JoeSchmoe008

Problem booting from the second SATA drive

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Computer is Dell Dimension XPS. Came with one SATA drive (on channel 0). I installed second SATA drive on channel 2.

I booted from the drive on channel 0, formatted the drive on channel 2 - everything is great.

Then I disabled drive on channel 0 in BIOS, booted from CD and installed XP Pro on the drive on Channel 2.

This worked fine as well, I can boot to the drive on channel 2 BUT ONLY WHEN DRIVE ON CHANNEL 0 IS DISABLED.

In my old Dell computer with 2 IDE drives in the BIOS I could set the boot order of IDE drives, so I could have both drives enabled and boot from any of them and see the other one.

It doesn't work this way with 2 SATA drives - if both drives are enabled, it will always boot from the drive on channel 0. There is no option to make drive on channel 2 bootable. If I go to the Boot Menu (F12), the only relevant option there is "Onboard SATA hard drive", and there is no way to specify which hard drive.

Is this SATA limitation ? Dell motherboard limitation ? Am I doing something wrong ?

I find it hard to believe it is not possible.

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Easy fix: just switch the SATA cables 0 to 1. You would think that you could set the Drive Boot order in the Bios (I can with my ASUS Motherboard).

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Hi Joe

If that gives you problems I installed a switch on the computer back to switch the power to each drive one at a time and leave the sata connectors plugged in to the motherboard.

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I'm not sure what you're talking about, michaelsil1, but then, I have no experience with SATA in any form.

I suggest an even simpler fix. Edit your boot.ini file to include the the second drive's OS in the boot list. That way you can choose which windows install to boot at boot-time.

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If he can Boot on Channel 0 with one or two Drives and he can Boot from Channel 1 with one drive and for whatever reason he wants to boot from the new Channel 1 Drive then switch cables to make Channel 1 Drive Channel 0. I hope this makes a little more since.

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I know I can switch cables (not a viable solution), I know how to edit boot INI (it doesn't change HARDWARE boot order). This is not what I am asking.

Let's stay on topic.

I am trying to find out if it is possible to change HARDWARE boot order between several SATA drives in BIOS. It's that simple.

If anyone's motherboard supports this - pleas post the model

TIA

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