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Boot from Floppy or CD with a PCI adaptor installed?

Posted on 2006-06-25
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have an old computer,
a Dell Dimension 2100, I want to put two new hard drives on it.
The computer won't accept the hard drives, they are 100 Gig
(the original drives were 20 gig).

I have tried a couple of PCI Adaptor cards, but they do not let me
boot from the floppy or the CD. When the adapator card is plugged into the
computer, I can only boot from the drives that are connected to the
adaptor card. Even if there are no drives plugged into the adaptor
card, I still cannot boot from a floppy or CD. I have to removed the
adaptor card from the computer in order to boot from the floppy or cd.

Is there an adaptor card that will allow me to boot from the floppy or cd.

The reason I want to boot from a floppy or cd, is that I want to be able to
run Ghost and make a ghost image of the boot drive to a second drive.
Is this possible?

Thank You,
Laurence
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Question by:misdevelopers
8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:callrs
ID: 16980404
I don't know about adapter cards, but you can get up to a 137 GB hard drive working in the computer using Drive Overlay. E.g. Maxtor has an Ez-Bios utility you can get from the Maxtor website.
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Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
ID: 16980665
Check your bios for an option for hdd sequence with the pci adapter installed and make sure system devices are at the top, then it should boot to the fdd and cdrom before the device on the pci card.
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 16981367
Change the boot order in the bios, as jamietoner stated.

There might also be a setting in the bios that lets you choose how it handles "addon" or "offboard" HD controllers. Different bios's have it in different places (if it has it), so you will have to look around for it.
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Expert Comment

by:PUNKY
ID: 16981513
Whenever you install new hardware / hard drive on Dell system, you must reset bios, clear NVRAM. Here is how to reset Dell bios (most works on many dell comp.). Turn on Number lock, Cap lock, Scroll lock. Then press ATL + F, ATL + E, and ATL + B.  

After reset, try again see if you can boot from floppy or CD.
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Author Comment

by:misdevelopers
ID: 16981651
I did check the bios, and the floppy and cd where before the adatpec card in the boot sequence.
There was no setting that I could see that designated how it handled addon or offboard controllers.

Well I took card back, before I buy another card, I want to make sure that it will allow me to
boot from the cd or floppy.

Laurence
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 16981672
you can buy another pci to ide card, but check if it supports atapi devices; then you can also connect cd drives to it :
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=280534&CatId=508
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Accepted Solution

by:
mutley69 earned 1000 total points
ID: 16982852
It's best to put an IDE-card with a specific bios into the machine. It may take a pci slot - but it'll save you lots of tweaking and...
(it may be necessary to install an extra driver for xp/windows2000...) using the F6 procedure (and inserting a driver floppy!) - verify this before installing the controller.

It's the easiest way to solve this kind of problems - maybe you can try to install one harddisk of 20 or 40 GB (a recent hd, if possible from the same series as the bigger ones) - attacht one 100GB harddisk to the first channel as slave of the 20/40GB drive. Then put the 2nd harddisk into the 2nd channel.

You can install this way the OS on the smaller harddrive. The other two harddrives may be recognized by the OS - even if there's no support for it at the bios level (it should work for windows2000/xp/linux).

kind regards.
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Expert Comment

by:callrs
ID: 16987067
misdevelopers >>I have tried a couple of PCI Adaptor cards,

mutley69        >>It's best to put an IDE-card with a specific bios into the machine. It may take a pci slot -

Not the same? Or what's the difference between "PCI Adapter card' and "IDE-card with a specific bios"
Confused now...
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