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SATA 5 & 6 failure on a WHS install RRS feed

  • Question

  • I installed WHS on a motherboard (ASUS M4A785TD-V-EVO) that has 5 SATA ports.  On the original install, I used SATAs 1,2 and 3 with my DVD, and two 1TB hard drives respectively and everything worked fine.  Recently, I wanted to increase my storage capacity so I bought two additonal 1TB drives with the intention of installing them on SATAs 5 and 6.  When I did that, I get a message after the bios boot/Logo screen that I neded to insert a bootable disk or change the boot order.  I tried every combination of plugging in the drives to all the different SATA ports but with no success.  I should also mention that the OnChip SATA Channel is set to [Enabled].

    When I look in the BIOS, all the drives are recognized.  When I look at the SATA configuration in the BIOS, I get a choice of IDE/RAID/AHCI for SATAs 1-4 (with IDE selected) and I only get IDE as a choice for SATAs 5 & 6.

    I have been researching this issue and have read about installing AHCI drivers, pressing "F6" during the install and so on but the solution to my issue still isn't clear.   I don't consider myself an expert but I am not a novice either.  I am not familiar with where to find the drivers (I don't have a motherboard install disc) or how to install them so that I don't get the startup errors described above. 

    Currently, I have the system back to where it boots normally (using SATAs 1-3).  I am looking for the steps I need to follow to allow me to get into WHS with the two new drives attached.

    Thanks in advance

    Saturday, November 6, 2010 1:25 PM

Answers

  • The problem appears to be fixed.  Here's the sequence I used to get to the end point:

    1. I verified the system was working and WHS came up.  Had DVD on SATA 1, Boot drive on SATA 2 and other drive on SATA 3.

    2. I reconnected the two drives to SATA 5 & 6 with the boot drive on SATA 5.  I checked the BIOS to make sure it saw the drives and in the right place (Yes!)

    3. I started up the system to make sure it was OK, i.e., to make sure that WHS started up....it was.

    4. I added one of the new drives to SATA 2 and started up the system (but checked the BIOS first)....It worked; WHS Started (Yeah!)

    5. I added the last drive to the system on SATA 3 and started up the system (again checking the BIOS)...It also worked (double Yeah!).

    6. After closing up the computer case, I restarted WHS, went to the console and then Server Storage and added the drives...again success.  Now ~4TB of storage!!

    So this went like I thought the original hard drive addition was going to go.  Best I can figure, either 1) updating the BIOS, 2) putting the boot drive on SATA 5, 3) reseating the cables fixed the problem.  Either that or I had a bad SATA cable that I didn't use this time.

    • Marked as answer by vmi1981 Saturday, November 6, 2010 9:52 PM
    Saturday, November 6, 2010 9:52 PM

All replies

  • First, I would read the manual for your motherboard, to learn exactly how the SATA ports relate to each other. If you don't have printed documentation you can doubtless get a PDF from Asus. Most likely you'll find that your ports 5 and 6 have boot priority; if there's a disk connected to one of them, the system will try to boot from it (and fail if there's no bootable disk connected). Possibly there's a way to change the boot priority; if so you might be able to designate your current system drive to be the boot device. You can also see what happens if you connect your current drives to ports 5 and 6, and the new drives to the ports you will vacate by doing so.

    If all your ports are set to IDE mode, there should be no real need to install drivers. There are standard IDE drivers "in box" in Windows Home Server, and they work fine for most folks.

    If all of this is too confusing, or you just can't sort it out, you can always take your server to a local reputable system builder/PC technician for assistance. I would skip Geek Squad and similar; this is a problem that an experienced system builder will solve for you, and they aren't expected to have those skills. Your local computer shop that builds semi-custom computers might be able to help you. 


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, November 6, 2010 1:54 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the suggestions Ken,

    I have the manual but there is nothing I could find for how the ports relate to each other or a specifc HDD boot order.  There is the obligatory boot disc order but that only lets me choose ATAPI CD-ROM, Hard Drive, Removable Dev. or disable.  I cannot select a specific HDD under Hard Drive. 

    I thought I went through switching the drive(s) that had the OS installed from SATA's 1-3 to SATAs 5 & 6 with the same result.  I will go back and double check that.

    The only information I could find is the manual is the following statement under the On Chip SATA Type :

    "When this item is set to ACHI, only SATA 1/2/3 and ESATA can be detected. Ensure to install the AHCI driver so that you can use SATA 1/2/3/5/6 and ESATA in AHCI mode under OS."

    In the BIOS for SATA ports 1-4 the selections are IDE/RAID/AHCI with it set to IDE.

    Now I have a new problem...I went to click on the Windows home server console to find out which of my hard drives had the OS installed on it and can't get into the console.  A screen flashes up but then quickly disapears.  Also, when I go into the shared folders and click on any one of them I get an error message that essentially says the drive is not accessible and the network location cannot be reached.  I'm tempted to put all the hard drives on the system and try to reinatall WHS.  Thoughts?

    Saturday, November 6, 2010 3:54 PM
  • I was able to flash the BIOS to the latest from ASUS and restarted my system.  I also connected the computer to the internet on the restart (it wasn't connected before) and the console was back.  Was the reason the console didn't come up because I wasn't connected to the internet?  If so, "duh" on my part.  So I'm still back to the drive issue and will try swapping my hard drives between SETA ports and see what happens.  Unfortunately because my drives are identical I can't tell which one has the OS on it.  Oh well, there are only so many combinations to try....
    Saturday, November 6, 2010 5:02 PM
  • Was the reason the console didn't come up because I wasn't connected to the internet? 
    yes, need to be connected to a network.
    Saturday, November 6, 2010 6:40 PM
  • The problem appears to be fixed.  Here's the sequence I used to get to the end point:

    1. I verified the system was working and WHS came up.  Had DVD on SATA 1, Boot drive on SATA 2 and other drive on SATA 3.

    2. I reconnected the two drives to SATA 5 & 6 with the boot drive on SATA 5.  I checked the BIOS to make sure it saw the drives and in the right place (Yes!)

    3. I started up the system to make sure it was OK, i.e., to make sure that WHS started up....it was.

    4. I added one of the new drives to SATA 2 and started up the system (but checked the BIOS first)....It worked; WHS Started (Yeah!)

    5. I added the last drive to the system on SATA 3 and started up the system (again checking the BIOS)...It also worked (double Yeah!).

    6. After closing up the computer case, I restarted WHS, went to the console and then Server Storage and added the drives...again success.  Now ~4TB of storage!!

    So this went like I thought the original hard drive addition was going to go.  Best I can figure, either 1) updating the BIOS, 2) putting the boot drive on SATA 5, 3) reseating the cables fixed the problem.  Either that or I had a bad SATA cable that I didn't use this time.

    • Marked as answer by vmi1981 Saturday, November 6, 2010 9:52 PM
    Saturday, November 6, 2010 9:52 PM