I have an IDE HDD and i installed XP on it; i installed the PCI SATA drivers on it and the SATA HDD is recognized in XP without any problems; i transfer some important files to the IDE one with no problem.
The problem is when i try to boot from the SATA HD connected to the PCI card, i simply can't. I tried an clean install of Win. XP on the SATA drive and it worked fine: i pressed F6 insert an Floppy disk with the drivers and the XP installation recognized the SATA disk with no problems. The problem came when in the reboot cause the BIOS can't recognize the SATA disk and cannot boot from it, it simple can't recognize the PCI card.
I tried to update the BIOS to the latest version and it won't work either.
I read that some PCI cards have embedded BIOS but this seems not to have one; many users said to change the boot sequence to SCSI but my motherboard hasn't that option.
You press the TAB key during the BIOS/POST process to enter the card's BIOS. This card says if you want the SATA to boot, gotta change the boot order in the BIOS. This implies the BIOS should be able to see the drive after correct installation. Maybe getting into the card BIOS will help with that.
On my IDE RAID controller, which I never use for RAID, the drives connected to it do show in a screen right after the memory POST test. Yours should also.
I've tried what you have said but the problem, and i forgot to said it earlier, is that the PCI card is a cheap one (OEM), with VIA VT6421a chipset. This card has no BIOS. And more i search in every place in BIOS but i can't change the board to boot from other SCSI devices, and it has no SATA RAID option, so it can't recognized the PCI card.
I tried to change the BIOS (with amibcp) but it says that there is no space to integrate the PCI card module, and i would have to delete modules and i don't want to do that (tried to delete the OEM logo but amibcp crashes); one more problem i discover while searching is that for some MSI bios amibcp corrupt the BIOS and can send my board to trash (http://www.wimsbios.com/phpBB2/topic3209.html).
Don't know if getting a better PCI SATA card (a bootable one) could solve the problem or not; i think i'm going to buy an IDE HDD
If so, it mentions being able to use it to set up different RAID configs - that means it MUST have an accessible BIOS on it. Gotta be some key to press when booting that lets you get to it. I'd dig deeper.
It should have a BIOS but i've tried some combinations (Tab, Ctrl+F,Ctrl+I,Ctrl+L,etc) and none work. I only say that it hasn't any BIOS cause i searched a lot and many people with a card like this (or with VIA VT6421a chipset) can't boot from it.
If my board at least recognized it, or if i could change to look for other SCSI devices it should work but i can't.
I've read more and you're right, there seem to be a lot of these cheaper versions of the VT64121a out there with no BIOS. Really odd. All these folks trying to remove portions of their motherboard's BIOS to get a really inexpensive PCI card to work - boggles the mind! I'd stay clear of it.
Return the card if you can.
Since the MB Bios can't ever "see" the drive, due to lack of firmware in the card, booting from it is never an option. The drive doesn't really exist until Windows finds the card and installs the drive for it. That's why setting to SCSI or "other devices" doesn't work.
One possible solution for you is the reverse of the IDE-to-SATA convertors I use for hooking up my IDE drives to my SATA connectors. Newer motherboards only support 2 IDE drives usually and I have a LOT of IDE drives I plug in now and then. The $11 Masscool convertors work great for this.
They also have the reverse: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This likely won't work for an optical drive but should do fine for your SATA drive. Yes, it's ugly and likely fragile, so don't plan on removing it a lot. If you have a real computer guru shop locally, might check there as the shipping will increase the price of a device like this.
One thing to keep in mind is that your "SATA interface isn't working" on your motherboard. Since you don't know what's wrong with it, you don't know whether it will affect other things too. And whether the whole motherboard might just die soon also.