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Asrock AM2NF4G-SATA2 wont boot SATA

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August 15, 2006 8:17:08 AM

I have an Asrock AM2NF4G-SATA motherboard, that will not enter into Windows XP (pro SP2) setup with a SATA HDD connected. I have tried everything I can think of setting wise in the BIOS, flashed the BIOS to the latest BIOS for the board, and still no joy.

This HDD is a Seagate barracuda SATA 250GB drive ( ST3250823AS ), motherboard listed above supports SATAII drives, which means it should also support SATA drives as well.

Basicly, I'm looking for suggestions as to how I may fix this, perhaps I've missed something, or there is something that I'm unaware of, that one of you may know to help me fix this.

Thanks in advance.
August 16, 2006 8:11:21 PM

Two days, and not a single responce ?
a b V Motherboard
August 16, 2006 8:39:04 PM

Quote:
Two days, and not a single responce ?


Is your SATA drive recognized in the Boot Priority section of your BIOS? If not, you may have to load the SATA drivers from the F6 prompt when installing windows. In order to load windows xp you must first select the first boot device as CD ROM. In any event, it could be any number of reasons you are having trouble loading the windows xp disk.
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August 17, 2006 2:46:19 AM

Quote:
Two days, and not a single responce ?


Is your SATA drive recognized in the Boot Priority section of your BIOS? If not, you may have to load the SATA drivers from the F6 prompt when installing windows. In order to load windows xp you must first select the first boot device as CD ROM. In any event, it could be any number of reasons you are having trouble loading the windows xp disk.

Drive is reconnized in the BIOS, and at boot there is a F11 boot menu for boot priority.

As for the F6 option, my system doesnt even make it that far into setup, I get the "Analyzing Hardware" messege, and then . . . nothing.

I'm thinking that possibly XP setup doesnt recconize the SATAII controller, but its hard to be sure. This board uses the nForce 410 Northbridge, and 6100 southbridge (i think i have that in the right order), anyhow, I've heard of this problem before (somewhere), and at tha ttime, the user said he 'fixed' it by disconnecting the SATA Drive, installing to IDE, then ghosting the image over. This is pretty much what I've done so far, minus the ghosting over to SATA. Would be nice to eventually get this system to install to a SATA drive.

Oh, and BTW, just incase it matters, while the controller is SATAII, the drive is SATA, but since this isnt reversed, I dont see how this could cause issues.
a b V Motherboard
August 17, 2006 3:21:47 AM

I do not own a Seagate SATa, but if the company has a bootable Floppy disc partition and format downloadable tool online I would try that. So you already loaded windows on an ide HD and have it running?
August 17, 2006 3:49:21 AM

Quote:
I do not own a Seagate SATa, but if the company has a bootable Floppy disc partition and format downloadable tool online I would try that. So you already loaded windows on an ide HD and have it running?


Yeah, I disconnected the SATA data cable, and installed to IDE, and the system runs flawless, the SATA drive is even usable, once booted to IDE HDD.
August 17, 2006 3:53:16 AM

built this system from scratch, and to begin with I tried running setup from a USB drive, and it failed. This means I had zero IDE drives at the time installed, and just 1 SATA drive.

What I did and in what order:

1) attempted installation from USB CD drive to SATA HDD, played around in the BIOS many times trying to get this to work, and I chocked this up to faulty USB booting.

2) put an exact model DVD burner into system (but not the exact one), played with BIOS a bit more, still nothing.

3) put in an IDE 80GB Seagate drive, tried again, no joy.

4) Having remembered something about another user with simular problem, saying he removed his SATA drive, installed to a IDE drive, the ghosted over to the SATA drive, which worked for me (minus the ghosting)

5) downloaded, and flashed latest BIOS (p1.20), tried again, no joy.

One thing to note, is that the motherboard has a F11 boot priority menu at boot ("press F2 to enter setup, or F11 for boot menu" ), BIOS is american megratrends Inc. (AMI). I've tried every possible way of booting the system, CD first, HDD first , etc etc.

I've been building systems since the early 90's, and have never run into anything quite like this, so I have no idea what is going on, but do somehow suspect that MAYBE, XP Pro (SP2) doesnt recconize the SATAII controller somehow, but I'm not a hardware engineer, so I cant verify this. I would really hate for this issue to be un-resolvable, since the motherboard so far (other than this), is very good, even if Asrock IS a division of Asus ( whom I'll never purchase another motherboard from again).
August 17, 2006 4:28:58 PM

Quote:
built this system from scratch, and to begin with I tried running setup from a USB drive, and it failed. This means I had zero IDE drives at the time installed, and just 1 SATA drive.

What I did and in what order:

1) attempted installation from USB CD drive to SATA HDD, played around in the BIOS many times trying to get this to work, and I chocked this up to faulty USB booting.

2) put an exact model DVD burner into system (but not the exact one), played with BIOS a bit more, still nothing.

3) put in an IDE 80GB Seagate drive, tried again, no joy.

4) Having remembered something about another user with simular problem, saying he removed his SATA drive, installed to a IDE drive, the ghosted over to the SATA drive, which worked for me (minus the ghosting)

5) downloaded, and flashed latest BIOS (p1.20), tried again, no joy.

One thing to note, is that the motherboard has a F11 boot priority menu at boot ("press F2 to enter setup, or F11 for boot menu" ), BIOS is american megratrends Inc. (AMI). I've tried every possible way of booting the system, CD first, HDD first , etc etc.

I've been building systems since the early 90's, and have never run into anything quite like this, so I have no idea what is going on, but do somehow suspect that MAYBE, XP Pro (SP2) doesnt recconize the SATAII controller somehow, but I'm not a hardware engineer, so I cant verify this. I would really hate for this issue to be un-resolvable, since the motherboard so far (other than this), is very good, even if Asrock IS a division of Asus ( whom I'll never purchase another motherboard from again).


What about RAID? maybe it is enabled while it should not..
August 17, 2006 10:27:43 PM

Quote:
built this system from scratch, and to begin with I tried running setup from a USB drive, and it failed. This means I had zero IDE drives at the time installed, and just 1 SATA drive.

What I did and in what order:

1) attempted installation from USB CD drive to SATA HDD, played around in the BIOS many times trying to get this to work, and I chocked this up to faulty USB booting.

2) put an exact model DVD burner into system (but not the exact one), played with BIOS a bit more, still nothing.

3) put in an IDE 80GB Seagate drive, tried again, no joy.

4) Having remembered something about another user with simular problem, saying he removed his SATA drive, installed to a IDE drive, the ghosted over to the SATA drive, which worked for me (minus the ghosting)

5) downloaded, and flashed latest BIOS (p1.20), tried again, no joy.

One thing to note, is that the motherboard has a F11 boot priority menu at boot ("press F2 to enter setup, or F11 for boot menu" ), BIOS is american megratrends Inc. (AMI). I've tried every possible way of booting the system, CD first, HDD first , etc etc.

I've been building systems since the early 90's, and have never run into anything quite like this, so I have no idea what is going on, but do somehow suspect that MAYBE, XP Pro (SP2) doesnt recconize the SATAII controller somehow, but I'm not a hardware engineer, so I cant verify this. I would really hate for this issue to be un-resolvable, since the motherboard so far (other than this), is very good, even if Asrock IS a division of Asus ( whom I'll never purchase another motherboard from again).


What about RAID? maybe it is enabled while it should not..

no, it states specificly in the BIOS, SATA (non RAID)
August 17, 2006 11:23:00 PM

Man, you're not going to believe this, but you HAVE_TO enable SATA RAID for this board to boot into XP pro setup, technical support guy was very patient, and it was the very first item he had me check in the BIOS, once I fully explained my problem.

Long explanation was this:

This has been an issue previous to this motherbaord for some people with Asrock boards, so what happens now is, IF you leave SATA RAID disabled, the HDD, or device period, operates in IDE mode, if enabled, the drive works in SATA mode. This explains why windows 2000 reconnized the drive emmediately (HDD was operating in IDE mode). The technical support guy did mention this could be confusing for a computer user, if comming from a different brand of Motherboard ( and mentioned something about Asus, then saying that while Asrock is a sub division of Asus, these baords cannot really compare because of the obvious price difference, so this is the option they used)

Anyhow, to get this motherboard to boot into windows setup, you need to set SATA Operation mode [RAID] vs [non-RAID], then of course, once in setup you need to press F6 to install the SATA RAID drivers (assuming you havent slipstreamed the drivers onto a windows setup disk already, as I have).
August 17, 2006 11:37:46 PM

I did forget to mention why Asrock did things like this, the technical support person told me they did this because of complaints, about having to install drivers for SATA drives in SATA unaware OSes, this was the fix.
a b V Motherboard
August 18, 2006 12:08:04 AM

Quote:
you need to press F6 to install the SATA RAID drivers


See my first post.
August 18, 2006 3:17:33 AM

Quote:
you need to press F6 to install the SATA RAID drivers


See my first post.

Badge, sorry, but you werent even close. this wasnt a driver issue UNTIL you fixed the BIOS issue . . .
a b V Motherboard
August 18, 2006 3:46:03 AM

If you need a floppy drive SATA driver disc to load your windows operating system on to your SATA hard drive at the F6 prompt the next time you need to let me know. I can guide you and show you how to make the floppy SATA driver from your motherboard driver CD. Sometimes the motherboard manufacturer gives you the floppy SATA driver. Sometimes the CD will make a floppy SATA driver for you. It's a bit complicated if you don't know how.
August 18, 2006 5:16:51 AM

Quote:
If you need a floppy drive SATA driver disc to load your windows operating system on to your SATA hard drive at the F6 prompt the next time you need to let me know. I can guide you and show you how to make the floppy SATA driver from your motherboard driver CD. Sometimes the motherboard manufacturer gives you the floppy SATA driver. Sometimes the CD will make a floppy SATA driver for you. It's a bit complicated if you don't know how.


Thanks, but I do not need the help, pretty much, the SATA driver thing for me, is pretty much obvious, the hard part was figuring out why It wasnt even entering the XP setup at_all, as for the floppy thing, I use a custom made install CD with the SATA RAID drivers already slipstreamed.

If you dont know what slipstreaming is, google - > 'nLite', read the faqs, then play with the program, its pretty usefull. I only mention this, because either you missed what I said about slipstreaming earlier, or you dont know what it is.
August 19, 2006 9:21:18 PM

Ok, now from what I can tell, you need to follow a few steps in order to get a SATA HDD to work with this motherboard, and pass through Windows XP setup. I recently tried getting my HDD working with SATA operation mode [RAID] (single drive) working, and failed. Here are the correct step REQUIRED to get your system working with a SATA HDD, pre installtion, whether you use it as your boot drive, or not.

1) enter into BIOS, go to advanced, IDE boot configuration, and under the SATA operation mode setting, change it to [RAID]

2) Once you save your BIOS settings, press F10 to enter RAID BIOS, select spanning, then add the HDD to the array list on the right. Save settings, and then exit the utility.

3) If you're booting to this drive, I'm assuming you'll need to install the SATA RAID drivers by either pressing F6 when prompted in windows setup, or have a slipstreamed Setup disk. With this, I'm assuming, since I havent actualy done this yet myself, but setup the HDD as a storage device (non boot).

Anyhow, what this does is set the drive up as a JBoD array (single HDD), under the controller, which is required for the drive to be seen under BIOS, and OS, period. This is the only way with this motherboard that you can have a SATA drive attached while entering windows XP setup PERIOD, otherwise you will need to detatch the drive while installing to a IDE drive, then connect the drive after windows has been installed on the IDE channel.

Another assumption is that once you install to your SATA drive, you can go back into the BIOS, and change SATA operation mode to [non-RAID], and the HDD should beable to boot just fine. However, since the technical support person I spoke to seemed to think this would make the HDD operate in IDE mode, I'm unsure of performance implications. The only real way to see is, try it, and see. I do know however that while running this motherboard, as I have suggested above, under the nForce setting in hardware manager, you will not beable to change command queuing mode, or use the speed test feature. I have a feeling however, that command queuing is supported on the SCSI portion of the driver, and thus is set automaticly, but I'm not 100% sure.

Anyhow, I hope this helps someone who needs the info :) 
!