Can't Boot from onboard RAID when PCI RAID Card is connected--P4PE Mobo

Discussion in 'Asus' started by asdf, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. asdf

    asdf Guest

    have a system with an oboard RAID which right now only has a Raptor with
    system partition set on it.
    I configured this array to be my boot array.

    I also have a PCI Raid card which i use for my two other Sata Seagate
    drives. They are not raided either i just
    use the card to connect them to the computer since i don't have enough sata
    ports onboard.

    with only the Raptor drive attached to the onboard Raid the system boots up
    just fine, even if the PCI RAID
    card is in. However when i attach any of the Seagate drives to the PCI card
    the system doesn't boot.
    I get a variety of messages such as "PCI Device is listening" "ESCD updated
    successfully" or "Press any key to
    reboot the system" but the bottom line is that system won't boot.

    Also if i bootup the system and then hotconnect the drives to the PCI card
    everything is working fine. The system
    hangs for a while and then recognizes the drives. I don't know if it's a
    conflict with IRQ's or something else that
    i need to change in the BIOS. Should i disable the PCI ports which are empty
    anyway except for the one with
    the RAID card.

    The motherboard is Asus P4P4
    the PCI RAID card is Rosewill RC209

    In the BIOS i of course enabled the onboard Sata to be the first thing off
    which to boot

    Thanks a bunch for all the advise.
    asdf, Sep 20, 2006
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  2. asdf

    Paul Guest

    There is a thread here that suggests the P4PE BIOS isn't very flexible.

    The P4PE BIOS has an option "Onboard ATA Device First" that
    has something to do with choosing which controller is selected
    for booting ? (Choose between Southbridge and PDC20376 ?)
    The above thread suggests that the slot position of the
    add-in card can affect which card boots first. PCI cards are
    enumerated according to slot position, with PCI slot 1 being
    checked first. The PDC20376 onboard controller connects to the
    PCI bus, but you never know whether a chip like that is in the
    middle of the PCI order, or has been placed at one end or the
    other of the order. But in principle at least, if some of the
    PCI slots on the motherboard are "ahead" or "benind" the
    PDC20376, changing the slot used to hold the RC209, may play a
    part in whether the BIOS tries to boot from it or not (instead of
    booting from the correct boot source). Knowing the physical PCI
    base address for the controllers might hint at the positioning
    in the PCI order (maybe Everest or Sandra could tell you that ?).

    The P4PE BIOS needs a better way of selecting the boot device,
    and it almost sounds like the BIOS design really is not prepared
    to handle the addition of any add-in PCI controllers for storage.
    While the BIOS offers an option to boot from a SCSI device,
    I don't think there is a way to suggest which SCSI controller
    to use. And add-in RAID controllers tend to use SCSI emulation
    and are considered to be SCSI devices by the BIOS and by Windows.
    So both the PDC20376 and your RC209 might be considered to be
    SCSI devices.

    I bet if there was a way to prevent the BIOS code stored on
    the flash chip on the RC209 from loading, you could stop the
    RC209 from jamming up the P4PE. I don't see a jumper on the
    RC209 to stop it, and I bet the SIL3114 management software
    likely doesn't have an option to stop it either. I believe
    some Adaptec cards have an option like that - switching off
    the loading of a controller's add-in BIOS module is sometimes
    needed in order to be able to manage large numbers of SCSI
    controllers installed on server motherboards. At least that
    is what I've read on the forums of .

    Paul, Sep 21, 2006
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