SATA hdd's...

Started Feb 14, 2007 | Discussions thread
jeff51 Regular Member • Posts: 296
The Hard Drive Dance

These types of problems make working on PCs so much fun.
So to the YoungJedi from an OldFart (20 years as a computer tech).
There are several issues possible,

1, The BIOS won’t see the drive. This may be fixed by getting into the BIOS and poking about for the correct settings. Are you using the other hard drives in a RAID configuration? If not, the BIOS should be set to reflect that (no RAID). The manual for your motherboard should be available at the ECC website. Some motherboard chipsets have some odd combinations of IDE & SATA configurations that will not see all the possible HD combinations. Once again fuss with the BIOS to see if that’s true.

This may need to be done before hooking up the drive, since the MB may hang during the POST with the blank drive attached. Also try unplugging all the other IDE drives and booting off the Windows CD with just the SATA attached. You can go through the install process as far as creating a partition and format. Just kill the install by removing the CD when it starts to copy files. Then plug everything back in and see if you can boot.

2, Windows can’t see the SATA controller on the motherboard due to driver issues. The driver should be available at the manufacturers website.

3, The HD is not partitioned or formatted. A new bare drive will not be seen from Windows Explorer. Open Control Panel / Performance and Maintenance / Administrative Tools / Computer Management / Disk Management. Expand the window so you can see all the drives in the lower right hand window. Look to see if the new drive is there. It should be the drive with no partition. Now you need to partition and format the drive. Right click on the drive and follow the directions. Be REALLY sure this is the correct drive as doing this to a data drive will kill all the data. Also when you format, use NTFS and the quick format or it will take forever (give or take).
4, The drive is defective. Try it in a buddies system.

5, You are trying to get the new drive to join an existing RAID array. Usually, this is not an option. Check with the RAID manual.

6, The reason the system won’t boot with the empty SATA drive installed is (I assume) the MB is giving preferential boot treatment to the SATA drive. It may timeout and boot if you leave it sit long enough. During the POST process, some MBs won't see a USB keyboard. Try plugging in a PS/2 keyboard if you can't get a responce from the system during the slow post.

Some MBs have an fKey during POST that lets you into a Boot Menu where you can choose which HD to boot from. (f8 on many systems, f12 on Dells). If you can get to Windows and partition and format the drive, this should then take care of itself.

You should not need any software from the hard drive manufacturer. If the BIOS sees the drive, and Windows has drivers for the SATA controller, it should – just work. The trick may be getting past the POST if the MB is trying to boot off the SATA. Once again, if you are not using a SATA RAID, it should be set to off or just a bunch of drives.

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