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Old July 8, 2012, 08:45 PM
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Default Am I dumb? ...problems with a SATA card

I got a Vantec UGT-ST310R card for my NAS to add some SATA ports. It's an old board - a gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 with a e6300. As soon as I added the card I went through the new hardware thing and added the drivers as per the instructions. When I rebooted I got an error saying a certain file was missing or corrupt and the OS couldn't load. I used the windows disk (Vista x86) at this point and according to it the entire partition information on the boot drive as well as any info on that whole drive was gone. I pulled the drive and put it into another computer and sure enough it was seeing it as a brand new drive with no partition info. Luckily I used some software to rescue the important stuff off that drive. So I put the drive back in the original computer and setup new partition info in the OS setup and installed the OS. Everything went well and when it went to boot up on it's own the DVD drive kicked in and was showing that drive again as a new drive with all partition info wiped out.

I did that a few times and eventually took out the Vantec card and got the OS installed and again setup the drivers for it and all was good. In working through reinstalling all my stuff it went through a few boot ups with no probs then again - a blank drive. WTF! I've put the drive in another computer and sent it through some tests and everything is OK. Something about having a SATA controller card is blanking the OS drive - and only that drive. There are 7 other drives connected that are untouched. I've also tried with a copy of XP I have and same thing.

I'm hoping there is something glaringly obvious I missed to explain why this is happening. Anyone have any ideas?
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Old July 8, 2012, 08:59 PM
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Another piece to the puzzle.... I just tried to boot up the computer and try some things and got the message that windows boot failed because a certain file is corrupt or missing. On closer inspection the OS drive isn't even in that computer. !!!!!!!! how the hell is it trying to load windows off this drive when that drive isn't even installed!! I haven't found the drive yet - probably put it down in a safe spot that I can't find right yet but I hope when I do find it sitting on some desk that it isn't spooled up! This is weird!
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Old July 8, 2012, 10:04 PM
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Part 2... I randomly started unplugging drives until I didn't get the windows boot error anymore and found one drive. I pulled that drive and put it on another computer. There is a bootmgr file and directory on that drive as well as a gldr file. I don't know what these are or why windows put then there - or even made this drive 'bootable' that the computer would even look for files here in the first place for a boot sequence. ideas?
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Old July 8, 2012, 11:05 PM
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So you managed to boot into Vista the first time after the card was inserted to install the Vantec drivers?

The problem could be with the boot order. Your board was trying to boot from a drive/channel without an OS. You hosed the existing installation before you could troubleshoot the BIOS settings or the hardware.

Maybe there is a BIOS incompatibility. Make sure you have the latest revision.

Simplify the troubleshooting process by first getting the system up and running without the SATA card, then install the card and adjust the BIOS settings of the motherboard and perhaps also the SATA card.
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Old July 9, 2012, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redline View Post
So you managed to boot into Vista the first time after the card was inserted to install the Vantec drivers?
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by redline View Post
The problem could be with the boot order. Your board was trying to boot from a drive/channel without an OS.
In the BIOS I have the standard boot priority setup... cd-rom, hdd, etc. But I'm not sure I've ever seen where I can set the actual boot drive, i.e. which physical drive and partition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redline View Post
You hosed the existing installation before you could troubleshoot the BIOS settings or the hardware.
Well I might have prematurely wiped the drive the first time but I haven't touched it this second time. The drive is definitely nuked as seen on another computer. FWIW the drive that the computer put the few boot files on was not connected to the SATA card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redline View Post
Simplify the troubleshooting process by first getting the system up and running without the SATA card, then install the card and adjust the BIOS settings of the motherboard and perhaps also the SATA card.
This is what I did the second time around. Got the OS up and running and then installed the SATA card and drivers. All was well for about a day then it went to #$%^. Again I haven't seen where to set the physical boot drive in the BIOS but I'll have a dig around. Also I haven't been into the SATA card BIOS yet. I'm not setting up any kind of RAID with it so I didn't see a need to, maybe I'll have a look in there too.
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Old July 9, 2012, 11:03 AM
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If the system worked for a time with everything installed, then the problem is not the boot configuration, but you can see all the boot options on page 36 of the manual, as well as the SATA mode settings on page 38.

Does the problem only occur after installing the Vantec drivers?
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Old July 9, 2012, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redline View Post
If the system worked for a time with everything installed, then the problem is not the boot configuration, but you can see all the boot options on page 36 of the manual, as well as the SATA mode settings on page 38.

Does the problem only occur after installing the Vantec drivers?
Yeah I found the setting in the BIOS but thanks. Funny I've been passed a hundred times but never noticed it - I guess I've just never had a need for it. And the problems start with the card installed, drivers or no drivers. Tried a fresh setup tonight with drivers I downloaded from Vantec and got two boots before the boot drive was wiped out. Either the card is NFG or there is an incompatibility like you mentioned. I think I'm going to return it and try a different card.
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Old July 9, 2012, 09:16 PM
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So, you did manage to boot at least a couple of times with the card installed without problems, before it randomly flaked out. Anyway, good luck with the new card.
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Old July 18, 2012, 12:10 AM
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FWIW, I had enough of messing with this so I removed the card and proceeded to install the OS and for the first time (with the card removed) the same problem popped up - the partition got wiped. I tried another drive I had handy for the OS drive and all is good, with the SATA card and all. I guess is was just coincidence the drive started acting up the same time I installed the card. Thanks for the help though.
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Old July 18, 2012, 12:58 AM
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My System Specs

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I just *love* those kind of double teaming problems.
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