Does anyone know of a solution to support PCI sata on systems where BIOS cannot boot from add-in cards? PC is Dell dimension 2400 P4. Disappointed no PCI boot support, since similar model 2350 does apparently have this option.

I am looking for a bootloader workaround which can boot from USB or IDE flash drive and provide support to boot Windows7 located on SATA drive. Yes this is an awkward solution, but I can't believe it has not been done before! I have generic VIA VT6421A SATA PCI controller.

Alternately, is there a PCI sata card with bootable ROM onboard? I recall some years ago using a PCI IDE card which loaded its own bios after system BIOS boot.

Certainly I could replace the mainboard and say "problem solved," but I am looking for a more awesome solution than that.

Oh right and Win7 installer can recognize drives hooked up to the PCI SATA controller, and even tells me the device is not bootable!


So I'm understanding that Windows 7 can see any hard drives attached to your PCI card but will not boot off them once installed due to the BIOS not reading the drives on the PCI Controller card. With a BOOT ROM chip on the addon card the only way I could think of doing this would be to install GRUB Bootloader onto a flash or small internal IDE or sata drive and configure it to point to the drive with windows 7 on it.

That is a suggestion, however I do not know enough about Linux to help you further with that suggestion, I know horrible to suggest if you can't elaborate, but I have seen it done before.

Also confirm you have the latest Bios Revision, Dell states it to be A05.
Personally I would purchase a new system all together but that is not feasible for everyone.

I hope I've helped in some way.

Found myself in a similiar situation to you while refurbishing a Dimension 2400. What you are looking for does exist. I ended up using a Rosewill PCI controller (model no. RC-212). It has a VIA chipset and does have it's own BIOS so I was able to do an XP install from a bootable CD directly to a SATA drive attached to this controller. From what I see out there it is hard to tell if a given PCI SATA controller has it's own BIOS: I also tried a Bytecc model (BT-PSAPA) which also has a VIA chipset but does not have it's own BIOS and simply wouldn't work in this situation for hosting the primary boot drive.

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