Disk boot error problems (need help)

Sorry if this is a bit long...

I have the following system: P4 2.4 / 1GB RAM / Win XP / DVD RW / CD RW / HDD1 250GB / HDD2 80GB. Both HDD’s are set in a removable racks so that I can swap them out i.e a ghost copy to test new software and a Linux drive. My drives are configured as follows (not sure if this is the best way): DVD and CD drives are on the same IDE cable from the Motherboard (black socket). HDD1 (master) is on the other Motherboard (blue socket). HDD2 is connected to a PCI IDE card.

My problem:

I often get a drive boot error when I turn on my PC. To get it to work, I need to take out the drive, shake it, unplug and replug the IDE cables and after several tries it seems to work; however, sometimes, the drive loses it’s connection in mid session. I have the same problem with different HDD’s so I don’t think the HDD is the problem.

I get this boot problem much less often (but I still get it) when I connect the drives directly to the IDE cable instead of through the removable rack.

Any ideas on what this could be and how I can fix it? I tried changing IDE cables.
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  1. Quote:
    Sorry if this is a bit long...

    I have the following system: P4 2.4 / 1GB RAM / Win XP / DVD RW / CD RW / HDD1 250GB / HDD2 80GB. Both HDD’s are set in a removable racks so that I can swap them out i.e a ghost copy to test new software and a Linux drive. My drives are configured as follows (not sure if this is the best way): DVD and CD drives are on the same IDE cable from the Motherboard (black socket). HDD1 (master) is on the other Motherboard (blue socket). HDD2 is connected to a PCI IDE card.

    My problem:

    I often get a drive boot error when I turn on my PC. To get it to work, I need to take out the drive, shake it, unplug and replug the IDE cables and after several tries it seems to work; however, sometimes, the drive loses it’s connection in mid session. I have the same problem with different HDD’s so I don’t think the HDD is the problem.

    I get this boot problem much less often (but I still get it) when I connect the drives directly to the IDE cable instead of through the removable rack.

    Any ideas on what this could be and how I can fix it? I tried changing IDE cables.


    try resetting the CMOS, running Memtest86, and checking your jumpers
  2. Sounds like it could be the IDE cable.
  3. Could be shaking the drives...if I'm not mistaken they're not really meant for that...
  4. i doubt if resetting the cmos, memtest, or jumpers will fix it unless maybe he pulled a jumper they don't just come out by them self
  5. Are you using 80-conductor IDE cables? What is your master/slave/cable select jumper configuration?

    The way this should be done is:

    - 3 80-conductor IDE cables (1 for DVD & CD, 1 for boot HD connected to MB, 1 for additional HD connected to PCI IDE card)
    - All devices should be set to cable select via their jumper
    - 80-conductor IDE cables have 3 connectors: Blue, Grey, and Black. Blue connector always goes to motherboard.
    - For the IDE cable used for DVD & CD, DVD should be connected to black connector, CD connected to grey connector.
    - For the other 2 IDE cables used for the two HDs, both HD enclosures should be connected to the black connector. Grey connector should be unused.
  6. Quote:
    Sorry if this is a bit long...

    I have the following system: P4 2.4 / 1GB RAM / Win XP / DVD RW / CD RW / HDD1 250GB / HDD2 80GB. Both HDD’s are set in a removable racks so that I can swap them out i.e a ghost copy to test new software and a Linux drive. My drives are configured as follows (not sure if this is the best way): DVD and CD drives are on the same IDE cable from the Motherboard (black socket). HDD1 (master) is on the other Motherboard (blue socket). HDD2 is connected to a PCI IDE card.

    My problem:

    I often get a drive boot error when I turn on my PC. To get it to work, I need to take out the drive, shake it, unplug and replug the IDE cables and after several tries it seems to work; however, sometimes, the drive loses it’s connection in mid session. I have the same problem with different HDD’s so I don’t think the HDD is the problem.

    I get this boot problem much less often (but I still get it) when I connect the drives directly to the IDE cable instead of through the removable rack.

    Any ideas on what this could be and how I can fix it? I tried changing IDE cables.


    Why you have an IDE card is beyond me?...
    1st,,, Set your primary and secondary hdd's to cable select [jumpers on hdd's],,, connect your primary hdd the last connector,and,your secondary to the next to mobo connector,leave your cd/dvd's where they are,simple,no??.
    I too have hdd racks for hdd removes,and,all my hdd's run off the primary ide connector..good luck:))
    ps,,You can also use cable select on your cd/dvd's,although why even have a cd is beyond me when the dvd will read and write to both...??
  7. Quote:
    Are you using 80-conductor IDE cables? What is your master/slave/cable select jumper configuration?

    The way this should be done is:

    - 3 80-conductor IDE cables (1 for DVD & CD, 1 for boot HD connected to MB, 1 for additional HD connected to PCI IDE card)
    - All devices should be set to cable select via their jumper
    - 80-conductor IDE cables have 3 connectors: Blue, Grey, and Black. Blue connector always goes to motherboard.
    - For the IDE cable used for DVD & CD, DVD should be connected to black connector, CD connected to grey connector.
    - For the other 2 IDE cables used for the two HDs, both HD enclosures should be connected to the black connector. Grey connector should be unused.


    pfffftttt load of crap

    Cable Select 99% of the time never works and throws one of the drives out

    There are 2 dual channel ide connectors for a reason - use em if you have to.

    The Blue (or at times, red) connector goes to the motherboard its self, the oppisite end connector (usually black) is for the master drive (and if cable select would work, automatically set it as master), the grey for slave (middle connector) if needed, some drives at times will not work if the master or slave is in the wrong place eg Master in the middle, slave at the end of the cable.

    Also some WD drives wont work or delay boot when master is set without a slave present etc.
  8. Maybe... But just maybe you have problems in your 4-Pin power connector... or your swap cage power connector... you may want to try and twist the power cord 2-3 times an plug it in the swap cage or HDD and see if it works... Sorry my english... I'm Portuguese...
  9. I wish I was better at this... I sometimes need to read your helpful suggestions several times before I understand everything. There seems to be some dispute about whether or not my drives should all be on cable select but for now, I have some simple questions:

    MB = Asus P4S8X

    1) It appears that I have two IDE slots on my MB (maybe there are more), one blue and one black. Which is the primary and which is the secondary? And, should my DVD/CD drives be on the primary or secondary?

    2) How can I tell if I am using 80-conductor IDE cables? The cables I am using are flat grey with a red stripe on the outside.

    My PCI card has two IDE connectors, and , I have no idea why I have this PCI card, I bought this home made PC about 4 years ago and that's how it came.
  10. I just looked at the cables and they say 30 AWG 150 volt style 2678. Could my solution be as simple as replacing my cables?
  11. The PCI card is probably because the IDE slot on the MB is probably not working properly. It sounds weird but it can happen. If you're not having luck putting both drives on the same IDE cable connected to the motherboard, try connecting both drives to the cable and connect it to the PCI card. Connect your main drive to the furthest postion on the cable and set it to master, and the other drive to slave on the second cable position. hopefully that will work..
    good luck.
  12. Quote:
    pfffftttt load of crap

    Cable Select 99% of the time never works and throws one of the drives out


    If you can't get cable select to work properly on your builds then you're not doing it right.

    I've built dozens, possibly hundreds of computers and always use cable select for everything. And it always works properly with no problems, as long as you know what you're doing and follow the rules.

    The only exception I've ever seen was a old Pioneer DVD-ROM that wouldn't work properly when set to cable select. Changing that drive to Master fixed it's problems. Obviously that was a problem specific to that drive or its firmware.

    Your "load of crap" comment is out of line. Cable select may not have worked for you for whatever reason, but you cannot generalize your experiences to other people. I can positively confirm that it works properly in nearly every case.

    For the OP: If you have 2 IDE connectors on your motherboard, one of them is the primary channel and the other is the secondary channel. If you look closely on the motherboard next to each connector you may see them labeled somehow in white lettering. They may be labeled "IDE0" and "IDE1", or "IDE1" and "IDE2", or "Primary" and "Secondary". If you can't see any label, you'll need to look at your motherboard manual (you can probably download it from the motherboard manufacturer's web site).

    Your main hard drive that you use for boot should go on the primary channel. Your DVD and CD should be on the secondary channel. This is the recommended configuration, although modern BIOS's will actually allow you to configure it the other way and it will still work.

    I don't see a problem with having the other hard drive on the PCI IDE card. In fact, it probably would make drive-to-drive copies faster than if the two hard drives were master and slave on the same channel.

    Take a look at your IDE cables: If the connectors are colored like I stated (blue, grey, and black) then there's a 99% chance that they're 80-conductor cables. (There are a few 80-conductor cables that substitute a different color for the motherboard connector - i.e. instead of blue, red or green is sometimes used. But to my knowledge, the device connectors are always black and grey). If all the connectors on the cable are black, then they're likely 40-conductor cables and need to be replaced. Modern IDE controllers will not run properly with hard drives when 40-conductor cables are used. (You can still use 40-conductor cables for optical drives since they don't transfer data as fast as hard drives, but I like using all 80-conductor cables anyway just to be consistent).
  13. I'm going to replace the cable (the current ones are all black!) and change my drive configuration per your suggestion. Thank you for your detailed post!
  14. No problem.

    One more thing: The spec for an 80-conductor IDE cable is a maximum length of 18 inches. There are some manufacturers out there that ignore the spec and make ones that are longer. Do NOT buy these - they won't work properly.

    If an 18" cable won't reach properly in your case, rearrange your devices in the case or your bays to make it work, but don't buy an out-of-spec cable.

    Also, all the rage these days are the round IDE cables (instead of a flat ribbon cable, they take all the conductors and put them in a round jacket). The claim is that the round cables improve airflow through the case because the flat ribbon cables tend to block the airflow. If you want to pay a premium for the round cables you can, but I never had any cooling problems when using the flat cables. Just make sure they're routed so as to not block fans or vents in the case.
  15. No problem
  16. Quote:
    pfffftttt load of crap

    Cable Select 99% of the time never works and throws one of the drives out


    If you can't get cable select to work properly on your builds then you're not doing it right.

    I've built dozens, possibly hundreds of computers and always use cable select for everything. And it always works properly with no problems, as long as you know what you're doing and follow the rules.

    The only exception I've ever seen was a old Pioneer DVD-ROM that wouldn't work properly when set to cable select. Changing that drive to Master fixed it's problems. Obviously that was a problem specific to that drive or its firmware.

    Your "load of crap" comment is out of line. Cable select may not have worked for you for whatever reason, but you cannot generalize your experiences to other people. I can positively confirm that it works properly in nearly every case.

    For the OP: If you have 2 IDE connectors on your motherboard, one of them is the primary channel and the other is the secondary channel. If you look closely on the motherboard next to each connector you may see them labeled somehow in white lettering. They may be labeled "IDE0" and "IDE1", or "IDE1" and "IDE2", or "Primary" and "Secondary". If you can't see any label, you'll need to look at your motherboard manual (you can probably download it from the motherboard manufacturer's web site).

    Your main hard drive that you use for boot should go on the primary channel. Your DVD and CD should be on the secondary channel. This is the recommended configuration, although modern BIOS's will actually allow you to configure it the other way and it will still work.

    I don't see a problem with having the other hard drive on the PCI IDE card. In fact, it probably would make drive-to-drive copies faster than if the two hard drives were master and slave on the same channel.

    Take a look at your IDE cables: If the connectors are colored like I stated (blue, grey, and black) then there's a 99% chance that they're 80-conductor cables. (There are a few 80-conductor cables that substitute a different color for the motherboard connector - i.e. instead of blue, red or green is sometimes used. But to my knowledge, the device connectors are always black and grey). If all the connectors on the cable are black, then they're likely 40-conductor cables and need to be replaced. Modern IDE controllers will not run properly with hard drives when 40-conductor cables are used. (You can still use 40-conductor cables for optical drives since they don't transfer data as fast as hard drives, but I like using all 80-conductor cables anyway just to be consistent).

    ROFLMAO
  17. Quote:
    No problem.

    One more thing: The spec for an 80-conductor IDE cable is a maximum length of 18 inches. There are some manufacturers out there that ignore the spec and make ones that are longer. Do NOT buy these - they won't work properly.

    If an 18" cable won't reach properly in your case, rearrange your devices in the case or your bays to make it work, but don't buy an out-of-spec cable.

    Also, all the rage these days are the round IDE cables (instead of a flat ribbon cable, they take all the conductors and put them in a round jacket). The claim is that the round cables improve airflow through the case because the flat ribbon cables tend to block the airflow. If you want to pay a premium for the round cables you can, but I never had any cooling problems when using the flat cables. Just make sure they're routed so as to not block fans or vents in the case.


    i use longer ones on a few tech benches i work with, even to test drives for faults, havent had issues yet altho iv never used more then the one drive at a time on them and personally i wouldnt use longer then standard cables
  18. Quote:
    I'm going to replace the cable (the current ones are all black!) and change my drive configuration per your suggestion. Thank you for your detailed post!


    may i ask what configuration you are using?

    also btw some drives just will always clash, my old Pioneer 106s (16x DVD rom, slot load) would never work with another cdrom but put it with a hdd as slave and it worked fine.
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