I'd like to apologize in advance for being so long-winded. But yea... here goes...
I was changing some BIOS settings (AGP aperature size) today when I noticed my system ram was running at 333, instead of it's rated 400. I changed it as well. I then saved the settings rebooted. It didn't reboot. Instead it continued to beep at me. Well after plenty of being frustrated I removed all of my RAM sticks except 1. (I have 4 512MB sticks of DDR400) It booted this time. I turned it off, inserted another stick and booted again. It worked. I insert the 3rd stick and it starts to beep again. I take the 3rd out and try the other. It beeps. I try all 4, it beeps. I take 2 out, change it back to 333, put all 4 back in... and it works. Is there some reason it would have to bump down to 333 with >2 sticks?
OK, so now the computer boots, but I get a message that the system is running in failsafe and to check my BIOS. I do, and I reset everything to "failsafe defaults." (ram still at 333) It boots, with no failsafe message. However, when I get to the bootloader (I ahve a multi OS system) I am told the partition does not exist when I try to boot Win XP, and file not found when I try to boot Ubuntu. after a little toying I find that I can boot Ubuntu up by manually changing hd0,0 in the boot sequence to hd1,0. However, when I change the Windows boot sequence from hd0,1 to hd1,1 I get an error about an invalid boot.ini file. I tried top use the windows recovery console to repair my boot.ini. bootcfg /rebuild reports some kind of failure when scanning for windows. When I went to reinstall windows, it only recognized the drive I use for storage!
One perculiar thing is that there is a screen that displays during boot-up that I am am almost positive I haven't seen before. I reads as follows:
VIA Technologiesm INC VIA VT8237 SATA Raid BIOS Setting Utility V2.21
Scan Devices, Please wait...
Press <Tab> Key into User Window
Serial_Ch0 Master: ST3200822AS
Serial_Ch1 Master: No Device
Maybe it's trying to read it as a RAID set-up? That would explain why Windows doesn't recognize it, it has no RAID drivers by default iirc. Why would it do that now though? Default settings have never produced a problem before.
Btw, it's a Serial ATA drive, but I've never had the slightest problem with it being recognized before.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.