SATA disk does not show as bootable device

I've been using ASUS A8N32-SLI a couple years with a SCSI disk. Now add a Seagate ST3640323AS Barracuda, and installed a Debian Lenny OS on it.

Although BIOS sees the disk on the SATA bus and reports its data, and although I can access the partitions and files on the SATA, the disk does not show up in my list of bootable devices.

Checked cables. There's no jumper block relevant to booting. I don't see anything in BIOS setup that would enable a SATA disk for being booted.
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  1. AHCI may need to be turned off, or it may need to be set to "compatibility mode" or "IDE" even though that seems counter-intuitive.

    Also, you may have a separate area to manage your hard disks from your boot disks. In my BIOS (ASUS P5Q-E) I have to assign which hard drive I am booting from in one area, then assign boot order in another area.
  2. Proximon,

    My nForce4 chipset does not support enabling or disabling AHCI for SATA ports, so I assume it is OFF by default. I'm not anxious to install newer nForce IDE drivers because that gets complicated, and apparently I need AHCI to be off in any case.

    Nevertheless, your suggestion helpful, for it led me to discover that for my SCSI disk to show up as a bootable device (but no SATA device), RAID for SATA1-2 has to be disabled; for my SATA disk to show up as bootable (but not my SCSI disk), RAID for SATA1-2 has to be enabled. That is, I can set up BIOS to boot either disk, but not both.

    I am ignorant as to why my SATA disc can't be booted without enabling it for RAID. I might mention that my SATA is jumpered for 16-bit, but whether it is set up in BIOS for 32 bit seems to make no difference. But does the 16-bit jumper make the SATA device a RAID device? I might also mention that in fiddling with all this, the disk priority became reversed (/dev/sda became /dev/sdb and visa versa), which makes booting a pain.

    Haines Brown
  3. With a SCSI and SATA drive in your computer you problem may be that you have to tell the BIOS which ot boot to. Don't worry about bootable devices, just go to the BIOS, then Boot, Boot Priority, And select the drive. You could put the Seagate drive ahead of the SCSI in boot priority but if it still doesn't work then you may want to try disabling the SCSI drive from boot all together. And if all that doesn't work unplug the drive and leave all the boot priorities the same and attempt to boot. It could be that if there is anything plugged in via scuzzy it takes priority over anything else... I've never used one except in a big rack server I have but it ONLY has about 6 scuzzy drives, no SATA or IDE drives. Hope this helps man and if you still can't boot it could be that your file system is wrong for Debian. It may only work with FAT32 and your on NTFS... or vise versa.
  4. I have the same motherboard as Proximon but he makes Boot Priority seem more technical than it is.
  5. Mamw93 was kind to reply, but he seems to have misunderstood the situation a bit:

    When I have SATA1-2 RAID disabled in BIOS, Main, my SCSI disk show up in the list of bootable devices under BIOS, Boot, but the SATA disk is not in that list.

    When I have SATA1-2 RAID enabled in BIOS, Main, my SATA disk shows up in the list of bootable devices under BIOS, Boot, but the SCSI disk is not in that list.

    Depending on how I set up SATA RAID, I can boot either disk without any problem. But without both disks appearing in the BIOS, Boot, boot priority list simultaneously, the issue of whether SATA or SCSI gets priority is irrelevant, for there's never a choice of their priority. Mamw93 suggests going to BIOS, Boot menu, and then change the priority of the bootable disks. Can't do that if either the SCSI or the SATA disk show up in the priority list, but never both.

    Am I wrong to assume that if RAID is enabled for the SATA disk, the SATA should not be bootable? But the opposite seems to be the case.

    At the moment I have an incompatibility between the SATA disk jumper set for 16 bit transfer, and BIOS set up for 32 bit transfer, but this does not seem to make any difference as to whether the SATA drive is bootable. Or am I wrong to assume that?

    Haines Brown
  6. mamw93 said:
    I have the same motherboard as Proximon but he makes Boot Priority seem more technical than it is.


    What?!?! Impossible! :na:
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