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Large SATA drives not recognized by BIOS

Last response: in Storage
September 10, 2009 4:34:29 PM


i have am trying to add 2 new SATA drives (SAMSUNG 1.5TB SATA HD154UI) to my system (compaq SR1910NX, CPU upgraded to Athlon 64 X2 4600+, 4GB memory).

the system originally came with 1 SATA drive installed, running windows XP on it, and it is running fine. (WD 120GB drive, not sure the model).

the motherboard (asus A8N-LA) has 2 SATA controllers, 4 total SATA ports, 0-3. the WD-120GB drive is installed and running on SATA port 0.

when i installed the 2 new samsung HD154UI drives in SATA ports 1 and 2, they are not recognized by the BIOS, and obviously not by windows XP. the BIOS reports the 120GB drive on SATA port 0, and ports 1,2, and 3 empty.

i have verified the power and sata cables, by trying all the new cables on the 120GB drive, and they work fine.

i have verified all 4 SATA ports by installing 120GB drive in each one, and it is detected and operational.

i am reading that there may be issues with 1.5 vs. 3.0 transfer rates? i am also reading that there may be issues with my motherboard recognizing large drives?

anybody have any ideas?

September 10, 2009 10:33:34 PM

Got me stumped. The M/B is new enough that I'd be surprised it doesn't support that size drive. Couldn't find that Asus exact model, but all of them say SATA2 or 3MB/s.

I'd double check any drive jumpers but any drive should work outta the box.

Look in BIOS to see if the existing drive is set up to run unusual - look at ACHI and other settings.
a b G Storage
September 11, 2009 2:59:41 AM

SATA II, or SATA 300 drives have jumpers on them that may need to be set to make them compatible with older SATA 1 or SATA 150 controllers.
Related resources
a c 357 G Storage
September 11, 2009 4:41:47 PM

This MIGHT be a SATA version problem. I expect the Samsung drives you got are SATA II. So, IF your Compag system has only original SATA drive controllers, it may not be able to deal with those drives until they are forced to drop back to the slower SATA speed. So first, check the details of your mobo and verify whether its controllers can handle SATA II, or only the older slower version. My quick check of the Compaq website page for this mobo only shows them using the term "SATA ports", with no specific reference to "SATA II".

Seagate and some others dealt with this problem by providing a jumper block on their drives. But others (and I think Samsung is among these) did it differently. They used a software setting. Search the Samsung website for infor on SATA speeds. Look for some downloadable utility that you run to set the drives to use only the slower original SATA speed. If you find that, and IF you verify that you mobo can only handle the slower version, get the utility and adjust your new drives that way.
September 11, 2009 4:56:50 PM

hi... thanks for the update. however, i am pretty sure that the MB is SATA II. i found this info in the specs for the original system : "120 GB SATA 3G (3.0 Gb/sec)". i am pretty sure that SATA 3G and SATA II are the same thing.

there is a jumper block on the drive, with 2 slots for jumpers. haven't been able to find any info on what they are for.

even though i think it is all SATA II, i have found the samsung speed change utiliity, but have been unable to get it going. it seems to be floppy based, which i don't have (even the CD version ISO asks me to put a disk in drive B). i downloaded a utility CD iso file that supposedly has this utility, i will be trying this weekend.

other news is that i am pretty sure that the drives aren't even spinning up. i have read that they have a very distinctive 'click' on power up, which i don't hear, and i feel no vibration on the disks at all. (god, a LED would be nice).

at this point, i have initiated an request for return from where i bought them.
September 12, 2009 4:50:12 PM

thanks to all for your help....

i got the RMA approved from the place i bought the samsungs, and went to best buy and bought 2 seagate 1.5 TB drives. they installed immediatly and flawlessly at 3.0 xfer rate (using the same cables i had used for the samsungs).

obviously both samsungs were bad.

September 12, 2009 5:46:31 PM

Nice going and glad to hear all worked out well. And yes, a successful RMA is a good result.

And the conversation here is one reason I try to stick with WD and Seagate, and formerly Maxtor and Miniscribe, when I buy or recommend a hard drive to someone. Had you been asking about a WD or Seagate, someone would have answered with "Well, I have one of those and one thing you have to watch is..." rather than the head-scratching that occured with the Samsungs.

Samsung makes great products - I've sold 100s of their monitors, am looking at this text on one and have two more across the room. But this rep is with monitors, not hard drives.

Good luck!