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Booting from a Sil3114

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First post, by calvin

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So I'm trying to boot from a Sil3114 RAID controller. I've slipstreamed the driver into a Windows 2000 disc, installed onto the drive, but it claims there's no bootable devices at startup - it sees the disk just fine, but refuses to boot from it. I've changed changed what port the disk is on, to no avail.

I'm using a 320 GB WD Green disk on a Sil3114-based card, on an Asus P2B-D board.

2xP2 450, 512 MB SDR, GeForce DDR, Asus P2B-D, Windows 2000
P3 866, 512 MB RDRAM, Radeon X1650, Dell Dimension XPS B866, Windows 7
M2 @ 250 MHz, 64 MB SDE, SiS5598, Compaq Presario 2286, Windows 98

Reply 1 of 23, by Chewhacca

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Do you have a bios option for bootable add-in cards?

Edit to add: Windows 2k may have problems with partitions bigger than 128GB depending on the service pack installed.

Reply 2 of 23, by shamino

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So you booted the Win2k install disc, it saw the hard drive, it installed onto the drive, but when you reach the stage of rebooting the system, the BIOS fails to boot from the hard drive. Correct me if that's wrong.

In this case the problem must be somewhere between the BIOS and the controller card, or the bootable flag on the hard drive partition.
If the failure was happening after the BIOS hands off to Windows then I think you'd see a different error, probably a BSOD. Not sure exactly how it reacts to the >128GB issue though.

The BIOS needs to be set to boot from add-in cards.

The SATA card needs to support booting. I don't know which ones do and don't.

The Win2k boot partition should have the "active" flag set. Windows install should have done that, but you could check with probably any partitioning utility. A gparted disc should be able to do it.

Reply 3 of 23, by calvin

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I know the SATA card has an option ROM - it shows up its option to build RAID arrays and shows the SATA device right there. I've checked with GParted and ticked off the active flag manually.

Because it's native SATA, LBA shouldn't be an issue - the BIOS is patched up to 2001's latest and Windows 2000 is SP4 with some hotfixes slipstreamed anyways, so it might have even fixed that. I made an 80GB partition to be safe though.

2xP2 450, 512 MB SDR, GeForce DDR, Asus P2B-D, Windows 2000
P3 866, 512 MB RDRAM, Radeon X1650, Dell Dimension XPS B866, Windows 7
M2 @ 250 MHz, 64 MB SDE, SiS5598, Compaq Presario 2286, Windows 98

Reply 4 of 23, by 386SX

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Hi,
I bought two different cards, one with the Sil3114 and another with the 3512. Both card seems not to follow the logic I thought: basically I thought I could boot with the sata internal port from a sata optical drive just like with the ide and eventually using also at the same way a sata hard disk.
Now, both cards has got their bios so at the boot you can see the post check and find disks or drives, but:

1) if I let on the motherboard IDE hard disk and only the pci controller SATA connected dvd drive it look for the boot from the floppy and NOT from the win cd inside resulting with the usual "not boot disk" error..(even if the original IDE hard disk is connected!)
2) if I let on the motherboard IDE dvd drive and I use a SATA hard disk on the pci controller it boot from the cd and let you install the system (need to test next steps...)

So it seems it could boot from the hard disk and not from the drive. This one with both different chips. Any advice?

Reply 5 of 23, by kaputnik

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Booted at least two computers from a SiI3114 card without problems, given of course that those computers might be newer than the one you've tried with. One was a Northwood P4, the other one was some dual Netburst Xeon rig from Dell.

Have you tried with the IDE BIOS for those cards? Unless you need the RAID functionality, that's what you want to use anyways.

http://www.siliconimage.com/support/, select SiI3114 from the dropdown menu. Download IDE BIOS 5.5.0.0, the BIOS update utility, either for DOS or Windows, and of course the "BASE" driver for your OS.

Reply 6 of 23, by matze79

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I also had the Same Problems with Asus P2B with Dual PIII.
Its a System BIOS Problem.
The SIL3114 is simple not combatible.
You can try to flash older Bios Versions.
The latest BETA Bios does also not work with the Silicon BIOS.
A alternate Methode which worked for me was to disable the Sil3114 BIOS and inject the Silicon BIOS File into the Award BIOS Rom as PCI ROM module.

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Reply 7 of 23, by 386SX

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Thank to you both, I would also say that the problem is probably the mainboard (early A7Pro KT133) seems to not support a cd boot with its bios. Even if I would not expect anyway a boot from anything also a sata drive. I've the latest official bios and I could try the later beta one but I don't expect anything new.

Inserting the sata bios into the system rom seems quiet difficult but anyway I will look for some tutorial.

Reply 8 of 23, by kalm_traveler

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matze79 wrote:
I also had the Same Problems with Asus P2B with Dual PIII. Its a System BIOS Problem. The SIL3114 is simple not combatible. You […]
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I also had the Same Problems with Asus P2B with Dual PIII.
Its a System BIOS Problem.
The SIL3114 is simple not combatible.
You can try to flash older Bios Versions.
The latest BETA Bios does also not work with the Silicon BIOS.
A alternate Methode which worked for me was to disable the Sil3114 BIOS and inject the Silicon BIOS File into the Award BIOS Rom as PCI ROM module.

I've been fighting with this same thing on a Tusl2-c motherboard for several days and it also refuses to boot anything.

How did you 'disable' the Sil3114 bios? I added it to the motherboard Bios as you mentioned but after flashing nothing is any different.

I got fed up and tried installing Windows ME with an IDE cdrom drive, but it doesn't give any option to load the 3rd party driver so i moved to Windows 2000. It rebooted to begin setup but then I couldn't boot from the sata ssd so no progress there either.

Retro: Win2k/98SE - P3 1.13ghz, 512mb PC133 SDRAM, Quadro4 980XGL, Aureal Vortex 2
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Reply 9 of 23, by Mad_Wolf

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kalm_traveler wrote on 2019-06-19, 05:55:
I've been fighting with this same thing on a Tusl2-c motherboard for several days and it also refuses to boot anything. […]
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matze79 wrote:
I also had the Same Problems with Asus P2B with Dual PIII. Its a System BIOS Problem. The SIL3114 is simple not combatible. You […]
Show full quote

I also had the Same Problems with Asus P2B with Dual PIII.
Its a System BIOS Problem.
The SIL3114 is simple not combatible.
You can try to flash older Bios Versions.
The latest BETA Bios does also not work with the Silicon BIOS.
A alternate Methode which worked for me was to disable the Sil3114 BIOS and inject the Silicon BIOS File into the Award BIOS Rom as PCI ROM module.

I've been fighting with this same thing on a Tusl2-c motherboard for several days and it also refuses to boot anything.

How did you 'disable' the Sil3114 bios? I added it to the motherboard Bios as you mentioned but after flashing nothing is any different.

I got fed up and tried installing Windows ME with an IDE cdrom drive, but it doesn't give any option to load the 3rd party driver so i moved to Windows 2000. It rebooted to begin setup but then I couldn't boot from the sata ssd so no progress there either.

Hello have the same card and exactly the same motherboard.
Aslo need to boot from the controller (sata) but couldnt do anything
Aslo tried to update the firmware of the card but getting stucked at loading bios screen

Reply 10 of 23, by unix_junkie

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I confirm the problem.

Have a SiI3114 SATARaid downgraded to a SATALink (i. e. flashed with a plain IDE BIOS) in an ECS P6VAP-A+ motherboard (VIA VT82C694X) -- and can't boot from any of the SATA drives attached to it.

The problem is indeed between the motherboard BIOS (Award 6.00PG) and the PCI card, as, once booted, even plain MS-DOS 6.22 sees the SATA drives.

As a workaround, I can suggest that you buy a simple SD2IDE or CF2IDE add-on card, attach it to the IDE controller and plug an SD card or a CompactFlash into it. The SD or the CompactFlash can hold as little as IO.SYS+MSDOS.SYS (Win9x) or BOOT.INI & friends (Windows NT), be rarely written to and last many years. At least, that's the path I'm about to take.

CompactFlash per se is electrically compatible with IDE (i. e. it has the same 40 pins), and, additionally, there're CF to SD adapters (so, being short of CF cards, you can plug an SD card into a CF2IDE expansion card). Below is what these cards look like. Both flavours have a Berg power connector:

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Update: SiI3114 is fully bootable.

I managed to boot MS-DOS from SiI3114, using a 128-GB Intel SSD drive. The trick was to use fdisk.exe which came with MS-DOS to create an active 2GB FAT16 partition. Apparently, fdisk which comes with Linux, even in DOS compatibility mode and when using cylinders as the measurement units, is not 100% compatible when it comes to older OSes and creates misaligned partitions.

To DOS and DOS-based OSes (in terms of their boot process, like Windows 9x), SiI3114 appears as yet another IDE controller.

So, if you have an Award BIOS, be sure to select HDD-0 (as opposed to SCSI) as your boot device:

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Reply 11 of 23, by aureal

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Im weighing up whether to get one of these sil3114 cards or a sata to ide adapter. I dont really care about speed or plugging a odd drive into it. But I have some questions about teh sil3114 card I couldnt find the answer on.

Will I still need to do the hack on the win98 install disc to install w98 on a sata drive connected to the sil3114 card or is the sata drive presented to win98 as a ide drive transparently?

If I get a sil3114 card that has a non flashable bios can I just physically remove the bios to get jbod? The bios chip is only if you want raid is that correct?

Reply 12 of 23, by AlexZ

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Motherboard BIOS should be set to boot from the first hard drive and internal HDD controllers should be disabled in BIOS or jumpers (for 486). Sil3114 BIOS will run during POST, auto detect drives and the system will boot from Sil3114 as long as it has an active partition and a valid boot sector. Using this method it should work on all systems including 486 and you can bypass motherboard BIOS hard drive size limits.

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Reply 13 of 23, by mrfusion92

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I successfully made win98 boot from a SSD using a Sil3114 card on a PIII system. I didn't have to do anything different.
It was blazing fast.

Sadly there was some incompatibility with my agp card, after installing the video drivers win98 would crash during boot.

Reply 14 of 23, by aaron158

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i had nothing but issues trying to get a Sil3112 card going on a p3b-f with all but the oldest bios for the sata card installed it would just freeze up when it tried to pick up drives. with the oldest bios it would work u could install windows 98 but then once u did a shut down everything would get corrupted.

i ended up getting a maxtor branded version of the promise sata 150 card since the promise versions were so over priced and that worked perfectly out of the box.

Reply 16 of 23, by Solo761

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I tried Sil3114 card(s) today on tualatin configuration I'm building with similar results.

Cards originally came with 5403 RAID bios, they recognized SSD (120 GB Toshiba from 5-6 years ago) but I would get "bootable device not found" error. Same thing when flashed with "regular" bios. If I boot from floppy everything looks fine, I can access partitions on SSD, but computer simply doesn't see them when it's time to boot.

Same SSD works fine on Promise SATA TX4 300 and Via6421A cards (that originally . Although for some reason on Promise controller write speed is around 4 MB/s while read is 180 MB/s, while on Via6421A read/write is around 60-70 MB/s.
This is using Windows 98SE with controller drivers installed, fresh installation for both controllers.

Reply 17 of 23, by aaron158

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Solo761 wrote on 2022-05-21, 20:19:
I tried Sil3114 card(s) today on tualatin configuration I'm building with similar results. […]
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I tried Sil3114 card(s) today on tualatin configuration I'm building with similar results.

Cards originally came with 5403 RAID bios, they recognized SSD (120 GB Toshiba from 5-6 years ago) but I would get "bootable device not found" error. Same thing when flashed with "regular" bios. If I boot from floppy everything looks fine, I can access partitions on SSD, but computer simply doesn't see them when it's time to boot.

Same SSD works fine on Promise SATA TX4 300 and Via6421A cards (that originally . Although for some reason on Promise controller write speed is around 4 MB/s while read is 180 MB/s, while on Via6421A read/write is around 60-70 MB/s.
This is using Windows 98SE with controller drivers installed, fresh installation for both controllers.

were did u even find a windows 98 driver for a promise tx4 300 on there website they only offer drivers for 2000 and newer os. from what i recall the promise sata 150 tx2 and tx4 was the only one that offered a windows 98 driver even the follow up model sataII 150/300 only seemed to offer 2000 xp drivers.

Reply 18 of 23, by Solo761

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aaron158 wrote on 2022-05-21, 20:53:

were did u even find a windows 98 driver for a promise tx4 300 on there website they only offer drivers for 2000 and newer os. from what i recall the promise sata 150 tx2 and tx4 was the only one that offered a windows 98 driver even the follow up model sataII 150/300 only seemed to offer 2000 xp drivers.

One I tried was from here

https://www.driverguide.com/driver/detail.php … riverid=1553425

But although it installs fine and Win98 doesn't complain it's not working right. I just tried installing WinXP on this computer and with same drivers I get normal behaviour in ATTO benchmark, write around 90, read around 150 MB/s, while on Win98 I was at 3.5 write and 170 read...

Reply 19 of 23, by Solo761

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I gave up on Tualatin system... for some reason it loads win98 every other time and after DOS part of loading it ends up at black screen so I have to do hard reboot every so often. Not sure what is to blame, but I expect it's the motherboard (PcPartner 815EPBAS3-T217CA, only one I have with Tualatin support), it reboots fine up to the moment I install chipset drivers, and I tried multiple versions...

Anyway... Instead of Tualatin I went with Athlon XP and why not, I tried SIL card again... if I boot from floppy I can access partitions on SSD connected to the card, but if I try to run Win98 setup I get chkdsk error warning "ScanDisk cannot read from the last cluster on drive C. This cluster is either damaged, or your system is not configured properly....", with both regular and raid firmware, when SSD is connected to VT6421 card or Promise SATA300 Tx4 card everything is OK, no repartitioning or anything, just swapping controller card.

Anyway, SIL cards are definitely in "to avoid" drawer...