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Installing XP on a Sata drive...

Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Installing XP on a Sata drive...

Hi all
I went to see a friend today who was having trouble with his PC. Initially it was randomly freezing requiring restarts. It had a funny message saying the bios wasn't installed and so he was unable to reinstall windows because it didn't recognise the hard drive.
I told him to replace the battery on the motherboard - the theory being that if the battery is old, the power might be cutting in and out randomly leading the motherboard to fail to recognise the hard disk. He has changed the battery and the computer hasn't frozen once in 3 days.
That is only half the problem however. He still wants to reinstall windows at some point. I had a look today and his machine uses a SATA hard disk. The problem comes when booting the PC: It recognises the SATA disk and then the POST moves on and scans for IDE drives. It then reports that no drives are found. The exact message is "No drive attached to the fasttrack controller, the bios is not installed"
Obviously the bios IS installed and I've been into it myself. When going into the bios, there are no hard drives installed or detected on the IDE channels. In the boot options however the SATA drive IS recognised and you can set it up in the boot priority list.
So... to recap... He uses a Sata drive which the system boots from yet the bios claims it isn't there (despite being set in the boot priority list) and because it isn't detected Windows has nothing to install onto and thus won't install.
Any ideas guys?
There is a IDE ribbon connector on the motherboard (only 1) but I fail to see why this board won't allow him to install straight to a SATA drive. The only thing I can think of is that its a design flaw with the board and the bios. It seems odd that the bios can find the hard drive to boot up windows yet it can't find it to install windows.
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7 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: Installing XP on a Sata drive...

You missed out the important part - model and make of the motherboard also which sata port it is connected to (this is needed if there is a mixture of sata controllers)
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Re: Installing XP on a Sata drive...

It probably needs the SATA controller driver available at install time.
On floppy, USB or CD for example.
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Re: Installing XP on a Sata drive...

A bit confusion message the bit
No drive attached to the fasttrack controller, the bios is not installed
Is there another controller fitted it seems to say the bios for this controller isnt there.
What happens when you boot from a windows cd. Its common for the bios to report no drives on IDE but should boot SATA ok but to do this you ideally need to slipstream sp3 into the boot disk as it will then have the drivers for the sata drive. If you boot with a pre sp2 windows disk a may not see the drive and you would have to hit f6 and load them from floppy if you have one.
See http://www.howtohaven.com/system/slipstream-xp-service-pack-3.shtml on how to slipstream the cd
Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Installing XP on a Sata drive...

Quote from: Oldjim
You missed out the important part - model and make of the motherboard also which sata port it is connected to (this is needed if there is a mixture of sata controllers)

Fresh off MSN messenger..
ASUSTek Computer Inc
model K8VSEDX  rev 2.00
via chipset K8T800 (VT8383)
Bios American Megatrends Inc
version 1003.002
AMD Athlon 64 3200+
Quote from: HPsauce
It probably needs the SATA controller driver available at install time.
On floppy, USB or CD for example.

That would explain that option in XPs setup that I've never used... the one that says "press ?? if you need to install a third party driver". Being stuck in the stone age with single core PATA/IDE hard drives I'm a bit out of date with PC stuff... and when I say a bit this machine I was looking at was built 7 years ago apparently... lol
Quote from: samuria
A bit confusion message the bit
No drive attached to the fasttrack controller, the bios is not installed

I know... Thats why initially I thought there must be another controller like a raid card or something. There wasn't. The only thing I could think of is that the motherboard expected to find a IDE drive and decided to be grumpy about not finding one.

Quote from: samuria
Is there another controller fitted it seems to say the bios for this controller isnt there.

I know... which is why it's a bit weird...

Quote from: samuria
What happens when you boot from a windows cd.

No idea... in fairness I didn't bother trying after it refused to boot Knoppix.. which was very odd (yes the CD was setup in the boot priority... I got to the knoppix boot screen, hit enter adn then nothing!)

Quote from: samuria
Its common for the bios to report no drives on IDE but should boot SATA ok but to do this you ideally need to slipstream sp3 into the boot disk as it will then have the drivers for the sata drive. If you boot with a pre sp2 windows disk a may not see the drive and you would have to hit f6 and load them from floppy if you have one.

It does detect the sata drive... before it scans the IDE channels. I'm told that last time he tried to install XP it said there wasn't a drive attached. That being the case it's gonna be that driver issue which stupidly I'd not thought of. It does boot the sata drive and boot windows... it just won't allow an install of windows.

Quote from: samuria
See http://www.howtohaven.com/system/slipstream-xp-service-pack-3.shtml on how to slipstream the cd

Cheers for the link Wink
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Re: Installing XP on a Sata drive...

Anyone?
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Installing XP on a Sata drive...

Having had a dig through Asus support I found this
Quote
I tried to install WinXP on SATA HDD but it failed. The BIOS can recognize the HDD while VIA driver loaded smoothly during WinXP installation. However, WinXP still can't find any HDD. I tried to change BIOS setting from RAID to IDE, but it didn't help. Any idea?
Answer
Since there are two SATA controllers on A8V Deluxe, please make sure the driver you loaded is the same as the controller your HDD attached. You may get this error if you load VIA driver but connect to Promise controller, or vice versa.
This picture shows the two types of connector
Community Veteran
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Re: Installing XP on a Sata drive...

To add - this is the part of the manual which refers to installing XP