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OS Won't Boot After Adding New Storage Drive

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June 8, 2010 12:11:49 PM

Hello. I have a computer with an Intel dual-core processor, and an intel D975XBX2 mainboard. to this I have two Maxtor IDE drives with boot partition on master.

I recently installed a new Seagate SATA drive. The BIOS recognizes all drives. With the new drive installed, the computer will power up, but Win XP won't boot. If I disconnect the new SATA drive, Win XP boots up fine, no problem. The BIOS boot order is "CD drive, Hard drives, Ethernet, floppy". The BIOS hard drive boot order is "Maxtor drive, Maxtor drive, SATA drive"

Interestingly, with the new SATA drive connected, Win XP won't even boot from the official Win XP install CD.

Seagate tech support tells me the problem is with the Intel mainboard. Intel tech support suggested I use F10 during POST to select a specific boot drive. I did this, but Win XP continues to not boot.

Any ideas?
a b G Storage
June 8, 2010 12:22:27 PM

I think I've seen similar on the forums here, you may want to search around. Do you have a driver for the sata drive installed? (not sure if XP needs one)
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a c 342 G Storage
June 8, 2010 4:11:31 PM

Is it possible within the BIOS hard drive boot order setting to NOT include the SATA unit? Ideally the boot order ought to be only the optical drive and then the ONE Maxtor unit that is the IDE Master (it has you OS on it).

Another thought: if this machine cannot even boot from the optical drive when that new SATA unit is connected, I'm wondering if the SATA HDD has a major hardware problem? That might cause the BIOS POST to lock up trying to get it to respond, so that it never gets to loading from the optical drive.
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June 9, 2010 3:24:58 AM

Thanks guys for your responses.

According to the Seagate documentation, there is no driver for this drive

As far as the BIOS, I think I can alter the order of the drives, but I can'r remove any from the list.

It is possible that the mobo has a hardware problem, but I wouldn't know how to confirm that diagnosis, to say nothing of fix it, outside of building a new computer.
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a c 342 G Storage
June 9, 2010 6:35:12 PM

To check for a hardware problem in the new Seagate SATA unit, you can try a couple of routes. One is to install that same drive in someone else's computer and see whether it works or not. That will give you some indication of the condition of the unit. (If it does work there, one thing to check is whether there are problems with a cable or two in your machine. Also see my note below on port Mode.) The other is to go to Seagate's website and download their Seatools disk diagnostic package. I comes in at least three forms. One runs under Windows as an application, but you have to be able to boot into Windows to get it to work. The other two are called Seatools for DOS - one version is to install on a floppy disk if you have one, the other is for a CD-R. In each case you actually create your own bootable disk and then boot from it. It loads a mini-DOS into RAM and lets you run all its tests from menus, with NO need to have any other OS available. The version for a floppy can create the disk by itself if you have a floppy drive and disk (even temporarily). The version for CD is actually an .iso image file, and you need some CD-R burning software (like Nero) capable of burning an .iso image to a CD-R disk. To use either, of course, you have to set the Boot Priority Sequence in your BIOS Setup screens to boot from the appropriate drive BEFORE trying your regular HDD.

One other thing to check on the SATA new unit. You are running XP which does NOT know how to deal with a native SATA or AHCI device without help. By "help", I mean it needs a driver to handle that device type. There are two ways to deal with this. The straightforward way for you IF you plan to use the SATA drive unit only for data (that is, you will never boot from it and will continue using the IDE Primary Master unit to boot) is to actually load into your Windows XP the required driver for a SATA or AHCI device. The other is a neat work-around that many mobo makers built into their BIOS chips for this. Look in BIOS Setup near where you Enable the SATA ports. There should be an item to configure the SATA port Mode. Its choices usually include IDE (or PATA) Emulation, native SATA, AHCI, and/or RAID. Using native SATA or AHCI or RAID requires that you install the correct driver. (AHCI is the real "native" SATA mode.) But if you don't want to do this or cannot, choose the IDE (or PATA) Emulation mode. When you do the BIOS intervenes and makes Windows think that the actual SATA device is only a simple older-style IDE device it already understands, and it all works! You miss out on a couple of features of the new SATA (AHCI) devices that many people don't use anyway. But if yours is NOT set to this Emulation mode that could be why Win XP cannot recognize it and complete the boot.
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June 22, 2010 5:16:00 PM

Thanks, PaperDoc for your informative post.

I have since sent the SATA in question back to the folks I got it from, figuring I would try some other solution to my storage problems. So now the computer boots fine, with no SATA drive.

Unfortunately, this means I don't know whether this boot failure is a problem specific to this particular HD, the cabling, or some combo of using SATA with Win XP.

I did try and boot the computer (with SATA drive connected) in both SATA and IDE mode. No difference: still no booting of Win XP.

So now I can try another SATA drive, or get an external storage device which will be more expensive and slower. Sigh.

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