(This is really long but please bear with me)
Last weekend I bought all the components to build a computer and have put them together, and everything was working fine, up to the point of detecting the IDE devices. No matter what I try, I cannot get the computer to reliably detect and use the devices without giving an error.
I am trying to connect an optical drive (Creative) and a blank HDD (Seagate), so that I can boot up from the Windows XP CD in the optical drive to install the OS on my new system.
The motherboard is an ASUS P5AD2 Premium
There was an issue with the Intel ICH6 previously in these motherboards, but I have confirmed that this has been fixed for my board.
It has a primary IDE connector and then two other separate IDE connectors for use in a RAID – but by default these are set to normal IDE and I have confirmed this in the BIOS setup. The manual says that these can be used for normal IDE devices.
There is a limitation with the motherboard in that I have to plug the optical drive into the primary IDE or it cannot be used as a boot drive (which I need to install the OS). The computer will detect the optical drive in the primary IDE, but will either not detect any other HDDs or it will detect them but give the error that they are "ATAPI Incompatible". It only seems to detect the CD-ROM if I use the asus cable labelled "CD-ROM" and not if I use the HDD cable that has the differentiated plugs - blue, grey and black.
I know that each IDE channel has a master and slave (grey for master, black for slave), and that you cannot have two masters or two slaves on a channel. I also know that I have to set the jumper on the devices correctly as either master or slave (ignoring cable select for the moment). This is not the problem.
On one occasion only after trying repeated combinations with the IDE connectors I succeeded in getting the CD-ROM booted from the Windows XP disk and it started installing on the blank HDD, but after the hard disk formatting stage, the XP installation kept going back to the same screen again and again (asking if I wanted to install windows on the same partition – I pressed “c” to continue and then after loading all the drivers and files it goes back to the same screen asking if I want to continue by installing Windows on the partition.. again and again ). After much searching the web I discovered that this was because the HDD was greater than 137Gb. Apparently the HDD must be less than that figure for XP to install correctly.
So I then bought a SATA HDD (120Gb only) and connected it, thinking that this would be easier than the PATA drive, but it too is not recognized. At one stage it made repeated clicking noises but that was all.
I have tried resetting the BIOS to defaults, but this has not improved the problem.
Does anyone have any ideas? Any help would be greatly appreciated.