2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 4, 2010 10:17 AM by Ulairi

    D975XBX2 "Bad Axe 2" SATA cluster bad?




      I have built a system on the D975XBX2 "Bad Axe 2" that has been running happily for the last three years.  I have recently struck a problem when I attempted to add a second optical drive using the second cluster of blue SATA connectors for the first time.


      The motherboards specs for the eight SATA connectors are:


      Eight Serial ATA channels (one device per channel), comprising:


      Four RAID capable Serial ATA (3.0 Gb/s) connectors (black) via

      the ICH7DH


      Three RAID capable Serial ATA (3.0 Gb/s) connectors (blue) via

      the Marvell RAID controller


      One RAID capable Serial ATA (3.0 Gb/s) connector via the Marvell

      RAID controller, compatible with an external Serial ATA drive



      I have had four drives (3 x hard drives and 1 x optical DVD drive) running off the 4 black (Intel) SATA connectors on the motherboard.  I attempted to connect the new (second) optical drive to the blue (Marvell) connectors.  The drive was not recognized.


      After extensive fault-finding (swapping the connectors around, I have discovered the following:


      1.  The new optical drive is recognized okay when it is connected to the black SATA connectors (i.e. the optical drive is working okay),


      2.  Hard drives that worked okay on the black SATA connectors, fail to work when switched to the blue connectors (i.e. the blue connectors appear to be faulty).


      3.  None of the three blue connectors and the single red (external SATA) connector are working (i.e. the problem appears to be the entire cluster of SATA connectors).


      4.  Drives on the blue connectors are not recognized in BOIS and when the Master hard drive is on a blue connector the system fails to boot (i.e. the problem is not at the OS level).


      I am not using the Hard drives in RAID so I have not loaded either the Intel Matrix or Marvell RAID controllers.


      From what I can deduce, the cluster of 4 blue/red connectors is probably ‘bad’. It may have been like that from new (since I didn’t initially use those connectors).


      My question is - should I try loading the RAID drivers before giving up and buying a PCI SATA card? 


      That seems counter-intuitive since I am not using any drives in RAID and the manual makes no mention of that software being necessary to enable the second cluster of SATA connectors. 


      Or am I missing something else (like a BOIS setting)? 


      All help gratefully received.  Thanks.

        • 1. Re: D975XBX2 "Bad Axe 2" SATA cluster bad?

          Update - I just worked out that the 3 -year warranty on the motherboard is still valid.  I will contact Intel and see what they have to say about it.

          • 2. THE FIX!!!

            Intel replaced the board under warranty.        It still did not fix the problem. 


            It turns out that you do have to install the Marvell Raid Controller to use the blue and red SATA ports in the second cluster, even if they won't be used in raid configuration.


            If you already have the OS installed then you can install a driver after the OS installtion.  Do not use the Intel Drivers.  Go to Marvell's French web-site and download their driver and use it.  Full details in this thread: