Booting a SATA Drive with an Existing Operating System from a SATA Host Controller

 Booting a SATA drive which contains an existing Operating System from a SATA Host Controller is a simple process which involves installing the necessary drivers for the Host Controller prior to connecting the hard drive onto the Host Controller. Below are the instructions for a hard drive with Windows XP Pro Service Pack 2. This procedure should work with both RAID and Non-RAID Host Controllers.

You will need the following items:

  • SATA Host Controller
  • Drivers for the SATA Controller (The latest Host Controller drivers can be found here)
  • Hard Drive containing the Operating System
  • Onboard SATA ports, or an existing Host Controller which is already capable of booting an Operating System.

Installation Procedure:

STEP 1. Connect the Host Controller onto a PCI, PCI-X, or PCI-Express slot.

STEP 2. Boot into Windows from the hard drive containing the Operating System from an onboard SATA port, or from an existing Host Controller which is already capable of booting an Operating System.

STEP 3. Windows should detect the new Host Controller and show the Hardware Update or Add New Hardware wizard. Extract the contents of the zip file containing the drivers to an easily accessible location, then point the wizard to the location of the extracted drivers.

STEP 4. Confirm the drivers are correctly installed by checking Device Manager to see if the "Silicon Image " device is shown under the SCSI / ATAPI Controllers tab and without any errors (indicated by a yellow exclamation mark next to the icon).

STEP 5.

If you have a Non RAID5/JBOD or No RAID Host Controller: Power off the system and attach the hard drive to a port on the Host Controller. The drive should now be able to boot into Windows XP.

If you have a RAID5/JBOD Host Controller: Power off the system and attach the hard drive to a port on the Host Controller. Enter the RAID Configuration Utility by pressing Ctrl+S or F4 during the RAID BIOS screen post. Select "Create RAID set", then select Concatenation to set the hard drive containing the Operating System as a single drive Concatenation. After completion, press Ctrl-E to exit the Utility and the drive should now be bootable when attached to the Host Controller as well as the onboard SATA port.