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Thread: My motherboard primary controller may be screwed up

  1. #1
    Triple Platinum Member wumply's Avatar
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    My motherboard primary controller may be screwed up

    Unfortunately, I can't be sure. It has been suggested that the behavior I've been experiencing could be due to some program screwing up the stack. Does this idea click with someone? (Read on)

    Anyway I would really appreciate some suggestions re corrective actions I can try. I can always format and start from scratch but that has to be a last resort--it takes forever.

    Here's the situation at present. There's a lot of detail; please bear with me.

    95% of the time my computer works OK. I'm running XP-SP2 and using Firefox.

    The problem started whe Ghost 2003 would not clone my C drive (master) to my G drive (slave.) Both were on primary controller. Msg was "11030 Invalid Destination drive." That's an MS Error but their brief definition of it is pure Greek.

    My secondary controller had my CDROM and CD-RW drives. No problems ever.

    I notice that boot appears slower than it used 2 months or so ago. There's a period of 10-15" where the monitor is black (or dark gray) and no HD activity. Also every time I shut down, I get told Explorer.exe is not responding...however, if I click "End Now" shutdown continues normally. But this never used to happen on shutdown.

    I tried to do a clone using a program called Casper XP. It froze on the first screen. C drive was master; G was slave. Both were on the primary controller.

    OK. With my C drive on the primary as master and my other HD also as master on the secondary controller (no CDROM or CD-RW), I ran Casper XP. It cloned without a murmur.

    With only my C drive on the primary and no other drives in the system, I tried to run Windows Disk Defrag. It took 10-15" to bring up the main screen where you click 'analyze'. It refused to analyze. I got the message "Not Responding" and if my memory serves me well, the scroll bar was balky. I finally managed to get it to close--I forget how. Now comes the kickerI put the same HD on the secondary controller as master and Disk Defrag ran without a murmur.

    Then I used my other drive on the primary controller (all alone) and again Disk Defrag refused to run. Same Not Responding messages. But on the secondary controller, Disk Defrag ran like a dream.

    I asked myself if the ulrtra cable I was using on the primary be at fault. Nope! I replaced it with a different ultra dma cable and no behavior of anything changed from what I've described. I tried that cable with both drives too. So I conclude that both hard drives are OK and that both cables are OK.

    My mobo was new in April 04. So it is just under 2 years old. The Repair Shop where I go tells me it may well not be made any more, being replaced by newer models and that if I replace it, I am very likely to have reformat and start again from scratch. (I plan to ask themanufacturer about this.) And that it could cost up to $200. An engineer who helped me with this problem (lucky me!) suggested I could try a RAID controller in a PCI slot, instructing it just to take over for the onboard controller. Cheaper than a new mobo. It was a suggestion only as he was the one who felt the stack could be my problem. He admitted that a chip or transistor on the mobo controller could be at fault though but felt that was pretty unlikely.

    I am wondering what about the possibility of putting my CDROM and CD-RW on the primary controller and the C drive (the HD) on the secondary. It just might work, ya know? What do you think of this idea...would it slow down normal computer operation significantly...is the secondary less robust than the primary? It uses an older dma cable (non-ultra dma...just 40 wires...not 80). I should note here that running Disk Defrag on the secondary and running Casper with the destination drive on the secondary showed no apparent slowdown of either program.. Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    "Typically" it is suggested to have the 1st hdd on the primary controller with an optical drive as slave and the 2nd hdd on the 2ndary controller with another optical drive as slave.


    Ain't nothin wrong with that setup. If it works, and is cool with you, leave it that way and do yer bidness.

  3. #3
    Platinum+ Member bhxtyrant's Avatar
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    I would also have to agree with rik.I have used that setup for years without issues (one hard drive and one optical drive per controller) actually to be honest i have never came across a PC which has two hard drives connected to the primary controller.I have used two slave drives on the secondary without problems.i would connect one of your optical drives to the primary along side your main HDD and see if all works correctly to rule out the possibility of damage.Also would recommend upgrading your old cables as well.

    I get told Explorer.exe is not responding...however, if I click "End Now" shutdown continues normally.
    I would have to say this is rather normal at least in my expierience.It seems that this could be caused by norton products (ghost,antivirus,firewall,systemworks) as my PC has done the same ever since i installed these products.I think it has to do with the fact that norton products use up quite a bit of system resources which causes the normal system applications to hang during shutdown.Same would apply to boot time as well.
    Last edited by bhxtyrant; March 12th, 2006 at 03:23 AM.

  4. #4
    Precision Processor Super Moderator egghead's Avatar
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    I was under the impression cd\roms will slow a hard drives performance esspecially when sing an ata66+ cable. My dvd burner acts crazy with those cables. I use 2 hard drives on main controllerwith ata 100. one sata for booting
    and I have a hd and dvd burner using normal cables for backup and mp3's/

    Do you have smartdrive enabled? it my detect a problem with your controller. You may also have a irq conflit on the ptimary contrller. You can reset the bios to defaults and see if you can troubleshoot from there.
    ------------------------------------------------------------



  5. #5
    Triple Platinum Member wumply's Avatar
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    Smartdrive? I'd never heard of it. A search for 'smartdrive' (withoutquotes) came up zilch. I found a SMARTDRIVE.exe on the net I could download. Is that what I want? It appeared to be associated with Windows 3.1 and 3.11 but no indication it was associated with XP (all this per MS)

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wumply
    Smartdrive? I'd never heard of it. A search for 'smartdrive' (withoutquotes) came up zilch. I found a SMARTDRIVE.exe on the net I could download. Is that what I want? It appeared to be associated with Windows 3.1 and 3.11 but no indication it was associated with XP (all this per MS)
    Egg means the S.M.A.R.T technology that some drives come compatible with:

    S.M.A.R.T. technology

    S.M.A.R.T. stands for Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology. S.M.A.R.T. technology was developed by a number of major hard disk drive manufacturers in a concerted effort to increase the reliability of drives. It is a technology that enables the PC to predict the future failure of hard disk drives. S.M.A.R.T. technology has become an industry standard for hard drive manufacturers.

    Through the S.M.A.R.T. system, modern hard disk drives incorporate a suite of advanced diagnostics that monitor the internal operations of a drive and provide an early warning for many types of potential problems. When a potential problem is detected, the drive can be repaired or replaced before any data is lost or damaged.

    The S.M.A.R.T. system monitors the drive for anything that might seem out of the ordinary, documents it, and analyzes the data. If it sees something that indicates a problem, it is capable of notifying the user (or system administrator). S.M.A.R.T. monitors disk performance, faulty sectors, recalibration, CRC errors, drive spin-up time, drive heads, distance between the heads and the disk platters, drive temperature, and characteristics of the media, motor and servomechanisms. The errors the system can detect can be predicted by a number of methods. Currently the SMART system can detect about 70% of all hard drive errors.

    http://www.ariolic.com/activesmart/s...echnology.html

    You can enable and disable this in some drives... usually in the hard drive device manager properties.

  7. #7
    Triple Platinum Member wumply's Avatar
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    BB: Thanks.

    Egghead or someone: could you expand a little on discovering where IRQ conflicts are. I know they mean some action or process is interrupted as when you hit a typewriter key. So I set my BIOS to all default...how then do I find out if I have an IRQ conflict? Is there an article that goes into how eliminate such a conflict?

  8. #8
    Triple Platinum Member wumply's Avatar
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    Update...probably doesn't matter much. Tried putting HDD as master and CDROM as slave on secondary and the CD-RW as master on the primary. Didn't boot worth a damn. Just mucked around. (So I disconnected the CD-RW out of the system, leaving HDD as master and CDROM as slave on secondary). Nothing on primary. Things working fine--of course I've no CD-RW for now. I begin to think that the primary controller is screwed up and that I should consider a RAID controller to plug into a PCI porrt and take over for the primary-I understand they can be set not to act as RAID. Cheaper than a new mobo. Egghead, the smartdrive, per BB's post, appears to only act as an early warning of trouble system for the drive alone. My Seagate drive bought Oct. 05 might have it; my Samsung (bought July 02) probably doesn't. Think I'll ask the mobo mfg forum about the problem--see what they recommend.

  9. #9
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    Have you checked Event Viewer for errors?

  10. #10
    Triple Platinum Member wumply's Avatar
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    Yep, tons of times. And if I click on 'System" in the tree, and the double click on any of the tons of red X's over the last week and a half, I get this message: "The device\Device\Ide\Ide Port 0 does not respond within the time out period."

  11. #11
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    Try this

    1. Connect your HD to Primary IDE.
    2. Check the transfer mode of Primary IDE channel.
    a. Go to Control Panel -> Device Manager.
    b. Expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers folder, double-click Primary IDE Channel, and then click the Advanced.
    Transfer Mode should be set to "DMA if available", Current Transfer Mode set to "Ultra DMA Mode 5 or 6"
    3. If the transfer mode is "PIO only" then uninstall the Primary IDE - Click on the Driver tab, select Uninstall, click OK, reboot. After booting Windows will automatically reinstall the IDE channel and activate DMA. Problem solved!

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