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HELP!! BIOS drive order with onboard SATA controller

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May 1, 2007 12:57:57 PM

I have a question I need answered.
Is it technically possible for a motherboard with a SATA and PATA controller onboard to present a drive connected to the SATA bus as the first drive ("80h") and a drive connected as the Primary Master on the PATA bus as the second drive ("81h")?

I have a striker extreme (680i) motherboard and no matter what I do, the SATA drive will not become drive 0 (80h) if there is a PATA drive in the system.

Even worse, if I set some of the drives on the SATA bus to RAID, then all the RAIDed drives come after the non-RAIDed drives.

What I am trying to acheive on my 680i mobo is 2x SATA Raptor 10Ks in RAID 0 for drive C: and a 320GB SATA drive for D:, and also to be able to plug in a PATA drive to acquire data from if needs be without the whole system stopping booting because drive 80h is suddenly the PATA drive.

I am going absolutely nuts here, and the vendor (Scan.co.uk) is telling me that this issue is by design and not surmountable. Having spent £1500 on components that cannot do what should be childs play, I am obviously very angry and seeking compensation. I just need to get some facts straight first.

So, is the line they are spinning me that it is not possible to:

1) Have SATA and PATA drives in the same system and the SATA one is 80h whilst the PATA one is 81h

2) Have SATA RAID and regular SATA with the RAID as 80h and the non-raid 81h

Are they spinning me a line of BS? Please help, at the end of my tether here...

Oh, and if anyone tries chastising me for using RAID 0, I WILL flame you back. So sick of people who do not understand that putting docs and settings on D: and using GHOST to backup C: means RAID 0 for C: is no risk at all.
May 1, 2007 1:48:11 PM

So you have built the comp with only the SATA drives installed and set up as your C drive?

Then - installed the PATA drive in order to retrieve info from it only to have it take over as main?

Is that correct?
May 1, 2007 2:27:21 PM

And did you switch jumpers?
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May 1, 2007 4:30:17 PM

I have an eVGA 680i mobo and although I haven't plugged any PATA drives into it, I did encounter a problem with the RAID setup. I also run 2 Raptor 150s as drive C: and 2 Seagate 320s as drive D: - the RAID setup wanted to list the 2 Seagates first (drive C:)  so I fixed it by deleting them from the RAID setup, installing XP on the Raptors, then setting up the Seagates again. Don't have any non-RAID SATA drives however. I also do automatic incremental backups over the local network to safeguard my data :) .

I assume you tried using Disk Manager in XP to rename your drive letters, right? I also assume you tried setting drive boot priority in BIOS too. And finally I assume you downloaded the latest BIOS for your board - there were some problems with SATA drives in the shipping version of the eVGA BIOS that I was aware of when I bought it in January, so having another computer handy I downloaded the BIOS update and installed it right after I got it to POST the first time.

I recall disabling a PATA drive in BIOS on my brother's PC because it wanted to take over as drive C: from a SATA RAID pair; XP still saw it however and I was able to read/write to it OK. However it was a permanent install, not removeable which is what your setup sounds like.
May 1, 2007 9:39:11 PM

thanks for the feedback guys.

To set a few things straight:

All the drives I want to use normally are SATA. Two 37GB raptors in raid 0 for C: and a 320GB WD for D:

Mine appears to be even worse a version of fazers' - because I only use RAID for C: and not D:, it won't even work when I have no PATA drives in as it seems to assign drives in the order PATA->SATA->SATA RAID, so my SATA raid always winds up last (I installed XP once and windows was on F: !)

Also compounding the issue is that I need it all working before I get into XP - because I use an nlite install to put docs and settings on D:, then D: needs to be D: at install-time for it to work. I tried changing the location of docs and settings from %systemroot% to C: (Cause it was installing windows as D: and the data drive as C:)  but that didn't work.

Yes, I have thought of partitioning up just one drive into a C: and D:, do an install, ghost them, set up the full RAID config and re-ghost, but it is a pain in the butt, may not work, and why the hell should I have to go to all that trouble when I payed £200 for the bloody motherboard??
I did try it once but it didn't work, though I did not really persue it as I just don't have the time.

What I want is answers. Is this by design? Is it a feature of the Striker Extreme? of 680i boards in general? Of all boards with onboard SATA?

Ideally, I don't want a workaround. I want to be able to set the order the BIOS presents the drives to the OS (Be that windows or DOS).

The PATA issue is just one small aspect of this. I have worked around this by simply connecting it to another machine and pulling over the network, but I fix a lot of people's machines, and for example, if I plug in a PATA drive to try and fix it or transfer data and I have to start writing bootstraps to it so I can start my machine, that is not good.
May 2, 2007 1:20:35 PM

I dunno about the Striker but I would think Asus would follow the NVidia reference design pretty closely, like eVGA does on my 680i board. Anyway, I did briefly have the 2 Raptors striped and partitioned into the XP boot partition C: and game partition D: , and the 2 Seagates as E: and F: before I striped them, and on the PATA bus I had a couple DVD drives as G: and H: . It seemed to work fine although I didn't have that setup for long since I wanted to dual-boot Vista, so I striped the 2 Seagates together as E: and installed Vista on it, in one giant partition. What's funny about that is when I boot into Vista, it lists the Seagates as C:, and the XP boot partition becomes E: . The games partition remains as D: and the 2 DVD drives stay as E: and F: Pretty logical and exactly what I wanted :) .

So I would say your problems are particular to your board or to the Striker boards in general, not all 680i boards. I guess you have gone to the Asus forums as well as THG - you'll probably have better luck there.

Personally I quit using Asus boards when the last one I bought had crippled RAID in the BIOS - a "RAID Lite" where only one set of drives could be striped. How cheap is that?? :) 
!