Quote Originally Posted by Psycho101 View Post
For the IDE issue maybe it depends on what controllers are being used for the ports on that board. On some AMD boards, the SATA ports are on the SB and the IDE on a separate controller. On other boards the manufacturer has chosen to completely not use the AMD SB SATA capabilities, instead using a Marvell SATA and IDE controller combined. If your board uses this config then it won't let you disable the IDE ports because it'd also disable all SATA ports. You'd have to do your own research into what's being used on your board etc, this is just a suggestion, not saying it's what's happening.
This board uses the SATA and the IDE of the AMD710 southbridge. Support said it can't be disabled so I'll take their word for it.

To add my experience to Windows boot loader issues, Windows often installs a bootloader to a location you would not expect it to. I've encountered situations when using two drives and installing Windows to the second drive (according to SATA/IDE port positions) it will on occasion install the boot loader/MBR to the first drive.
If the first drive is set as the default boot drive, that is where it should install it and where I would expect it to be installed.

Upon removal of this first drive (that should be fine to do if it's a data drive) Windows fails to boot.
No boot loader, no boot. Makes sense. Easily fixed with the recovery cd/DVD.

Note that Win 7 will on a drive to itself, install the loader to the System Partition. If you pre-partition the drive before install to prevent the 100MB partition being made it will use the same partition as the install destination as that's the only place available
Yes, if it's your only drive OR the default boot drive in a multi-drive setup. If you create multiple partitions on the drive and install Win 7 to any other partition than the first, it will install the boot loader to the first partition. (if you already have the install partition set as active, I think it will do the same and set the first as active, but I'm not sure about that scenario) If you have another drive set as the default boot drive, the installer will install the boot loader to the active partition of that drive, or add the new Win7 entry to the existing Windows boot manager .