Installing an internal SATA Hard Drive & PCI SATA Card

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Installing a Seagate SATA HDD using PCI SATA interface card.
Windows would not recognize the Seagate 500GB 3.5" SATA (serial ATA) Hard Drive attached to the SATA/eSATA RAID PCI card that I had installed in my PC. I could not partition or format the drive.

The SATA PCI interface card came with  Driver Disk but  No Instruction Manual, and not the slightest hint regarding how to get the PC talking to the Card, the Card talking to the SATA Drive nor how to get WindowsXP to recognize the partition and allow the drive to be formatted.

How To:
Causes & Problems
  1. My "Old" 2.4GHz GigaByte Motherboard does not support SATA or RAID in the BIOS. With the card and drivers installed, the PC would now not always recognize the IDE Boot HDD because there was a conflict between the PCI SATA card and the BIOS "auto-detect hard drive parameters" as set in the BIOS "Standard CMOS Features" for "IDE Primary Master".
  2. No instructions with the PCI SATA interface card. When contacted, the vendor seemed unable to communicate a coherent sentence in english.
  3. The Seagate SATA drive is NOT Formated from the factory. No instructions with the Hard Drive.
  4. I had to make an educated guess as to which driver files needed to be installed from the "All-in-one" driver CD supplied. (no instructions.pdf on the CD either)
  5. Even though Windows suggested that the PCI card / Drivers and the HDD may be working, the drive letter was not displayed in Explorer. {Control Panel; Settings; System; Hardware; Device Manager; etc)
Solution
  1. With the PCI SATA card removed, boot the PC into the BIOS settings screen. Run the Auto-Detection function for each installed IDE Hard Drive. Then set the detection to "Manual". Leave CD/DVD drives set to "Auto" if they cant be manually set to "CD ROM" (or similar)
  2. If its a cheap, generic PCI SATA card, it most likely will have no instructions included.
  3. Download this utility from Seagate. DiscWizard will see the Seagate or Maxtor drive and allow it to be formatted. http://www.seagate.com/support/discwizard/DiscWizardSetup.en.exe
  4. Try the driver/exe that's located in a folder labeled the same as the CHIP that is on the card. This may vary, but in this case it was SETUP.EXE in the "VT6421" folder. Then check the drivers in Control Panel; System. They may be shown as SCSI rather than SATA as old motherboards dont know what SATA is, and just guess it's SCSI hardware. You wont need to install the RAID Tool if you dont intend setting up a Raid Array, and just want to use the drive.
  5. Once all is installed correctly, run the seagate utility to format the drive : (http://www.seagate.com/support/discwizard/DiscWizardSetup.en.exe )
Once partitioned & formatted, WindowsXP should see the SATA hard drive in Explorer.
Note that only Seagate and Maxtor drives will work with DiskWizard.
If this does not work then you will need to contact the PCI SATA Card vendor and/or the HDD seller for more help.
This solved my problem, I hope this info helps to fix yours.

Happy Trails
RemoteOne



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