Mobo is a PCChips M863G. Here's the BIOS data, from BIOSAgent plus:
BIOS Type: AMI
BIOS Date: May 18th 2005
BIOS ID: 62-0100-001131-00101111-051805-SIS741-M863GV50
BIOS OEM: Release 05/18/2005 - 080010
Chipset: SiS 741 rev 3
SuperIO: ITE 8705/SiS 950 rev 3 at port 002E
Recently I bought a new HD, a WD 500 gig PATA, put it in the system as single on bus 0 and installed WinXP and
Ubuntu from CDs. Everything seemed to go normally. The trouble started when I reinstalled my old HD
(Seagate 320 gig PATA) as slave. This drive is also bootable, with XP and Ubuntu installed. Result:
BIOS did not recognize the Seagate. It recognized the WD just fine. I disconnected the WD, set the Seagate
as master and ran the Seagate diagnostics, the drive checks out. Okay, started playing with configurations.
First I set both drives as "cable select" installed them on bus 0, same positions (WD to black cable socket).
This was better, both drives recognized by the BIOS and I could boot from either. However, I started
having trouble booting from a USB flash drive or from the DVD writer (NEC 3520 PATA, installed alone and set
as master on bus 1). Tried another configuration: Seagate set as slave on bus 1, WD alone on bus 0
jumpered as "single." Result: both drives recognized, but still cannot boot from DVD or flash drive.
If I disconnect the WD drive these problems disappear. Machine boots from any drive.
One note: I have tried several bootable CDs and flash drives during the tests, and they all boot fine as long as
the WD is disconnected.
This is the extent of my experimentation thus far. I've come to the conclusion that this new WD HD does
not want to "play nice" with my BIOS. Fair assessment? If so, is there any way to fix this?