Windows XP "Unknown Disk" Issue

By Timmo
Apr 19, 2008
  1. I have just recently formatted my four hard drives(usually in RAID1+0) with DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke). When I went to reinstall Windows XP I was astonished to find that instead of my harddrives, or single RAID array, the Windows Setup just had four lines, all saying "unknown disk" or something similar. I have done some reading around and I see this problem seems to stem from a lack of drivers.

    I am using an Asus P5AD2 Premium motherboard with 4 Seagate SATA-II (I think/hope) drives (usually in a RAID array).

    So I was hoping someone could help me with my problem, possibly with a bootable CD image, as that is in my capabilities, but I have no floppy diskettes and am unable to go down that route.
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,261   +92

    Might be easier if you just slipstream the drivers into your OS CD. Take a look at nLite.

    You can download your SATA RAID drivers off of ASUS's website.
  3. Timmo

    Timmo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ah yes, I heard of nLite, but after looking at the ASUS site, it seemed they only had 64 bit drivers.

    ">Description: IT8212 ATA RAID Controller beta driver V1.7.1.95 for Windows 64bit XP/2003."
  4. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,261   +92

    Take a closer look at the page dedicated to your motherboard's downloads...
  5. Timmo

    Timmo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay, I had it all working, and installed it, but, whenever I try to start up Windows now I get this error message on a black screen, in white text. "Disk Read Error, Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete to Restart"
  6. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,261   +92

    Head into the BIOS and make sure your HDD is on the list of boot devices somewhere...
  7. Timmo

    Timmo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks. It seems I had the Silicon Image Controller set to SATA instead of RAID yet my RAID array was set up.
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    It is likely that your optical drive has gone bad. Borrow one, or buy another. They are $22 to $32 online for a DVD CD_RW burner... Avoid Sony, HP, HLDS,and ACER. Lite-On, LG, Plextor, Pioneer, Philips, Yamaha, Samsung are among the good ones.
    But test with a borrowed one first to be sure that is the problem.
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