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Soyo Dragon+ and Promise TX4 incompatibility.

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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
February 20, 2002 7:30:45 AM

Hello,

I've been struggling with this computer I'm trying to build:

Soyo K7v Dragon Plus w/ Athlon XP 1900+
3 x PC2100 Crucial 512MB DIMM's
PNY Geforce3 Ti500
Creative Labs Audigy Platinum
Promise Fasttrack TX4 w/
4 x IBM 60GXP 40GB Deskstars in RAID 0
Maxtor Ultra ATA-133 w/
1 Maxtor 160GB drive
All running off an Enermax 651 (650 watt p/s) (voltage seems pretty clean and stable as far as I've been able to see from diagnostic progs that can run without an OS)

Currently trying to install XP Pro (haven't tried other OS installs yet)

Okay. So here's pretty much everything I've tried so far to try and get things working:

Minimal components: Video Card, RAM, CPU, and Promise Fasttrack TX4 with 2 or 4 hard drives attached to it and the required CD-ROM drive. Crashes at XP's "Setup is loading Windows" message, after loading the Fasttrack TX4's XP drivers.

Diffent Array Configurations: I've tried 1 160GB array, 2 80GB arrays and each Hard Drive on its own settings. Things worked better independently, I got XP to half install, it kept crashing as it tried to load during it's splash screen. But I frankly didn't buy 4 hard drives to not have them in RAID.

Different Drivers: I've tried the Promise Fasttrack100 Lite drivers from ASUS, the drivers on the disks that came with my cards, the drivers from Promise's website for XP. They either don't work at all (Fasttrack Lite ones, no surprise there, as it's a different card) or don't remedy anything (the rest).

Other things attempted:
Ran Drive Fitness Test on all IBM Hard Drives, followed by a complete Disk Erase, and another Drive Integrity test on the whole drive surface x 4 (once for each drive)

Ran all 11 of memtest86's memory tests twice, took about three hours.

Installed a new CPU, an Athlon XP 1700+, still no go.

Changed and messed around with BIOS settings, still nothing.

At this point I can't think of anything that will make this puppy work. So unless someone can think of something brilliant that might solve the situation, my question is:

What's a good replacement for this Soyo Dragon Plus?

At this point, I'm almost inclined to go for something WITHOUT an onboard RAID card to prevent any possible incompatibility problems. Currently considering:

asus A7V266-E, epox 8KHA+, abit kr7a (w/out raid). I'm open to any other suggestions. Particularly interested in anyone's recommendation for boards they've succesfully run with PCI IDE RAID cards.

Or if anyone knows another IDE RAID card to RAID 0 the 4 drives, so I can replace the TX4. =)

Thanks for reading and your input,
Maleficence
February 20, 2002 9:06:55 AM

Have you tried it with just one stick of RAM?

<i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
February 20, 2002 9:47:23 AM

Okay, I guess I hadn't tried that yet, but I figured since the ram was working well in the tests I wouldn't have to.

I've taken out all the RAM modules but one, and it's still hanging at the "Setup is starting Windows" screen.

So I guess that narrows it down to some sort of incompatibility with the mainboard or RAID card.

In the meantime, I've managed to get my hands on a Promise FastTrak100 TX2 which according to MS was designed for XP, no mention of my TX4 though on the MS website; so I'm going to try the TX2 replacing the TX4.

I verified the array was alright and proceeded to install Win XP, yet again, except this time I get to the format and partition screen. And, there we go, it works! :p 

So now, I have to figure out what to do with the other two hard drives. I'm guessing I'll try to run both the on-board and TX2 RAID thingies, but that seems like a messy solution, when I could have just had one card do it all. ;( I did send Promise an e-mail regarding my problem, but I'm assuming they will probably not be very helpful.

Any ideas, opinions on what steps to follow now?

Thanks,
Maleficence
February 20, 2002 4:07:52 PM

First, did you disable the onboard RAID? That might cause a problem. Second, you could always just use the onboard RAID. You wouldn't have each of the hard drives on it's own channel, but that would be a huge performance loss.

<font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
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