P4C800-E Deluxe: Using SATA drives on Promise controller in JBOD

Discussion in 'Asus' started by JJ, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. JJ

    JJ Guest

    I just purchased two new SATA drives and I'm installing them on a
    system with a P4C800-E Deluxe motheboard. The boot disk is also SATA
    and running from the ICH5R controller. I figured I'd put both the new
    drives on the Promise controller, but I don't want to run RAID of any
    kind - I just want them to be standard, independent drives.

    Here's where I am right now:

    1. I started up the machine and went into the BIOS. I must have
    disabled the Promise controller some years back, so I enabled it, but
    selected RAID instead of IDE, thinking IDE was needed if you intended
    to use non-SATA disk drives.

    2. I then missed the prompt to go into the FasTrack BIOS setup for
    RAID. Figuring that since I wasn't going to run RAID, I probably
    didn't need to do this.

    3. Windows XP booted up and I proceeded to load the Promise driver.
    Given a choice between FasTrack378 and SATA378 driver, I chose the SATA
    driver. After being installed, it gave an error that it couldn't be
    started (probably because I screwed up #1, above).

    4. I rebooted and went into the BIOS. Took another look at the Promise
    setting and decided to try IDE.

    5. Windows booted and is showing the Promise SATA378 as running.

    6. Drives are displayed in Windows XP device manager as: WDC
    WD5000YS-1MPB0 SCSI Disk Device

    6. I'm formatting the two drives right now.


    - What's with the SCSI designation in Device manager? Is that just a
    quirk of the Promise controller?

    - Is the Promise SATA378 driver necessary if I'm not running the disks
    in RAID?

    - Will I be able to take these disks out and have them be read on
    another Windows system, or are they tied in any way to the Promise
    controller, as a RAID set would be?
    JJ, Nov 9, 2006
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  2. JJ

    Paul Guest

    JJ wrote:
    In the past, native storage was via IDE on the Southbridge. That
    is what Windows knew about. Someone worked out how to do SCSI as well.
    And now the tradition is, any storage system not native to Windows, gets
    added as SCSI emulation. That means Windows thinks it is talking
    to a SCSI disk. Windows prepares a SCSI CDB (command data block,
    a hand full of bytes). This is passed to the driver you installed.
    The driver converts the SCSI CDB into a command suitable for the
    actual hardware.

    From that, you should be able to see, that a driver needs to be
    installed, to intercept the SCSI call.

    SCSI emulation has some subtle advantages. SCSI is a linear
    address space, and doesn't have CHS (cylinder/head/sector).
    There are better odds that there won't be fiddly little problems
    concerning the size of the disk. But the driver code still has to
    handle that detail. So, if there are problems, Microsoft is not
    responsible, and Promise is :) (The CDB must have a size limit,
    but I don't know what it is.)

    With regard to moving the disk, I tested that a couple
    years ago, and the first partition on the disk disappeared
    when the disk was moved. I recommend you test that for your
    own peace of mind. What I cannot remember now, is whether
    I prepped on Promise, and moved to Southbridge, or the other
    way around. My data was not hurt, and reappeared when I
    put the disk back.

    Paul, Nov 9, 2006
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  3. Paul,

    Why such a technical answer for a simple question? To simply answer his
    question it would be. The Promise controller is seen by Windows as an
    SCSI device its not a quirk thats just the way Windows see's third
    party RAID controllers.

    Yes you do need the Promise SATAT378 RAID driver, make sure that you
    use it and do not use the Promise SATA378 driver, the difference is one
    is for using the Promise controller for RAID arrays (which JOBD is) and
    the other is to use the Promise controller for additional SATA drives
    in NON-RAID configurations.
    Custom Computers, Nov 9, 2006
  4. This is the way Paul answers most queries, and I can assure you that most
    members of this group are grateful for his presence and for his helpful

    Sylvain VAN DER WALDE, Nov 9, 2006
  5. JJ

    JJ Guest

    [excellent explanation snipped]
    I appreciate the detailed answer. I'll have to see whether the disks
    can be read in another machine, or on the empty ICH5R port in this one.
    Easy enough to figure out.

    Thanks again,
    JJ, Nov 9, 2006
  6. JJ

    Bill Guest

    Indeed! Any that aren't appreciative of his help here in this group
    are either fools or trolls.

    Bill, Nov 9, 2006
  7. JJ

    JJ Guest

    I'm not sure I saw an SATA378RAID driver during the install. The other
    one was called FastTrak378 or somesuch, which I'd assume is the RAID
    driver. I mentioned JBOD in the subject line, but meant (as you call
    it) "non-RAID", though that's not a term I'd heard before. I realize
    that JBOD has a number of interpretations, sometimes meaning disk
    spanning to some people. I've been through arguments over the term and
    implementations and don't need to go there again. Thanks.
    JJ, Nov 9, 2006
  8. JJ

    Guardian Guest

    Paul always gives a great response and to be honest, the one he gave in this
    thread is one of the least technical I've read....

    P.S. Bill.....I didn't mean to reply to you personally when I
    posted......sorry 'bout that.
    Guardian, Nov 9, 2006
  9. JJ

    Bill Guest

    No harm, no foul.

    Bill, Nov 9, 2006
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