Long story short: I got a new mobo, vid card, CPU, hard drive, and memory. Both times I tried to install them, I had problems. Frist time was mostly my fault, I tried to use a new mobo w/out reinstalling windows. Went back to my old system. Second time, it seemed to be the mobo’s fault. It would not boot from the CD drive, so I RMA’d it to the company.
I got the mobo back last week, and yesterday put it all together again. I had all my stuff ready to go. Legit copy of XP Pro, flopppy w/ SATA drivers to install on SATA HD, good good. Well…problems yet again. First time I booted, it would show the mobo logo, get to a screen where it detected SATA drives, then stop. I unplugged the old HD from the mobo (the one with a copy of XP still on it) to avoid confusion, and booted again. Ahh! Works this time. Get into the windows install proces, press F6 to get SATA drivers from floppy, load the drivers, but Windows can’t detect a HD to install to. WTF? It’s right there! Oh, no…it isn’t. The cord came loose after I plugged it in.
So, after plugging it back in, I re-boot and…nothing. It detects the drive during the boot sequence then stops booting. If I wait about a minute, a blinking cursor apears, then after a muinute it goes away. Nothing else. I have checked the BIOS, and the boot sequence is Floppy, CD-0, and then the SATA drive. I KNOW this CD is good, since it booted from it before, so I unplug the SATA drive and it boots to the install screen just fine.
After a few more tries, I confirmed that indeed, it will not boot into the windows install screen if the SATA drive is plugged in, despite the HD being last in the boot order. I tried to “fool” the system by leaving the SATA unplugged until Windows install started, then plugging it in (since SATA is hot swapable, I fogured this was ok.) But now the problem is that the SATA drivers no longer seem to be on the floppy. I hit F6, and when it gets to ther point of letting me search for them, it looks at the floppy and says there are no drivers on it, even though there are.
I downloaded the SATA drivers again while at work, and will try a new floppy tonight, but I fear that even thoguh a SATA is hot-swapable, it needs to be there during ther boot for windows to find it, and if it’s there during the boot, I can’t boot.
Any one know what might be causing this? I will call theuir tech support tonight if I can’t get it to work, but I have been throguh their support twice, and have a feeling waht their answer will be (they will probalby assume one or more piece of my hardware is bad and leave it at that.) Plus, they will make me go through the sequence of unplugging everything but the CPU, memory, and vid card, then plugging everything inone by one, then putting the mobo on a n on-conductive thing to make sure ';ts not shorted, and blah blah blah. I know the problem (sort of.) It’s a comob of the drive and/or BIOS not working right together. Maybe a BIOS flash will fix it, but I won’t do that unless they tell me.