"Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer"

By StabbyJoe89 ยท 4 replies
Jan 16, 2009
  1. I have a Dell 1520 Inspiron Laptop, but this is very much a windows related question so I decided to put it here. Last time I reinstalled windows XP was about 3 weeks ago. For some reason the reinstall named my main drive D, and my vista partition C. I was attempting to fix this. Meaning attempting to switch the drive letters. I used these directions from this site
    I followed them exactly and when I restarted my computer, I got to the windows xp login screen but it just stayed there. With no option to pick a user or enter a password.

    At this point I realized that renaming the drive letters must have messed things up so I reluctantly took out my Windows XP SP2 boot disk and I was about to do a boot up from it. But before it loaded the setup the following appeared "Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer."

    Now I don't know a lot about computers, but what it sounds like to me is that in the renaming of these 2 partitions they somehow either both got renamed to the same thing or something else that the Windows XP setup just can't detect? My Dell warranty is long past gone, so I'm open to any suggestions. Please, please offer some advice. Thank you in advance.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Use <F12> to access your system and change your system. If there is any risk of losing valuable data, use a new hard drive. Then boot to the Dell Windows XP SP2 install disk, and start over.
  3. StabbyJoe89

    StabbyJoe89 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for replying, but I already tried to boot from the Windows XP SP2 install disk. I got the "Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer" error and could not continue. What do you mean when you said "change your system"?
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    You can look at your system with the <F12> key as soon as you press the <ON> button... do that before you try booting to be sure your boot order is correct and your drives are setup properly. This is a very handy spot that Dell has created. Scroll down through to see status and make changes.
  5. StabbyJoe89

    StabbyJoe89 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Success! I had to set my SATA Operation to ATA instead of AHCI. I did this by selecting "Load Defaults" under the Maintainance tab of my BIOS Setup. After doing this the setup recognized the partitions again, and I was able to install Windows XP. Thank you for your help!
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