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nVidia IDE & SATA

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by ski_guy, Aug 3, 2006.

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  1. ski_guy

    ski_guy Thread Starter

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    Hello all! What a great forum, tons of info. It's nice to meet you all and Im hoping that you can help me with my problem.

    I recently upgraded my computer's hardware and have been having problems getting winodws to run for quite a while now. My setup is as follows:
    XP Pro SP2
    ECS KN1 SLI Lite
    1G Crucial RAM DDR400
    SATA WD 160GB HDD
    IDE Samsung CD-ROM
    IDE Lite-On CDRW
    nVidia Geforce 6600GT
    Most recent BIOS from ECS

    I cannot seem to get windows to run on this setup for more than a couple days before I start having problems. After installing windows and setting up all necessary drivers, at some point the system reboots itself and at this point the SATA HDD drive is no longer recognized even by the BIOS. It will not display in the list that comes up right when you turn your computer on, and BIOS cannot detect the drive when I run a detect from the BIOS menu. Right after I install windows, the system reboots and starts up fine, several times. I never actually get to see what happens or why it shuts down, the timing and/or cause is very inconsistent. I have recently been trying things and letting it run over night only to find that in the morning it has either rebooted and "Cannot find boot device...insert system disk" or shows nothing but a blank screen. Sometimes the POST will hang indefinitely when it gets to the point of detecting the SATA drive. I have run several diagnostic tests on the drive, including a Drive Fitness Test and many of the others found on the UBCD. I also run the longer format during install and nothing bad is ever found on the HDD.

    Install goes smooth as butter, no problems. I use a floppy to install the RAID/Mass Storage drivers and the drive is recognized just fine and Windows installs very nicely. Once installed, the first thing I do is install the nVidia LAN driver, sound driver, and video drivers with the latest ones from the ECS website. I then proceed to run the windows updates, as you should. I have read from many sources that the nVidia IDE drivers are absolute junk, so I do not install them from the CD or the ECS website; I let windows install what it needs to in order for them to work. The IDE drivers that are installed are still nVidia drivers though, but digitally signed by Microsoft. They must be on the XP disc because I do not install them. I have tried to install the IDE drivers from nVidia off the disc that came with my motherboard, but the problems still occur, sometimes resulting in a repeating reboot process that includes a nice BSOD. Last night I re-installed again, and did not install the IDE drivers, I just let windows use the ones it installs. It was running perfectly fine when I went to bed. When I checked the computer this morning, blank screen. I reset the computer and now it does not recognize the HDD. Very frustratingÂ…and inconsistent. :mad: Does anyone have any suggestions/similar experiences with this motherboard or nVidia IDE drivers? Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. norton850

    norton850

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    The fact that you can't detect the drive in BIOS would indicate a problem with the MB, the drive (despite the testing) or perhaps what would be nice a loose cable. So check the cable out first and also try a new one.
     
  3. ski_guy

    ski_guy Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the reply!
    Now that you mention it, this is the 2nd SATA HDD i have tried on this board. The first drive failed several diagnostic tests so I got an RMA on the drive. I could not even get windows installed on this one.
    Can bad drivers (RAID or IDE) installed on the boot sector of a HDD cause it to not be recognized in the BIOS or during startup? Is it possible that I dont need to install the third party drivers during the windows install? Can SATA hard drives be detected without the "RAID" drivers?
    As you can tell, I am trying to nail down everything else before I request an RMA on this motherboard. I really think there is a problem with these nVidia IDE drivers and I'd hate to go through the hassle of another pointless RMA. I will definitely swap the cable though. Let me know what you think.
    Thanks
     
  4. jhoegl

    jhoegl

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    No, bad drivers can not affect BIOS detection. Only bad firmware installs (software upgrade of the CMOS), or hardware failure.
     
  5. norton850

    norton850

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    The recognition of hardware in BIOS is not dependant on Windows or what's installed on a HD (let's not get into drive overlays). A blank non partitioned, unformatted HD should show in BIOS without any problem. Yes there can be problems with older BIOSs and large drives, but you shouldn't have this problem. The drivers you mention can prevent Windows from seeing the drive, but again this has nothing to do with BIOS. You could check at your MB manufacturer's web site and see if any BIOS updates deal with the problem. Don't to forget to check the cable and if the MB has another SATA connector try plugging in to that one.
     
  6. ski_guy

    ski_guy Thread Starter

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    OK. Last night I swapped the cable and put the drive on the SATA2 interface. I was able to install Windows successfully without using "F6" for 3rd party RAID drivers, it ran just fine. The drivers that show in device manager are now Microsoft drivers, and the system is still running without a reboot at this point. I have installed nVidia's LAN driver, the nVidia SMBus manager driver, windows updates, and the nVidia display drivers, nothing else. I am curious to see how long this will run before crapping out again. What can I try to rule out the motherboard as a problem? Put the cable back on SATA1? I have also opened up a case with ECS, we'll see how long it takes them to reply this time. I will keep you posted.
    Thanks
     
  7. ski_guy

    ski_guy Thread Starter

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    As usual, ECS was not of much help. First they told me that the RAID drivers were required in order to install xp on a SATA drive, and then after I told them I did it without them they told that they are not needed.

    I moved the cable back to SATA1 and it has been running excellent since. So...it was either a bad cable or the nVidia drivers. Im not willing to go through the whole thing again to try and figure out which one it was, but I'm guessing the drivers are the reason. Moral of the story, do not use nVidia IDE drivers unless you absolutely have to, let windows take care of it. The RAID drivers are also not needed to install XP on a single SATA drive on the KN1SLI Lite board. Thanks for all the replies! :)
     
  8. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Nvidia chipset driver carries the sata driver...install only that though no other nvidia mobo driver especially the ide software which is super buggy and not necessary.
    You know replacement drives are often worse than the original but watch all this very carefully because all of this sounds like a defective motherboard, something ECS is terrific at producing.
     
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