I'm trying to set up a computer I just bought. The motherboard is a Gigabyte EP45-UD3R. There are 6 yellow SATA slots for hard drives in one section of the motherboard and 2 purple SATA slots in a slightly different location. I explained to the guys at the store when I gave them the specs for the new computer that I would be installing the hard drive from my old computer into the new one. They told me it would go into one of the purple slots. That way I could boot from the old hard drive. They told me I wouldn't be able to boot from drives connected to the yellow SATA slots, only from drives connected to the purple ones. So we all agreed that I would connect the old hard drive to one of the purple slots and the 3 hard drives connected to the yellow slots would be set up in a RAID 5 array. I would boot from the old hard drive and not have to spend a day or two reinstalling windows and and all my other software and anti-virus, etc.
So I bring the new computer home and remove the hard drive from the old computer. Guess what, there's nowhere to plug it in! There is only 1 IDE slot and that is being used by the DVD drive. I unplugged the DVD drive and plugged the old hard drive into that slot but when I turned it on nothing happened. I don't know how to tell it to boot from the DVD slot, at least not when there is no opportunity to enter BIOS.
So if I could get some instructions on what to do now..
In case I wasn't clear enough, this is what I am trying to do.
1. Install an IDE hard drive onto a motherboard where there is no open IDE slot.
2. Get the computer to boot from this IDE hard drive.
And I have a bonus question: Should I have windows on a separate drive or on the same drives as the RAID array? Which way is better?
OK, here's how you set up IDE devices. Your mobo has one IDE port (connector) near the power supply connector. What you say suggests that you have a ribbon cable from this port to your DVD drive, and that cable only has one connector on each end. In fact, ALL IDE ports are set up to handle TWO IDE devices on the port, but for that you need a ribbon cable with Three connectors - one to the mobo port, and two others for the two devices. Moreover, you will need to set each of the devices correctly with jumpers on pins - one to Master, one to Slave.
Before doing much more, look closely a the existing ribbon cable. Along one edge you should see a red stripe. At the mobo connector there should be a label indicating which end has Pin #1. Your mobo manual on p. 25 shows this is the end nearer the middle of the board, away from the power supply connector. The cable should be plugged in with the red stripe towards the socket's Pin #1. When you replace the cable with a new one, remember to do the same. (That cable may have a special bump on it near the center on one side that only fits into the socket one way.) Also note that a new three-connector cable should have two of the connectors close together near one end - these are for the two devices. The single connector on the other end goes to the mobo port. Oh, also important: when you buy a new ribbon cable, make sure it is an 80-conductor ribbon (not 40-conductor) for IDE. The older ribbon cables had 40 wires in them, the newer ones have 80. The end connectors are the same, so don't count the connector holes. Count the wires in the ribbon if it is not clearly labeled.
An IDE port with two devices needs to distinguish between Master and Slave devices. In this case the hard drive should be set to Master. Look for diagrams on its case to show you how to set a jumper on some pins on its back edge - they already may be set to Master. Similarly, look for such a system on the DVD drive - it may be set to Master (since it was the only device on this port) and need you to change it to Slave. If these cannot be set clearly, the next alternative is to set BOTH to "CS" for "Cable Select". In either scenario, you then mount the two devices in your case and hook up the ribbon cable and power supply cables. For the ribbon cable, again watch for markings on the drive that show which end of the connector has Pin #1, and the cable edge with the red stripe goes there. Often the connectors themselves (either by grooves or by a plugged pin hole) will only fit on one way. When you do this, plug the END connector into the Master device - your HDD. The near-the-middle connector goes to the Slave.
Close it up, reapply power, and stop for a moment to review how to get into the BIOS on boot-up. On p. 35 of your manual it says to get there you turn on the computer and, as the very first start-up messages come on, you hold down the "DEL" key. It will finish its POST checks in a short time and take you to the first BIOS Setup screen. Skip the first item, the mobo tweaker, and go to the second, Standard CMOS Features (see manual p. 47). There are a whole list of IDE Channel # Master and .... Slave settings. For any you're using the best choice often is "Auto", and the system will read all it needs from the device connected and set itself accordingly. At the very top you can set your date and time. When done you use "ESC" to get back to Main Menu.
Next is to set up the Boot Device Priority under the third item, "Advanced BIOS Features". See manual p. 49. Usually you will want to set the 1st Boot Device as your DVD drive and the 2nd device as your HDD. That way a "normal" boot will be to try the DVD drive and find it empty, then skip on the the hard disk and away you go. If you ever want to boot from the DVD instead, you just put your disk in there and it works. When it's all set up, use F10 to Save these settings and Exit the Setup to finish the boot process.
Now you get to a stumbling block. You have your HDD in place to boot from, plus the DVD drive, and they both should be detected and used properly by the BIOS on a reboot. However, the Windows you already have installed on that drive knows all about the hardware (and the software drivers its devices need) from your OLD machine! That installation cannot handle this new mobo and all its devices. You need your original Windows Install disk to do what is called a Repair Install. This is NOT a new installation that would wipe out everything and start from scratch. You must boot from your install disk in the DVD drive and very early on you get a menu that asks whether you want to do a Repair Install. Do NOT do any other type of install. This process will examine the hardware it finds in your new machine, compare that to the software drivers already installed, and make all the changes necessary to use your new hardware. When it's all done you will end up rebooting (probably have to remove the windows disk from the DVD drive to force it to boot from the HDD, but watch the instructions carefully).
Now you may still have a small problem to fix. Windows may well decide that this new hardware is so different from the old that you are trying to do a second (illegal) installation of Windows on a second machine and tell you this is not a properly Authentic installation. If this happens you will need to call Microsoft Tech Support and explain your upgrade. Make sure they understand that you have moved to the new machine and are NOT using the OS on both machines - the old one is now out of use. They can tell you how to re-authorize your Windows on the new machine so everyone is happy.
Last item, then, is to ensure all the best drivers are installed for the devices in your new machine, and this includes all the things built into the chipsets of your new mobo. The mobo should have some with a DVD full of stuff, including utilities to install all its drivers. See manual p. 65 and follow instructions.