Installing Windows XP on Serial ATA hard drive?


Ralph Stanley

I'm building a computer. How do I install Windows XP Home
on a new serial ATA Hard Drive? Motherboard is Intel
D875PBZ. Hard drive is Western digital 120 gig serial ATA

Pete Baker

Hi Ralph

The mainboard you have selected uses Intel's fully integrated ICH5R
controller and, as such, is able to utilise the standard IDE drivers found
on the XP installation disk.

That means you shouldn't have any problems installing... no need to use the
F6 method for third-party drivers.

Just check the mainboard manual to ensure the BIOS settings are appropriate
for a single (non-RAID) SATA drive and install as you would with a parallel
ATA drive.

Hope that helps


I am trying to upgrade from W98 to Xp Pro on a new system
with both an SATA controller with the boot drive on it and
a second drive on an IDE controller. When W98 boots it
correctly identifies the boot drive (SATA) as c: and the
second drive as d:. However at the first reboot that Xp
does as the upgrade proceeds, it hangs saying it can't find
various things including "himem.sys" and stops the process
with a blinking c:> prompt. DIR shows the directories on
c:, as it is then identified, to be those from the disk on
the IDE controller which should still be d: but is no
longer. When I switch to d: drive at this point, DIR shows
the directories that are on the SATA controller drive which
was originally C: and still should, be but is no longer. In
short, Xp causes the drive letters to be reversed for the
first reboot on the upgrade process. Of course the
installation stalls because Windows is looking for things
on the wrong drive after that point. Does anyone have any
ideas on how to get around this? I tried disconnecting the
drive on the IDE controller but then the machine won't boot
W98 because of some missing VXD's and ultimately locks up
with a protection fault.

Sandro Gaehler

I've got the same problem, but my mainboard is an Asus
A7n8x deluxe. Windows can't find my hdd (samsumg sp1614c
or so). What do I have to do or where can I find a driver
to install Windows on this hdd?

Pete Baker

Hi Sandro

In order to install XP onto your SATA drive, with the A7n8x mainboard or
similar without a *fully* integrated (or native) SATA controller, you need
to follow a particular method to install the SATA drivers.

You'll need to have the SATA drivers available on a floppy disk ready for
the install process - if you look on the CD supplied with your mainboard
there will be a SATA drivers folder. Copy ALL the contents of that folder
onto a floppy disk or, if you follow the link below to the Silicon Image
SATA driver download from Asus that will work - simply download and unzip
ALL the contents onto a floppy disk. Deluxe

Make sure that, when you copy the files onto a floppy disk, you transfer all
the files from the SATA driver folder - special attention needed to ensure
you include all relevant files.

Check your mainboard manual for the appropriate BIOS settings for booting
from SATA.

As the XP set-up begins you will be prompted to 'Press F6 to specify
third-party RAID or SCSI drivers' - at this point you should press F6 and,
when asked, insert the floppy disk with the relevant drivers. Select the
appropriate driver when asked and continue with the setup. There may be
some delays during this process and the set-up may appear to be continuing
without recognising the key-press - so don't panic.

When successful you'll be able to select the HD to install on. If you are
not given the HD you have not completed the procedure correctly. Check you
are using the correct drivers, have any relevant BIOS updates for your
mainboard, and try again.

Hope that helps

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