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BIOS logic question

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a b V Motherboard
August 2, 2010 4:52:57 PM

Hi everyone,
I have a new GA-P55A-UD7 motherboard, and have a question regarding the setting choices on the "Standard CMOS Features" BIOS screen. I assume other GB motherboards are similar or the same, but this is my first GB high end motherboard to work with.

Besides enumerating all the IDE Channel listings on the screen, GB lists in their written description two definite & separate "IDE Channel choices", after the Date & Time parameters.

IDE Channel 0,1 Master/Slave (4 choices)
IDE Channel 2,3,7 Master, 4,5,6,9 Master/Slave (11 choices)

Anyone know why these are separated out the way they are, and what is the advantage of configuring one's PATA or SATA IDE hardware devices specifically into one "Channel choice" vs the other.

There are 15 options listed, & I'm assuming that is to cover the 6 PCH SATA ports, 2 JM B362 SATA ports, 2 JM B36X SATA ports and 2 IDE ports, 2 Marvel 9128 SATA ports and 1 IT8720 Floppy port.

Intel specs the PCH on this board to have 2 separate built-in SATA controllers, one for SATA_0 to SATA_3, and the other for SATA_4 and SATA_5. Makes sense for more rapid transfers using different controllers. It doesn't explain why GB lists 2 Master/Slave ports separate from the additional 11 combinations of 3 Master only and 4 Master/Slave channels. They list the ability to configure these 2 sections separately (Auto/None/Manual, Auto/None) so it must be of some importance.

Anyone been able to figure the logic behind these 2 separate "IDE Channel" entries, or know of a white paper or thread that would explain this distinction? Appreciate anyone's thoughts.

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a c 177 V Motherboard
August 2, 2010 5:22:07 PM

I never even knew there was anything adjustable there! The whole Master/Slave/Channel thing is just a compatibilty 'vestige' - it's to allow backward compatibility to really old stuff that can only 'see' an IDE drive setup - and, the fact is, that for nearly all of this old stuff, they are only capable of 'seeing' the first four devices (or first two channels, however you wanna look at it...) anyway!
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a b V Motherboard
August 2, 2010 6:22:03 PM

Hi Bill,
Here is how the two sections are listed in my manual. I wonder if the first "Channel choice" could be for "Primary Partitions" since there are only 4 and drive letter wise, primary partitions are always listed before extended partitions, and the second "Channel choices" are for "Extended Partitions", since it does mention "Extended IDE drive", there. Or maybe it has nothing to do with that!

IDE Channel 0, 1 Master/Slave
IDE HDD Auto-Detection
Press <Enter> to autodetect the parameters of the IDE/SATA device on this channel.
IDE Channel 0, 1 Master/Slave
Configure your IDE/SATA devices by using one of the three methods below:
• Auto Lets the BIOS automatically detect IDE/SATA devices during the POST. (Default)
• None If no IDE/SATA devices are used, set this item to None so the system will skip the detection of the device during the POST for faster system startup.
• Manual Allows you to manually enter the specifications of the hard drive when the hard drive access mode is set to CHS.
Access Mode Sets the hard drive access mode. Options are: Auto (default), CHS, LBA, Large

IDE Channel 2, 3, 7 Master, 4, 5, 6, 9 Master/Slave
IDE Auto-Detection
Press <Enter> to autodetect the parameters of the IDE/SATA device on this channel.
Extended IDE Drive
Configure your IDE/SATA devices by using one of the two methods below:
• Auto Lets the BIOS automatically detect IDE/SATA devices during the POST. (Default)
• None If no IDE/SATA devices are used, set this item to None so the system will skip the detection of the device during the POST for faster system startup.
Access Mode Sets the hard drive access mode. Options are: Auto (default), Large.
The following fields display your hard drive specifications. If you wish to enter the parameters manually, refer to the information on the hard drive.
Capacity Approximate capacity of the currently installed hard drive.
Cylinder Number of cylinders.
Head Number of heads.
Precomp Write precompensation cylinder.
Landing Zone Landing zone.
Sector Number of sectors.
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a c 177 V Motherboard
August 3, 2010 3:01:52 PM

None of this stuff has had any relevance for years - maybe a decade... Way back when we were carrying our laptops on the backs of dinosaurs, we had to 'set up' every disk; and, god help you if you didn't know how to find the relevant parameters, as, for some perverse reason, disk manufacturers didn't get around to putting this info on the damned drive's label for years. :kaola:  Now, they mostly don't bother anymore, again, as the disk 'hookup' allows the BIOS to read the 'organizational' (cylinders. sectors, ad nauseam...) layout of the drive from the drive itself [:bilbat:5]
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a b V Motherboard
August 10, 2010 12:42:29 AM

Best answer selected by John_VanKirk.
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