Installing Windows XP On a SATA Hard Drive

Windows 2000 / XP Installation Basics

This guide will walk you through installing your operating system onto a new SATA [Serial ATA] hard drive in your computer. Please be sure to follow each step of the guide if you are running into issues getting your computer to identify or install onto your new SATA hard drive.

[NOTE: To install your operating system on a new SATA hard drive you are going to need to provide a SATA drivers disc during the Windows Setup process. This disc is NOT provided by the company you purchased your motherboard from. This is a disc you need to create using the makedisk.exe utility which can usually be found on your motherboard drivers disc or the manufacturers website. If you need more information on how to create this disc, please refer to the detailed instructions below. We will cover how to create an nVidia SATA or VIA SATA drivers disk depending on your chipset. This procedure can be different depending on the brand of motherboard you purchased.]

This guide is broken into the following sections which can be found below:

  1. HOW TOMAKE A SATA DRIVERS DISK          [FLOPPY DISK]
  2. nVidia Chipset SATA Drivers Disk
  3. VIA Chipset SATA Drivers Disk
  4. USING THE SATA DRIVERS DISK DURING THE WINDOWS INSTALLATION

How to Make a SATA Drivers Disk. [Floppy Disk] :

You will need to determine what chipset your motherboard is running before you proceed with this guide. This information should be listed on your motherboard box or in the manual that came with your motherboard. If you are unsure or do not have that information available you can check the model on the board itself [usually located near the PCI slots]. If it has an “N” in the model it is nVidia and if it has a “V” in the model it is a VIA chipset.

Now that you have determined what chipset you are running follow the instructions below for how to setup your SATA drivers disk for each chipset.

You will also need access to another system with Windows already installed so you can run your motherboard CD and create your drivers disk. If you do not have one at home you can ask to use a friend’s computer, or possibly use one from work.

[NOTE: Some motherboard disks now contain a button in the autorun menu for the makedisk utility. If this is included it will eliminate the need to manually find the correct program on your disk. In those cases I would recommend using that option and then referring to the instructions below if you have any further questions or need information about how to use the program itself.

NVIDIA CHIPSET INSTRUCTIONS: [VIA INSTRUCTIONS BELOW]

The first thing you will need to do to create your SATA drivers disc on a bootable floppy is setup a floppy disc to copy the drivers onto. This information can be found at the following link:

How to Format a Floppy Disc

Once your disc is ready and you want to create your SATA drivers disc you will need to take the Master CD that came with your motherboard and put it into your system.

Once you have the CD in your system go into Windows Explorer and navigate to where the Makedisk.exe utility is located on your disc. This can be done in one of two ways.

How to Find the MakeDisk Program. [Method #1]

The easiest way is to manually locate it on the disc since it will show you what folders you are in and will give you a better idea of what version of makedisk.exe you actually need to use.

For my example I will be using a motherboard disc from the ASUS A8N-SLI motherboard.

When the disk is in the CD-ROM it is titled “nForce4_Series“. Once I explore the disk it gives me several folders:

  1. BIN

  2. DRIVERS

  3. LINUXDRIVERS

  4. MANUAL

  5. SOFTWARE

In this case I am going to check in the “DRIVERS” folder as this is the most common place to start. Under the DRIVERS folder you have several options also:

  1. AMD

  2. AUDIO

  3. CHIPSET

  4. LAN

  5. SII3114

  6. USB

Now we will want to check in the “SII3114″ folder. [SII stands for Silicon Image, commonly associated with Serial ATA drives.] Once I click on this folder I see 4 folders and a “MakeDisk.exe” program.

  1. 64BIT

  2. DISK

  3. NOVELL

  4. RAID_DRIVER

  5. MakeDisk.exe

In this case we have found the program in this directory and do not need to dig any further unless we were installing under some type of special circumstances. Since I am guessing most users reading this guide are mainly looking for how to create their SATA floppy disk we won’t get sidetracked with the other options available in this folder.

Using the MakeDisk.exe Program:

Now that we have found our “MakeDisk.exe” utility you want to double click the file and run the program. When you start the program a Window will open up that says “ASUS File Image Extractor”. “Specify the floppy drive and insert a blank 3.5″, 1.44MB floppy disk”

There is really only one option to specify here and that is the letter of your floppy drive. In most cases it should be defaulted to A: and you should not need to change the selection. If it is set to anything else then you can specify the correct drive letter from the drop down menu. The other section is “Volume” which will most likely be grayed out since the program should be able to auto detect what type of disk you are trying to use.

Once you have confirmed that the correct drive is selected go ahead and click the “Extract” button at the bottom of the program window.

Once you click Extract you will see a progress bar come up that says “Track xx / 160 (50%)“. This will show you once the program has completed creating your driver disk. Once it is complete it will just go back to the main window at which point you should check your A: drive to make sure the disk has been created successfully.

Go ahead and close down the program and then select your A: drive through Windows Explorer. Once you have it selected you should see several files on the disk. Example:

  1. si3114r5.cat

  2. Si3114r5.inf

  3. Si3114r5.sys

  4. SilSupp.cpl

  5. SIPPD.inf

  6. SIWinAcc.sys

  7. TxtSetup.oem

The files may vary a little for your disk but it should pretty much look the same. Just seeing files on the disk should be an indication that the extraction process worked correctly.

At this point you should have a working SATA drivers disk. From this point you can move to the second portion of our guide that will walk you through how to use your SATA drivers disk during the Windows installation process.

How to Find the MakeDisk Program. [Method #2]

If you are unable to manually locate the MakeDisk.exe utility you have one other option available to you. You can do a “Search” through Windows Explorer on your CD to try and find the location of the program.

In Windows Explorer you will want to “right” click on your CD-ROM drive and it should bring up a menu. Select the search option from the menu and it will open a new window that says “Search Results” in the top left hand corner. In the “Search for files or folders named” section type in the following file name:

MakeDisk.exe

Once you click the “Search Now” button the Window should return at least 1 result. In most cases it will return multiple files since there is usually more than one version of the program located on the motherboard disk.

To find the correct version of the program make sure to check the description under the “In Folder” column of the search window. For my example board [A8N-SLI] when I do a search for the program it returns numerous results. Some of the files are located in folders named “SATARAID” or something similar with the term “RAID” in the title. We do not need to worry about those versions of the program unless we are installing our SATA drives in a RAID setup.

As mentioned before you see a folder similar to “SII3114“. Hopefully your search returned a path similar to that to the right hand column of the MakeDisk.exe file your search found. If so that is the one you will want to go with.

Now that you have found the utility you can use it to create your SATA drivers disk. If you have any questions about how to use the program please refer to the section above for detailed instructions.

This concludes how to create your SATA drivers disk for motherboards using an nVidia chipset. From this point on you can refer to the second part of the guide that will walk you through how to perform the Windows installation with your SATA drivers disk.

[NOTE: In the above example we used an A8N-SLI motherboard. I believe this board does not actually require SATA drivers as the board auto detects SATA drives once they are hooked up to it. The above board was for example purposes only so users understand how the SATA driver disk creation works.]

VIA CHIPSET INSTRUCTIONS

Setting up a SATA driver disk for a board that has a VIA chipset can be very different from the method mentioned above.

The first thing you will need to do is put the motherboard CD that came with your mainboard into your system. Once that is done open up Windows Explorer.

Once you have Windows Explorer up, open your CD-ROM drive to explore the contents of the disk. For my example I will be using a BIOSTAR K8VGAM.

When I open the disk I see a series of folders. They are as follows:

  1. AMD_CPU_K8

  2. AUDIO

  3. CHIPSET

  4. ICCARD

  5. LAN

  6. MODEM

  7. SERATA

In this case we will want to go into the “SERATA” folder. Once I have opened this folder I see another folder named “VT6420“.

Since it is the only folder located inside the first folder we will open up this folder next.

Inside this folder you will see quite a few files and folders. The folders listed are as follows:

  1. DRIVERDISK

  2. MASSTOOL

  3. PIDE

  4. RAIDTOOL

  5. VIARAID

In this case go into the “DRIVERDISK” folder to get the files we need to create our SATA drivers disk. As mentioned before setting up the SATA driver disk for a VIA chipset is a very different process then setting up for the nVidia chipset. Here is where the biggest difference comes into effect.

In the DRIVERDISK folder you will most likely see 2 folders and a file. They are named:

  1. PIDE [folder]
  2. RAID [folder]
  3. TXTSETUP.OEM [file]

To create your disk you will want to copy the above files to your floppy disk. Highlight everything in the DRIVERDISK folder [both folders and the file mentioned above] then “right” click and select the “COPY” option from the popup menu. Once you have copied the files, go to your floppy disk in your A: drive and select “EDIT>PASTE“. The files should now be copied over to your floppy disk.

Congratulations. You have now created your SATA Drivers Disk for motherboards with VIA Chipsets. You can now refer to the second portion of our guide for how to use the Drivers Disk during the Windows installation process.

How To Use Your SATA Drivers Disk During the Windows Installation:

01. Confirm the computer is powered off.

Since we are going to be adding new hardware to the system make sure your computer is powered off, with the AC power cable disconnected from the system to prevent and possible hardware damage or injury while working inside the case.

02. Mount the Serial ATA hard drive.

Select an open drive bay within the system and mount you new hard drive into the case. Make sure you have it in an ideal spot so that both the power cables and data cables can reach the drive without a problem.

03. Connect the cables.

Connect the data cable to the drive first. Make sure it feels like it is a snug fit to avoid the chance of the cable falling out if the system is bumped or moved. Then connect the power cable. Depending on the drive and connection it may either be a flat black connection about 1.5 inches wide, or the standard 4 pin Molex connection used with normal hard drives.

04. Insert the Windows XP/2000 installation CD.

Since you are going to be installing your operating system on to the new SATA drive make sure your setup disc is in your CD-Rom when you power up the system. You also need to make sure you have a floppy drive installed in the system since you are going to need to load your SATA drivers off a floppy disc before the system will recognize your new hard drive during the install process.

05. Power up the computer.

Once your new hardware is installed and setup in your system. Check any final options you need to have configured. The main one being that “Floppy Seek” is enabled in your BIOS so the system knows to look for a floppy drive. Otherwise it will give you an error like “No Floppy Drive Detected”. When you first boot the computer you will want to make sure your floppy drivers disc is not in your floppy drive since this will interfere with the system booting off the Windows Setup disc. Insert the floppy disc when you see the screen go black right before the installation process. It will display a message that says:

“Setup is Inspecting your Computers Hardware Configuration”

06. Press the F6 key to install drivers as the Windows setup screen launches.

As soon as the system goes to the next part of the installation it will display a blue screen with a message at the bottom that says:

“Press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver.”

Since the system will take a few minutes loading drivers for the installation I would recommend tapping the F6 key several times when this screen first comes up. This way you can make sure it does not miss the SATA driver prompt screen when it has finished loading all the drivers.

07. Insert the floppy diskette containing the drivers for the Serial ATA controller.

As mentioned above you should already have loaded your floppy disk into the system. If you have not already done this, do so at this time. Once the system has finished loading the drivers needed for the installation it will prompt you to select you drivers off of the floppy disk. Select which ever drivers pertain to the version of Windows you are using.

[Follow the prompt within this window and it will direct you to your floppy disc and the driver selection screen.]

08. Once the drivers are loaded, proceed with the normal Windows XP/2000 installation.

Once the drivers are loaded the installation will proceed as it would if you were using a normal hard drive. From this point on just act you are installing Windows normally and you should not run into any issues.

You can now easily finish up your install on your system.

Install a New SATA Drive in an Existing Windows System:

This method of installation is easier than the one presented above as it does not require the use of a SATA drivers disc. Since SATA drivers are inherent within the full installation of windows you can use a utility that is provided by the system to setup and configure your new SATA drive. This method assumes your main boot drive is already installed and configured with Windows and you are installing the SATA drive as a secondary storage drive in the system.

  1. Confirm the computer is powered off.
  2. Mount the Serial ATA hard drive.
  3. Connect the cables.
  4. Power up to Windows XP/2000.

Follow the above steps as outlined in part one of this guide. Once you power up the system let it boot into Windows you so can make use of the Disk Management utility.

  1. Insert the CD that contains the drivers for the SATA controller/motherboard.

This step may not be necessary because Windows can usually identify a SATA hard drive after it has been fully installed as mentioned above.

  1. Launch the drivers by double-clicking on them.
  2. The drivers should install themselves.

These two steps may also not be needed since the system should be able to automatically detect your SATA drive through Windows.

  1. Right-click on My Computer.
  2. Select Manage.
  3. Select Disk Management.

The above steps will bring you into the Disk Management utility which you can use to setup and configure your new SATA drive.

  1. Find the SATA hard drive, which should be denoted as “Disk 1″ or similar.
  2. Right-click on the box containing “Disk 1″ or similar.
  3. Choose Initialize or Write Drive Signature (if available).
  4. Right-click on the Unallocated Space to the right of this “Disk 1″ box.
  5. Select New Partition.
  6. Follow the prompts to create and format the partition.

The last few steps will walk you through setting up your new SATA drive for use. Once you have followed through on the prompts you will see a progress screen which will give you an idea of how much time it will take to finish setting up your drive. If you have more questions than what is covered in the above guide please refer to the link below for more information.


See more information on this final process here: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;309000

More Information on the Installation of Windows


You may never have noticed the “F6″ option before, since it happens at the bottom of the screen and is visible for only a few seconds during a standard install. What you most likely encountered during the setup process was a screen which came up informing you Setup could not find any drives installed on your computer, and it could not continue.

To be able to hit the F6 button, you must restart the Setup process, and watch the bottom of the screen after pressing Enter on the “Welcome to Setup” screen. There will be some moments of files being loaded, and then you should see a message appear which says “Press F6 if you need to install a 3rd party SCSI or RAID driver”. This message will only stay on the screen for a couple of seconds, so press F6 as soon as you see it appear.

After this is done, you will see other messages appear, and it will act as though nothing is happening, but eventually a screen will appear which will allow you to install the drivers for the SATA controller.

After you press “S” on the SATA driver screen, the driver install process will continue and the floppy disk will be needed. Further instructions will be displayed after the driver install process has ended.

From this point on, continue the install like you normally would with Windows since your SATA hard drive should now be recognized by the system and ready for your Windows installation.

Congratulations you have now installed you SATA hard drive into your system. From this point on your computer should treat the drive as a normal hard disk, and you will be able to enjoy all the features of a high speed transfer storage device.



How to Format and Setup a Floppy Disk

How do I Format and Setup a Blank Floppy Disc ?

This guide will walk you through formatting and setting up a blank floppy disc. This is a good procedure to know since most diagnostic programs rely on using a bootable floppy disc to run diagnostics on the system. Since most of our guides require you to create a bootable floppy disc at one point or another we are providing a guide which will give you in depth information on how to prepare your floppy disk so you will not run into any problems during the creation process.

Step by Step Instructions:

The first thing you need when formatting a floppy disk, is a 3.5′ 1.44mb disk that does not have information on it that you need to save. The reason you need to make sure it does not have important data is once you begin the formatting process all data on that disc will be wiped off and you will be unable to recover it. So make sure it does not have backed up emails or your English assignments that are due at the end of the week.

When you have a disk that you are ready to format, put it into your floppy disk drive and then open the “My Computer” icon on your desktop by double clicking it. In the My Computer window you will see several drive designations. You will be looking for the A:\ drive which is your floppy disk drive.

[in some cases it may be another letter like B:\, but A:\ is the most common.]

Once you have selected the drive verify that this is in fact your floppy disk drive to ensure you do not wipe important data off your hard drive. The volume name should show up as:

3½ Floppy (A:)

Once you have verified that it is the correct drive, right click on it and a menu will pop up with several options. Look through the menu for the “format” option. [Usually located near the middle of the menu] Select the Format option and it will open a Format A:\ window.

The format window gives you several options:

01. Capacity

02. File System
03. Allocation unit Size
04. Volume Label
05. Format Options

I will explain the following sections in more detail so you know what each one is and what they do during the format process.

The “Capacity” of the disc shows you what type of floppy disk you are currently working with. You should not need to select this unless you are using a non standard floppy disk, in which case you will probably know which selection you need to make. The most common type of disk is the:

3.5″ 1.44MB, 512 bytes/sector

That is your average, everyday floppy disk. This should almost always be in there by default, so you do not need to worry about changing this selection most of the time.

The next section is the “File System” selection. This can be more relevant if you are into tweaking options to squeeze out every last bit of performance. The main thing to remember is FAT is the file system that was commonly used with Windows 95, 98 and sometimes with Windows 2000. Where as the NTFS file system was normally used with Windows 2000, XP Home, and XP Pro.

FAT [File Allocation Table] was an older file system that was good for it’s time, but lacks some of the features of the newer NTFS file system. NTFS also has slightly better compression which allows you to get a little more storage space out of the media by using this file system.

In the case of making a boot disk, the main thing you need to do when you are setting up your disk is remove the data. The program you are using to make your disk will normally take care of what file system needs to be present on the disk. So if you are unsure which you need to select, don’t sweat it, and just go with the default options through the format window dialog.

Next is the “Allocation unit Size” section of the format dialog. The technical definition of this is, “a group of sectors on a magnetic disk that can be reserved for the use of a particular file”. The fact that I am giving you a definition instead of an explanation lets you know that you really don’t need to worry about this section. If you are reading this guide to find out of the basics of how to format a disk this section does not pertain to your project. This would be more for someone that is creating a disk for a very specific purpose and certain criteria needs to be met.

The “Volume Label” is basically the title of your disk. For the most part this can be anything you want it to be. I recommend leaving it blank if you mainly need to create a blank disk. As mentioned before if the disk does need a label the program that is creating your disk will fill in this information for you. You can feel free to use this section if you are creating a blank disk for school work, or personal data in which case you could name it “HOMEWORK” or anything else that will help you remember what information is on your disk.

The last section is your format options section. There are two main options in this category. “Quick Format” which is an option that allows you to quickly erase data off a disk. [There is also "Enable Compression" which is an additional NTFS feature that is mentioned above]. The Quick Format option can be used as long as the disk has been fully formatted at least once since you started using it. It’s main purpose is to save time but since the full format option does not take much longer, it’s up to you which you prefer to use. For any type of boot disk, I like to do a full format and leave this option unchecked to make sure I will not run into problems during the disk creation process.

The other option is “Enable Compression” which is an NTFS only feature. Remember how we talked about NTFS having more features before. This is one example of that. If you are using a FAT file system disk, this option will most likely not be available to you. [i.e. grayed out]

Now that you have a complete understanding of the floppy disc format window and the options it provides, you should feel more comfortable setting up a blank disk. Remember that you usually do not need to set a lot of these options as the system does a good job of defaulting to what you need. This guide will basically give you the extra info you need to setup additional options if you ever desire to do so.

Now that your options are set, go ahead and create your blank floppy disk so you can create your bootable diagnostic disk without any problems.




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