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Author Topic: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?  (Read 8809 times)

superboyac

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Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« on: July 29, 2009, 12:25:08 AM »
On the new computer I built this year:
See here

I have just attached my new external hard drive enclosure, and it detects one of the drives and not the other.  How come?

Internally, I have 3 hard drives and a DVD drive using a sata connector.  Externally, I have two more connected through esata that eventually goes to a sata port on the motherboard.

How come it's not detecting my second external drive?  For summary:
3 internal SATA hard drives
1 internal SATA DVD drive
2 external SATA drives (one is not being detected).

On the motherboard itself, I have plugs for up to 8 SATA drives.  6 of them are bunched together for RAID purposes I'm guessing.  I also have 2 of them together in another part of the board.  These two are the ones that are connected to the eSATA connectors on the outside of the case.  If the motherboard can support all this, why can't the computer see the last one?  Also, I'm not running any kind of RAID array.  Each drive does it's own independent thing.

mouser

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2009, 12:31:25 AM »
my limited experience with motherboard recognizing large numbers of drives (6 qualifies as large for a desktop) is that it can be tricky to diagnose.

i would suggest your first task would be to try various configurations and narrow down a little more what's not working.

in other words, if you disconnect the first external hd in the enclosure, is the second one recognized?
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 01:00:21 AM by mouser »

Target

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2009, 12:53:53 AM »
seems obvious, but first thing I'd be looking at was the BIOS...

4wd

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2009, 01:37:05 AM »
This sounds similar to a problem one of the guys at our LAN meetings was having with, IIRC, the same board.

The two separate SATA are the Gigabyte +2 SATA controller and, again IIRC, they would only work in some form of RAID mode - he couldn't run separate drives on it in a non-RAID configuration, which he wasn't really happy about since he wanted the interfaces for purely non-RAID storage.  So he was left with two interfaces he couldn't fully use.

My suggestion is try running your eSATA off of the 'normal' lot of 6 SATA connectors and see if they are detected.

EDIT: I'm not entirely sure if I got my facts right but I do know that he couldn't use those two ports for normal 'stand-alone' drive configuration.  I'll check on Friday - it's LAN night :)

Another EDIT: Then again, maybe you can set the GSATA controller to IDE mode, you'll lose your hot-plug facility, (AHCI), on them but can use them as normal ports.  You could then move 2 drives from the 6-pack and set the mode on the 6-pack to AHCI and use 2 of them for your eSATA.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 01:52:37 AM by 4wd »

superboyac

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2009, 06:03:54 PM »
It works now, here is what happened:
--The 6-pack connectors are Intel based.  The other 2 are GSata (whatever that means) based on Gigabyte (so 4wd, you're right).
--i read on another forum that there have been problems with the Gsata.  i didn't find out what the solution was.
--I connected all 6 hard drives (including the eSata bracket connectors) to the 6-back since those are supposed to work better.
--I moved my DVD drive to the Gsata connector.

Everything works fine now.  There's only one minor consenquence/inconvenience from all of this.  Apparently, the computer won't recognize the eSata as an external connection is my external connection manager software "USB Safely Remove".  Before, it did.  Now it recognizes my DVD drive as an external connection.  I guess whatever is connected to the GSata is considered an external device.  But it's no big deal I guess.

4wd

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2009, 07:53:10 PM »
Everything works fine now.  There's only one minor consenquence/inconvenience from all of this.  Apparently, the computer won't recognize the eSata as an external connection is my external connection manager software "USB Safely Remove".  Before, it did.  Now it recognizes my DVD drive as an external connection.  I guess whatever is connected to the GSata is considered an external device.  But it's no big deal I guess.

Are the Intel SATA in AHCI mode in the BIOS?

superboyac

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2009, 10:30:02 PM »
Are the Intel SATA in AHCI mode in the BIOS?
No they are not.  So I went into my bios and changed the setting for the Intel Sata from "Disabled" to "AHCI".  I did the same for the gigabyte sata setting.  I restarted Windows Xp and got the blue screen of death before it even loaded.  I changed the intel back to disabled and it loads fine now.  Why would that setting cause windows to crash?

f0dder

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2009, 10:35:06 PM »
Why would that setting cause windows to crash?
Because ATA and AHCI are two different protocols - and windows uses specific drivers for it's boot device. Thus it panics with an INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE BSOD when it's not seeing what it's expecting.

For other drives, it should pick up the change just fine, perhaps requiring you to install drivers first. Installing drivers isn't enough to fix the boot device issue though, you have to do registry hacks as well.

AHCI is required to take advantage of features like Native Command Queueing.
- carpe noctem

superboyac

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2009, 10:38:02 PM »
Thanks fodder.  I've been reading that now on the web, but your explanation is much clearer.  So should I go through the work and switch everything to AHCI?

I have an option for AHCI or RAID.  I have no intention of having a RAID array, but should I switch the setting to that?  Or should I leave my setting as Disabled?  Or should I choose AHCI?  From what I've read, I should do AHCI because it takes advantage of hot swapping.

Shades

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2009, 10:42:25 PM »
Likely a tip for the friend that had to use RAID...

Most (if not all) RAID controllers have a JBOD mode. JBOD stands for Just a Bunch Of Drives. As far as I know the RAID controller will not enable any RAID functionality on its controller that way. See the manual that came with the motherboard.

f0dder

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2009, 10:46:08 PM »
Ah yes, hotswap is probably AHCI-only as well.

Dunno how much NCQ is worth - for some workloads, and especially with the early NCQ implementations, people reported it could slow down things, and could rise CPU usage noticably. I haven't done any benchmarks on my system, but run in AHCI mode because I slipstreamed the drivers and figured it'd either be unnoticeable or give an advantage every now and then... and haven't read up on the issue in a while.

The whole boot device issue is one of the things I find most unfortunate about the low-level parts of Windows. Can live with the system not wanting to boot when the driver is wrong, but it's too much bother getting an existing system to a new <kind of> boot device...
- carpe noctem

f0dder

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2009, 10:47:40 PM »
Most (if not all) RAID controllers have a JBOD mode. JBOD stands for Just a Bunch Of Drives. As far as I know the RAID controller will not enable any RAID functionality on its controller that way. See the manual that came with the motherboard.
AFAIK JBOD concatenates the drives to one big, without doing any kind of striping or other trickery... but you still don't get to access the individual drive, and a single disk failing can course of a lot of interesting issues.
- carpe noctem

4wd

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2009, 11:09:44 PM »
So should I go through the work and switch everything to AHCI?

Yes, it's easy enough to do without doing a lot of reinstalling:
1) Switch the GSATA back to IDE mode and move your boot drive onto it.  Leave the Intel in AHCI mode.
2) Boot the computer and hit F12, (normally for Gigabyte), to select your boot drive.
3) When it boots up it will detect the Intel SATA in AHCI and ask for the drivers.
4) When it's finished installing you can power down and move your boot drive back to the Intel SATA and change the GSATA back to AHCI.
5) When you boot up again you'll probably be asked for AHCI drivers for the GSATA.

Another way:
If it's anything like my Gigabyte board, the last two of the South Bridge SATA connectors, (Intel for you, ATI for me), can be individually swapped between 'IDE mode' and 'Same as SATA'.
Install the boot drive on one of those, (S2_4 or S2_5), mark it as IDE mode in BIOS while leaving the rest as AHCI when it boots up it will ask for the AHCI driver, on the next boot go into BIOS and change S2_4/5 to 'Same as SATA'.

Can live with the system not wanting to boot when the driver is wrong, but it's too much bother getting an existing system to a new <kind of> boot device...

One of the reasons I like the way Gigabyte do it with being able to set SATA2_4/5 in IDE and leave the rest in AHCI until installing is finished - that way it picks up all drivers at install.

What I really hate is the way the freak'n boot order changes when you plug in another drive - is it really so hard to make the BIOS just keep your boot preference no matter how many drives you (un)plug?
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 11:16:30 PM by 4wd »

superboyac

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2009, 11:41:03 PM »
Thanks 4wd!  I will have to try that this weekend.  I'm tired now and don't feel like doing all that.  I've saved the instructions.

Innuendo

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2009, 11:12:33 AM »
Just be aware that some versions of Windows have a bug that if you switch your drive controllers to AHCI that although Windows will go through the motions and ask you for new drivers and what-not the drives won't actually be in AHCI mode as these buggy Windows versions will 'forget' to change the necessary bits in the registry and that'll all have to be done by hand if you want your drives to be in AHCI mode.

I had a friend who bought an eSATA enclosure and wanted to you the hot-swap feature if I am remembering correctly. His PC had been set up in compatibility mode & he needed to change to AHCI mode for everything to work right. It was an adventure of discovery for him.

I'll check later and see if I still have his old emails on the subject, but I do definitely recall it wasn't a "change the setting in your BIOS, reboot, and your fixed" kind of deal.

superboyac

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2009, 11:15:43 AM »
Just be aware that some versions of Windows have a bug that if you switch your drive controllers to AHCI that although Windows will go through the motions and ask you for new drivers and what-not the drives won't actually be in AHCI mode as these buggy Windows versions will 'forget' to change the necessary bits in the registry and that'll all have to be done by hand if you want your drives to be in AHCI mode.

I had a friend who bought an eSATA enclosure and wanted to you the hot-swap feature if I am remembering correctly. His PC had been set up in compatibility mode & he needed to change to AHCI mode for everything to work right. It was an adventure of discovery for him.

I'll check later and see if I still have his old emails on the subject, but I do definitely recall it wasn't a "change the setting in your BIOS, reboot, and your fixed" kind of deal.
Geez, I had no idea this was such an involved process.  i was hoping for plug and play.

Innuendo

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2009, 11:32:25 AM »
A-ha! This didn't take as long as I thought.

My friend was trying to get the hot-swap feature working with his Antec MX-1 enclosure coupled to his Gigabyte motherboard. He was hooking it up to the JMicron controller (which is rebranded as Gigabyte on their motherboards, but JMicron makes it) and the problem was if he hooked up the drive when the computer was on Vista (man, thought this was an older OS problem!) would not detect the drive unless he went into Device Manager and did a scan for changes or he rebooted.

This was not his boot drive & it was using the Gigabyte/JMicron drivers, but it still did not work till he applied the fix outlined in this MSKB article:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976

The article talks of this fix is only if the affected drive is your boot drive & you are using the default MS drivers, but once he changed his BIOS to AHCI, rebooted, applied this fix, rebooted once again, and then finally reinstalled the JMicron drivers did his enclosure start acting properly.

And for those who don't want to read the MSKB article, I'll sum it up for you. This behavior is not a bug. It's a feature. Yay!!

Seems when Vista installs it takes it upon itself to disable all storage drivers it thinks the user will never need. If the OS installer doesn't detect AHCI it gets the killbit set in the registry.

Today's friendly tip is when installing an OS always have AHCI enabled even if it makes you have to endure the inconvenience of having to install a driver disk during OS install. Otherwise, your nice SATA drives with all their fancy new features are demoted to legacy IDE mode & treated as IDE drives by the OS which means no NCQ, hot-swap, and all the other cool stuff SATA drives can do.

And a final note, superboyac, just be thankful I'm an email packrat and never delete anything enabling me to bring you this knowledge nugget from December, 2007. ;)

superboyac

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2009, 11:40:37 AM »
You're the man Innuendo!  i appreciate it a lot.  i am also a packrat, I haven't thrown an email away since 1997.

Innuendo

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2009, 06:01:27 PM »
I'm just glad I could help you out. Seems my friend lost a week's work, sleep, and some hair over that problem he had. It worked perfectly up till he moved to the Win7 public beta.

4wd

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2009, 08:57:49 PM »
Dumb question but how does that affect you loading your own drivers?

Doesn't it only pertain to MS' default AHCI driver?

eg. My board uses ahcx86.sys as the AHCI driver, (AMD AHCI).

Mind you I'm using XP.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 09:05:35 PM by 4wd »

Innuendo

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2009, 08:44:56 PM »
Dumb question but how does that affect you loading your own drivers?

It's not a dumb question at all as the MSKB article is worded such that there should be no effect at all on your own drivers you load, but things wouldn't work right for my friend till he applied the MSKB fix.

I attribute it to MS wonkiness.

4wd

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Re: Why can't my computer detect the 6th Sata drive?
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2009, 04:51:54 AM »
I attribute it to MS wonkiness.

Of course, I forgot the Wonky Factor :)