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Trying to add a second sata drive. BIOS confusion.

By keith ·
Hello All,

I tried yesterday to add a new unformatted 500GB SATA drive to an existing system with a 200GB SATA already installed.

Q1. When connecting the power supply I have a choice of 2 molex connections (i think thats correct - 4 connection points on the plug?). One has 8 wires connected to it, the other 4. Which power cable do i connect my new drive to?

Q2. After connecting the drive I go into BIOS and try to find if the drive is recognised but I cannot even find my existing SATA drive, which windows boots from, in BIOS. Totally confusing. All I can see are the 2 optical IDE drives and the floppy. Where do I check in BIOS to see the SATA drives?

Q3. So after exiting BIOS without changing anything I get to the first Windows screen (before logon screen) which is very very faint. The computer hangs for about 20 seconds and then the computer reboots. This cycle repeats until I diconnected the new SATA drive. What is this a symptom of?

Thanks in advance to all.

Windows XP Home SP3
MSI 6741 mobo
2G RAM

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OK

by OH Smeg In reply to Trying to add a second sa ...

Q1. When connecting the power supply I have a choice of 2 molex connections (i think thats correct - 4 connection points on the plug?). One has 8 wires connected to it, the other 4. Which power cable do i connect my new drive to?

Either one but not both. If you have the 8 Connection Point one use that but the standard HDD Connector will work quite nicely.

Q2. After connecting the drive I go into BIOS and try to find if the drive is recognised but I cannot even find my existing SATA drive, which windows boots from, in BIOS. Totally confusing. All I can see are the 2 optical IDE drives and the floppy. Where do I check in BIOS to see the SATA drives?

That is correct not all BIOS's recognize SATA HDD. Just boot the system and then enter Drive Management and format the new drive.

Q3. So after exiting BIOS without changing anything I get to the first Windows screen (before logon screen) which is very very faint. The computer hangs for about 20 seconds and then the computer reboots. This cycle repeats until I diconnected the new SATA drive. What is this a symptom of?

I would say a bad Power Supply which can not produce enough current to supply the necessary power for a second SATA HDD. Replace the PS with a Good Brand Name unit and this should cure the problem. Unless of course if you plugged both Power Plugs on the SATA Drive unplug one and try again.

Col

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Good Advice

by keith In reply to OK

Thank for that.
I think you may be right. My power supply is only of the order of a few hundred watts (260W or so not exactly sure).

I'm going to try Chas' suggestion first but need to know how you change the drive speed. The new drive is a SATA II but I've looked at it and can not figure out how to change speeds. It was an OEM purchase and came as a simple drive with no spares.
Its a samsung spinpoint model.

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Agree on Power Supply

by TheChas In reply to Good Advice

I agree with Col that your small power supply may well be limiting your system.

Here is the Samsung SATA installation FAQ page.

http://tinyurl.com/6m4e2n

Near the bottom it shows the jumper setting for low speed operation.

While your at the Samsung site, I recommend that you download the manual for your specific drive.

Chas

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Must be power supply!

by keith In reply to Agree on Power Supply

Yes I think it must be the power supply.
I wasn't aware that hard drives took up so much power.

I read a few pages from the Samsung site and thay say that the drive should automatically configure itself to a speed that fits with existing SATA drives, although you can do a forced down-speed with the use of jumpers (I have no experience of using jumpers).

Anyway thanks for your help and I'll get back to you when I have upgraded the power supply.

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VIA SATA 1 RAID Controller

by TheChas In reply to Trying to add a second sa ...

Your motherboard has a first generation VIA SATA 1 RAID controller. Even if you are not planning to configure the drives as a RAID array, you often had to set a RAID configuration in order to use the drive.

For starters, you do not connect the standard 4 pin Molex connector to power a SATA drive. You need to have a SATA power connection or use a Molex to SATA power adapter. You can use any of the Molex power connectors as they are all the same.

If your new drive is a SATA 2 drive (300), you will need to set the jumper that restricts the speed for use with a SATA 1 controller.

As to seeing your drives in BIOS settings, that is a bit tricky. Just after the normal POST, there should be a screen that pops up and lists your SATA drives along with instructions to press the TAB key to enter "User Window". This is where you set up and configure your SATA drives.

If memory serves me well, you need to configure each drive as a single disk RAID array with this VIA controller. Read the SATA RAID section of the manual and follow the instructions in detail.

Your boot drive needs to be connected to the SATA1 connection which is the one closest to the edge of the motherboard.

As to what happened on your first try, here are my thoughts:

The POST lock-up was caused by either a lack of proper power to the new drive, or that it needed the speed restriction jumper set. The RAID BIOS also might have had trouble booting with an unconfigured drive.

The boot problem you now have suggests that the RAID configuration for your existing drive was modified or damaged by the BIOS when you attempted to install the new drive.

CAUTION: Any changes to the RAID configuration of your existing drive MAY cause ALL DATA and PROGRAM files to be ERASED!

See if you can press F8 and boot into safe mode. If you can boot into safe mode, Windows may correct the configuration and driver issues on it's own. If you cannot boot into safe mode, your best option is to install your boot drive in a portable enclosure and make a full backup before attempting to correct the RAID configuration in the RAID BIOS setup.

Keep us posted, and make sure you understand what you are doing before attempting any repairs. The data you save may be your own.

If anyone else has some good advice to offer for recovering the RAID configuration, PLEASE chime in.

Chas

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