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Installer won't recognize SATA II drives

Last response: in Windows 7
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August 11, 2009 11:16:25 PM

Hello everyone, I recently bought (yesterday) a WD Caviar Black 750gb SATA II 3.0GB/S HDD. Today I tried to install windows 7 RC onto it and it refuses to work.

I should state that I have the following drives:

WD 10,000RPM 36.7gb Raptor SATA I 1.5GB/S HDD
Seagate 320gb 7200rpm SATA II HDD
Seagate 1.5tb 7200rpm SATA II HDD
(and now) WD Caviar Black 750gb SAtA II HDD

I should also state that I have a semi-old nforce4 Gigabyte GA-K8n Ultra 9 motherboard. It has 4 SATA 1 ports and 4 SATA II ports.

At first I had all the drives plugged in and my motherboard would only recognize the raptor drive plugged into one of the SATA I ports.

Then I unhooked that drive and suddenly was given the option to pull up some SATA RAiD utility by sillicon image which showed my 3 SATA II drives unfortunately under neither settings could the windows 7 installer see any of my SATA II drives.

My question is this I want to install Windows 7 onto my WD Caviar drive, while having all drives connected at once and be able to use all the drives as individual drives as in no RAID setups of any kind.

Can I do this and if so how because I've looked all over Google with no avail. I've come across modified SATA drivers for NForce4 that are Vista compatible (so I'd assume Windows 7 compatible as well) unfortunately these drivers didn't help me.

So anyone with a good answer and fast?, :-)
a b $ Windows 7
August 12, 2009 11:19:43 AM

have you checked/set IDE mode in the Bios?
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August 12, 2009 11:37:55 AM

I think I did and it didn't make a difference but I'll double check just to be sure. Also I've a slightly off topic but hard drive related question. My thinking was I would keep my raptor drive and use that to house my Orange Box games from Steam (help with load times) but honestly would the 10,00RPM 1.5GB/S make any difference over my WD Caviar? I only ask because if it doesn't make a significant difference then I could probably take out the raptor, not only delimiting the hassles but also free up air space in my case, :-)
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August 12, 2009 8:53:07 PM

Alright I am getting frustrated, extensively. Ever time I turn off my computer and turn it back on I get a POST screen with the option to load the bios setup or load an express recovery tool. Before I load the bios I have the option to load both the nvidia raid option and the silicon image raid option. When the bios loads I can see my SATA II drives but not my SATA 1 drive and I can set the boot priority to boot one of the SATA II drives first. This bios appears new to me. In fact as soon as I restart the machine all settings are lost and I get some form of an error talking about OSes existing on SATA drives and this second time when I boot into the BIOS I am greeted with the normal bios I am use to. I can see my SATA 1 drive but not any of my SATA II drives and under this boot I have no option to load the silicon image raid tools but I still can load the nvidia raid tools.

I should note that while I may not be able to load the silicon image raid tools when my current copy of windows loads it can see all my SATA II drives.

Clearly there is something wrong with my computer that on first boot from Off everything is different (but in a way better) than normal. Any advice?
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August 15, 2009 3:31:04 AM

this is an old nforce chipset. And the RAID controller of the nforce chipset don't like to have another controller set to RAID at the same time. If you want to make it simple, disable RAID on the nforce. Just use is as a normal controller. Put the drive you want to install Win7 on, leave the other unplugged. Disable the Sil controller.

Install windows on it. you shouldn't have to provide, as the nforce3 250 and up can be use just the same as a normal IDE controller with the PATA interface. Just make sure RAID is disabled.

Once Win 7 is installed, just activate the SIL controller in the BIOS. Dont connect the drive now, reboot the computer and le Win7 boot. Provide the drivers for the controller if it ask for it. Shut down, plug all the other drives and reboot. You should not care about sata1 or sata2. unless hot swap is necessary, the sata1 interface is fast enough for your computer and don't need to use drivers. The Sil controller is an external one. if you can set it as IDE or SATA, not AHCI or RAID, then that will be the most compatible setup. AHCI should also work, but may cause conflit with the nvidia one.
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August 22, 2009 1:51:23 AM

Sorry for the late reply but I managed to acquire help on this matter in another thread, but thank you. It turns out that my problem was that I was plugging SATAII drives into SATA I ports without evening realizing it. I was doing this because I had initially plugged my SATA I raptor into a SATA II port which made me think those ports were SATA I and my unused ports were SATA II. I switched my drives and now everything works fine, but I have a new issue and some questions.

First a question, why would motherboard give me two different POSTs / bioses before? Now for an issue, I have an external hard drive and that hard drive came with an eSATA thingy which I've been using, but now that I have everything wired correctly and my eSATA is in one of the nvidia SATA II ports it doesn't work. My motherboard says the ports are hot pluggable but my external hard drive won't work via the eSATA. If I plug the eSATA thingy into one of the SATA I ports then it works fine. Why is this?

Lastly, now that everything is wired the way it should have been I now see all my SATA II drives in my bios but not my SATA I raptor. Not such a big deal I suppose.

One final question, what would be better to play my Orange Box games (HL2:EP2, portal, etc.) on: my Raptor (I'm think the 10,000rpm helps will load times?) or my new WD Caviar?
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a b $ Windows 7
August 22, 2009 2:28:53 AM

Some motherboards have dual-BIOS in case you manage to fry one while trying to update it.
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