Internal IDE hard disks not recognised wIth SCSI-like boot disk.

I need Win ME for legacy testing but was running out of disk space.
To overcome the 137 Gb limit I installed a Sunix (Taiwan) IDE4700 Ultra ATA PCI card with ATAPI bios and connected a 250 Gb ATA disk.
With the original 80 Gb as boot disk and Master on the Primary motherboard IDE channel, the 250 Gb on the IDE4700 card, a 40 Gb as Master on the Secondary motherboard IDE channel , CD and DVD connected as Slaves on the respective motherboard IDE channels, all can be seen in `My Computer'.
The 80 Gb was then cloned to the 250 Gb disk and the BIOS set to boot first from `SCSI' (apparently
to Windows, the Ultra ATA PCI cards are SCSI-like).
It boots and runs OK, I am using it right now.
The original 80 Gb boot disk was disconnected to avoid potential problems.
However, the formatted 40 Gb ATA disk (with the Ontrack DDO) connected as master on the Secondary channel of the motherboard IDE controller, does not appear in `My Computer' and so cannot be accessed.
Device Manager displays both channels of the IDE controller and also displays the 250 Gb disk and the 40 Gb disk without indicating any problem.
`My Computer' does list as before, the CD connected as slave to the Primary IDE channel on the motherboard and the DVD connected as slave to the Secondary IDE channel on the motherboard.
Connecting the 40 Gb to the Primary IDE channel makes no difference.
The 40 Gb disk can be seen to be still OK (partitioned, formatted and with a DDO) by using the ME start-up diskette and testing it.
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

My guess here is that you are running into problems with that OnTrack DDO.  When a hard drive is partition is configured with OnTrack's software, it inserts a very tiny device driver onto sector 0 of the primary hard drive, which the system BIOS reads directly before bootstrapping the operating system.  That driver was on the 80GB drive and is also on the floppy you're booting from, but it's not present on the 250GB drive.  You can't see the driver as a file on the disk because it fits entirely on the boot sector; it's completely transparent to Windows (and also to you).  This method of loading a device driver is actually the way some viruses work so they can survive a hard drive reformat.

Anyway, since you removed the hard drive that contained the driver, the only way to get at the data on that 40GB drive would be to use the OnTrack program to refresh it.  I'm not sure exactly how to do this, as I haven't used a drive overlay program in years.

If you do not need the data on it, then repartitioning and reformatting that drive will remove its dependence on the drive overlay program and Windows will be able to see it normally.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
kweehockAuthor Commented:
Thanks cuziyq.
The 80 Gb previous boot disk had a DDO which at this stage I was reluctant to remove. Although I had cloned it to the Ultra 250 Gb, I was and still am uncertain about the reliability of the latter.
In its immediate past life the 40 Gb disk was a second drive, not a boot disk and I could still see its data when I booted from the 80 Gb.
The Seagate tools had the option for removing a DDO `greyed out' when testing that drive, more or  less confirming that a DDO was not present.
I found an old 1.6 Gb drive which would never have had a DDO and `voila', it appeared in `My Computer'.
That made the hypothesis of no DDO on the 40 Gb suspect, it could have been a boot disk in the distant past (I assume only the boot disk needs the DDO).
I saved its data and using the Seagate tools, created a new partition for the entire drive. `Voila aussi', the 40 Gb appeared in `My Computer'.
I had previously assumed that only drives on the Ultra ATA PCI card were addressed by a 48 bit LBA generated by the card BIOS, but as I can see the entire 40 Gb drive on the internal IDE controller and there is no DDO, then the 48 bit LBA must be applied to all IDE drives, whether on the PCI card or on the internal IDE controller.
From searching the internet many times previously, information seems to be very scarce on how DDOs and Ultra ATA PCI cards work and on the interaction of the PC BIOS with the OS .

It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.