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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

I have a p4c800-e deluxe, am successfully (!!) running XP, using 2 x Seagate 80MB SATA on the i875 SATA controller (configured as RAID 0) as my primary boot device.

No problems whatsoever, no exclamations marks in the device manager.

but...

I also have 1 x Seagate 80 ATA 133 on the Promise IDE controller (not on the pri/sec IDE controllers).

On the pri IDE controller I have 1 CD-RAM and 1 DVD-RAM (both on same controller).

on the sec IDE controller I have nothing.

The ATA 133 drive is not used as the boot drive, just a data disk.

Now,

in BIOS I have everything set up correctly for XP (i.e. IDE mode set to 'enhanced', BIOS enabled, Promise BIOS enabled, etc.)

the problem is, when XP boots, **after** the 'OS selection screen' (i.e. where you pick from boot.ini) there is a long delay/pause, like 10-20 seconds, then the boot proceeds normally.

I think this is XP trying to determine which drive is which as per boot.ini, because if I disable the promise in the BIOS there is no delay at all. (But then of course I cant use the drive) I beleive this has to do with no ability to detect int 13. There doesn't seem to be any BIOS setup program for the 378 to enable this.

Is there any workarounds ?

What if I wanted to boot to the promise in this scenario ?

I have tried using the signature() labels n the boot.ini to help the loader but that desn't work either.

My thinking is maybe run not in 'enhanced' mode but perhaps in 'compatibility' mode and dump the second IDE interface ?

Is this a 'known' issue, isf one wants to use all 4 interfaces ?
 

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the problem is, when XP boots, **after** the 'OS selection screen' (i.e. where you pick from boot.ini) there is a long delay/pause, like 10-20 seconds, then the boot proceeds normally.
Don't take this the wrong way, but... what, you can't wait even 20 seconds? What's the hurry? My dual 450 on NT4 takes like, 4 to 5 minutes to boot. And then you get a completely working system? I say, wait the 20 and be happy.

...because if I disable the promise in the BIOS there is no delay at all. (But then of course I cant use the drive)
The Promise is on PCI, so the O/S may simply be spending some time scanning the PCI bus and polling the controller for drives. Maybe your 80 ATA is taking some time to respond. Maybe the controller has seen one drive is present on the IDE bus, and is simply waiting to see if the other possible drive also spins up. Make sure the ATA drive is strapped as "master" and is at the end of the cable.

I think this is XP trying to determine which drive is which as per boot.ini... I beleive this has to do with no ability to detect int 13. There doesn't seem to be any BIOS setup program for the 378 to enable this....I have tried using the signature() labels n the boot.ini to help the loader but that desn't work either.
The Promise is on the PCI bus, and I should think archaic issues like "int 13" would be moot with PCI. I could be wrong. I think there are some IRQ things you can adjust in the BIOS (see manual section 4.4.5), but I'd be surprised if they help you here. Interestingly, the Promise is not listed in the IRQ assignments table, probably because it's PCI (but so is the 1394, so...?). boot.ini?... that's beyond my experience, but personally I wouldn't edit this file.

What if I wanted to boot to the promise in this scenario ?
My understanding is that this works, providing the necessary drivers are installed. For instance, you can hit F6 in XP setup and apply drivers, then install to the Promise: it's been done successfully. Moving a bootable RAID0 set from Southbridge to Promise should work too, but I don't do RAID so I don't know the details. Key to booting the Promise is altering the Boot Device Priority in the BIOS.

My thinking is maybe run not in 'enhanced' mode but perhaps in 'compatibility' mode and dump the second IDE interface ? Is this a 'known' issue, isf one wants to use all 4 interfaces ?
No there is no such "known" issue. One other user is having trouble getting the Promise ATA driver to "stick" in Windows, and we've not quite nailed that down yet, but other than that I've heard of no problems. The "enhanced" mode you speak of applies only to the Southbridge. That is not where you are having your trouble. Windows XP and 2K support all 6 interfaces on the Southbridge. I would not recommend tweaking BIOS to downgrade to 4, it won't help your Promise port.

-clintfan
 

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Discussion Starter #3
no this is definitely a drive scanning problem in XP.

i'm not saying that it kills me but it is not a master slave / spool up/ spin down / start cmd kind of thing, it is Xp nt knowing which drive is which, and takes 20 secs to figure it out

same behavour with 2 drives on the promise ATA133, same behaviour with one, same behaviour with anything on it (basically with BIOS enabled), same behaviour with none on it (BIOS enabled)
 

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same behavour with 2 drives on the promise ATA133, same behaviour with one, same behaviour with anything on it (basically with BIOS enabled), same behaviour with none on it (BIOS enabled)
I don't recall any such delay with my SATA drives that are on the Promise. Same mobo.

Whenever you add disks --as you initially did when you first attached your ATA disk, and as are doing by switching your Promise off and on-- it resets the "Hard Disk Drives" list in the BIOS. This is the list of potential bootable disks.

The mobo may be going out and checking eack disk to see if it's bootable. The one on your PRI RAID isn't supposed to be bootable. And if it's, like, your old O/S drive, it could still have boot data on it, so WinXP might be spending time collecting extra info about it, so you especially don't want it in the list.


So let's tell the mobo this disk isn't bootable. Here's how.

Go back into mobo BIOS setup. First go back into the Advanced screen, enable your Promise, and set it to IDE as you wanted in the first place.

Now visit your Boot screen. There, arrow-down to Hard Disk Drives and open that screen. Here, I believe your Southbridge SATA RAID0 set will appear as "3M" something (3M=Third IDE Master) though I've never seen a RAID device here myself. Use +/- to set the "1st Drive" to your RAID set. Now, if there are any OTHER drives, use +/- to set them all to "Disabled". So you should wind up with only one drive in this list, "1st Drive", which is your RAID boot set. There will be a "2nd Drive" too but it will be "Disabled".
Note this won't make your ATA disk unusuable, it just says it's not bootable.

Now ESC back to Boot Device Priority and open that screen. Here your boot sequence should be CD- Floppy- Hard Disk, where your same RAID set should be the HDD which is listed. There should be no other HDD choices here.

Hit F10 and confirm to save your changes.
Now try the boot again. Same delay present?

-clintfan
 

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Discussion Starter #5
couple of points

1) remember, this pause happens after the bios boot, in other words, after the NT 'OS selection screen'

2) disabling the promise ATA drive as a boot device has no effect (pause still there, but now with the offshoot that I couldn't boot to that drive now if I wanted to, but all that decision making etc. would happen before the NT boot loader ever loaded ANYHOW)

3) the problem as I theorize it is that:

XP and the arc syntax cant work with such setups, so it is forced to do some self-regulation. For example, in boot.ini, (this was my original mis-worded question), if the NT boot loader existed on the intel SATA raid 0 set (as it does now), one should in theory be able to specify that the OS (not the boot loader) resides on the promise ata (it doesnt actually, but if it did, how would one specify it and with what arc syntax). How would that arc synatx look ? I ask becauuse there is the possibility for so many controllers.

In any case, my theory is that using the signature() boot syntax should solve the problem, so as to prevent scanning, but it isn't working. In any case, it is not major.

But it wouldbe nice to know how NT is deciding which drive is multi(0).

so to summarize there is no effect (as there shouldn't be) with the above BIOS change bec ause the OS is already booted (i.e. the bios booted to the NT boot loader already on the intel raid 0 set already before the long pause which is in the XP startup)

In other words it is trying to figure out which disk is which. There should eb some way to fix this.

-Pat
 

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...so to summarize there is no effect (as there shouldn't be) with the above BIOS change...
So it sounds like you tried updating your "Hard Disk Drives" screen, to try what I suggested (disabling excess HDD's), and it made no difference? Well, it was just a thought. Sorry it didn't help.

Try a Yahoo search for "boot.ini", maybe it will reveal the syntax which you want.

-clintfan
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I already tried and have used the signature syntax.

My point is, with this mobo and BIOS, and all interfaces enabled, and XP as it is, I wonder what the boot.ini syntax would be to eliminate scanning. We have to remember this is a new area with 4 controllers (intel sata, promise sata/ata, primary atat, sec. ata).

I've tried all the multi/scsi combos and signature included but no matter what you put in you still have to put up with a 20 second scan.

no biggie -

sigh :)

-pat
 
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