Old Deskpro + New PCI IDE Card Troubles

Discussion in 'Compaq' started by Adam, May 28, 2004.

  1. Adam

    Adam Guest

    Hi All,

    I've just bought a new PCI IDE controller card in order to skip the 8GB
    limit on the size of my hard drive. Unfortunately the card is not
    recognised. It doesn't show up in the device list in the Compaq BIOS :-(
    (I've tried it in two different PCI slots)

    Any ideas why?

    My computer is a: DeskPro 4000S 5166X
    The card is an ST-305 made by "Silicon Image"

    Thanks a lot,
    Adam, May 28, 2004
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  2. Adam

    HH Guest

    Did you go into CMOS and disable the onboard IDE controller?
    HH, May 28, 2004
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  3. Adam

    Ben Myers Guest

    A 166Mhz Pentium system may well conform to an older version of the PCI spec,
    whilst the new PCI cards meet the PCI 2.1 spec. And they may require PCI 2.1 on
    the motherboard... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, May 29, 2004
  4. Adam

    Adam Guest

    Just done that - didn't make any difference :(
    Still doesn't even appear on the list.

    Adam, May 29, 2004
  5. Adam

    Adam Guest

    Hmm, actually the specs of the card:
    say it's PCI, revision 2.2

    Surely the new specs would be backwards compatible though?


    Adam, May 29, 2004
  6. Adam

    Ben Myers Guest


    Unfortunately, there is only some backward compatibility. A PCI 2.2 board
    requires a PCI 2.2 motherboard, and may work in a PCI 2.1 mobo. However, a PCI
    2.2 complaint mobo IS backward compatible with any PCI card.

    The important thing is the level of PCI compliance of the motherboard. For the
    most part, Pentium-class motherboards were PCI 1.0 or 1.1 compliant, with a few
    made to meet the PCI 2.0 spec... Ben Myers

    Ben Myers, May 29, 2004
  7. Adam

    Adam Guest

    Oh :(

    So you think I've got no chance of getting my new controller working?


    Adam, May 29, 2004
  8. Adam

    Sharmon Guest

    Absolutely no chance , the mobo isn't even looking at the right
    address on the card. Like trying to use a USB 1.0 port with a USB 2.0
    device , most are only USB 1.1 or 2.0 compatable.

    Sharmon, May 29, 2004
  9. Adam

    Tom Scales Guest

    I'll accept your thoughts on the PCI cards, but no machine ever shipped with
    a USB1.0 port, so I don't think your comments are accurate. USB2 devices
    will run flawlessly (and slowly) on a USB1.1 port.

    Tom Scales, May 29, 2004
  10. Adam

    Sharmon Guest

    Tom I am used to your disputing everything I say but you might want to
    look up OHCI especially when Compaq started making the transition to
    UHCI 1.0 (1994-late 1996) . It is known as USB 1.0/1.1 and was very
    common in a lot of earlier P2's . The southbridge chipset wasn't even
    capable of handling the higher 12mb/s I/O for about 4 months after
    UHCI 1.1 was developed .Only mice , keyboards and other 1.5 mb/s
    devices worked well. A lot of Digital R&D was put into perfecting it
    for about two years after the spec was published. (real world met
    theory in a big way). Yes USB 2.0 devices will usually work on 1.1
    ports but they will not work on 1.0 ports if the full 12mb/s is needed
    .. I had an Armada 1700 that had a USB 1.0 port listed as USB 1.1
    compliant that worked only with 1.5 mb/s devices and the occasional
    older Palm (the MB in the Armada was ver 1.1A this problem was fixed
    by ver 2.0) . I worked for Digital/Compaq/HP for 11 years and finally
    got tired of be treated like trash and now work for the federal
    government so I can stop worry so much about be "downsized" for a

    Best Regards Tom

    Sharmon, May 29, 2004
  11. Back to the original issue though, as far as I can be of any assistance,
    you might see if you can get a PCI controller card that the system will
    recognize. Check your local used PC shops etc. If not them, then Ebay,
    Pricewatch, and a general Google of the web may turn up an alternative
    source. Since Compaq machines were big as leased machines see if you have a
    local office machine leasing company and try to find out what they do with
    their returned/off lease machines. Many have a used PC outlet that sells
    these machines and their components used, but still in good condition to the
    general public. Also check the local college system as Compaq's are big
    with them as well.

    Finally, at the risk of sounding like a sales agent, look at
    www.epcusa.com. They are St. Louis based company that sells returned/off
    lease machines for a couple of different office machine leasing companies.


    Kevin Childers, May 29, 2004
  12. Adam

    Ben Myers Guest


    Odds are slim. There are other PCI IDE controllers (and even plain disk BIOS
    replacement cards without IDE connectors) which are less demanding of the
    motherboard PCI revision level. You might investigate specs of other cards
    before buying. Unfortunately, most of the new cards require a PCI 2.2
    motherboard. You may well have to find a used card. Or consider replacing the
    DeskPro if you can afford it... Ben Myers

    Ben Myers, May 29, 2004
  13. Adam

    HH Guest

    Tom, good point. I've got a Western Digital 80GB USB 2 HD. It works fine on
    my Presario S5200CL with USB 2 ports. It also works fine, just slower, on my
    IBM with USB 1.1 ports.

    HH, May 30, 2004
  14. Adam

    HH Guest

    Actually, Tom, a few Presarios did ship with USB 1.0. Some of the early
    4700s and even 4800s did and caused no end of headaches.

    HH, May 30, 2004
  15. Adam

    Adam Guest

    Thanks for the advice Ben (and Kevin for similar thoughts)

    Yes - the problems was that I didn't realise that my DeskPro wouldn't
    support PCI 2. I did have a look at the specs of the card before I got
    it and it mentions backwards compatibility with 33MHz buses and the
    like. Also, there's lots of advice around which I found which says "buy
    a new PCI card to fix your harddisc limit" without any caveats, so I
    didn't realise there'd be a compatibility issue :(

    <thinks> In fact, I think when I originally asked here about new hard
    drives, someone recommended a new PCI IDE controller...

    Anyway, I shall return my card and keep an eye on eBay for an old one.
    Hmm, actually it looks like my new card sells for more on eBay than I
    bought it for! Maybe I'll sell it instead...

    Buying a new computer isn't really a question of money - my current one
    pretty much does everything I want fine and if I had 80GB instead of 8GB
    then I'd really be all set :)


    Adam, May 30, 2004
  16. Adam

    Tom Scales Guest

    OK, I stand corrected. I was under the impression those machines were
    entirely non-standard and only officially supported the Compaq USB camera.

    Tom Scales, May 30, 2004
  17. Adam

    Adam Guest

    Hello again :)

    Well, I managed to pick up a secondhand Promise Ultra66 on eBay for next
    to nothing (still planning to sell my new card there and hopefully make
    enough to profit to pay for the Promise!!) and had a /slight/ nightmare :-(

    The Promise card works fine, recognised the big harddrive and
    everything. So next I decided to use fdisk to create a new partition to
    use the extra space. Good plan, I thought. However, somehow fdisk
    managed to completely corrupt the filesystem on the *original*
    partition[*] - not an eventuality I had prepared for :-(
    Not only that, but it then refused to see more than 10GB of my 80GB!

    Anyway, after some extensive trauma and with the help of an old drive
    with an OS on it and "free fdisk" I've ended up with a formatted drive
    and everything running fine except...

    How can I stop the compaq BIOS asking me to press F1 every time I turn
    the computer on and after the Promise has booted up? Or is it just
    something I'm going to have to live with?

    Thanks a lot,

    [*] While not fun, it was funny! For example, a folder with a couple of
    megabytes worth of files in it counted as being 360 gigabytes big!!
    Adam, Jun 5, 2004
  18. Adam

    Adam Guest

    Oh, and, my "disc-activity" LED doesn't light any more. I can see a
    green and white pair of wires running from the LED. I assume I can chop
    these and attach them to the connector on the Promise card (see step 11
    here: http://tinyurl.com/3bw7m) but which of the four connectors on the
    Promise card should I attach them to?

    Any ideas?

    Adam, Jun 5, 2004
  19. Adam

    Adam Guest

    Oh, and, my "disc-activity" LED doesn't light any more. I can see a
    green and white pair of wires running from the LED. I assume I can chop
    these and attach them to the connector on the Promise card (see step 11
    here: http://tinyurl.com/3bw7m) but which way round do the green and
    white wires go?

    Any ideas?

    Adam, Jun 5, 2004
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