After some more trials, my box finally booted with the PCI card present (on a different slot than the one tried before). However, the drive attached tho the PCI-IDE card was no where to be seen in the system... I guess those things require windows drivers to function... dunno..
The weird thing is that lspci showed the hardware present, and apparently recognized and all... but still no joy accessing the data in the drives.
I decided to return this stuff, so I did. Instead of that, I bought me a IDE-to-SATA converted.
This gave me no problem at all.
I hooked up 3 smaller (4-10gb) drives and sucked all the juice out of them and placed it in my big sata drive in no time.
Part of the reason for buying such an adaptor was to continue using a 40gb IDE drive I have, so when I was done cleaning out the old drives, permanently mounted the 40gb drive in the box, hooked the converter to it's back, and voi-la!.
There are some side effects to this though..
I noticed my box boots significantly slower than it did b efore... not sure why or how to find out.
Not sure if this has anything to do with the above problem but
My devices are still not labeled correctly
/dev/sda|Direct-Access|ATA WDC WD2500KS-00M
sda is a 250gb SATA Drive
sdb is a 40gb IDE drive (converted to SATA)
sdd is a 128 pendriveNotice it's not listing any cdrom devices, and I dont know what sdc is...
I'm also unable to boot from cdrom (BIOS settings are set to allow such a boot)
Both of my cdrom devices are connected on the single IDE port on the MOBO using Cable Select jumper settings (which have always worked for me in the past)