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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 7th May, 2013, 04:48 AM
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How to install SATA DVD/CD on an ASUS A8Vdeluxe Promise378 SATA port?

On to my next problem!

Trying to find out how to install a SATA CD/DVD drive on an Asus A8V Deluxe Promise 378 SATA port (the VIA SB SATA ports don't seem to allow single drives). I've a brand new drive and I've installed the latest board BIOS (17). The Promise SATA controller detects the WD 320GB hard disc on the other port perfectly when it's by itself, but warns "BIOS does not find proper hardware configuration" and detects nothing whenever the CD/DVD drive is installed. I've tried swapping the ports and installing the CD/DVD drive only, but makes no difference.

I've downloaded the "latest" drivers from Asus and still haven't been able to get past this (unless I'm messing up somehow). I checked Promise download for more recent drivers and they say go to the motherboard manufacturer when the controllers are embedded.

As CD/DVD drives used to be IDE, I'm wondering if it was just never imagined there would be a need to install a CD/DVD drive on an A8V Deluxe SATA port. I tried installing a PATA to SATA interface adapter on the back of the drive, but although the drive was correctly recognized, behavior was hopeless (maybe those interfaces only work for hard drives).

Can anyone help me with this? I really need to install that drive!

PS. By the way, this is my gaming PC and yes, it's o/c'd. Don't people around here use older equipment anymore, or AMD for that matter? I don't have the budget for fancy new hardware and so I treat PC's much like my cars, going for max useful life. I'm getting a Chinese HD4650 1GB AGP for this machine which should be a boost over its current o/c'd 16pipe 9800 Pro 256MB (which still works pretty good at 1024x768), but little details like DVD/CD drive compatibility are a serious issue for some.
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Last edited by TrevorS; 7th May, 2013 at 05:09 AM.
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Old 7th May, 2013, 04:03 PM
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Question:

Are you sure the CD/DVD actually works?

The fact that your mobo includes both IDE and SATA ports, and the SATA ports are all RAIDed suggests to me that the expectation was that CD/DVD and hard drives would be hooked to the IDE bus, and only hard drives would be used on the SATA controller (RAID controllers typically don't have the foggiest clue how to handle CD-ROM drives). In addition, CD/DVD drives for the SATA bus are a MUCH more recent development than hard drives for the SATA bus, so it's quite likely with the age of that mobo that the firmware was never intended to handle a CD-ROM.

I'm still suspicious of the drive itself, as I would tend to think the PATA/SATA converter SHOULD have worked; it's the same command set, just a different electrical interface. Is it possible your OC has caused the clocks for the IDE bus to get jacked? Also, do you see any bulging/leaking capacitors on the mobo?
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Old 7th May, 2013, 06:02 PM
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First up, the Promise controller on the board only supports hard disks, so you will have no joy with that. The Via controller is supposed to support optical drives, but lots of ppl seem to have had issues with optical drives it it! That's not good news for you though, sorry!
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Old 8th May, 2013, 07:09 AM
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The gaming o/c is a mild 10% controlled by the BIOS, but most of my testing with this has been with the default auto mode that comes up if you do a CMOS reset. The board still looks brand new and the regulator area with caps looks perfect. Board runs fine for either normal computing or game playing. The video card catches most of the o/c heat, but I've three case fans in there -- two target video card and memory/CPU, the traditional one above the regulators, plus hefty HSF on GPU and CPU and a duct to feed exterior air to the GPU fan. After saying all that, frankly, I really don't use that machine very much -- not much of a gamer !

I tried the new DVD/CD drive on an Asrock K7VT6 which also has a couple SATA ports (another older board). On that, it operates normally as a CD drive with either the PATA/SATA adapter or one of the SATA ports (used it to install PowerDVD5). Funny thing is though, with either a known good PATA DVD drive or the new SATA, after loading a DVD and waiting for PowerDVD5 to come up, I get system reset immediately after clicking the play button. Since it happens with the known good PATA drive as well, it's obviously not the new drive causing it, but something is obviously strange -- never seen anything like that before (just reassembled that machine a couple weeks ago). I can't even imagine how firing off a video player could trigger such a thing! Seems like a strange cause for a power fluctuation trip, guess I'll try swapping memory and see if that makes any difference.

After seeing the Asrock's success in talking to the drive, I went back to playing with drivers, but this time for the VIA VT8237 SB. Did find recent RAID drivers on VIA's site, but they helped not and instead created complications, so went back to the otherwise supposedly latest from 2003. It's very discouraging to be concluding the Asus board is incapable of communicating with a SATA DVD/CD drive -- seems unlikely the chips are the problem, more likely out-of-date BIOS/drivers. I guess there's the possibility of installing a PCI to SATA card, but the only way I can get room for that is to yank the cool air duct for the video card.

Just installed that known good PATA DVD/CD drive in the A8V machine (which was supposed to get the SATA) and it plays DVD just fine with both WinDVD6 and PowerDVD5. A really dumb problem .
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Old 8th May, 2013, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aedan View Post
First up, the Promise controller on the board only supports hard disks, so you will have no joy with that. The Via controller is supposed to support optical drives, but lots of ppl seem to have had issues with optical drives it it! That's not good news for you though, sorry!
Well, the observed behavior of the Promise (it doesn't even load the BIOS with the optical drive present) agrees with you. I've gone through the PDF manual and they don't even mention optical drives in any SATA context, but the one thing that gave me hope for the VIA SB was it was specifically reporting no single drive present when a single drive WAS present. That suggested it might be possible to install a single drive (hard or perhaps optical) and achieve independent non-RAID function. However, I've looked through the RAID tool selections and help info and if there's anything that enables independent mode, I haven't spotted it. It's easy with the Promise controller, the mode is selectable in the motherboard BIOS, nothing there for the SB controller.

I'd love to get in communication with someone who successfully communicates with a SATA optical drive via the SB. It really seems strange the PATA/SATA adapter appears to work fine with the Asrock, and yet not with the A8V Deluxe! I wondered if something was up with the drivers, but they both appear to be using the standard MS supplied drivers. Unless maybe there's some bus master function getting in the way.

I've a couple more A8V Deluxe machines, one torn down, that I can try. Now I also have that Asrock machine reset-upon-PowerDVD5-Play problem to figure out -- aaargh!
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Old 9th May, 2013, 02:11 AM
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Ok, looking through the manual, I'm lead to believe the SATA connectors (and the one mid-board IDE connector) are intended only for hard drives. The manual specifically mentions configuration for RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD in both cases.

There are a separate pair of IDE connectors next to the DIMM slots. Have you tried your PATA->SATA adapter with the CD/DVD drive there?
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Old 9th May, 2013, 02:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmo View Post
Ok, looking through the manual, I'm lead to believe the SATA connectors (and the one mid-board IDE connector) are intended only for hard drives. The manual specifically mentions configuration for RAID 0, RAID 1, and JBOD in both cases.

There are a separate pair of IDE connectors next to the DIMM slots. Have you tried your PATA->SATA adapter with the CD/DVD drive there?
Thanks for looking at that !

Thus far, I always boot from a PATA and install a 120GB IDE drive master on the board primary IDE connector (adjacent the DIMMS). I may or may not have a slave PATA on the same cable, but I put the DVD/CD drive on the secondary IDE connector, all by its lonesome. (I understand the PATA/SATA adapters don't get along well with Master/Slave cabling, but with just the single drive on the board secondary IDE, that really shouldn't be an issue.) I've yet to fool with the Promise PATA, just its SATA, but in any case, I guess the answer is yes!

I finished building the other A8V Deluxe machine today (prefer to leave my built core machine alone) and just now completed XP and etc. install. I'll see if there's any difference in behavior with the drive. Will update later!

========================================== A LITTLE LATER ==================================================

Two interesting results so far with this second A8V Deluxe motherboard. First, the optical drive still doesn't work with the Promise controller, but this time, after enabling the controller in the BIOS, another interface surfaced and required a Promise "console" driver to satisfy. Never knew that even existed!

The other interesting result is an SB SATA port accepted the new LG optical drive without remark and I was then able to use it to first install WinDVD6 and then play a DVD. Drive behavior appears completely normal. So, appears all these boards aren't the same (unless the other's multiple defective), think I should pull a copy of the BIOS and then see if anything changes upon "update" to 17.

=========================================== MUCH LATER ================================================== ==

Behavior with a PATA/SATA adapter between the motherboard secondary IDE interface (adjacent the DIMMS) and the new optical drive may actually be worse than before (couldn't read anything at all), but is definitely not better. Next up is motherboard BIOS change, question being whether it changes behavior of the SB SATA ports when used with the LG DVD/CD drive. The current BIOS and motherboard works, but is that because of the BIOS or the motherboard?
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Last edited by TrevorS; 9th May, 2013 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 10th May, 2013, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorS View Post
Behavior with a PATA/SATA adapter between the motherboard secondary IDE interface (adjacent the DIMMS) and the new optical drive may actually be worse than before (couldn't read anything at all), but is definitely not better. Next up is motherboard BIOS change, question being whether it changes behavior of the SB SATA ports when used with the LG DVD/CD drive. The current BIOS and motherboard works, but is that because of the BIOS or the motherboard?
This operation has not only taken far more time than expected, but is still in progress. As far as BIOS version goes, the latest on ASUS site (build date 11/14/05) definitely allows a SATA optical drive in one of the VIA VT8237 controller ports. I used the ASUS install disc for the SB drivers and the optical drive behaves normally. I don't know if it can support one in each SATA port, but I do know it doesn't support a single hard drive -- guess that's where VIA drew the line.

So, I used Device Manager to uninstall all the RAID drivers (VIA and Promise) and installed afresh using the ASUS CD for the VT8237 and the latest Promise RAID drivers from the ASUS site into the gamer. Hooked the optical drive up to an SB SATA port and was able to auto start and play a movie, excellent ! However, before returning to the gamer, I broke down and tried the DVD/CD drive in my core PC and it not only didn't work, but it caused the system to crash during boot (happens during the Windows XP splash screen early in the boot process) -- I'm guessing it's during VT8237 driver initialization. I tried the same driver replacement procedure and behavior didn't change.

So, for a brief time, I had the new DVD/CD drive installed and working correctly via SATA in the target system, but now it's pulled again and I'm trying to find a solution to the core PC problem. It actually BSDs, but the banner immediately wipes it and the system reboots so I've no chance to read it. I tried running viasata.exe on both the core and the rebuild, but got the same results for both (DVD/CD drive installed) -- Reset PASS, PIO FAIL, DMA FAIL. The FAILs don't look too good, but the drive functions properly on that rebuilt machine, so nothing proven wrong.

Only thing that makes sense to me is either the VT8237 is defective, its BIOS is defective, or there's still something amiss with the driver. The driver install package includes the BIOS, though it's not clear to me whether setup actually installs it. Guess I'll try some more -- makes me wonder if that Asrock blowup is perhaps driver related?

If anyone has any ideas on this, I'd be happy to hear them !
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Last edited by TrevorS; 10th May, 2013 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 11th May, 2013, 11:01 PM
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Only thing that makes sense to me is either the VT8237 is defective, its BIOS is defective, or there's still something amiss with the driver. The driver install package includes the BIOS, though it's not clear to me whether setup actually installs it. Guess I'll try some more -- makes me wonder if that Asrock blowup is perhaps driver related?

If anyone has any ideas on this, I'd be happy to hear them !
Turns out the VT8237 BIOS is the same version on both machines (2.01), and since it's supposedly just for RAID support and I'm not using RAID, I have it disabled in the MB BIOS anyway. However, I did try it both ways in both machines and it made no difference to either (outside of a boot message that allows it to be selected). So, I guess it's either some lingering side-effect from a past driver or a hardware fault. I've tried posting the problem on the VIA RAID/SATA forum -- see if anything helpful appears.
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Old 15th May, 2013, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorS View Post
Guess I'll try some more -- makes me wonder if that Asrock blowup is perhaps driver related?

If anyone has any ideas on this, I'd be happy to hear them !
Finished fooling with the gamer Monday night! Short of finding a solution to the SB optical boot question, the drive is working just fine, so on Tuesday, I turned my attention back to the Asrock PC and its peculiar blow up.

Downloaded the latest drivers and BIOS from Asrock and despite uninstalling existing drivers before installing the new, wasn't able to change the behavior. Finally tried the only thing left to try, that being install a fresh hard drive (from the shelf) and rebuild the XP system from scratch. Did that (the old system had been built on an Asus A8V Deluxe install) and after reinstalling all the basics (WinXP, Asrock board drivers, XP SP2, USB2.0) it worked like a champ, no more peculiar failures. Guess the problem really was driver related and the only solution was a complete reinstall. In any case, it now works and I'm much relieved, didn't want to lose that board (runs an Athlon XP mobile -- great chip).
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Last edited by TrevorS; 15th May, 2013 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 18th May, 2013, 06:21 AM
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I ran an XP mobile 2500+ clocked to 2.5 GHz for quite a while; those were AWESOME chips for the money at the time.

Glad you got to a solution you were able to use finally!
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