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:
- HOW TOMAKE A SATA DRIVERS DISK [FLOPPY DISK]
- nVidia Chipset SATA Drivers Disk
- VIA Chipset SATA Drivers Disk
- 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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.]
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:
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:
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:
- PIDE [folder]
- RAID [folder]
- 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.
- Confirm the computer is powered off.
- Mount the Serial ATA hard drive.
- Connect the cables.
- 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.
- 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.
- Launch the drivers by double-clicking on them.
- 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.
- Right-click on My Computer.
- Select Manage.
- 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.
- Find the SATA hard drive, which should be denoted as “Disk 1″ or similar.
- Right-click on the box containing “Disk 1″ or similar.
- Choose Initialize or Write Drive Signature (if available).
- Right-click on the Unallocated Space to the right of this “Disk 1″ box.
- Select New Partition.
- 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.