Installing XP Pro on a SATA HDD

By Wesablo
Aug 9, 2010
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  1. Hey, I wasn't sure where to post this but I was just about to replace my supposed broken SATA main drive with a new one, and I have to format it with my Windows XP Pro again. A friend helped me install it the first time, so not positive with all the steps but as far as I understand it there is a special order or procedure that must be done with this particular setup (XP Pro on a SATA drive), which is different than a regular HDD. I'm a bit of a newb when it comes to this stuff, but I have a general idea of it all. I'm not sure if it has to do with the RAID setup, but I was just wondering what I need to change or set to format this correctly.

    Thanks,
    ~Wes
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,276   +177

    Near the beginning of Windows Setup you will have to install SATA controller drivers at the F6 prompt. You will need a floppy drive and diskette for this to work. If this PC is the one in your system specs, it is old enough so you just might have a floppy drive. Prepare the floppy diskette by using the motherboard CD or by downloading the appropriate driver files from Gigabyte's website: Click here If you don't have your motherboard manual, you can download it at this same webpage.

    After installing the driver files from the floppy, at the appropriate time follow the prompts and complete the installation of the SATA driver files. If done correctly, Windows Setup will recognize the SATA hard drive, let you format it, partition it if you want and continue with the installation of Windows.
  3. Wesablo

    Wesablo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 87

    Ok thanks, one question though - are the mobo drivers the only sata ones I need, or are there other drivers for other hardware I would need as well?
  4. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    You only need SATA drivers if you are installing and OEM verions of Windows XP and not from a Recovery or restore disk.
    You should not have to expect any troubles with anything else... easiest if your format it separately, before you install Windows XP
  5. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,276   +177

    You will need to install other drivers but not until after you have completed installing Windows. Other drivers include chipset, LAN, sound, graphics and any other drivers listed on the Gigabyte driver page. Also, if you have installed other PCI cards, those drivers will have to be installed too.
  6. Wesablo

    Wesablo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 87

    Yea trutru ok, thanks.
  7. Wesablo

    Wesablo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 87

    Well, I installed my new SATA and it detected the drive without me having to hit it up with any floppy disk. I installed Windows on it and it works so far. Now lemme get this straight...

    If you don't have the drivers in a floppy, then:
    You can still install Windows on it, but it will just not allow use of, or detect the SATA/RAID? Also if this is true, is there any real point for me to RAID my disks if my main drive is a 640GB anyway? I don't understand RAID very well, but it appears it would be kind of pointless for me to do.

    Also, I chose the NTSF(QUICK) option, and it seemed to work fine. (This is a brand new fresh drive) If I had to reformat to activate RAID should I use the "Full" option because I already had a windows copy on the drive, or should quick be fine again?
  8. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,276   +177

    Either the SATA controllers were set to IDE mode in the BIOS or yours was one of the few that Windows XP recognized. You can always look in the BIOS to see. If set to IDE mode, you will have to F6 with the floppy to set up RAID later.

    I personally don't see much point of RAID 0 for a home PC. I feel it just doubles your chances of losing your data since the array will be broken when either drive fails. I suppose RAID 1 is a different story but I've never set one up. When you enable a RAID array you will have to reinstall Windows anyway so whether you have Windows installed already doesn't matter.

    I would recommend a full format because it will scan for possible bad sectors although you will probably be okay with a quick format on a new drive but you are taking some risk. I will sometimes do a quick format (single drive) if I've just done a full format and for some reason had to reformat soon afterward.
  9. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    I agree that a full format is the wise choice... what's another two hours, when it rules out so many possible troubles down the road.
  10. Wesablo

    Wesablo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 87

    tru, thanks ....the only problem I have left is that the SATA drivers aren't working from Gigabytes website, so I don't think I can install it. I don't know where to find it elsewhere?
  11. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,276   +177

    What do mean the SATA drivers aren't working? Do you mean they won't install? If so, it might be because SATA isn't enabled and that might also be why Windows installed without having to install SATA drivers at the F6 prompt.
  12. Wesablo

    Wesablo Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 87

    Oh sorry, I meant the links are dead from the website. Hmm but I realize now that it was just an error and the links seem to be working now. My mistake! That still might be true what you said though and I'll double check the bios.
  13. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Nearly always available on the Hard Drive Manufacturer's website... except for Toshiba unless they have recently changed.
     


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