Can't boot from my 1.5tb seagate?

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by mattf, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. mattf

    mattf n00bie

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    I just got 3 new 1.5tb seagates that I want to use. I'd like to be able to boot from one of them. However, whenever I load vista32 or 64 and get to the drive configuration screen - I can always see the drives and even format them just fine, but windows always gives me a message "Windows is unable to find a system volume that meets its criteria for installation" when I try to actually install vista on it.

    I have an Asus p5q and an intel DP35DP motherboard - both with latest bios - and both exhibit the same behavior. I have downloaded the latest ICH10 and ICH9 windows boot-time driver disks - and loading the drivers during the windows install doesn't change the problem.

    Even if I format a small partition of 750gb, I still can't make it bootable. I have tried the SATA setup as AHCI and IDE - but both produce the same problem.

    Is this related to the bad firmware in the seagate drives? Other than not being able to boot from one of them - I've been able to use each of them for data just fine.
     
  2. nitrobass24

    nitrobass24 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009

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    Do you have the drive in the asus drive xpert ports?

    Make sure they are on the ichx ports
     
  3. mattf

    mattf n00bie

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    Yes, all three are in the regular sata ports - not the two special orange/white end ones.

    New datapoint! - if I turn the drive setup to AHCI - then I can install vista to one of the 1.5tb drives and boot normally. However, if I switch the mode in the bios to RAID mode from AHCI - then the machine won't let me install to the drives (even if they're not in a raid setup). Nor would it let me install to a RAID 1 setup of two drives (1.5tb capacity).

    I also cannot switch from AHCI to RAID after the system is set up - you get a dreaded blue-screen at bootup if you try.

    I understand the limit to a bootable drive in Vista64 is 2tb correct? If so, it's still unfortunate that I can't install to a RAID 1 setup. Having RAID with 1.5tb drives doesn't seem to be at all workable...
     
  4. nitrobass24

    nitrobass24 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009

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    You have to add the raid drivers in the installer
     
  5. mattf

    mattf n00bie

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    Tried that - when you get to the vista drive setup screen - there is a 'load drivers' button. I do that, insert the ASUS driver DVD and then scan down to the ICH10 drivers - select the right one - and load drivers. Still get the same problem of Vista reporting it can't find a valid install drive - even though I can see all my 1.5tb drives - partition them, and format them.

    Am I supposed to be loading the Marvell drivers instead? Or perhaps my retail copy of Vista (pre-SP1) isn't smart about 1.5tb drives?
     
  6. mattf

    mattf n00bie

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    Holy cow - solution! - but not sure it's optimal

    Here's how you can get raid 1 working with vista on 1.5tb seagate drives:
    1. You need at least the # of drives you want in your raid plus one
    2. Set bios to AHCI, then format/install vista on the first bootable drive - you can just ignore the ones you're about to put in a RAID
    3. After vista is installed, reboot and set the bios drive management to RAID from AHCI
    4. At the RAID setup (ctrl-i), set up a raid using the remaining disks. I set up a raid 1 with two 1.5tb drives - since you're limited to less than 2tb on your boot device
    5. Reboot after setup - and boot from the vista install cd
    6. in the drive setup area - go ahead and format the raid set - it won't complain anymore about no valid bootable drives to install vista on(!)
    7. shut off the machine, and unplug the first drive you didn't include in the raid.
    8. Boot again from the Vista install DVD, and when you get to the drive setup page - you'll see your raid drive ready to be installed and booted from. Go ahead and format the drive (again) and install vista on it. But there are no vista complaints about a bootable drive not available!

    This is a really finicky method. After step 3, if you try to boot from your original drive you formatted under AHCI- you'll likely get a blue-screen during vista boot since you changed from AHCI to RAID bios control. Might be fixable, but after you switch, you need to switch back before you can boot the drive again.

    Also, I don't think you can put three 1.5tb drives in raid 5, or two 1.5tb drives into raid 0 with this method - since Vista needs bootable drives need to be under 2tb (is that correct??) But I'm almost tempted to try setting up the 3 drives and booting from them...

    Any idea why this works?