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Setup did not find hard disks during WinXP installation in Dell Precision 690

By mlaudu
Nov 22, 2007
  1. I have the problem of "setup did not find any hard disk drives". I have a Dell Precision 690 with Intel Xeon dual core processors. The IDE ATA Controller is Intel 631xESB SATA. The hard drive has 700 GB.

    64-bit Windows does not have drivers for some of the most important software I use, so I wish to be able to do dual-booting on this computer. I bought a 200 GB Maxtor drive and installed it. When I tried to boot with a Windows XP CD in the drive, I got the famous message "setup did not find any hard disk drives …". I have tried all the options discussed in this forum with no luck. In particular:
    1. I used nlite to slipstream the SATA drivers which I downloaded from the Intel website. I downloaded both the 32-bit (f6flpy32.exe) and the 64-bit (f6flpy64.exe) drivers. I created the WinXP CD and booted from it. Every time I get the message "iastor.sys is corrupted" and the booting was aborted. I tried all combinations of slipstreamed CDs (Win 2000, XP SP4, etc) but with no luck. Note that I also copied the driver files from the C drive of the x64 installation and got the same problem.
    2. I then tried the floppy diskette idea. I saved the driver files in a floppy and during booting I hit F6 and tried loading the drivers (one at a time and in combination). I got the same error message. Sometimes I got the message that the drivers I am trying to install were newer than the ones in the CD. I tried both accepting and rejecting the use of the drivers in the diskette. If I accept them, then I end up with a blue screen of death BSD!!!

    There are also a number of differences between my computer and some of the excellent postings in this forum:
    1. If I enter the setup during boot up, I only see ATA and AHCI as the options for 'SATA Operation'. Not even a single mention of RAID.
    2. None of my hard disks appear in the 'Drives' entry even though they show during booting under the 'SAS Controller' utility which must be set to 'On' in the setup screen. All my 'SATA' entries (0, 1 and 2) have to be set to 'Off' otherwise the computer will complain of not seeing a drive! The only non-off entries are for the 2 PATA entries which show information about the CD and DVD drives.
    I have tried every combination and permutation to make my hard disks appear under XP or Win2K but I never had any luck. The interesting thing though is that if I pop in the Win XP x64 CD and booted from it, both the drives show at the end and the request to install or not to install windows appears. Can anyone please help with this?
    Thank you.
    Moussa
     
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