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Can you install WHS to a PCI controlled hard drive? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am trying to install WHS to a system with the drive attached to a PCI card (SATA) instead of the host computer's drive ports.  One thing I notice is that unlike one of my other systems, the boot options in the BIOS do not include the option to boot from a PCI interface -- as near as I can tell.  The system is an Optiplex GX260 SFF.

    Is that it?  No boot option for PCI, no install?  When I try, WHS asks for drivers and I give it the PCI cards drivers and it still can't find a hard drive.
    Friday, February 27, 2009 11:16 PM

Answers

  • Finally.  I am starting an install as I post now.  We'll see how it turns out.  It turns out I was loading the wrong drivers on to the floppy.  But, I had also gone through all the drivers once before and it hadn't worked.  Maybe it was because all the drivers had to be at the root of the floppy and not in a folder, which was the case in the trial install of XP Pro.

    It's hard to say what actually had to be done.  To summarize the cautions on this install:

    • Do not put the files in the driver folder in that folder on the floppy.  Put them all at the root.  So in the manufacturer's CDROM of drivers there will be a collection of folders for various items.  They do not make seperate CDROMs of drivers for each part they sell, they stick them all on CDROM and you have to figure out which one it is.
    • Some cards will have a "0" and a "1" port.  Choose the "0" port for your install drive.
    • The people who made the chip on the card are your main source of support, not the people who made the card.  www.siliconimage.com helped me out here with the FAQs.
    • Marked as answer by pksky Saturday, February 28, 2009 6:42 PM
    Saturday, February 28, 2009 6:42 PM

All replies

  • Is there a process to select a particular SATA port as the primary on the card (see the manufacturer's documentation)?
    Friday, February 27, 2009 11:18 PM
  • Where would I choose such an option?  I am trying to do an installation and the only software running is the installation software.  The only thing it will let me do is look for drivers.
    Friday, February 27, 2009 11:31 PM
  • I'm finding that the system's BIOS can find the PCI connected SATA hard drive.  In fact, the system will attempt to boot from the old operating system still on the hard drive.

    But even though I am feeding WHS installer from the PCI manufacturer's drivers, WHS cannot find a usable drive.
    Saturday, February 28, 2009 4:56 PM
  • Hi,

    WHS cannot natively 'see' SATA drives as it's based on Server 2003 which was developed prior to SATA becoming so popular.
    You will need to provide the appropriate drivers during the WHS install - twice. Once during the first portion of the install, the graphical portion; then again during the Text Mode portion, this time by pressing 'F6' during this part.Note that this option window can be quite short, so you will need to keep an eye on it.
    If you don't have the drivers to hand, you may need to download them from the card developer.

    HTH,

    Colin


    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Saturday, February 28, 2009 5:13 PM
    Moderator
  • During the graphical portion where I have the option to explore a file to open, I load what is supposed to be the driver file and I am returned to the same graphical prompt to load a driver.  I don't see a Text Mode.  The closest thing I see to that is a Command Line window that flashes by briefly when it is reading the driver.

    I have tried installing Windows XP Pro on the system by way of comparison.  I am prompted at the beginning to load drivers using F6.  I do this.  The first time, I am sent to a text prompt offering an option to press S to load drivers.  I found that it couldn't find the textsetup.oem file and I think it was because it was in a folder.  I changed and it could find it, but it still couldn't find my drive afterwards.  The second time, I had the floppy in and pressed F6 and it cycled and just rejected the whole thing because it couldn't find a drive.  I just F3'ed to finish and exit.

    So whatever the problem is, it is not exclusive to WHS.

    This is all on a SYBA, Silicon Image SIL3512 PCI Serial ATA Host Controller Card.

    www.syba.com is not up as of this posting.

    Another thing I observed that might be worth noting is that the two ports available are observed by the Optiplex BIOS as "0" and "1".  Switching these ports didn't help.
    Saturday, February 28, 2009 6:20 PM
  • Finally.  I am starting an install as I post now.  We'll see how it turns out.  It turns out I was loading the wrong drivers on to the floppy.  But, I had also gone through all the drivers once before and it hadn't worked.  Maybe it was because all the drivers had to be at the root of the floppy and not in a folder, which was the case in the trial install of XP Pro.

    It's hard to say what actually had to be done.  To summarize the cautions on this install:

    • Do not put the files in the driver folder in that folder on the floppy.  Put them all at the root.  So in the manufacturer's CDROM of drivers there will be a collection of folders for various items.  They do not make seperate CDROMs of drivers for each part they sell, they stick them all on CDROM and you have to figure out which one it is.
    • Some cards will have a "0" and a "1" port.  Choose the "0" port for your install drive.
    • The people who made the chip on the card are your main source of support, not the people who made the card.  www.siliconimage.com helped me out here with the FAQs.
    • Marked as answer by pksky Saturday, February 28, 2009 6:42 PM
    Saturday, February 28, 2009 6:42 PM
  • Hi,

    Glad you got it going - it's real frustrating when things like this happen.


    Good luck,

    Colin

    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Saturday, February 28, 2009 6:53 PM
    Moderator
  • Cool.  Sounds like you beat the problem into submission(with some help from S.I.)!  :^D
    Monday, March 2, 2009 8:27 PM
  •  
    In the BIOS is not set up, you have to be found in the Control Panel system, select hardware, to find the necessary drivers, updating drivers you can! !
    Thursday, March 5, 2009 2:06 PM
  • I installed WHS on an old computer yesterday.  Said mobo has no SATA ports, I have an adaptec 1420SA PCI-X card.

    The DVD rom is IDE and connected directly to the mobo as primary master.

    The WHS install chugged away then prompted that no hard drive was detected and would i like to install drivers.

    I had already loaded the windows server 2003 drivers onto a USB flash card that was inserted during install.

    Selected the folder on the flash card and the 1420SA driver was installed.

    WHS installed then found the seagate 320gig hdd attached.

    No issues at all.

    Shame I couldn't get my netgear WG311T to work though.
    Saturday, March 7, 2009 12:26 PM