Hard Drive not found on install

By herkbec
May 23, 2009
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  1. Here's a good one. I am trying to reinstall XP Pro. I set the boot order to CD ROM and rebooted with the disc in. It goes thru the whole checking drive sequence and loading programs, then says there is no hard drive installed. I can load the OS on the same hard drive in a different computer and it works fine but when I transfer it back, it's as if it isn't there.

    I started on a quest and began loading the hard drive in all my friends and families computers and finally found one that worked. I can install XP PRO on my hard drive in his computer and transfer it back to mine.

    Why would one computer be different from another?

    I should add that when in bios the hard drive is listed and autodetect picks it right up. I've reinstalled a couple of times now and I always have to take my drive over to his house to install Windows.
  2. Appzalien

    Appzalien Newcomer, in training Posts: 96

    have you tried the "press F6 to load sata drivers" and then loaded the sata drivers for your motherboard and install the drivers from a floppy disk?
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,381   +825

    With Windows XP, if you are not going to install SATA drivers, you must run your HD in "IDE" mode. Recently there are three HDD modes in most boards.
    1. "IDE" Works with no drivers installed in XP
    2. "AHCI" this is SATA in native mode, can only be used with Vista
    3. "SATA" or SATA RAID. This can only be used with SATA drivers, installed at the F-6 prompt, as stated above. This requires A floppy disc drive to complete.

    Most boards will auto detect a single HDD, however yours may not. Auto detect will only work with one drive connected, if you have 2, the board will likely switch to SATA.

    Some boards may have slightly different naming conventions for "IDE" mode. "Combination" or such.
  4. Appzalien

    Appzalien Newcomer, in training Posts: 96

    Thats funny, I have installed AHCI drivers in XP, sure it was XP64bit but still xp and I had to use the F6 to load drivers for that as well. As a matter of fact at first I loaded it as IDE and was told I could not change it to AHCI but I used a non-destructive reinstall to do it by loading the drivers with F6 and skipping the first mention of Repair (recovery console) and instead proceded like I was going to install XP over again and a few windows later I got the second install choice (press R). I had to reinstall all the criticals that were not on my disk afterwords, but it worked, I could boot into windows in AHCI mode.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,381   +825

    There seems to be some debate about whether AHCI can be run with XP. Someone else told me that it worked for him also in XP Pro. However, the manual that came with my Intel G965WHMK, alleged that AHCI would only run in Vista. Hey, I mighta missed something. So, IDK. I always run the drives as IDE anyway, and I would only change that if I were going to run an actual RAID.

    They always run well that way, and I still haven't sprung for a floppy drive. Yes I know, they're only about 8 bucks, but it's also about 8 bucks shipping, and that really burns me.
  6. Appzalien

    Appzalien Newcomer, in training Posts: 96

    I tested my hard drive speed with HD Tach both on IDE before the non-destructive reinstall, and then after in AHCI mode and speeds were Identical. Therefore it my be that since AHCI is supposed to bring support for NCQ and hot swapability, perhaps that is the part that only works in Vista not the speed enhancements. One thing I did learn by playing around is some sata drive manufacturers ship their drives with the jumper in sata 150 compatibility mode and you have to remove it to get the proper sata 3g speeds.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,381   +825

    I think that the necessity of "NCQ" is mostly related to RAID 0 configuration. WD sells an "SE" drive and a more expensive "RE" RAID edition. The RE drives are the only ones that support NCQ in all sizes. At least this is how it was, I haven't checked recently.

    Seagate is the jumper culprit, although I don't think my 640GB had one. It's hard to remember when you get my age.
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