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JustinCW (TechnicalUser) (OP)
2 Jul 08 3:53
Well, I just installed a 320GB Seagate Barracuda SATA/300 on my Dell Dimension 4600 two nights ago - I added it as an additional drive to the master (IDE) 80GB WD that came with the computer...
WinXP is the operating system by the way...  

I physically installed the drive - turned the SATA controllers on - formatted the drive using the Seagate disc management utility CD.
Worked fine... so I moved over something like 50GB of data from my original drive to the new drive... then deleted that data from the old drive, ran disk defrag on the old drive and then rebooted... hoping to see how much it sped up the computer after freeing up some disc space...
I had been as low as about 4GB free in the last couple weeks... and has been extremely sluggish and weird things were starting to take place.

Anyway... once I rebooted it wouldn't get past the startup screen... it just sits - all black screen with the a cursor in the upper left corner of the screen... so I reboot go into setup and turn off the SATA drive and it boots just fine.

Now, I read somewhere that a SATA drive will only work as the boot drive on a Dell D4600. Anyone know if this is true?

Now I'm trying to figure out what I can do to fix my issue.
Does anyone know the easiest fix for my issue?

Can I just remove the 80GB and make the 300GB SATA drive as my boot drive?

That means I'll have to install WinXP onto the new drive then right? If I do this will I lose the stuff I already put on the drive? Can I install Windows XP on a HDD without erasing all of the data on it? I can't - or can I?

If I do install Windows  - will I need SATA drivers loaded on a 3.5 floppy to install?
If so - where can I get SATA drivers?
I can't even tell what motherboard I have... I look on the thing and all it really says is "DELL"... no other names.

ON a side note... how can I tell if my motherboard will handle 3.0Gbit/s - I want to know if I can remove the jumper from my HDD that limits transfer rate to 1.5Gbit/s...

Any help would be great - thanks-
Justin
wahnula (TechnicalUser)
2 Jul 08 8:29
Justin,

Your PC has to be able to run with the SATA as non-boot drive, because it already did.  My thoughts are that SATA somehow crept into the boot order.  Boot into BIOS (F12 or whatever Dell's using nowadays...during POST it should say "Press XXX to enter SETUP").

Then, when in setup, get to boot order, and remove SATA from the list, or at least push it to the bottom.  IDE should be first.  Report back if this is or is not the solution.

As for the jumper, if you can't find documentation on the Dell site, leave it as 1.5Gbps, or remove the jumper and see what happens...you won't do any damage either way.  Not many drive arrangements saturate the 1.5Gbps SATA bus anyways.

But please DON'T DO THIS until your first problem is resolved...one thing at a time!

And, for the future, don't delete any data until you have at least two known good copies of it...your second drive and its backup in this case.

Tony

Users helping Users...

JustinCW (TechnicalUser) (OP)
2 Jul 08 12:04
Tony-

Thank you for the help-
I'm not at my PC right now but will try fixing the boot order issue when I get back to it.

I will say that F2 takes me to setup and F12 takes me to a boot menu. I think all of the boot order settings are in the F2 setup.

I'm pretty sure the boot order is set to:
1. a: 3.5" diskette
2. c: hard drive
3. d: CD-Rom device

I will verify when I get home.

As for the jumper - I will leave it alone.
Thanks for the advice.

-Justin
cdogg (TechnicalUser)
2 Jul 08 13:02
You just copied data to the SATA drive right?  Not the Windows folder or anything stored right under C: (like boot.ini)?  If that's the case, then it just isn't making sense to me that it will boot fine only when the SATA drive is detached/disabled.

Like Tony pointed out, it ran fine "the first time" with the SATA as a non-boot drive.  So that shouldn't be the issue.  Triple-check the 1.5Gbps jumper on the SATA drive to make sure it's still correctly seated.  

Also, it would be helpful to know how far the boot process gets before it fails.  Do you see the XP logo?  Will it boot in safe mode (hit F8 right when the BIOS screen is about to go off)?

~cdogg
"Insanity:  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Einstein
    For posting policies, click here.

JustinCW (TechnicalUser) (OP)
2 Jul 08 14:56
cdogg-

Thank you very much-
Yeah, I just copied the contents of My Documents folder.... nothing else... mostly office docs, images, videos and about 35GB of music...

Keep in mind that the only time the system booted with the SATA drive "on" it wasn't being recognized by Windows yet... only by the BIOS...
What I mean is this:

*I physically installed the drive to the SATA1 port.
*Turned the computer on - during startup the computer didn't find the new drive (SATA controller was off)
*Rebooted and then went into setup (F2) and turned the secondary SATA controller on
*The system booted - Windows didn't recognize the drive.
*Put the Seagate disk management utility disc in and "added" the new drive (I think it just formats the drive and designated the drive letter - to "G")
*At this point I can see the disc in Windows Explorer with something like 298Gb free space - I could move data freely between C: (original IDE drive) and G: (new SATA drive).
*Copied contents of My Documents from original C: drive to G:.
*Deleted the contents of My Documents from C:.
*Ran disk defrag and scandisk on the C:.
*Rebooted the system - it stops (blinking curosr upper left corner - but you can't type anything) right after the initial screen (I think it's just the blue "Dell" screen) where you can F2 to the BIOS setup or F12 to the boot menu.
*I turned the computer off and went into F2 setup and turned the SATA controller off and it boots fine.

I read somewhere that the motherboard (on a D4600) is setup so that if there is a SATA drive present that it must be the boot drive... regardless of boot sequence and all that.

Thanks again for all the help-
-Justin
cdogg (TechnicalUser)
2 Jul 08 17:04

Quote:

I read somewhere that the motherboard (on a D4600) is setup so that if there is a SATA drive present that it must be the boot drive

I combed Dell's site for you in regards to the Dimension 4600.  I did not see this statement mentioned anywhere in the documentation.  Also searching on the net, I didn't see anyone else mention that specific condition in regards to your model.

If you haven't done so already, upgrade your BIOS to the latest version (visit the site for instructions).

~cdogg
"Insanity:  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Einstein
    For posting policies, click here.

JustinCW (TechnicalUser) (OP)
2 Jul 08 17:57
cdogg-

Thank you for checking/searching on my statement... I'll see if I can find what I was referring to... so maybe I/we can possibly validate (or invalidate) the statement.

I do know that my BIOS is at v.A12... I will verify that it is the latest.
Thanks again-

Should be home in a few hours (left coaster) and back to the afflicted PC...

-Justin
 
JustinCW (TechnicalUser) (OP)
3 Jul 08 0:07
Okay... I'm in the BIOS setup (F2).
I am at the latest BIOS version (A12).

Here are the settings:

"Drive Configuration":
Diskette Drive A:......3.5 inch 1.44 MB
SATA Primary Drive.....OFF
SATA Secondary Drive...OFF
Primary Master Drive...Hard Drive
Primary Slave Drive....OFF
Secondary Master Drive.CD-ROM Device
Secondary Slave Drive..CD-ROM Device
...
IDE Drive UDMA.........On

"Hard-Disk Sequence"
1. System BIOS boot devices
2. USB device (not installed)

"Boot Sequence"
1. Diskette Drive
2. Hard-Disk Drive C:
3. IDE CD-ROM Device
JustinCW (TechnicalUser) (OP)
3 Jul 08 0:21
Sooo... addressing Tony's (Wahnula) question about the SATA drive creeping into the boot sequence... judging from my boot sequence settings (below) I don't really see how it could.

1. Diskette Drive
2. Hard-Disk Drive C:
3. IDE CD-ROM Device

I can only reorder the sequence and/or turn them off...


 
JustinCW (TechnicalUser) (OP)
3 Jul 08 0:36
Last thing:
If you look at my settings - 2 posts up:
Those settings are how it needs to be to currently boot...

By turning on "SATA Secondary Drive" (which is where the BIOS will recognize the 320GB SATA drive) the computer will not boot.

How would I make the SATA drive be the "SATA Primary Drive"?
Is this what I need to do?

Thanks everyone for the help so far.

BTW - I started this whole issue over on doityourself.com - because I wasn't getting any response I decided to look around for a more active place to post my problem which brought me here.

Anyway, a user (mwinther) is suggesting that I simply use a Linux-based operating system (CD-bootable) called "Knoppix".

This OS will allow me to see both drives and copy the data from the new SATA drive back to the old IDE drive wihtout writing anything to the either hard drive.

Then redo it all by Ghosting the IDE drive to the SATA drive... which will ultimately make the SATA drive the boot drive and then reformat the old IDE drive...
This works for me...
Anyone see any issues with this?

DIY Discussion link:
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=350896
JustinCW (TechnicalUser) (OP)
3 Jul 08 2:02
One other thing... I have a "Boot Device Menu"

If I hit F12 at startup it takes me to the boot devices menu... where I can "force" how I want to boot the system...

Here is what the screen shows (black DOS screen)

Boot Device Menu

1. Normal
2. SATA Secondary Drive
3. Primary Master Drive
4. Diskette Drive
5. Hard-Disk Drive C:
6. IDE CD-ROM Device

7. System Setup
8. IDE Drive Diagnostics
9. Boot to Utility Partition


Please note that if the "SATA Secondary Drive" is turned "OFF" in BIOS setup that it doesn't show up on the above screen.

I did try and turn "ON" the SATA drive in the BIOS setup (F2) and then go directly over to the boot device menu (F12) and "force" it to boot to the C: and it still wouldn't boot.

No matter what I do (so far) I can't get it to boot with the "SATA Secondary Drive" turned "ON" in "Drive Configuration" of the BIOS setup.
cdogg (TechnicalUser)
3 Jul 08 8:53
When I was searching on the net earlier I found your post at doityourself.com and mwinther's suggestion to use Knoppix.  It's not a bad one, but I wouldn't go that route just yet.

If you turn the SATA controller on, reboot, then hit F2 and look in the boot sequence, do you see a 4th option for SATA?  If so, make sure it is the last in the sequence.  It really shouldn't matter, though, as the BIOS should move past it anyway once it sees that it doesn't have a system partition, MBR or OS installed.

Because you are seeing a weird pause with the SATA controller turned on (and you didn't see that the first time you attached the new drive), then you should try clearing the NVRAM, which resets your BIOS settings back to their defaults in the process:
http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=dim_harddrive&message.id=140533&query.id=162310#M140533

If that doesn't work, then you should try the Knoppix suggestion if possible.  It's a little tedious but should work as long as your system can boot from CD before it freezes up.  

~cdogg
"Insanity:  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Einstein
    For posting policies, click here.

cdogg (TechnicalUser)
3 Jul 08 8:57
When playing in the F12 menu, don't forget to try the option "Primary Master Drive" instead of "Hard-Disk Drive C:".

Also keep in mind that changing the boot order at the F12 menu is a one-time deal.  The next time you restart the system, it will use whatever is listed in the boot sequence under F2 setup.

 
JustinCW (TechnicalUser) (OP)
3 Jul 08 15:41
[quote=cdogg]When I was searching on the net earlier I found your post at doityourself.com and mwinther's suggestion to use Knoppix.  It's not a bad one, but I wouldn't go that route just yet. [/quote]

Well, I went to FTP the Knoppix CD image last night and after about an hour and a half... with "10 seconds remaining" the operation timed out on the download... that was late so I just gave up... this morning before work I yanked the SATA HDD out and had my IT guy at work pull the data and put it on an external drive. When I get home I'll ghost the IDE to the SATA... hopefully that works... or maybe I'll just install everything fresh...

Quote:

If you turn the SATA controller on, reboot, then hit F2 and look in the boot sequence, do you see a 4th option for SATA?  If so, make sure it is the last in the sequence.  It really shouldn't matter, though, as the BIOS should move past it anyway once it sees that it doesn't have a system partition, MBR or OS installed.

No, with or without the SATA controller on it lists the same thing in boot sequence. Doesn't show up in drive sequence either... only shows up in the boot devices menu (F12).

Quote:

Because you are seeing a weird pause with the SATA controller turned on (and you didn't see that the first time you attached the new drive), then you should try clearing the NVRAM, which resets your BIOS settings back to their defaults in the process:
http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=dim_harddrive&message.id=140533&query.id=162310#M140533

If that doesn't work, then you should try the Knoppix suggestion if possible.  It's a little tedious but should work as long as your system can boot from CD before it freezes up.

Thanks for the help... I will try clearing the NVRAM before I do anything to see if it fixes the issue... otherwise I am just going to ghost the IDE over to the SATA and hope that is the end of the issues...

We'll see!

Thank you again-
-Justin   
JustinCW (TechnicalUser) (OP)
4 Jul 08 15:25
Okay I think it's pretty much fixed... but it's a workaround...

Wed night I tried to FTP Knoppix... only for it to time out with "10 seconds remaining" after about an hour and a half.

So I yanked the new drive out and took it to work Thursday morning where we grabbed my data and put it on an external 500GB Iomega drive.

I brought the drives home - installed the new SATA drive, disconnected the old IDE drive and installed XP on the SATA drive.

Moved the data over from the External to the SATA.

Otherwise been pretty much setting Windows up and installing drivers since then... installed Office, Outlook, IE7, iTunes, WMP11, set up my pop email, stuff like that...

I still need to go and reconnect the IDE drive to get a few things like my IE favorites and import my emails and contacts from my old Outlook file.

Will leave the IDE drive intact for a short while because there are programs (like SolidWorks) that I need to use that I don't have the instl discs for. Eventually I'll reformat the IDE and use it as a backup or extra storage... assuming that it all works okay.

Thank you for everyone's help... even though we really didn't solve the original issue... but what I have now is a better solution anyway.
G0AOZ (TechnicalUser)
4 Jul 08 16:59
I know you've found a solution now but...

If I am understanding this correctly, the drive sequence appears to be unmovable!  So maybe BOOT.INI could reflect something like this:-

default=multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn

Note Disk(1) instead of the usual Disk(0)

ROGER - G0AOZ.
 
JustinCW (TechnicalUser) (OP)
4 Jul 08 17:35
Roger-

Right... if anything all you can do is reorder the Hard Disk Sequence.

1. System BIOS boot devices
2. USB device (not installed)

As a fix were you suggesting to edit the boot.ini file to what you have above?

I tell you - if I still had the system setup that way I'd definitely try it... but I don't want to put it all back just to test it... ;)
G0AOZ (TechnicalUser)
5 Jul 08 7:10
"As a fix were you suggesting to edit the boot.ini file to what you have above?  Yes, but I have of course no idea if it would have worked in your particular scenario.  Food for thought, should anyone else have a similar problem...

ROGER - G0AOZ.
 
jurgen36 (TechnicalUser)
11 Jul 08 5:50
I read it again and again as I did not believe it the first time. If you copied your my document folder and then deleted it you are in deep deep trouble. The my document folder contains almost all pointers and files necessary for a full boot up, without it it will boot but only to a certain point.
If you can somehow replace the copied my documents folder back to your boot drive you will be ok. The only thing I can think of is doing it with the help of a second computer.
Regards

Jurgen

BadBigBen (MIS)
12 Jul 08 10:07
I read this thread, and it popped to my mind that when the SATA drive is installed, it is multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1), as the BIOS forwards it to the OS...

or better said, that what G0AOZ mentioned in the BOOT.INI file, XP sees the SATA drive as DRIVE (0) (BOOT) and the original BOOT drive as DRIVE (1)... and tries to boot from the SATA drive, which of course did not have any boot files on it...

to fix that you would have to change the Boot.INI to reflect this change, and place the IDE drive as BOOT drive, e.g. change the line (highlighted in BOLD):

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional"

to

multi(0)disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional"

reason: SATA drives take presidency over IDE in many BIOSes, ergo they become DISK (0)....

Ben

"If it works don't fix it! If it doesn't use a sledgehammer..."

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