Hard drive wont read after windows reinstall

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TS Rookie
Hi all.
I usually am pretty ok with computers and dont ask for help, however my current problem has left me somewhat baffled.

I ordered an install of a new motherboard not long ago, and had 2 hdd's at the time.
One with a regular connection, one with SATA connection.
I wasnt the one doing the installation of the new motherboard, but sent the computer to a shop.
Once I got it back, it was updated with a new version of windows xp pro and had no problems whatsoever.
Soon after, I decided to reinstall windows to an older version, since I never liked windows xp SP2, It isnt really required.
I booted up my computer with a windows installation cd in my cd rom, and everything was ok untill I got to choosing on which drive I want to install the windows on: Only one was present, and it was the regular connection one.
I didnt think much of it at that moment and installed the windows on that hdd.
Once it came up after installing, the computer simply wasnt reading my second hdd.
I figured that it could be because I installed an older version of windows and something might have gone wrong with it being able to read SATA connections, but it seemed strange since the BIOS wasnt able to read that hdd aswell.
Well, I ignored the problem for a while thinking that maybe if i can update my BIOS to read SATA or something of the sort it could be ok, but i then bought a DVD burner with SATA connections and it could read the burner with no problem, that immediately eliminated my suspicion of the bios\windows not being able to read SATA connections for some reason. Because it WAS able to read sata connections, because it managed to read my DVD burner.
So here I was left, scouring the internet for an answer or maybe something similar to an answer, however nothing really helped me. The connections are fine, i checked and rechecked and double recheked them every time i tried to boot up my computer. I even formatted several times my C drive, the only one which my computer could read, but to no avail.
I now come to you, asking for assistance.
Would anyone here be familiar with such a problem?
Thanks in advance


TS Ambassador
"since I never liked windows xp SP2, It isnt really required"...

What ever gave you that idea? What planet are you on? XP, SP2 is required for all the critical Microsoft hardware/software updates...

Get your head out of the sand and put XP, SP2 back on your system. You'll be surprized at how much better your system will run.

Really, anyone that says they don't need XP, SP2 is saying that they are running an illegal copy of XP


TS Rookie
That might be true, however it does not answer my question.
And I did try to install back a newer copy of xp with sp2, still doesnt read my hard drive.


TS Guru
It is possible that you needed to load the sata drivers (for the new motherboard) early in the installation when prompted for raid drivers. I have never traveled down this path before, so I cannot assert this to be a helpful suggestion.


TS Ambassador
"it was updated with a new version of windows xp pro and had no problems whatsoever"...

SATA/RAID drivers are not always needed at the beginning of an XP install. Proper hard drive detection from the bios is needed. The bios needs to be configured properly for SATA boot drives. If the bios doesn't see the SATA boot drive, Windows won't either.


TS Rookie
But my motherboard is capable of reading other devices with SATA connections, such as my DVD burner.
I will try your suggestion however.
You mean to install the RAID SATA drivers from a floppy after I boot my pc with a windows installation disc inside?
Well, If you do, thats a bit of a problem since I don't own a floppy.
If that would, however, solve my problem, then I will go buy one immediately.
But maybe you could suggest something else for now, like if its possible to reconfigure my BIOS for SATA boot drives without the mentioned installlation of SATA drivers with a floppy?
And if so, how?


TS Guru
Quick Answer

It is a Gates Gotcha – you need a floppy, with a big BUT. Here is a link to a page with a PDF file discussing a RAID floppy that is used when F6 is depressed to load RAID drivers. http://www.nvidia.com/object/nf_650i_winxp32_8.26.html .

The big BUT seems to apply to the case at hand where the install is targeting the IDE drive. The RAID drivers can be added later. A full reading of the above will give more information.

Now for the long answer.
I am a novice when it comes to a sata capable mobo. I am at a loss to explain how the mobo setup utility can detect the optical sata drive, but not the sata HDD. However, Windows XP setup/install does require the sata drivers if you want it reported during the install. I base this on a report for the following:
Mobo: evga, nforce 650 ultra, 1 SATA controller, 1 IDE controller
1 PCI IDE card (does not support optical drives)
2 HDDs, IDE (connected to PCI IDE)
2 optical drives, IDE (connect to mobo)

BIOS setup utility reports all drives correctly.
Windows XP setup/install does not detect HDDs
Repeat Windows XP setup/install but use F6 to add drivers from floppy for the PCI IDE card.
Installation successful.

In your first post, I missed the detail that the DVD-RW was recognized as a sata drive. I interpret this to mean it was reported by the BIOS. Specific information from you for any changes you made may lead to discovering what is happening. Does this change if only the sata HDD is connected? Does the computer come back if you restore everything to the condition from the computer shop?

It really sounds like we are missing something incredibly obvious.

P.S. Utilities exist to create a floppy disk image file & write it to a CD. This will probably work in the post setup enviroment. I could be wrong, but the following link may have the utility www.ultimatebootcd.com
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