Dell Dimension 5150 - XP boot with SATA

  Tj_El 01:01 25 Feb 2010

Having read a lot about the need to have SATA drivers at the ready before one can boot using an XP CD, I went to the Dell support site to get the required SATA drivers.
What I got was one very large 20MB executable file.
I need the driver so I can boot using the XP CD to see if I can repair XP on a friends Dell pc. The issue is that it boots to the Welcome screen but when any user account is clicked on, the system proceeds to show the desktop wallpaper and thereafter many pop-up messages relating to various services in error. It never gets to showing the desktop icons or taskbar. I figure something is amis and want to try to access the drive to repair or retrieve all their work before re-installing (yes, they never backed up).

I tried booting from a bootable XP having changed the BIOS to first boot from optical drive (I think) but it just sails past and boots straight into HDD.

So any help:
(a) in how I extract the required SATA drives from this 20MB executable so I can make use of it, and or
(b) telling/showing me how to recover data (if the repaisr cannot be done) on the HDD,

would be extremely helpful and received with much gratitude.

Much obliged to you all.

Best regards,

  GaT7 02:01 25 Feb 2010

I. Backup

First off, I would connect the Dell hard drive to another working PC (yours perhaps), & backup the drive by simply copying & pasting to the working PC's hard drive (let's call this the recipient drive).

Most data worth saving will be present in the 'Documents & Settings' folder, so backup this entire folder. Perhaps you can create a new folder on the recipient drive called 'Dell PC Backup', then backup to this folder.

If they had other partitions, then save all the data present there. If you're not sure where the data is, & providing you have enough space on the recipient drive, then backup ALL the directories in all the partitions by simply copying & pasting. We will sort it out later when restoring the data.

II. Restore PC to Factory

If the PC has a restore partition, then great - you don't need to reinstall XP afresh, hence saving you the hassle.

All you need to do is re-connect the hard drive to the Dell PC & follow Steps 2 & 3 in this guide click here. Apparently it'll take 8-10 minutes for this operation to complete.

Once II. above is complete & you have a fully working PC, visit the Win Update (WU) site click here & install all the critical updates (plus optional updates as required). Reboot whenever WU tells you to, & keep re-visiting the WU site till you exhaust ALL the updates offered (all the critical ones anyway).

Finally, once you have a fully updated & stable PC, you can go about restoring all the backed-up data.

Complete the above steps & get back. Then I'll let you know how to restore the data. G

P.S. Btw, Steps 1 & 4 in the above link is assuming you have a fully working Dell PC to begin with, & is the reason why we are skipping these steps

  scotty 12:41 25 Feb 2010

I found drivers at click here

The normal process is to put the SATA driver on a floppy - does your 5150 have a floppy drive? If not, it gets more complicated.

  Tj_El 15:30 25 Feb 2010

Hi Crossbow7

Your first option was one I was thinking of doing...but my pc (self built what seems like donkeys years ago) is not SATA but IDE (PATA) so I don't think I can hook up the SATA drive to it...unless you know of a way to do that...?


scotty, for your post. The link you posted is exactly where I d/loaded the 20MB driver executable file I refered to in post.

Since the requirement is to put it on a floppy (or CD is no floppy drive - I can't remember if there was one) and a floppy is only 1.44MB, I needed to know how to get the relevant driver extracted from that massive file onto a floppy (or CD).

Any help gratefully received. :)

I'm keeping my options open...

  GaT7 16:05 25 Feb 2010

Right, I see what you mean.

Can you borrow any one of the following (from a neighbour / friend / work colleague perhaps?) - links in brackets as examples:

- SATA-IDE adapter (click here)
- SATA PCI controller card (click here)
- SATA USB enclosure/caddy (click here)
- SATA USB docking station (click here)?

If not, you'll have to purchase one of the above to carry out the backup.

As I said before, no reinstall necessary (& no SATA drivers to mess about with) if you can recover the system via the restore partition. G

  Tj_El 17:14 25 Feb 2010

Hey Crossbow7, thanks a lot!!!
I think I'll be ordering the sumvison one (QuickFind: 167426). Going to read up on it first but it sure looks like it'll fit the bill. :)

  Tj_El 17:21 25 Feb 2010

Looks like it's not good news on that one...
See review at bottom of page: (
click here )

  GaT7 17:28 25 Feb 2010

See the comment left there by I. Litchfield:

"We have 3 of these in our office and they all work flawlessly, perhaps you had a bad one?"

Do you use WinXP & have USB2 on your PC? It'll be easier with these two compared to an older OS. G

  GaT7 18:09 25 Feb 2010

Another thing you may have to consider is whether or not you have enough space for a complete backup on your hard drive.

But I guess if you're running out of space, & have a CD/DVD-writer drive & blank media, then you could backup part of the data on this. G

  lotvic 18:26 25 Feb 2010

I've got one of those in above list click here Plexus USB to IDE & SATA Adapter With Power Adapter (Supports 2.5" / 3.5" IDE & Serial ATA Hard Disk)
easy to use. Have used it to connect sata, ide, cdwriter etc. and had no problems.
No caddy - I just lay the HDD on a cork placemat and did the same with CD/DVDwriter that came out of an old tower pc.

  Tj_El 18:32 25 Feb 2010

"Do you use WinXP & have USB2 on your PC?" - Yes.

"Another thing you may have to consider is whether or not you have enough space for a complete backup on your hard drive." - ...errr...dunno. I only want to access the drive to recover my friends documents. I have an external HDD that I can copy the info to so that should be ok.

"See the comment left there by I. Litchfield" - You've lost me here... the Amazon review link only had 1 reviewer. Which review are you referring to?


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