Hi. I am what I'd call semi-literate in computers and new to the site. I do build my own, but only once every couple of years so I don't get a lot of practice. I am hoping to find some help here. Thanks in advance!
Here is my problem: I cannot get my bios to acknowledge that I have two drives installed when I activate the Raid setting and WIN XP will not view my two drives as one, as it should in a raid array.
I have a Nforce3/AMD setup that has been running smoothly for about 3 years now. I do not overclock. It is comprised of the following:
1. Gigabyte GS-K8NSC-939 MB
2. AMD 64 3200+ Processor
3. (2) 200 gig WD SATA Hard Drives (WD2000JS, I believe) running in a Raid 0 array
4. 2 gig Patriot PC-3200, 400 MHz, CAS 2 memory (1 gig each stick)
5. AMD X800XT video card (about the best I could get with the AGP setup)
6. 460 Watt Power supply (can't remember which brand but it is high quality)
6. Windows XP Pro
Here are the details: For some unknown reason two days ago I decided to update the bios via Gigabytes online Bios updater. Bad idea. When my machine rebooted, it failed to get past the Bios screen. I tried several options to fix, including swapping out the memory, loading optimized defaults and pulling the CMOS battery to return it to the original BIOS. No go. Was dead in the water. It refused to boot. Luckily I have an external drive I save to so I was willing to re-install XP.
I went through all the standard Bios setup procedures, including turning on Raid in the IDE Function set up, but noticed that the F10 prompt that would lead me to the Nvidia Raid setup was not appearing in the Bios during boot up as it had in the past. I went ahead and ran the XP install anyway, did the F6 for the Raid install from floppy, and all seemed fine but Windows refuses to acknowledge that my two WD disks are one when it came time to partition the drives. It just showed the two drives independently. I have gone over and over the process, but both the bios and windows refuses to see the drives as one, and in fact, the drives are not even visible to Windows when both the Raid IDE and SATA master and secondary Raid are turned on in the Bios as they were in the past when the Raid setup was functioning properly. To test the drives, I did a successful install with both drives independent of the raid setup and everything went smooth. Windows saw both drives, I partitioned them and the install went fine. Unfortunately, I need the Raid setup, and it just doesn't seem to be available any longer. So odd. Could have the Bios update fried the Raid chip in the Mobo? What else could be causing this to happen.
No I did not at the time, but have since returned the bios to the original and used the original raid drivers to no effect. When I got the system up an running again without the RAID, I updated to the new BIOS (this time it was successful) and also used the latest RAID drivers and still nothing. The bios has the RAID function but it refuses to all the F10 setup and windows refuses to see the two drives as one. Arrgh....
Basically, when I have RAID activated from the BIOS as I should, the drives disappear to the system and Windows tells me there are no drives attached and I must press F3 and stop the installation of the OS. When I turn RAID off in the BIOS, both it and Windows recognizes the drives and all goes well with the install, except of course that I cannot set up a RAID array. It really does seem as though the RAID chip is DOA. I am really perplexed and frustrated.
Turns out my MB was seeing it's last days as it just died this afternoon. Luckily for me it is still under Gigabytes 3-year warranty. Their customer service was exceptional, by the way, and I will be seeing a new (or most likely refurb) MB in the next week. Thanks so much to MRLinux for trying to help me work through this problem. Cheers to all and Merry Christmas!