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:

  2. nVidia Chipset SATA Drivers Disk
  3. VIA Chipset SATA Drivers Disk

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:

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





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


  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



  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:


  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:


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:

  1. AMD_CPU_K8

  2. AUDIO



  5. LAN

  6. MODEM


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:



  3. PIDE



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:;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.

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31 Responses to “Installing Windows XP On a SATA Hard Drive”

  1. Obed Mwenya Says:

    One thing I am not understanding with your long and boring explanation is that you guys are still going back to use the outdated Floppy drive of which you have seen modern computers/Laptops do not come with it.

    Can you post another useful explanation that do not involve the useless floppy? or just say you don’t have a solution too.

    I wasted my time reading your article which can not help me. Most of us we stopped using floppy DISKS in 2000.

  2. Paul Says:

    This article was written about 4 years ago to help those with “OLD” motherboards install SATA drives on motherboards that did not support SATA by default. While you are going off on floppy drives for being obsolete, the board you are using is obviously 3-4 years old itself if it requires SATA drivers to install Windows.

    If this is how you feel about obsolete hardware I would recommend you upgrade your motherboard combo as all new boards support SATA by default, and then you don’t need to bother spending $5 dollars to buy a floppy drive.

  3. :) Says:


  4. John Says:

    Pay the last comment no mind Paul. I have this exact problem and this is the most well writen explanation I have found.
    Thank you very much.

  5. af Says:

    thanks for sharing, I tried different ways to install xp sp3, tweaked the bios ended up with the same problem “no hard drive detected” until I used your method, Floppy drive which I had to plugged to the mobo. Now I just have to find the mobo chipset drivers for xp. thanks again…

  6. william merriman Says:

    I work in tech support at a call center and you would not believe how many people still have to do this…I thought the article was pretty useful.


  7. John Says:

    Do you know this is the best detailed reading i have came across on this subject top marks a great help to me and i am sure many other readers
    The above obeds comment suckes just cause he hasn’t a floppy drive get a life buy one as i did only cost me £6 on ebay…

  8. Odyssey Says:

    Hi – I have a similar problem, but with a slight difference. I run XP pro SP2 and the OS and all apps are on my IDE C drive (all user files are on a separate IDE drive). The C drive is starting to get a little ‘flakey’ so I got a new SATA drive to copy the OS and apps to (Norton Ghost) as I have a very complex triple monitor, colour calibrated system which would take forever to reinstall fresh on the SATA disk. Ideally I would like to be able to dual boot the two, but although windows on the ide drive can see the SATA drive and quite happily reads and writes. I’ve tried various settings in the BIOS (ASus A8V deluxe) but it will not see the sata disc, I’ve tried booting without the IDE drives connected, but it can’t see an OS (or the drive) The copy OS is bootable. Any suggestions?

    TIA Alastair

  9. Paul Says:


    In most cases older boards that require the use of SATA drivers to boot off a SATA drive are able to see SATA drives as secondary drives within Windows. Unfortunately you would still need to load the Windows setup with additional drivers by using the “F6” option when starting the install.

    One option (depending on your time vs. budget) to avoid having to reconfigure the triple monitor system would be to consider buying a new motherboard combo as all current boards support booting from a SATA hard drive by default.

    As long as your triple monitor color calibration settings are completely handled by the software I do not foresee a problem swapping the base hardware. Otherwise you will probably need to reinstall the OS onto the new SATA drive. (Unless there is a way to load the SATA drivers after the fact, but in all honesty it has been years since I have had to work with boards like that. Maybe another site online might have info on that.) Good luck!

  10. Odyssey Says:

    Paul, I’ve managed to get it sorted by editing the boot.ini file so it searches on boot for the scsi drive, system now dual boots quite happily.
    Thanks for your thoughts.


  11. Odyssey Says:

    Also – although I could update the MB, I have a hugely expensive Parhelia AGP quad video card that I really don’t want to have to replace (or the 4gb matched DDR memory), so the asus 8v is the board that supports the highest spec while still using AGP.


  12. -=LRO=- Says:

    Paul, you offered the exact level of accurate detail needed to assist novice and advanced users in conquering the XP/2oo0 install issue on SATA.
    However, just like Odyssey, I am a user of Norton Ghost, and need to figure a way to BOOT the SATA via the Ghost PC-Dos based Start-up disk.
    I am running an ASUS P5LD2-VM board.
    I did use the “MakeDisk” util to make an F6 third party disk for the installation of XPpro, but want to now use this system as my “Ghost box”, to clone or image SATA drives.
    So far, I have copied the iteatapi.sys, and pciide.sys and the pciidex.sys files to the floppy. Then added device line(s) to the config.sys file.
    Unfortunately, I get a hang soon as the OS begins to load.
    Did a quick search online, found reference to a Panasonic driver for USB devices, but that all seemed to go a different direction than I wanted,…
    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Thank You in advance for your input! :=]

  13. Mike Says:

    Hi. I read really carefully your manual. I am using old type of mb and the installation was going really properly. I make driver floopy disk, start installing, load the driver (“F6″) and then, when the installation asked me for partition, there was only one (the old one hard drive) there. I still can’t install my OS over my new SATA drive. Any help will be great :) Thank you :)

  14. Nick Says:

    Hi Paul,

    This is an excellent article. Thanks. I have a problem with an Asus P4V8X-X motherboard which has a VIA VT8237 SATARaid controller. I’ve installed WinXP SP2 without any problem on an IDE Hard Drive. I’ve tried installing XP SP2 on a SATA drive and followed the same procedures you’ve described above (i.e.) Pressing F6 during install, providing the SATA driver for XP from floppy, etc…It loads the SATA driver and continues, but when the PC reboots after loading all setup files in memory from CD, it re-starts the installation process. What I want to say is that it asks to remove the floppy before reboot. I remove the floppy and the PC reboots. However, instead of getting the WinXP installation screen, It goes through the same process of copying of files as before. Could you please help?

  15. shell Says:

    Hi Nick, i was trying to install Windows XP SP3 on a SATA drive using the same mobo, p4v8x-x, although i managed to install the driver for it, it seems that the installation somehow was denied.
    I have tried splitstreaming, but to no avail.
    Windows 7 setup also hang while performing installation. This is a seriuos defect of SATA system of the mobo, i think.

  16. otsileteo Says:

    i would like to know if you have a smallest netbook hardrive?

  17. dave Says:

    Thanks for the help. The bit I needed most was identifying exactly what to copy onto the disk.

    The really long way (without a disk) is to build XP on a IDE drive, run the manufacturers CD to load the drivers ** including SATA Drivers ** and then clone to new SATA drive. To update from IDE to SATA just load the drivers before cloning. Personally, I think SATA drivers should be loaded onto all IDE drives, just in case.

    jmo. hth,

  18. Generic Guy in Trenchcoat Says:

    Hey, thanks for writing this tutorial! I was pondering how to do this a few months ago and the only solutions I found at the time involved creating a slipstreamed installation CD which to be honest seemed like a bit of a nightmare.

    This method seems a lot easier and there will be less to worry about when it comes to disc validation issues.


  19. Allan Says:

    This guide is ok if you have a floppy drive, otherwise you can integrate the drivers into the actual CD using this guide witha tool called Nlite

    I’ve just done this and it works great, I’m also nothing to do with Nlite or the guide.. just don’t have a floopy drive like many others.

  20. diego Says:

    Thanks for the information, Paul, you saved
    my day, best to you, im glad about how
    you explain things out, and to the guy
    that founded this “bored and long”, who
    do you think you are to write that way to
    someone who is sharing information for free?
    Get a life sucker.

    Again, thanks to the write of this articule, best.

  21. mike b. Says:

    hey paul,
    i tried another method and it worked. I had an xp os installed on my old IDE hard drive. i adjusted the bios setting for sata to IDE mode. Then i opened xp. I went to device manager. i clicked on other devices (yellow question mark). under it, there was another yellow, i think it was IDE controller. i installed it. then i clicked on disk management, i found the new sata drive but it wasn’t installed yet. I initialized and partitioned it. now the sata drive is working. then i have already reinstalled xp on the sata drive without loading sata drivers with floppy disk

  22. Cutter Says:

    I’m hoping someone can help me with my problem trying to add a 500GB Hitachi SATA drive to a Radisys Endura EM945G MB (Intel 945G GMCH and or ICH7 chipset).

    In a nutshell, Windows 2000 Pro with SP4 identifies the drive as being about 131GB, and if I partition or use beyond that boundary I get INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE errors. I tried the driver disk, selecting a non-raid desktop driver, but the problem remains during update or install. MSDOS 7, Windows 2000 Pro Server and XP Pro all see the drive properly.

    I planned to replace the 2 IDE drives with the SATA, but when that didn’t work tried repartitioning it without a primary partition… it shows up in W2000P as unformatted 131GB despite being parted & full of data.

    Surely there must be some logical explanation and workaround?!??

  23. Paul Says:


    Strange, what you are describing reminds me of an issue that was more prevalent several years ago involving a 127gb – 137gb limitation with older versions of Windows (circa Windows 2000). Basically to format the drive to its full capacity you needed to make sure that you have all your Windows updates (which it sounds like you do).

    If that is the case I would recommend searching “Windows 127gb” as it’s been a few years since I have dealt with this.

    Also if you are currently using the drive through a controller, would it be possible to connect it without the controller (for troubleshooting purposes) just to see how the capacity is displayed if it is not in the array.

    Here is a link I found on the Seagate website regarding the “Windows 127gb” search:

    Sorry I can’t be more specific in regard to this issue. Good luck.

  24. Cutter Says:


    Thanks for your information… I’m reminded of the Dilbert strip where the boss says, “I want to browse the Internet. Get me a hardcopy”.

    Here is the FIX that (apparently) worked for me:

    1) Partition only the first 130GB (displayed) of the new SATA hard drive.
    2) New install of W2000 Pro using F6 & driver disk from MB manufacturer (cleverly disguised as a RAID driver, but contains non-RAID drivers also).
    3) Create the following entry with REGEDIT:


    This is done by adding the dword item EnableBigLba and then giving it a value of 1.

    Through much BIOS-switching I was able to copy all the partitions of my IDE drive over to the SATA, but could not figure out how to retroactively get the installed W2000 to recognize the full drive, despite reapplying SP4 with the drivers (which showed up in the device manager) and applying the registry patch.

    After the registry patch on the new install, the administrative tools disk management appeared willing to partition the newly discovered extra space. I instead used Partition Magic under DOS to see what would happen if I extended the last partition’s size so that the partitioned area was about 150GB. I rebooted without issue, and the disk management properly reported the sizes, so it looks like the problem is solved.

    Now I need to figure out how to incorporate the service pack, SATA drivers and registry fix into an install CD, since otherwise I doubt a fresh install will be possible without clearing the drive of everything beyond +/-128GB.

    I hope this helps future generations & will repost if/when I figure out the above. To answer your question, the drive was connected directly to the MB. Thanks again!

    “another fun weekend from the guy who gave us the 64KB barrier!”

  25. Paul Says:


    Thanks for the follow-up. I know a lot of people who are hitting this page are having various issues getting their SATA drives setup aside from just needing to know how to load the drivers from the MB disk, so this will provide some really helpful tips. I also like having a reference I can come back to if I ever have someone asking me a similar question.

    As for the drivers and SP you might be able to look into “Slipstreaming” them onto the disk. I have never personally used this technique, but it was another method mentioned for installing SATA drivers onto a system when there is no floppy drive available. (By embedding them into the installation disk.)


  26. Carlos Guevara Says:

    I got my Xp install to go past the blue screen by using the program nLite and integerating ahcix86.inf to Xp install.But now my problem is when the xp install gets to the part where i select the drive or partition i want to install to it shows my partitions with no available space” Its says they have 0 mbs. I try to install anyways,tghen it give me a message saying something like this is a dynamic drive u can try formating the partition. So I try that and it tells me tthat inorder to format the partition it could format my whole hdd. Which I dont wanna do. So I hit F# to Cancel and Ièm back at square one.
    I have a notebook compaq 15.6″ Laptop featuring AMD Athlon II Dual-Core Processor P340 (CQ56-148CA). I love Xp and I really want to downgrade. please help me

  27. Rob Wilson Says:

    Recently, I faced this same problem.

    My motherboard supports both IDE and SATA hard drive (HD) controllers, and has no floppy drive; so, here is my simple solution.

    1. Borrow an IDE HD from a friend
    2. Install IDE HD
    3. Install XP on IDE HD
    4. don’t run windows update
    5. download a disk mirror program – I used Macrium reflect:
    6. Create image of IDE HD
    7. restore image of IDE HD to SATA HD
    8. shutdown computer
    9. remove power cable and remove IDE HD
    10. plug power cable in and turn on computer
    11. if your bios is setup to boot from your SATA devices, Win XP will load properly.

    ps. don’t forget to give the IDE HD back to it’s proper owner ;)


  28. cheng Says:

    with a new computer nowsday you may replace the floppy drive with a usb flash disk which can be identify by BIOS of motherboard

  29. cheng Says:

    I’m wrong.XP setup doesn’t search except FDD

  30. Andy Says:

    I’m still confused as to what to do ?
    I have a DELL Dimension 9150 which came with a dual SATA disk RAID 0 array. After 5 years one of the drives died and so I lost all the data.
    So I bought a 1TB WD1002FAEX-00Y9AO SATA drive and this time thought I would just install that 1TB disk without bothering with RAID. Anyway the BIOS said it saw it as a SATA drive with a Linkspeed of 3.0Gbs and the settings were Raid Auto/AHCI which said that if there was a Raid Array it would use it, otherwise it would just use AHCI, which I thought was fine.
    Anyway I installed from my original XP CD and then spent the next several days installing and rebooting to apply the hundreds of MS patches.
    Anyway I got it fully up to date with SP3 etc as per Windows Update and then spent another 2 weeks installling and configuring all my old software and restoring what data I had not lost from backups.
    Everything seemed fine, except perhaps a little slower than I had anticipated, and I noticed that some diagnostic software was reporting my hard drive as a bottleneck. So I had a look in Device Manager and saw that it although it lists a Intel 82801GR/GH SATA AHCI controller under the section IDE/ATAPI Controllers, when I look at the disk drive entry for WDC WD1002FAEX-00Y9A0, it says under properties that it is using a Micrsoft driver dated 1/07/2001 version 5.1.2535.0
    From reading numerous articles about XP and SATA v IDE drives I am not sure that somehow I am using a SATA drive with IDE drivers. Is this possible ? I didn’t install any special drivers using F6 or suchlike when I installed XP from scratch as I wasn’t using a SCSI drive or going to use RAID. Now people seem to suggest that I need to start from scratch and install everything again. I was hoping that it would be as simple as using Computer Manager to install new drivers (ie the SATA ones) under the hard drive setting ?
    I really can’t got through another 3 weeks re-doing all the installs and configurations I have done.
    So my question is;
    1) Am I running using SATA as the BIOS says or
    2) Am I running using IDE as Computer Manager says ?
    If it is IDE do I really have to redo everything from scratch ?

  31. Tim Says:

    My experience with SATA is about 2 years. As above Floppy is all that will install SATA drivers. I think what is happening is the IDE drivers were installed because the MB can use both SATA and IDE. I would find my driver set and install them on the drive in the driver section of Windows with a DOS copy. Do a system point restore prior to this and attempt a reboot. If not good probably a system restorwe will bring you back. The key word is probably. I too have an issue I am trying to work around similar to yours. I am going to attempt my own advice shortly. Buying a cheap Tbyte as a backup to what you have may be good insurance for protecting the hours involved already.

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