Should I bother trying to get my 6y.o. mb to use a pci-card-provided sata drive as a primary Windows XP boot device?
January 25, 2009 10:22 AM   Subscribe

windows-xp-sata-filter: My old gigabyte mb w/athlon thunderbird cpu has no sata built onto it, so I bought a pci sata card. Doing this is probably already asking for trouble due to age and compatibility whatnot, but in addition to putting the card in, I want to use the sata drive I'm connecting as a new primary boot device. The XP Sp2 install went fine pointing to the floppy disk with sata drivers on it, (which is what gives most folks the problem) but on reboot, it gives me a vague error. Should I just give up and buy new system guts?

Yeah I know just get a mac? Sorry, don't have that kinda cash.

The board is a 6 or 7 year old gigabyte 7vaxp board with the latest bios (which was last updated about 4 years ago). Still seems to be running ok, to my surprise, considering I've got a number of cards in the thing and have used it for multitrack music recording projects.

Anyhow, the primary drive i've been using is 4gb (yep 4gb for xp & pro tools LE baby), but anyway, I'm worried that puppy is going to give up the ghost one of these days, so I bought a new 1TB barracuda SATA drive to use instead. I had to jumper it down to 1.5gb data xfer rate to get it seen by the bios, despite the sata card, and it shows up fine during post.

I did the xp w/sp2 install from a scsi cdrom, after I disconnected all my other hard drives except the one I want to use as the primary boot device, which is connected to the sata card. I pressed f6 to add the sata driver during the install, it took it, showed the drive fine, formatted it, copied the setup files to it. When I reboot, it gives the following fun vague error:

Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem.

Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware.

Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information.

This error is #1 in the list in microsoft's knowledgebase article here -

This is a brand new install. Should I really bother jacking with the boot.ini file? I've also heard of other people slipstreaming the sata drivers into the xp install disc, but since my install accepted the drivers from the floppy, I don't think this is the problem.
posted by bitterkitten to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
It sounds like the computer isn't booting from the card. Is there an option in BIOS that makes sense to set this drive or interface as the primary boot device?
posted by rhizome at 10:57 AM on January 25, 2009

Exactly so. It's time to start searching the BIOS menus to enable that drive as a boot device, and make it high on the list of boot devices.

If the BIOS won't permit that, you're SOL.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:36 AM on January 25, 2009

By the way, in some older HD interface cards like that, you have to set a jumper in order to make the card bootable. Check the documentation for the card.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:38 AM on January 25, 2009

turns out the problem was the fact that I was trying to install from the scsi cdrom. Switched to an ide cdrom i had instead, worked fine after the reboot. Silly windows.
posted by bitterkitten at 1:03 PM on January 25, 2009

FWIW, it's probably that your BIOS sees the SATA drive as SCSI, not SATA. Lots of (most? all?) add-on SATA cards work this way. So, the BIOS sees the Windows disc in the SCSI CD drive and boots from that instead of your HDD.
posted by neckro23 at 7:02 PM on January 25, 2009

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