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Old 11-26-2008, 04:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default how to boot from drive connected to PCI IDE card

My current board only has one IDE connection. I use that for my primary HD and a PCI IDE card to connect my DVD drives. This configuration works great within Windows, but now I need to replace my primary HD and install a fresh copy of Windows. Can't for the life of me figure out how to boot to either of the DVD drives connected to this card. Is there a BIOS setting that I'm missing that allows me to boot through this card?
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to boot from drive connected to PCI IDE card

I believe that what you are looking for is BOOT ORDER, or BOOT SEQUENCE.... On mine for example, it was set for boot from Floppy first (but really, who still has a 3.5" floppy drive?), boot from optical (CD/DVD) second, and then if neither of those are present, boot from Hard Drive. Generally, it's in the STANDARD BIOS settings, or whatever the first option happens to be...
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to boot from drive connected to PCI IDE card

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Originally Posted by Ethereal_Dragon View Post
I believe that what you are looking for is BOOT ORDER, or BOOT SEQUENCE.... On mine for example, it was set for boot from Floppy first (but really, who still has a 3.5" floppy drive?), boot from optical (CD/DVD) second, and then if neither of those are present, boot from Hard Drive. Generally, it's in the STANDARD BIOS settings, or whatever the first option happens to be...
That would be correct if either drive were connected to the MB IDE connector. Problem is I think the system treats this IDE card as a RAID setup and I'm not sure how to make that work correctly before Windows boots. If you look in the BIOS it only shows the HD (only IDE device connected directly to the MB IDE). Optical drives aren't listed at all (they don't show up during POST either).

If I go into the boot order menu, it gives me the normal floppy, HD, CDROM, network, removable etc, and "slot" listings for all the other connections on the board. I try them all and get nothing. It seems that one of the "slot" listings attempts to boot from the PCI network card. I've tried them all and can't get it to read the IDE card (which is on the only other PCI slot on the board).

I've also gone into the RAID setup during POST, but can't get anything changed from there either.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to boot from drive connected to PCI IDE card

You said you have 1 connector on the Motherboard, correct? If that is the case, take the main hard drive, and an optical drive, and connect both to that IDE port (most IDE cables allow you to connect 2 devices.)

Once windows is re-installed, either keep it like it is, or move the devices back to each port it was on before...

I haven't ever used a PCI IDE card before, as any computer I have used in the past has had either 2 IDE connectors, or SATA connectors.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to boot from drive connected to PCI IDE card

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Originally Posted by Ethereal_Dragon View Post
You said you have 1 connector on the Motherboard, correct? If that is the case, take the main hard drive, and an optical drive, and connect both to that IDE port (most IDE cables allow you to connect 2 devices.)

Once windows is re-installed, either keep it like it is, or move the devices back to each port it was on before...

I haven't ever used a PCI IDE card before, as any computer I have used in the past has had either 2 IDE connectors, or SATA connectors.
This is my first single connector board too.

I did connect it that way earlier and it initially gave me the "boot to CD" prompt, but as soon as it came up the system would lock up and the info on screen would scramble.
Too, in order to do this, I have to remove a DVD drive and HD and stack them on the floor at an odd angle. I hate to run the drive like that for an extended period...shouldn't hurt anything, but I'd hate for something to foul up because it's out of balance.

I know the card should work from boot....just haven't gotten the right settings yet.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to boot from drive connected to PCI IDE card

Just curious, why would you have to do that? You shouldn't have to, as most ribbon cables are 18 - 36 inches long.... at least the ones I have. I have only had ONE case that I couldn't connect an optical (in the top most bay) and a HD, and that was a server tower that had EIGHT 5.25" external drive bays.... no idea why I bought it.... it was funny though, cause when I did, we put the supplied wheels on it, and could literally hop on it and ride it across the floor.... Was the first tower I bought about 10+ years ago...
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to boot from drive connected to PCI IDE card

Don't know....maybe I just have short cables or something. Granted, the HD cage and the optical drive cage are a good ways apart. I may have to take everything out of the case and try to configure a HD in a lower CD drive bay and do it that way. Just trying to avoid completely disassembling the machine....biggest issues is the highest HD slots and the floppy slots are not accessible due to the RAM and processor fan. I'd have to take things apart to get them in there. Not a very well laid out board IMO.
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to boot from drive connected to PCI IDE card

Still getting nowhere with this. I've tried every idea that's come to mind....

No luck at all booting to an optical drive connected to the IDE card.

I've removed a DVD drive and connected a blank HD as master, DVD as slave (and vice versa) and it looks like it's going to work....the "boot from CD" prompt comes up after POST, but immediately after that, the screen scrambles and the machine locks up. I've tried with 2 DVD drives and 2 HD's with the same result.

I've also tried formatting an external USB HD with a primary partition, copying the Windows install disc to the HD and setting the machine to boot from that HD. It initially looks like it's going to work, but after pausing for a few moments, it then tries to boot from the network (seems to always fall back to booting to the network when HD boot fails, even if I've remove that as an option in BIOS).
Am I missing something in getting it to boot to USB? The USB drive shows up in the HD boot order in BIOS and I set it to boot to that drive first, and verify that HD is the first boot option. Is it enough to simply copy/paste the Windows install disc contents to the USB drive or does it need to be done differently?

Any other ways to install Windows on a machine that seems incapable of booting to an optical drive?

**edit**

Neglected to make the primary partition on the USB HD active....did that and when attempting to boot to the drive I get "NTLDR is missing". Seems encouraging....what do I need to add to the drive for this to work?
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