I successfully installed two new WD 250 GB SATA drives on this 8rda3ipro mobo in RAID 1 (mirrored). XP sp2 installed, etc. Drivers have been installed correctly. Problem is when I attach any of 3 other PATA drives to ch 0, master/slave or ch 1 master/slave. It gets through the POST and detects the IDE drives correctly. Then Windows starts to load and shows the black screen with white bar at the bottom that moves from left to right, then the screen blanks out, next I'd expect to see the Windows XP splash screen on a black background but it doesn't get that far. The monitor 'clicks' like it's about to show the desktop and I see a brief flash of garbled video then it reboots and loops like that.
I thought maybe Windows is trying to read those drives but can't for some reason out of some confusion over the drive controller. So - In the BIOS I set all four PATA channels as enabled for RAID, so the nvidia raid controller controls them instead of the regular controller. That did work - I got past the boot loop and can boot into windows, but can't see any of the PATA drives. When I go into the RAID BIOS (F10 at boot), it 'sees' the PATA drives. I leave them alone - I don't want to make an array out of the PATA drives. I thought if I didn't create an array, the disks would show up as single disks in Windows but they don't. They don't show up in Disk manager. I can use the Windows GUI nvidia raid control program and 'see' the PATA drives there, but again, I don't want to create an array from them.
I also tried updating the BIOS to the latest version - didn't help. I think the PC is trying to boot off the PATA drives and getting confused. Someone suggested making the PATA drives not 'active' using Partition Magic. How is that done?