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ATA/66 and Windows 2000 - A Friendship?





Author: Max
Posted on: 8/8/2000
Discuss: In the forums



Introduction
First off let me say yeeeeehaaaa, or something like that. I was, just like many extremely upset individuals when I couldn’t get my ATA/66 hard drive to work with Windows 2000. I’ve gone out to the Highpoint-Technologies web site and swear I’ve seen a Windows 2000 compatible logo so why the trouble? Well let’s start from the beginning and ask ourselves a few questions:
  1. Do you get "INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE” after setting up an ATA/66 compatible hard drive on an ABIT BE6 or BP6 motherboard?
  2. Does your computer get the blue screen of death when it boots up after installing an ATA/66 compatible hard drive on an ABIT BE6 or BP6 motherboard?
  3. Do you get the blue screen of death when installing Windows 2000 from scratch when you press F6 and install the HPT366 ATA/66 Controller driver?

The Highpoint-Technologies Answer
If you said yes to any of the above then unfortunately you are in the same boat I was in. The following question is posted on the Highpoint-Technologies under their FAQ section.
Q: How do I install Windows 2000 on my system? Why do I get an "INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE" error?
A: To install Windows 2000, be sure to press "F6" to when Windows 2000 begins installation of the operating system and prompts to press "F6" to install SCSI or RAID devices. Be sure to correctly install the latest version of HPT366 device driver for Windows 2000 which can be found in the "Updated Device Drivers" section of this web site.
Well if you said yes to the third of the above three questions you know this fix doesn’t work. This fix doesn’t work even if you do have an S engraved on your chest.


The Microsoft Answer
On to Microsoft - I figured OK if Highpoint doesn’t have the fix then Microsoft must. I mean hell they write the operating system and they must have tested it with these two motherboards being as popular as they are.

How wrong I was...

Microsoft has posted on their knowledge base the following article:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;822051

The resolution to the article has the three following answers:
- Use a low-density data cable.
- Disable ATA/66 support in the computer's BIOS.
- Use a non-ATA/66 hard disk on the computer.
Well this really sucks a great motherboard, a great operating system, a fast hard drive, all of them useless together. Why in the hell would I want to connect my hard drive to a slower controller that wouldn’t let me take full advantage of my hard drive’s transfer rate? Microsoft also states in this knowledge base article “This issue occurs because there is not a Windows 2000 compatible driver for the HighPoint UltraDMA ATA/66 hard disk controller.” Well if you continue to read on it’s sad to say but Microsoft is wrong again.


The Great Find
I was angry just like many of you are, I felt I had no choice so I just set it to the side and lived with it. Every so often I would give it another try and the same thing, the great “Blue Screen of Death”. I had to keep trying I figured that S engraved on my chest would kick in one of these days. Then one day (the last time I tried of course) I plugged it in and holy crap it worked. I thought, I must have plugged something in wrong when it got past the Windows 2000 startup screen and asked me to log-in to my network. As soon as I logged-in it said “finished installing new devices, restart now?”. I was absolutely amazed so I restarted and as it was booting up I peeked down and noticed that I did indeed plug the cables in correctly. Was it going to work?? Would I actually be running my hard drive at the intended transfer rate??

You bet your ass I was, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this article. It worked like a charm, the operating system now saw my hard drive as a SCSI device which was good because it considers the HPT 366 ATA/66 controller a SCSI device. So how did I do it? Was there David Copperfield magic in my hands that night? Why did it work for me and none of the other thousands of BE6 or BP6 owners? Well enough suspense I have included two versions of the remedy, a simple cut and dry version intended for the tech savvy individual and a more in depth step by step guide for the person that occasionally has trouble with computer hardware.


The Cut and Dry Fix (for the tech savvy)
The simple fix is this Windows 2000 must constantly poll the first IDE controller for the system drive and when it doesn’t see one it hangs and eventually gives you the BSOD. It never makes it to the HPT 366 controller so it never sees your ATA/66 drive. The fix is this:

Since Windows has to be able to see a hard drive on the first IDE controller (ATA/33) you must have a hard drive there. This hard drive can be of any size or type as long as the system (BIOS) and Windows can see it and it does not have a bootable system on it. Make this (ATA/33) drive the Primary Master and make your ATA/66 drive the Master drive on the first ATA/66 port (using the ATA/66 cable of course). Next set your BIOS to the following "Boot Sequence" - "A,C,EXT" and set the “Boot Sequence EXT Means” to “UDMA66”.

bootseq.jpg


hpt366boot.jpg


At this point you are ready to give it a go. Save the BIOS and reboot your system. Once Windows boots up give it a couple of seconds and you should get a message that says “Finished installing new devices, Restart Now?”. Say “Yes” to reboot the computer. When windows is finished starting up check your device manager and look at your hard drive settings it should have some indication that it has changed to a SCSI device. You can choose to leave the old ATA/33 hard drive connected to your system if you’d like, either way it doesn’t matter it only needed to be there the first time.

devicemanager.gif


wdinfo.jpg


The Step by Step Fix (In-Depth)
The ABIT BE6 and BP6 have four ports/connectors for hard drives. Each of these two connectors can handle up to two hard drives. The first two connectors (1,2) are capable of using hard drives that transfer data at 33MB/second; these are called ATA/33 or UDMA/33 connectors. The second two connectors (3,4) are capable of using hard drives that transfer data at 66MB/second; these are called ATA/66 or UDMA/66 connectors. For some reason Windows 2000 doesn’t like the fact of there not being a drive on the slower (ATA/33) of the two controllers when trying to install a drive utilizing the ATA/66 interface. So the simple fix is as follows:

be6harddrive.gif
Step 1. If Windows 2000 is not already loaded connect your ATA/66 hard drive to controller 1 using the cable with less wires. This cable is OK to use on a newer drive because these drives are backwards compatible.

Step 2. When Windows 2000 asks you to press F6 to load a SCSI drive just ignore it (unless you have a different SCSI adapter card)

Step 3. Once Windows 2000 is loaded and you have installed all of your other device drivers (sound card, video card, etc..) it is now time to install the HPT366 device drivers. These drivers usually come on the CD that was included with the motherboard. These drivers should be sufficient but as always it would be best to go to http://www.highpoint-tech.com and download the latest drivers.

Step 4. Once the High-Point drivers are installed and you have rebooted a couple of times to make sure that the system has all the drivers installed properly you can now shut your system down. (Start > Shutdown > Shutdown)

Step 5. At this point you should unplug your power cord from your computer. It is always good to get into this habit.

Step 6. Disconnect the ATA/66 hard drive from the slower cable. You can leave the cable connected to the slower controller.

Step 7. You will now need the ATA/66 cable. This cable has three connectors on it and each connector has a different color. This cable also seems a lot finer because there are more wires. The blue connector connects to the motherboard on port/connector 3. The black connector connects to the new ATA/66 hard drive that you just loaded. Make sure the jumper setting on this hard drive is set to cable select for some hard drives this means no jumpers at all and for some it means moving a jumper.

Step 8. You will now need a second hard drive this can be an old piece of junk 40MB hard drive, it actually doesn’t matter what size it is. This drive must NOT contain a bootable system. This means the drive cannot be an old Windows 95 hard drive. It is best to use a new or formatted drive. Connect this hard drive to the cable that you left attached to port/connector 1. It doesn’t matter which connector on the cable you use for this drive. The jumper setting on this hard drive will have to be Single/Master. Again this may require changing some jumpers.

Step 9. Make sure all power cables are connected to the hard drives, connect the power cable to the back of your computer and turn it on.

Step 10. When your computer turns on and you see a message that says “Press Delete to Enter Setup”. Press the delete key.

Step 11. Once in the BIOS setup use your arrow keys (no mouse here) to move down to Standard CMOS Setup. Here you must set the Primary Master to Auto. This is done by using special keys (legend at the bottom of the screen).

Step 12. Hit escape to go back a screen and the use your arrow keys to move down to BIOS Features Setup. Hit the enter key. Here you must make two changes as follows:

   - Change the line “Boot Sequence” to “ A,C,EXT “.
   - Change the line “Boot Sequence EXT Means” to “UDMA66”.

Step 13. Select F10 and Yes to exit the BIOS and save changes.

Step 14. Windows 2000 should boot up as normal except when it is fully started it will popup a message that says “Finished installing new devices, restart now?”. At this point you should say “Yes”. When Windows 2000 reboots you should be running the faster of the two transfer rates on your system drive.

Step 15. It is not necessary to leave the slower ATA/33 drive in the system. So if you want to remove it shut your system down safely and unplug the data cable and the power cable. You can leave the BIOS set to auto detect just in case you decide to put another hard drive in later.

Well that’s all folks! I hope you have as much luck as we did. You should notice a significant increase in hard drive transfer especially when copying files from one folder to another. Or even just using Windows itself, since there is virtual memory which uses hard drive space as memory this action is now sped up due to the higher transfer rate. Please post any success or horror stories that you may have in our forums.









Copyright © by LWD All Rights Reserved.

Published on: 2004-02-22 (14335 reads)

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