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ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe SATA issue


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#1 jpd9930

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:54 AM

WINXP, Just updated BIOS to latest rev.

I have a .5TB and 1TB drive I want install as my C:\. My MB will see the .5TB when getting the RAID screen but not as a storage drive. IF I add the 2nd drive to my SATA headers the system freezes prior to reaching raid. If I remove my PATA drives with just the SATA the system acts if no drive is present. WIll not boot from Floppy (yes I have one) or my CD..IE trying to load XP-Pro onto SATA drive. Once I reconnect a PATA drive with OS I am fine again to boot (unless both SATA headers are in use)

Hope that makes some type of sense.

Down to ~50MB of space on my C:\ drive and no room to change partitions. I have moved all non-OS related files to other drives/partitions.

Thanks to everyone at bleeping for your help!@


Jon

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#2 AustrAlien

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 05:57 PM

Re: ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe
I have a machine with this motherboard, so I am relatively familiar with it. Also running XP on it.
  • My machine (motherboard?) has a number of quirks (problems?) that I live with and patiently work around to keep it in use.
Firstly, the standard BIOS (even fully updated) will not allow you to use a 1TB (or larger) hard drive (unless used via USB connection as an external drive).
  • I have installed a customised BIOS to overcome this limitation.
You wrote: "I have a .5TB ...... My MB will see the .5TB when getting the RAID screen but not as a storage drive."
I believe what you are seeing is normal behaviour, from your description.

Let's explore this: "WIll not boot from Floppy ... or my CD..IE trying to load XP-Pro onto SATA drive."
I can't be exactly sure what you are doing or you mean by "will not boot from floppy or CD".
  • What floppy or what CD in particular?
  • When you boot from an XP installation CD, what exactly happens?
The XP installation CD does not have SATA drivers, so you have to work around this when trying to install XP onto a SATA hard drive.
  • One way to do this is to boot from the XP CD and when instructed, press F6 (and insert a floppy disk with the SATA drivers on it).
    This will allow the SATA hard drive to be detected and installation will proceed as expected.

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#3 jpd9930

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 07:44 AM

I have read about the custom BIOS to update other chips but that is above my risk level.

I have not tried the IDE Version 1.0.0.50 update. Any thoughts on that? (Silicon Image Serial ATA driver version V1.0.0.50 WHQL and Serial ATA Utility V1.1.3)


If I plug in only 1 or both SATA drive my MB will not boot beyond the very early boot steps. No message to put a floppy or CD in no matter what my boot sequence is. This includes the 500G drive. If I change nothing but the drives to IDE the MB will boot normal per my sequence. (I will have to double check installing just the 500GB drive but I'm sure I dont have SATA drivers loaded).

So the solution is get a SATA capable external enclosure or custom BIOS?

I have 2 other computers that I have successfully loaded XP on that have SATA C:\ drives. I assume at this point they had the drivers already loaded. Seems strange that the ASUS MB disk didnt have SATA drivers. I'd have to look around for that CD.

I'd be happy to just get the 500GB drive going. That would more than double by capacity and give me the option to create a larger C:\ partition. I'd prefer to do a fresh install rather than bring over all the trash I have the registry.

Thanks so far

#4 AustrAlien

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:15 PM

I'd be happy to just get the 500GB drive going. That would more than double by capacity and give me the option to create a larger C:\ partition. I'd prefer to do a fresh install ...

That sounds like a good place to start:
  • It is a sound objective.
  • It should be easily achievable.
Disconnect all hard drives, with the exception of the one 500 GB HDD:
  • Have ONLY the ONE hard drive attached.
Boot with the XP installation CD in the tray, tapping the <DEL> key to enter the BIOS Setup Menu:
  • On the first screen, confirm that the time/date is correct.
  • On the Advanced tab > Advanced BIOS Features, set the First Boot Device to CDROM, and the second and third boot devices to Disabled.
  • Press <F10> and then <ENTER> to save the settings and exit the BIOS Setup Menu and restart the computer.
What do you see happening on-screen?
  • Shortly after you see the SATA HDD listed on-screen under "... RAID ... ", do you see:
    • "Boot from CD:
      Press any key to boot from CD ..."
    • and you will see one the dots appearing after CD, giving you 5 seconds to press "any key".
  • Press any key eg. the <SPACE> bar.
Do you then see:
  • "Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration ..." ?
    The screen should then change to Windows Setup with a blue background.
  • Do you see at the bottom of the screen:
    • "Press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver ..." ?
      If so all is good.
  • Press <Ctrl+Alt+Del> to restart the computer and then press and hold the ON/OFF power button until the machine switches off.
If all has gone as described above, good: We now need to download the SATA drivers and put them onto a floppy. Let me know how things go.
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#5 jpd9930

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 08:02 AM

Sorry for the delay in getting minor thing done...my guess is I didnt set the other devices to disabled as it booted from the CD this time...

I have not looked for a SATA driver as of yet so I will await your expert advice on the driver works well for this MB...

#6 AustrAlien

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 05:45 PM

So far, so good! :thumbup2:

Go to the Asus website page for the A7N8X-E Deluxe motherboard:
  • http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_Socket_A/A7N8XE_Deluxe/
  • Click on the Download tab.
  • Select the Windows operating system from the drop-down menu beside OS:.
:exclame: If you have not already done so, download all the latest drivers for the A7N8X-E Deluxe motherboard from the Asus website and have them ready to use on a CD or flashdrive immediately after the installation of Windows XP.

Prepare a floppy disk with the SATA drivers to be loaded when booting with an XP installation CD

:step1: On the Asus website download page:
  • Click on the + sign beside IDE to view the available files for download.
  • The upper item listed is the latest version:

    Version 1.0.0.50
    Silicon Image Serial ATA driver version V1.0.0.50 WHQL and Serial ATA Utility V1.1.3

  • Click on the Global link to download the 29.63MB file and save it to a handy location on your computer.
:step2: Un-zip the downloaded file (right-click > Extract all) to extract the contents:
  • You will find 2 folders and 8 files.
  • Copy the 8 files ONLY (not the 2 folders) to a formatted floppy disk.
    Label this disk "SATA drivers <F6> A7N8X-E Deluxe" and keep it handy! Make a duplicate!
Use the floppy created above at the F6 prompt whenever you boot to the XP installation CD (having a SATA HDD attached).
-----------------

Boot to the XP CD, and at the F6 prompt, insert the prepared floppy with SATA drivers and press F6. A little later, you will be prompted to install the drivers. Follow the prompts carefully and you should have no trouble installing XP on the 500GB SATA HDD.

:exclame: Immediately after the installation is completed, install all the latest drivers for the motherboard from the pre-prepared CD or flashdrive.
  • Then the next job, before doing anything else is to get Windows fully updated.
    Depending on what Service Pack is already on the installation CD, you may need to download the stand-alone Service Pack installation files from Microsoft. Before you can use Windows Updates, the system must already have Service Pack 3 installed.
Good luck: Let me know if you do have any trouble.

Edited by AustrAlien, 15 September 2012 - 05:54 PM.

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#7 jpd9930

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 07:22 AM

I'm still here..just have been busy. Lower priority...I hope to have it done this weekend. Easy part is getting windows loaded..then I have to update everything...thats what takes so much time...


did as you said...added just the 8 files to a floppy. Pressed F6 when needed. Only file that loaded was si3112r.sys. Everything looked good until I got to the portion on what drive to use and any partitions I wanted to make. Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer. It found some thumb drives but not the 500gb SATA drive. I tried both headers with just the 500gb and then both SATA drives.

I am choosing the XP/server 2003 over NT 4.0 and 2000 option.

Edited by jpd9930, 22 September 2012 - 10:20 AM.


#8 AustrAlien

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 06:20 PM

From what you have written, I think you are doing everything correctly.

The fact that Windows (Setup) is not finding any hard disk drive leads me to ask about the history of that 500 GB HDD, and its current state.
  • Is the HDD new, or used?
    • If used, what has the HDD been used for/on what operating system?
  • Have you tested the HDD with a diagnostic utility?
  • Does the HDD appear normally when connected to another Windows system/different computer?
  • If you install the SATA drivers in your current XP installation on that same computer, can you then see the 500 GB HDD connected to the system?
  • How is it partitioned and formatted at this time, and what is on it?

It found some thumb drives

Why are these plugged in at this time? Disconnect/unplug all devices, and remove any media from devices that cannot be disconnected ... with the exception of the XP CD in the CD-ROM drive of course.
  • Having a thumb/flashdrive plugged in plays havoc with the ability to boot normally/to anything else on my machine, and this may be why you have previously had trouble when attempting to boot the system ... to floppy or CD ???

Edited by AustrAlien, 23 September 2012 - 06:25 PM.

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#9 jpd9930

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 08:09 AM

HDD new, never partitioned/formated, no diags run,drive is still not seen, I hooked up the 1TB drive and it is not seen either (however the system will now boot normally with both drives attached), I am no longer getting an option for 3rd party SCSI ( only time I have seen the drive reconized, see first post).


the thumb(USB) drives where always attached..I did remove them and tried again before I posted. Same result.

Edited by jpd9930, 24 September 2012 - 10:32 AM.


#10 AustrAlien

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 07:57 PM

Please leave the 1TB hard drive out of the system: It is no use connecting that device at this time.

HDD new, never partitioned/formated, no diags run,drive is still not seen ...

I presume that you are referring to the 500GB HDD? Please elaborate on the circumstance in which the "drive is still not seen".
  • If the hard drive is not partitioned, then then you would need to look in Computer Management > Disk Management on a Windows system to actually see the hard drive (which would display as unallocated space).
  • On an XP system, you would also need to have installed the SATA motherboard driver for the hard drive to be seen by Windows.

I am no longer getting an option for 3rd party SCSI ( only time I have seen the drive reconized, see first post).

Is this what you are referring to in your first post "My MB will see the .5TB when getting the RAID screen" ?
  • If you are not seeing the SATA HDD as detected in that screen, then there is a problem!
    Check the connections if that is the case.
Otherwise, please elaborate/explain what you mean.
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#11 jpd9930

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:03 AM

1TB removed. only attached storage is current C:\ physical drive, SATA drive, DVD, Floppy.

Yes, all references will be to 500GB drive but also apply to both drives.

The 500GB drive is no longer reconized in any fashion on this PC. Not at the Raid prompt, in My Computer, or Disk Management or when install looks for a drive to install WinXP-Pro. Power and Data cables connected and vibration from spining disk is felt.

went into disk management and it is not listed. My 4 logical drives (1 physical) and my DVD.

I have not entered the SATA drivers on the current version of XP that is running the PC.

During POST, after the splash screen, I would be asked if I wanted to enter a 3rd party Raid(SCSI) driver(?). The 500GB drive was listed there. I no longer receive that prompt during POST. I checked BIOS and I dont have an option to disable RAID.

Jumper on the MB is set to enable SATA. SATA_EN1 I think..just next to CMOS battery.



I have IDE drives set for cable select and of course no jumpers on the SATA.

One other thing, when loading the drivers during XP instal at F6 prompt, XP suggested it had a better driver. I tried both installs with same results.

Edited by jpd9930, 25 September 2012 - 08:04 AM.


#12 AustrAlien

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:17 AM

The 500GB drive is no longer recognized in any fashion on this PC. Not at the Raid prompt ...

This concerns me! Are you sure that you have not disabled the SATA ports?
  • Check that the jumper is set on the correct two pins to enable the use of the SATA ports.
    You MUST be able to see the SATA HDD listed at the RAID prompt on startup, before we can contemplate doing anything else.
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If still not seeing the SATA HDD displayed where you see the RAID prompt screen on startup, as a last resort try clearing CMOS:

Posted Image


I am having trouble grasping a couple of other things you have stated:
  • "During POST, after the splash screen, I would be asked if I wanted to enter a 3rd party Raid(SCSI) driver(?). The 500GB drive was listed there."
    • I have not ever seen anything like that on normal startup.
  • "... when loading the drivers during XP instal at F6 prompt, XP suggested it had a better driver."
    • This I cannot comprehend, and have no idea how you came to see that message.
The only thing I can think of offering you at this stage is a step-by-step walk-through with pics, one-step-at-a-time so we both know exactly what is going on. If you wish that level of assistance, then I would ask that you learn how to take digital pics of what you are seeing on-screen and post them on the forum so that I can see exactly what you are seeing. I would also need detailed info on exactly what you are doing to go along with the pics.

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#13 jpd9930

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 07:06 PM

when I reinstalled the SATA_EN1 jumper I must have set it wrong. The strange thing is I have not touched it since I started this thread. Either way that is fixed.


1) that was to enter the raid utility..


I'll post more tomorrow after I have a chance to babysit with the install...

#14 AustrAlien

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 07:11 PM

:thumbup2: That's a relief!

Re: "1) that was to enter the raid utility."
Ahhhhhh .... OK! All good then ... so far.
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#15 jpd9930

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 09:42 AM

1 step forward one step back...

making progress with SATA drive. I do believe it is being reconized now. I can get to the prompt indicating no previous version of windows is found rather than no drive found. However, when I press the eject button on my CD drive to replace the XP disk with a ME disk the *power turns off. Only way to restart the PC is to turn the PS off on the back or remove the power plug...this is new since we started this. Current version of XP installed PATA drive is stable.

note: the SATA drivers just loaded from the floppy without being prompted (F6)
Note: not getting the licensce agreement screen either ( I agree = F8)

without installing the SATA drivers no drive was found as expected (removed floppy on next reboot). *PC powered down after about 10 seconds at "no drive found" prompt.

*Power down seems to be hard failure at the same point.

*some power down are not a complete failure as some fans are still running. CD player and video fail.
Complete power down at the same point when trying to load window to USB drive. SATA power disconnected but data attached. Did this to test if SATA drive might be causing this. I loaded windows on a 32G flash drive (not the one used now) 2 days ago with no issue other than blue screen of death after XP rebooted PC to install windows.

(I wonder if a priest will do an exorcism on this pc)

Gonna see if I have some heatsink compound so I can remove the heatsink and clean it. The heatsink is hot (BIOS says 53deg C at rest) during windows load so I am going to clean the heatsink. System is stable when using PC for normal activities that doesnt include heavy gaming.

I will check back tomorrow with another chapter in this Mary Shelley style thriller.




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