WD10EACS and oldish onboard SATA-I problem..

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DonP
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WD10EACS and oldish onboard SATA-I problem..

Post by DonP » Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:36 pm

Guys,
I was hoping someone could shed some light on a problem I'm having.
I have a DFI NFII Ultra Infinity motherboard which has an onboard Silicon Image SATA1 3114 controller and I have three SAMSUNG HD501LJ happily hanging off three of the four SATA ports (non-RAID).
I've now tried to add a Western Digital WD10EACS (5400rpm version) drive to them and I'm having a problem.
At boot (before the OS) the first text to appear is the graphics card text, and then the standard BIOS boot text with memory test, PATA drive info and so on. Then the text from the Siil 3114 RAID SATA BIOS appears.. and this is where I have a problem..
if I only have the Samsungs plugged in a table of "port#,model#,capacity" appears. which is fine and dandy.
If I however plug in the WD10EACS into the last available port I get to the SATA table stage and it prints the Samsungs' details hanging off port 0 and 1, but when it gets to port 2 where the WDC is it prints the model number WD10EACS-65D6B0 but hangs where it should print capacity and doesn't do anything more. It doesn't print the details of the HD501LJ on port 3.
I thought maybe the WD10EACS isn't switching to automatically backwards compatibility mode so I added the necessary jumper, and it didn't help.
The system BIOS is up to date but dates back to 2004.
The SATA controller BIOS isn't up to date but the version available from Silicon Image says "motherboard BIOS for OEM use in development" so I'd rather not try to hack it into the system BIOS I have.
I've tried swapping SATA cables and I've tried the WDC on different SATA ports without success.

I don't have any other SATA hosts that I could try the drive on.

Does anyone have any ideas or had a similar problem?

I suspect it may be the controller disliking the bigness :) of the new drive - I've found at least one mention of a similar problem.

I'm thinking my only solution is to buy an external USB/FW/eSATA enclosure or an extra SATA PCI controller.. which I'd prefer not to do if I still have a spare port on board.

TIA, DonP.

Nick Geraedts
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Post by Nick Geraedts » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:42 am

Have you tried connecting only the WD drive? I'm wondering if the PCI card you have can't handle auto negotiation on individual drives (i.e. the ports come in pairs).

loimlo
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Post by loimlo » Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:29 am

It seems that you encountered the typical SATA controller <-> SATA2 HDD compatibility problem. I suggest you changing WD10EACS SATA status from SATA2 to SATA1 by WD jumper settings. At least, it worked well with vanilla VT8237 on KT400A motherboard in my experience.

Audiophiliac
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Post by Audiophiliac » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:18 am

He said he tried the jumper to set the drive to SATA I mode. I just ordered the same drive to use in my system that only supports SATA I. I read somewhere a list of chipsets that were tested by WD to work in this configuration. My board is nForce4 Ultra and it was on the list. So hopefully I can set the jumper and be ok.

I also read in a few places that you may have to plug the SATA 2 drive in the master port and any SATA 1 drives in the slave ports. Something about priority or something....anyway things to try I guess. I just hope mine works out.

I know Samsung has a software fix for their SATA 2 drives that is probably new firmware to make the drive essentially SATA 1. They did this to fix this exact problem people were having. :)

DonP
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Post by DonP » Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:46 pm

Thanks guys.
I did try connecting the WD drive by itself but the boot sequence hung at the same place (just before printing the disk size). I tried different ports too.
In the end I bought a USB/eSATA HDD enclosure and the disk is running fine with no problems at all. My only gripe is that the USB is slow. I would have gone for an enclosure with FW400 but they were twice as expensive :(
eSATA is currently of no use because I'd just be plugging it into the same SATA1 controller. In the future I'll install a SATA2 PCI controller.

@Audiophiliac Yep - I saw that document too, hence my search for an updated controller BIOS.. but alas there isn't one which is incorporated into the system BIOS (which is where it's supposed to reside because this is an onboard SATA controller).

Thanks again everyone!
DonP.

andyb
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Post by andyb » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:46 pm

I would return the drive as faulty, it obviously does not work on 2 different contolers, and you have tried the jumpers, ther is no doubt, you need a replacement or a refund, or ideally a HD103UJ.


Andy
Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,400MHz, 512GB 850 EVO, 500 Extreme II, 2x 2.5" drives, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr.
Server, under reconstruction, 380W Enermax Pro82+, positive pressure only.

loimlo
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Post by loimlo » Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:59 am

Sorry, my mistake. :oops:
Otherwise I'd return it and get something other than WD under your circumstance.

Btw, nForce4 Ultra did support SATA2; yet its junior brother, nForce4-4x, didn't support SATA2. I'm using WD6400AAKS with nForce4 Ultra now.

Image

Cryoburner
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Post by Cryoburner » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:45 am

My WD6400AAKS didn't initially work with my 2004 Abit AV8 motherboard, but adding the jumper fixed it for me. I think the placement shown in the last image of the diagram is the one you would need. I was installing mine alongside a Samsung 160GB drive.

I suppose it's possible that it might simply be incompatible with your motherboard though.

pony-tail
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Post by pony-tail » Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:05 pm

I have had this issue with WD Sata II drives and older controllers Sil 3112 and Promise Sata 150 the Promise controller was easy to fix with a firmware upgrade . I have also had the issue with some generic Sata I usb external cases ( both had a Via internal chip ) .I have also had a similar issue with 1tb Samsung drives on a P4G8X motherboard with a Sil 3112 controller - strangely both 500g and 750g Samsungs work fine on this board . as for a fix - in most cases I have not been able to find one other than running a different drive . As for Seagates I bought 2 x !tb drives and both were D.O.A. and I was unable to try them . I have not bought any Seagate drives since .
Just a note - the 2 Seagate drives were both from the same batch .
Small Fast and Silent - Quiet SFF With Gonads!

DonP
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Post by DonP » Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:34 pm

Thanks guys.
I don't think I will RMA the drive - it works perfectly fine in the USB enclosure. The only place it doesn;t work is hanging off a SATA1 (Sil3114) controller with an old BIOS. I would upgrade the BIOS and it would probably work fine but there is no BIOS available which is incorporated into the system BIOS which is the type I need, since the 3114 is onboard the motherboard.
I suspect that _all_ 1TB drives, irrespective of manufacturer, will be broken on this Sil3114 with its current old BIOS version.

If the Sil3114 were on a PCI card then I'm sure it could be flashed and it would work fine. In the future I may swap out the motherboard or just install a PCI SATA2 card.

The drive itself works so I don't see a reason to RMA.

So far I like the drive - it's cool and quiet, and for bulk storage (ie non-system-disk) purposes it's plenty fast.

DonP.

Audiophiliac
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Post by Audiophiliac » Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:28 pm

I ordered one that should arrive here tuesday or wednesday. I will connect it to my nForce 4 Ultra board. I did read online that it will support SATA II, but the owners manual for my mobo does not specify. I should be ok though. :)

It should work fine for me for FLAC storage. :)

mond
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Post by mond » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:01 am

I recently bought this PCI SATA controller, which also features the SI 3114 chip, and the problem was the same as you described: WD10EACS works fine with onboard controller (Intel 865PE chipset), and the controller card works fine with other drives. Also tried setting the jumper to SATA 1 mode, with no luck. Anyway, since I am not actually going to use the GP in this config, I didn't really bother to try and resolve the problem.

loimlo
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Post by loimlo » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:25 am

It's odd since I didn't change jumpers on 6400AAKS out of box and install it on Abit KN9 without a problem. It's up running for two months in my system. I strongly recommend 6400AAKS for system drive as it performes well even with AAM status on.

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