Scott Hanselman

What a night...will it ever end?

May 14, 2004 Comment on this post [5] Posted in Musings
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Madness.  It's 1:39am. 

I went to Fry's this evening and spent some of my winnings.  I got a 10,000 RPM WDC 75 GIG SATA drive.  This is my first foray into Serial ATA.  I feel like the time I switched from MFM/RLL to IDE.  It's a whole new world out there.

I've got a lovely Intel 865PERL motherboard with SATA on the board itself - so theorectically I can run this new drive as my C: drive without any drivers (like you need with add-on SATA cards.)

Thing is, last week, thinking I was clever, I flashed the BIOS from the old version P12 to the new P15 - and I've been regretting it ever since. 

The machine boots like once every 12 reboots, and you have to power it off HARD and let it (the capacitors?) REALLY cool off.  It's madenning.  First I thought it was the old IDE Promise RAID card, then I thought it was an impending Hard Drive failure, then I thought it was a Firewire problem.  Now the box is opened up like a dissected High School frog and this is the only thing I can think it is.

I googled my BRAINS out trying to figure this out.  You know, there's a LOT of people out there on the USENET having hardware troubles! :)

I found this one guy who appeared to have the same problem.  And from the sound of it, we may just be the two people on the planet that are having this problem.

Anyway, I've removed this jumper and that, flashed the bios again with a recovery bios (copied onto the only 3.5" Floppy in the ENTIRE house, with some paper I wrote 12 years ago...I formatted it with impunity, so as to avoid catching some Word 2.0 Macro Virus, or a Stoned ANSI bomb).

It APPEARS to be booting up.  Now I begin the long process of designing a storage and backup strategy for this family!

I hope this BIOS sticks.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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May 14, 2004 16:53
Welcome to the wonderful world of 10k SATA! We're glad you're here.
May 14, 2004 21:48

You should check out one of the Shuttle XPC small form factor all-in-one boxes. These things are great and I've "built" (if you can call dropping-in memory and a CPU "building") two of these things with zero problems (including using a 10K SATA). The latest generations have built-in support for everything most people want -- USB2, Firewire, SATA, Network, video, etc. No more big boxes for me -- I'm done with the ENIAC home computer days -- give me small and quiet!
May 15, 2004 7:15
For the love of God, what must one do to get an SATA drive working on a Shuttle box with no floppy drive? I've been burning my own unattended CD's with custom files and drivers for years and never have I had so much trouble. I *finally* got XP on it last night but the hassle is almost enough to make me return the drive and just stick with IDE for a few YEARS until Microsoft adds enough native drivers to Windows.
May 17, 2004 22:56
Scott, maybe this will help:

May 22, 2004 22:53

I have the same setup, so thanks for the heads up on the bios upgrade issue. I've used this box to "go virtual" with Virtual PC and Virtual Server Beta. By "go virtual", I mean the system I use for admin/email/life-in-general is now on VPC. I've been pretty happy with the result aside from the occasionally annoying bug related to cut and paste. I now keep clean copies of Win2k, WinXP, and Win2003 and keep those copies updated with current patches and service packs. Anytime I need a clean install for a project or testing I just copy one and go...pretty convenient overall.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.