Booting Windows off the 2 extra sata ports

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by FranzyPants, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. FranzyPants macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2009
    I have a 2008 Mac Pro 3,1 and I'm working on doing a 4 drive raid 0 set up for my Mac Pro. Currently, I have a drive in bay 4 for Windows 7. I got a sata cable and a molex to sata power adaptor to try using one of the extra sata ports under the front fan for a Windows 7 drive. I was going to get a 5.25 to 3.5 bay adaptor to run the hard drive in my empty dvd drive bay.

    However, after doing a test with a spare hard drive, it seems Windows will not recognize the drive running off of the sata ports under the front fan. It works fine under OS X as a backup drive, but windows doesn't show the drive in the installer for the os.

    Is this a hardware limitation? Can I only use the 4 main drive bay's sata ports as boot drives? Or is there a way to boot off of the auxiliary sata ports?
  2. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    There's no hardware limitation, it has to do with the drivers in Windows.

    Do a search on this forum for AHCI drivers. I'm not entirely sure you'll be able to boot off of the ODD port with your model of MP (newer models supposedly fixed this issue), but maybe you'll be able to use the drive once booted into windows.
  3. PJALM macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2007
    Sorry but no, Windows can not boot off the extra 2 Sata ports. This is simply do to the IDE emulation from the EFI. There are ways to get Windows to use the extra 2 Sata ports but not boot from them.

    Also, if you do setup a OS X Raid, make sure to not install the Bootcamp drivers in Windows, it will install the Apple HFS driver which will cause BSODs if a Raid is present.
  4. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    There is a thread here about doing this. You will need to be dedicated. It is not for the faint of heart.
  5. PJALM macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2007
    Will it actually allow you to boot off the extra ports? I have tried several of these guides and only managed to get Windows 7 to recognize the extra ports and use them for Optical drives or HDDs but never managed to boot off them.
  6. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    It's tricky to do and I'm in the same boat - never figured getting the SATA ports to boot (on both ODD and HDD) and gave up. But my primary goal was to enable my Blu-ray drive in Windows, so in that regard, I was successful. It disables my stock IDE SuperDrive though (no big deal, really).
  7. ORTOX macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2011
    I had tried doing this briefly, but decided it was pointless. I just installed my Windows installation hard drive in the 4th primary hard drive bay and my storage drives in 2 and 3. The #1 primary hard drive bay is for my time machine backup and I just use the extra SATA ports for my Mac OS install running in RAID.

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