SATA hard drives

One for th techy bods…?

Hi all. Wonder if anyone can throw some advice this way. I was previously running nTrack on my XP Pro box, on a 200gb SATA Maxtor DiamondMax 10 hard drive. Problem was, there was a whole bunch of other stuff on there too, and I wanted to keep ntrack completely separate from everything else. So I bought a DiamondMax 9 80GB SATA drive, thinking I could set up a dual boot scenario, effectively have 2 computers. One for general dicking around with, and another for “serious” recording. :D

Anyway, got the drive plugged into the SATA1 channel, the SATA0 already being taken up by the 200GB drive. But I cannot get the BIOS to pick the new drive up. If I disconnect the first drive, and plug the new one in, it picks it up, but not if they’re together. This is probably some daft BIOS SATA setting that I’m missing, and I’ve done this dual boot thing tonnes of times before, albeit with IDE drives. Anyone got any clues? The motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-7N400S-L, and I’m using the onboard SATA channels. I’m not bothered about RAID or anything like that, I just want to go into the BIOS at bootup, and choose which drive to boot from. Suggestions, welcome…

Cheers, Daz

would it have anything to do with a jumper on the back of the new drive,the jumper being the pin in the 8 prong section of the drive to tell if it is being used as a slave or a master drive…?

Tell you what, I bet it is… MAN I can be so dumb. And I work in IT!

Sometimes you just need to take a step back to make leaps forward.

I’ll let you know later on, but thinking about it, I’m certain that’s the problem. D’ohhh…

Thanks for the reply man!

Another quickie then… am I right in assuming that if both SATA channels on the mobo are being used, then 1 drive needs to be set as master, and the other as slave?


Yup, 100% correct.

Bear in mind though, that the master drive has priority, so if it has data waiting it will be serviced first.
Hence the usual advice to ensure your audio drive is on the master channel.

In the “old” days this was quite important to lessen the chances of audio dropouts, but people don’t seem to experience this now.

Definitely still worth doing with slower IDE drives IMO


can you actually run your boot partition on a slave drive? I suppose you must be able to in order to dual boot…

Are you sure that SATA drives are set-up in a master/slave configuration? I don’t have mine in front of me but unlike parallel ATA they do not share cables.



can you actually run your boot partition on a slave drive?

I’ve booted from slave drives, but it’s probably BIOS specific.

I suppose you must be able to in order to dual boot…

Nah. You partition your primary drive into two or more drives.

Thanks guys. I’ve now got the ability to boot from either SATA drive. I just played around with jumper settings until the BIOS saw them both. Sorted!