SATA Drive problems

  Night Ryder 20:44 09 Jul 2009

I recenty assembled a new PC something I've done many times in the past except this time I'm using a SATA drive as opposed to an ATA.

I have a copy of Windows XP however every time I try to install, when it gets to the part where it's examining the hardware it reports back that the format of the harddrive is incorrect.

In the old days with ATA I would just use 'fdisk' or 'partition magic' to create the necessary Primary Active partition for the OP system.

Is this still necessary with a SATA Drive? If so how do I go about preping the drive before I can install the Operating system?

  Switcher 21:06 09 Jul 2009

I am not too familiar with SATA drives but I believe that with some Motherboards it is necessary to enter the bios to alter the primary controller setting from IDE to Sata. I also believe that to install XP to SATA drive, certain drivers are required which do not come with XP.

  bgrave 00:37 10 Jul 2009

I eventually installed XP on to a SATA disk, have you an IDE CD/DVD Rom and is it plugged in to the number 1 IDE position, mine was but when I plugged it into the number 2 IDE it all worked. My error message was " trying to write to an unavailable location " or something like that.

  ened 07:16 10 Jul 2009

Try it with everything unplugged but the disk reader and the ONE sata drive.

Alternatively, if you are using RAID, install the drivers for that first.

  crosstrainer 07:20 10 Jul 2009

Enter your BIOS screen, and follow these steps:

1) Disable RAID capability if it's enabled

2) Set first boot device to CD /DVD

3) Re-boot and try the install again.

  gazzaho 07:51 10 Jul 2009

How old is the version of XP you're installing? Old versions of XP didn't come with SATA native drivers, you had to install the drivers from floppy as part of the boot process. This web page click here may give you some idea of how to make an XP slipstream disk with the relevant drivers incorporated if you no longer have a floppy drive.

I've also read that it's possible to install the drivers from a USB flash drive but I'm guessing your motherboard would have to allow booting from a USB source, something that isn't possible with a lot of older boards.

I've never had to use the procedures I mentioned myself in order to install Windows, so I can't offer direct advice but there is a lot of information if you google it. here is another page click here with advice for installing onto a SATA drive.

You may also need to enter the BIOS and look for SATA configuration and set it to enhanced and configure SATA as IDE, my BIOS is set with those setting so I'm guessing they're right.

  Night Ryder 17:49 12 Jul 2009

This is a brand new system I've assembled and yes the motherboard does support booting from most any device. Turning off RAID was the first thing I did in BIOS. Having read on a little more there is a suggestion with some motherboards the SATA drive has to be attached to the correct connector. In the case of my moboard there is a total of 6 SATA connectors. It may be the case that I need to connect to SATA connector 1 (or one labled 'Primary'). I've now established the the moboard driver disk has the necesary SATA drivers and I now need to create a drivers disk. Thanks to all who have contributed to this. Any other thoughts welcom. I'll let you know how I get on.

  Strawballs 21:15 12 Jul 2009

Make sure the hard drive that you are installing the O/S on is plugged into the first Sata socket. I just did a barebones for a friend who wanted to use their old hard drives (2 of) and the board only had 1 IDE socket so I had to get a SATA DVD optical drive.

When I plugged it into the first socket I had the same problem as you but as soon I used number 3 socket everything was OK

  gazzaho 23:01 12 Jul 2009

I'm just curious, does the system you mention give the IDE channels priorty over the SATA in DOS? I have the same type of setup SATA drive on primary (first SATA connector) as Night Rider mentions and while Vista reconises the drive as the C: boot drive, in DOS it lists the drive as E: with the two IDE drives listed as C: and D: it's no real problem but it can get a little confusing when using the likes of Acronis boot disk as the drives are re-mapped.

  crosstrainer 17:24 13 Jul 2009

..Should show on your boot screen as 0, second 1 etc.

Still can't see how that would effect things other than to slow the system down a Little.

  Night Ryder 03:12 16 Jul 2009

Problem Solved. Thanks for all suggestions.
OK the process used:

Despite deleting all partitions on the SATA drive in an XP environment when I used fdisk I noticed it was reporting that there was a non dos partition taking up the full size of the drive.

I deleted this partition and then was able to create a primary active partition. It was plain sailing from here on. I created the primary active, formatted and was able to install Windows XP. The SATA is in the first port which sows as drive '0' and Wow is the drive fast !!!

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