You seem to have a pretty good feel of what’s going on with IDE controllers. I’d like to ask your opinion on some things.
First of all, my system specs: MSI K9N Diamond, AMD Athlon 64 3800+ (AM2), 1024 MB Corsair DDR2-800 memory, 1 Western Digital 120 GB 7200 rpm hard drive on mobo IDE channel, NEC 3500 DVD burner, Windows XP Pro SP1.
I started out with a Promise Ultra133 TX2 (non-SATA), with the NEC DVD burner on the Promise channel one–the ONLY device on the Promise. It would boot with the XP disc, start Setup, but when all the Setup files were loaded and it should go to the Setup screen, I would get the BSOD screen with “STOP: 0x00000034” and the other 4 hex parameters. Same thing would happen with a BART-PE startup CD. I could boot OK from a Knoppix “Live” CD, or an Acronis True Image 7.0 “working” CD, and they would work normally. Obviously, no problem with the NEC as secondary behind the WD on the mobo’s one and only IDE channel (that’s why I need an IDE controller card!)
I read this thread, and looked for a card with the Silicon Image 680 chipset, and found the SIIG SC PE4B12. Installed it (of course, removed the Promise!), and it won’t boot from ANYTHING! It doesn’t show any devices detected, even though the NEC is connected as the only device on channel 1. When I try to boot from the XP disc, it displays “CDBOOT: Couldn’t find NTDLR”. Tried booting with a Windows 98 disc–don’t even get any message! Tried the Acronis CD, and it says “Boot failed. press any key”. Tried with Knoppix, I get nothing, then it reboots (it will keep that up until I remove the Knoppix CD).
The drivers supplied with the SIIG are OLD–dated 3/15/02; and, they are version 1,0,0,0. The card BIOS version is 3.0.93 (displayed at startup time).
The NEC drive is connected to the end connector on a 2-connector ribbon cable (tried 2 different ones AND a round cable–same result). I’ve tried both with and without a jumper on the drive for “Master”–still same result.
I’m kind of resolved to being unable to boot from an optical drive on ANY PCI controller, but I would like to have one because I have an IOMEGA Zip drive I’d like to connect. I also have another hard disc I’d like to use, but I guess I could connect it to the PCI card.
Since I had limited success with the Promise card, should I go back to it? Or should I try to find drivers and the 3.2.13 BIOS for the SIIG card?
Many thanks for your (and anyone else’s) suggestions.