, except it has the number one, (1), after the word disk. If all this is just as I say, just change the zero to one, (1), after the word disk on the default line.

    In the operating systems section, add the word SATA as the first word within the quotation marks on the SATA drive line. Remember, this is the one that has disk(1) as part of it. DO NOT MAKE ANY OTHER CHANGES!

    Click the upper right corner X, Save changes, and restore the read only.
  7. Ok let me see if I understand this correctly. I basically need to have two partitions on my SATA drive and have Windows installed on both partitions. Then set the C partition to be the default one to boot from?
  8. I use a similar setup where i install my OS onto my sata drive and have a storage ide drive. Before the windows install i have to unplug the IDE drive, go through the install, and after i have windows all up and running, i plug the IDE drive back in, set the SATA drive as 1st boot in BIOS, and everything is fine.
  9. Not if you want to use the IDE HDD as storage...

    Why would you recommend he install two copies of XP? Besides being a licensing issue, it just doesn't make any sense.

    I would move everything I want onto the SATA drive, then format your IDE drive. Then I would move the data I want to store back onto the IDE drive, just so you get windows off of there. Also, you can just ignore it and remove the IDE HDD Windows XP installation from the boot.ini file.

    The slow performance can be attributed to incorrect BIOS setting for your HDD. The settings should be on the main page. Set them to Auto, and if you continue to experience problems, set it to manual, with auto detect settings (capacity, heads, etc.). Also, make sure you have the DMA transfer enabled and the appropriate mode selected, if your BIOS allows. IDE HDDs will typically use DMA 5 nowadays. You can see what DMA mode your HDD is using by looking at your IDE channel properties in device manager. If it is installed as your primary master, it should be the first object labeled "Primary IDE Channel" under "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers."

    Good luck.
  10. wkdadam:

    You have to learn how to read. No! not two partitions on the SATA.

    I originally thought you wished to keep the IDE the way it is. Now I'm getting the assumption that you don't care about the stuff on the IDE. You are going to use it as a warehouse. If this is true - follow this -
    read carefully.

    Unplug the SATA; leave the IDE attached. With a W98 boot floppy, kill the ntfs partition on the IDE. Esc out and reboot. DO NOT FORMAT AT THIS TIME!

    Shut down. Unplug the IDE, and reconnect the SATA. With the W98 boot floppy, kill the ntfs partition on the SATA. Esc out; DO NOT FORMAT AT THIS TIME. Pop in the XP cd, and reboot. Install a fresh XP on the SATA with the IDE still unplugged. This will give you the "C" drive on the SATA you are yearning for.

    When you get your XP set up and running the way you want, go to Disk Management and change the letters for the CD/DVD drives to something higher than D. Shut down. Connect the IDE back up and reboot. In Disk Management, partition and format what will now be the "D" drive.

    Print this out and follow it step-by-step.
  11. Its possible that the drive is failing. You should definately run full tests on the drive as well as check its smart status.

    First check the jumpers for all your IDE devices. Sometimes the system will manage to boot despite wrong settings (such as two slaves), usually after a lengthy delay.

    In any case something is wrong. Even if the drive is in PIO mode it shouldn't have any impact on the time needed to boot from the other drive.

    Where the delay occurs should give you a clue as to its cause.

    To keep from having XP installed to a drive letter other than C: you need to make sure that you do not have any other drives connected when you install XP. Its also a good idea to already have your partitions in place before installing.


    Also if you move XP to a new hard drive without reinstalling, and there is an entry in the registry assigning a drive letter to the new drive, then that drive letter is going to stick, causing no end of problems. You need to remove the registry entry to allow the new drive to be C: I think removing the drive letter from disc management before the transfer is enough.

    And yes you can move your OS from PATA to SATA with zero problems, but it depends on your SATA controller.

    I have moved from a NF2 PATA to a Sil 3112 controller without having to reinstall as well as from a NF4 PATA to NF4 SATA and back.

    I have no clue what the point of the dual boot suggestion.

    A easier way is to install XP on both drives and use the CMOS setup to select which drive you boot from. And you don't have to worry about problems such as one installation not working without files stored on the other's partition.

    Personally I prefer virtual PC's to dual booting.

  12. Code:

    He was initially keeping the IDE as is, which had a bootable "C" drive with XP.

    He then went to install XP again on his SATA, but that gave him a "G" XP drive. He didn't like that. He wanted the SATA XP to be "C", and his Primary boot.

    I explained to him that the only way for those two XP's to live together, and to have the SATA XP boot, is to live with a dual boot.
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