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New build, problem booting from PCI IDE Raid card!

Last response: in Storage
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July 4, 2007 9:03:35 PM

Just built a new system:

ASUS Crosshair MOBO
AMD 2.8Ghz Dual Core CPU
2 x 1Gb Ballistix RAM
XFX 7950 GT GPU
PC Power & Cooling 750w PSU
2 x DVD drives
3 x HDD
1 x Floppy

The Asus only has 1 onboard IDE connector, so I have put both my DVD drives on that.

Now the problem!

Because the onboard IDE is now taken up with the DVD drives, I have to connect my 3 HDD's to a PCI A-Bit HotRod 100 Pro IDE Raid card that I used in the previous system to access a spare HDD, this is not being used as a RAID controller, just an IDE controller and does not work with IDE CD or DVD drives! This has 2 channels and supports 4 HDD's, so I've connected my boot drive to the Primary Master and the system boots. However, if I connect ANY other drive, be it a slave on the primary channel or Master/Slave on the Secondary channel I just keep getting Boot Failure messages?

The 2 other HDD's have been formatted as pure data drives, no active partions just an extended DOS partion. The onboard BIOS for the card allows me to select a boot drive, so I set Primary Master to boot but it won't boot if I connect 2 or more drives to this card? So I can get my boot drive working but not with the other 2 HDD's I need.

It's driving me crazy!! Any ideas on what the problem may be please?
a b G Storage
July 7, 2007 7:02:35 PM

Try checking the system BIOS to ensure the boot sequence is set correctly in there as well. If it's trying to boot from a drive with no OS that has been placed on the onboard IDE controller, before checking for a bootable drive from the RAID card, it will fail, and not move on to other drives.
July 9, 2007 7:19:08 PM

There are only 2 DVD drives on the motherboard IDE, no HDD's!

BIOS is set to boot from Floopy, CD-ROM then Hard Disk and in the Hard Disk part there is only the RAID card listed as it should be!

Having played with this for a number of days there is simply no way I can get this card to boot with 2 or more HDD's connected! No matter where I put the boot drive, whether it's master/slave, and set as bootable in the cards BIOS it will just give DISK BOOT FAILURE but I can't track down the reason?

It looks like leaving the DVD's on the onboard IDE, buying a SATA300 drive and using that as the boot drive then use the card as a plain IDE Controller for the other 3 drives, nothing set to boot from it or in the card, so it won't give me DISK BOOT FAILURE messages!
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July 9, 2007 8:59:12 PM

Have you loaded driver for the card? Is it not poss to disable the RAID function?

Mike.
July 9, 2007 9:09:39 PM

@mike99: The RAID creation part is always enabled, and both XP and Vista have the correct driver loaded!

Well, I've managed to boot with 2 drives attached to the card!

Attached my boot drive as master and 2nd drive as slave on the Primary channel of the card and then have to set the SLAVE DRIVE as the BOOT DRIVE in the card so the boot drive will boot? Words just fail me at this point! I'm not laughing anymore, it was funny a few days ago now it's just not funny at all.

Needless to say if I attach my 3rd drive as master on the Secondary channel then nothing boots up at all, even when setting each drive in turn as the boot drive, so we're back to DISK BOOT FAILURE again and no further forward!

Could it be Vistas Bootmanager screwing things up?
July 11, 2007 1:10:14 AM

Well FINALLY!

After much head scratching, foul language and more patience than a load of Saints being patient, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

I now have a warm fuzzy feeling, either that or I've pee'd myself with excitement :) 

To solve this enigma, throw logic out of the window and just try every combination you can think off, namely:

1. Attach boot drive to Secondary Channel as Master.
2. Attach 2 data drives to Primary Channel as Master/Slave.
3. Set boot drive in the card to PRIMARY SLAVE.

Boot system and watch in awe as the Vista Boot Manager appears and you can boot into XP/Vista and see all 3 HDD's listed as well your DVD drives!

Are you listening all you PCI IDE RAID cards out there? I am the MAN, do not MESS WITH ME :lol: 

BTW, thanks to everyone for all of your suggestions, you inspired me to find the solution :D 
!