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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

I have a P4C800-E Deluxe, and I have noticed that the on-board 378 Promise Controller will ALWAYS look for PATA drives - and if you DON'T have a PATA HD connected, it delays the detection of the SATA HD's by almost 10 full seconds! :mad:

Is there any way to alleviate this PATA detection delay? I have 2x Maxtor 300Gig 16MB SATA drives on my Promise in RAID-0, and I also have 3 OS installs for various reasons (OS's are on 2x Raptor on ICH5R RAID-0), and this delay makes booting different OS's painfully slow to me...

Or, is there a way to revert back to the Boot Menu (boot.ini) w/o doing a full reboot? The MoBo and RAID Arrays are not changing from one OS boot to another, so it seems pointless to have to re-POST and re-detect these arrays just to boot a different partition (all 3 OS's are XP-Pro, one install on each partition if that helps)...

I'm runing the latest Asus BIOS (1024.001), and this happens if the Promise is in RAID or IDE modes. The second you add a PATA HD to the Promise, it detects the HD's immediately (no delay) - but I don't have any PATA's I want to put on the Promise (Actually I do, but they are used for removeable storage as B/U's).

Any help? Thanks! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
My Promise Controller only has options of "Enable/Disable", and "RAID or IDE". I have no other options for the Promise in my BIOS. :sad: I believe my ICH5R Southbridge has these other options you mentioned, but not the Promise Controller...

PS - I am using the PATA ports on the ICH5R southbridge for my optical drives (one on each IDE bus, both masters). I'm referring only to the Promise Controller's PATA port (the blue one on the mobo IIRC).

Any ideas? This is the 3rd place I have come for info on this issue, and it is looking like I either suck it up, or add a PATA HD (or 2) and make my RAID-0 array into a 0+1 array with 4x 300Gig HD's. I really don't want to do that, as I use my 2x 300Gig PATA HD's in removeable caddies for off-line backups (one off-site) and I really don't want 6 HD's in my case (I already have the 2x Raptors, and the 2x Maxtor 300Giggers in there).

Thaks for the reply, and any further info :cool:
 

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please correct me if I am wrong / but why are you using the sata ports which are operated directly from the southbridge chipset / instead of the promise controller which is strangled for performance by the PCI bus speed ??????

Your 2 x raptors should be connected to the intel ICH5R controller / your speed should pick up tremendously


regards

joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I thought I mentioned this, but I have 2 seperate RAID-0 arrays on my PC. My RAPTOR RAID-0 array is on the ICH5R, and this is my OS drive (in 3 partitions, one OS install on each partition). My Data array with the 2x 300Gig 16MB Maxtor SATA's is on the Promise in RAID-0 (also 3 partitions: 2x 3Gig partitions for Page Files, and a large 552Gig partition for DATA). I'm not worried about RAID-0 failures, as I back-up BOTH arrays onto removeable HD caddies (I have a 160Gig HD, 2x 300Gig HD's, and a 40Gig HD all in pull-out caddy bays for B/U)

The fact that I don't have a PATA drive on the Promise controller causes my delay (the Promise appears to search for PATA drives for a good 10 seconds before moving on to the SATA detection). The instant I add a PATA drive to the Promise, the "Detection Delay" diminishes to a few seconds - BUT I don't want any PATA HD's on the promise (just the 2x 300Gig SATA's).

Sorry for any confusion. My signature is usually pretty informative about my rig, but I see we had to streamline our sigs here...

Thanks for any further info!

:cool:
 

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My bad >>> if i would have checked your sig there is enough info there I should have got it !!! have you tried disabling the IDE auto detect in the bios / that should stop the bios from searching for Pata drives at all ????


regards

joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What about my 2x Optical PATA drives on the Southbridge? Wouldn't that disable them, as well? Also, if I'm not mistaken, the Promise Controller does not respond to any of the primary MoBo BIOS Settings (just the "Enable/Disable" and the "RAID/IDE" mode switches specifically for the Promise Controller). I think beyond those 2 parameters, the Promise essentially has its own BIOS/Firmware that runs inside of the main BIOS (total speculation on my part)...

I also tried looking for info at the Promise website, but they don't seem to supply info or FAQ's for the integrated MoBo controllers (only the add-on PCI cards).

I'm thinking I might sacrafice one of my 300Gig PATA HD's, and do a RAID-0 with one SATA and one PATA (both drives are identical except for the PATA/SATA variance). This means I would be stuck with an extra 300Gig SATA drive with no-where to put it (all of my removeable HD's are PATA's that go through a PATA-to-FIREWIRE bridge board). I guess I could put the 300Gig SATA in my other PC that is on the same LAN, and still use it as an "Online B/U HD" by copying B/U files through the LAN. Decisions, decisions...

I guess I have a few options open - but none are a simple fix (a simple "Disable PATA on Promise" setting would be oh too easy :sad: )... Sucking it up would be the easiest "fix" - but that is not my nature -razz:

Thanks for the continued input :cool:
 

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hmmm I like the "not my nature" LOL


i dont see any way around your current dilemma / unless on a fluke have you tried all bios revisions up to present & most current ?????

I have seen where an older bios versions performs better under certain hardware configs than a newer predessor ?????

just a thought / try the disable auto detect i think it only applies to hard drives ??? but dont quote me

man you better have some kick a$$ power supply to run all those drives ??? 25 watts just for each drive !!! you cant gonna pull all that off with no 450 watt generic ???????

please keep me posted on your troubleshooting attempts and outcome

regards

joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Groovy. I have tried BIOS 1014, 1016, 1018, 1021, 1023, and now I'm on 1024... All have the same Promise Delays that I can tell.

After thinking more, I think I will go ahead and swap out one of the SATA's for a PATA. It won't be hard, it will just take a while to re-build/re-format/re-Surface Scan & re-copy all of the data back over. I'll put the removed SATA HD into my other PC (a P4P800-E Dlx - like yours :sayyes: ), and just use my LAN to transfer files onto it for B/U.

I know what you mean with all of my drives! With 2 Opticals, 4 internal HD's, and the removeable HD drive bay, I do tax my PS pretty hard. I'm running a 465 Watt Enermax with a 33Amp 12v rail, and it hangs in there just fine (for now). My rig weighs a TON!!! I also added a small old Power Supply from a retired USB enclosure (a very small PS), and I mounted it on the rear of the case by the PCI card area. This powers all 3 of my case fans (the HSF fan is the only fan powered off the MoBo). This way, I can mess with my fans (hooking/un-hooking) w/o fear of freaking out my PC with a voltage spkie (and it also alleviates about 2 Amps of current draw off the main PS's 12v rail).

I'll indeed keep you posted on my progress, but I can already tell you adding the PATA HD to the Promise Controller should fix this issue. Just a matter of finding time. Maybe tomorrow at work - on the clock would be nice :laugh:

Rock on :cool:
 

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Randyman:


youre gonna need wheels for that thing !!! and I mean big wheels



goodluck with the drive set-up / i will be waiting to hear the results




joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
oldmn said:
In your manual on page 4-11+12 it indicated that you should only have it set to P-ATA if you are using older OS (98, ME, NT4). how have you got yours set?
Mine is set to "Enhanced" (I run XP-Pro) for SATA + PATA (up to 6 devices on the Southbridge). The thing is, this setting only affects the Southbridge (the ICH5R and attached perhiferals), and has absolutely no effect on the Promise controller to my knowledge. The Promise is treated as a sepertae PCI controller that does not conflict with the Southbridge's Primary/Secondary/SATA ports. Older OS's could only allocate 4 IDE devices on the southbridge, so older OS's need to have the Secondary IDE controller disabled in place of the SATA ports (2 devices on PRI_IDE, and the 2 SATA devices). XP can fully support 6 devices from the Southbridge, so it can use both IDE ports and both SATA ports for a total of 6 devices. No affiliation with the On-Board Promise PCI controller.


linderman said:
Randyman:
youre gonna need wheels for that thing !!! and I mean big wheels
goodluck with the drive set-up / i will be waiting to hear the results
joe
LOL :laugh: I think I'll get this wrapped up tomorrow at work as long as I stay focused, and dig right in when I get to work. I'm planning on getting the drives removed/installed, getting the RAID array re-built and formatted, and I might have enough time to do a full Surface Scan while I'm at work. I doubt I'll have enough time to copy my files back over, so I'll do that when I get home... I'll post back to let you know how much boot time all this work saves (all this work to save a measely 10 seconds off my boot times :4-dontkno - I'm insanely impatient, huh :tongue: ).

Later Gators :cool:
 

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Randyman... said:
Mine is set to "Enhanced" (I run XP-Pro) for SATA + PATA (up to 6 devices on the Southbridge). The thing is, this setting only affects the Southbridge (the ICH5R and attached perhiferals), and has absolutely no effect on the Promise controller to my knowledge. The Promise is treated as a sepertae PCI controller that does not conflict with the Southbridge's Primary/Secondary/SATA ports. Older OS's could only allocate 4 IDE devices on the southbridge, so older OS's need to have the Secondary IDE controller disabled in place of the SATA ports (2 devices on PRI_IDE, and the 2 SATA devices). XP can fully support 6 devices from the Southbridge, so it can use both IDE ports and both SATA ports for a total of 6 devices. No affiliation with the On-Board Promise PCI controller.




LOL :laugh: I think I'll get this wrapped up tomorrow at work as long as I stay focused, and dig right in when I get to work. I'm planning on getting the drives removed/installed, getting the RAID array re-built and formatted, and I might have enough time to do a full Surface Scan while I'm at work. I doubt I'll have enough time to copy my files back over, so I'll do that when I get home... I'll post back to let you know how much boot time all this work saves (all this work to save a measely 10 seconds off my boot times :4-dontkno - I'm insanely impatient, huh :tongue: ).

Later Gators :cool:
It's just weird that it is searching for the P-ATA . :4-dontkno
As Linderman Said DON'T forget the wheels :grin: Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah, my back is really begging me to put wheels on it, too! Luckily, it doesn't move much at all (except when I need to satisfy my urge to "fiddle" with someting :heartlove ). It is not often my PC gets to go on a car ride to work with me! Kind of like my dog :smile:

I also find this odd, but the Promise controller exhibits this behavior in RAID or IDE modes, with 1 or 2 SATA HD's, and I have had 3 different P4C800-E Dlx's, and all 3 did the same exact thing. No PATA on the Promise = SLOW SATA detection times (Promise takes about 13 seconds to initialize the RAID-0 array, and also takes about 13 seconds to initialize a regular SATA IDE config, too). Add a PATA HD to the Promise, and the detection time drops from 13 seconds to 3-4 seconds max.

Go figure, huh? I knew this when I set up my SATA RAID-0 array on the Promise, but I figured there was bound to be a way around this - but apparently there is not (aside from adding a PATA HD to the Promise)...

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quasi-Success!

Alright. The HD swap went flawlessly as far as the RAID array is concerned. My Promise detection delay is back down to a bearable 4 seconds with the PATA + SATA in RAID-0 (shaved almost 10 full seconds off my boot times - not to shabby). I actually did this last night after work from like 1AM - 5:30AM, and some more from 1PM-2:15PM this afternoon (I didn't bring my PC to work with me).

I ran into a different snag. For some reason, I am crashing when copying large amounts of Data back and forth to my FW drives. I have copied ~100 Gigs at a time before w/o crashing (on this same PC), so I don't know what the deal is. I read at a different forum that my Kaspersky A/V might have had a bad update in the past 2 days causing some corruption - but I can't confirm this. I also had some spyware that I must have picked up when I had Kaspersky turned off - but I removed it with HiJack This.

Anyway, I'm just completely crashing - as in a hard re-boot. Odd. I was able to copy the stuff off off the old RAID array to my FW drive after a few tries. Then I had the same crashing issues when trying to copy the stuff from the FW drives back onto my freshly-rebuilt RAID array.

I scaled back my O/C from 251MHz FSB to 240FSB, and I was still crashing. I was almost out of time (I had to go to work), so I cranked the FSB down "stock" 200FSB, and I started the ~250GB copy over again. I'll have to wait and see if it crashed again when I get home. PS - My PCI bus is locked to 33/66MHz in BIOS if you were wondering...

I have a few different OS installs on this PC, so I'm also going to try my "XP Audio Install" that is not online, and has no AV or Spyware software installed to see if that is part of the issue.

I also recently swapped soundcards (From an M-Audio Audiphile 24/96 to a RME Hammerfall Multiface PCI+Breakout box combo), so maybe this is somehow related to IRQ/PCI stuff (the Promise is on the PCI, after all). If I still find myself crashing on this streamlined OS install, then I might try moving my soundcard to a different PCI slot.

Odd, huh? I'll report back when I get home, and hopefuly, I'll still see the folders I had opened on my desktop when I left this afternoon. If I see my empty desktop, then I'll know it rebooted on me :sad: .

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I still don't know exactly what is causing my crashing issues. However, if I stay at or below 225FSB, I don't crash (But I've been stable at 251FSB with Sandra, and Memtest for over a month now). Only seems to happen with insanely large transfers to the FW HD. I moved my new soundcard to a different slot (only shared with another unused PCI slot - so no conflicts arise), and I still had issues. I noticed the FW controller and the Promise controller share a PCI "channel" (I think that is what it is called?), but have different IRQ's. I don't think that is an issue, but I only crash when transferring from Promise to FW (or vice-versa), so it sparked my interest.

Maybe it is something with my floppy, as it has been acting wierd lately, too. Anyway - I ordered a new floppy drive, and an OCZ 520 Watt Powerstream (with the adjustable rails - YES!!!), and I'm "donating" my current 460Watt Enermax to my Parent's PC (it just started crashing like CRAZY today :sayno: It is one of those $40 case+PSU deals - so I think the PSU is the issue). I'll get to the bottom of this one way or another (throwing money at it might not be the best solution, but my parent's needed a new PS, and I used this opportunuty to upgrade my PS in the process :sayyes: )...

If I find anything mindboggingly interesting, I'll start a new thread to describe my crashing issues, and what caused it, and how I fixed it (I have taken this thread O.T. - Sorry :4-thatsba )...

The Promise RAID array is working fine, though!

:cool:
 

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The PCI bus is the most inefficient (least capable) of the system / I hink what you are going to find is the faster drive gets sick of waiting for the slower drive to receive and write info ? times out then quits

not a good idea to transfer large data chunks from the faster raid to the slower PCI bus with a slowwww IDE drive / you may get away with it the drive were a WD raptor



regards

joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Thanks for your input - and I get what you are getting at. But isn't saying that transferring from a RAID to an external drive is a "no-no" like saying don't burn CD's from a RAID array, as the CD player is WAY too slow :4-dontkno . It just seems like the RAID array would be happier "waiting" than being taxed to its limits? FWIW - I was also crashing "the other direction" when transferring FROM the FW HD to Promise RAID - either direction was un-stable. I dunno.

Also, running anywhere around 225 FSB (3.2E @ ~3.6GHz) seems to alleviate my issue, so the transfers CAN happen reliably, but there is an issue somewhere when I get above 225 FSB. Which is odd, as I have the PCI bus locked @ 33/66MHz, and I'm stable all the way to 251FSB with Sandra, a Windows based MemTester, and Memtest86. I only have issues when copying to/from the FW HD to/from the Promise RAID at high FSB's... :4-dontkno ?

I also fixed my parent's PC. It suddenly started CRASHING like CRAZY!!! No BSOD or nothing. Just poof - Reboot. I thought it was software at first, but then it would crash before POSTing, so I knew it HAD to be Hardware based, or maybe a bad BIOS. I re-flashed the BIOS - nothing. Put in a new PS - Nothing. Unhooked all drives one-by-one - nothing. Re-seated VGA and RAM - nothing. I worked on it for a day and a half solid.

Then it struck me. "Hey, this seems like what might happen if someone was to suprratically hit the RESET button". So, I unhook the Reset button from the MoBo, and I'm stable as ever!!! This PC worked flawlessly for a month before this. Either the switch was going bad, and just "closed" enough to end-up spurratically triggering a reset, or the dry air (unusually dry this past week) was allowing the intake Fan that sits 1mm away from the switch's wires to cause a Static Build-up in the wires, and spurratically trigger a "Reset" from the static "shock". Man - that is one for the books! I was about to start RMA'ing stuff! :laugh:

Rock On :cool:
 
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