I have an Asus GA-81945PL-G motherboard with 3 SATA hard Drives. When my system, running Win 2k starts up the post shows HD Master, HD slave and HD Master. How is this possible if SAta does not differentiate between Master and Slave. I am not able to get Xp to install on my 2nd HD. Any ideas?
Because you have your sata ports on legacy/IDE emulation mode. When you do this they will show as masters. I don't believe they will show any slave drives. Check your bios to make sure the drives are all seen.
I bet if you look closely at the display, it will NOT show ANY of your SATA drives as Slave of any type. Many BIOS's, however, will list out the disk resources this way. First they look at the IDE ports (there may be one or two) and may find a Master device on each, maybe a Slave device on each. If you have optical drives connected to IDE ports, that is what will show up. THEN it will look at SATA ports, but may label each of them as a MASTER on an IDE port numbered 2 or higher. (IDE ports usually are numbered 0 and 1.) So you may find SATA drives called "IDE 2 Master" and "IDE 3 Master", etc., but I doubt there will be a "Slave" on any port number 2 or above because there is NO Slave on any SATA port.
When you go to install Win XP you should actually ensure that the HDD that already is your Win 2K boot drive IS installed and available. Then the XP Install process can detect its presence and offer you the option to create a Dual Boot setup. You don't have to do that. But if you choose to, it can create a system that allows you to choose which OS you want to use every time you boot.
Now, why can't Win XP install? Well, is there any empty space on any of your hard drives? Or, are they all completely filled up with Partitions? A Partition is a contiguous chunk of space on a hard drive unit that will be used as one logical "drive" with its own letter name. Many times a HDD unit has been configured with one Partition on it that actually contains ALL of the space on the physical unit. If that is the way ALL of your three HDD's have been done, there is NO Unallocated Space on any HDD in which to Create a new Partition that Win XP can install to. By default the Install routine will steer clear of any Partition that already exists, assuming it contains data you want. The fact that any one Partition (you will see it as a "disk" with a name like D has Free Space on it does not matter. As far disk space is concerned, that area is still Allocated to a Partition that Windows Install will NOT try to use.
So, you may have a situation in which there is NO Unallocated Space on any HDD unit for Win XP to use. You have three choices. The straightforward one is to buy and install a fourth unit and install to there. A second option might be to move all the data off of one drive to the other two so that the one drive has NOTHING you want to save on it. Then you can run your Win XP Install routine. BUT at the very start you have to use its menu choices to select the now-"empty" drive (make VERY SURE you choose the right drive!) to Delete the existing Partition, then let the Install Routine Create a new Primary Partition and do its install there. The third option, a little more complicated, is to choose a drive with lots of Free Space on it. Run Defragmentation on it. Then use Disk Management or some other third-party software tool to Shrink the Partition down to a bit larger than the space needed to hold those files. This will release the extra space as Unallocated Space on the HDD hardware unit. THEN you can run Win XP Install and use this space to Create the bootable Primary Partition it can install to.