Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed on your computer

By candersen ยท 9 replies
Nov 4, 2011
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  1. Help!

    I had windows XP home 32-bit. I got so many errors and was fed up, so i installed Ubuntu. I don't want that any more and want my windows xp back. I have no cd for the XP as it is a dell. I got a loan of a windows xp cd from my buddie and every time it goes to setup windows i get the message: "Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed on your computer." Before i installed Ubuntu i wrote down my key for XP. So i'm stumped on what to do.

    Any ideas?
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    If the Dell has only a SATA drive you will see that problem. You can quite often enter the bios and make the SATA drive become IDE-compatible, and if you succeed, XP will then see the drive and install normally. You will have trouble finding XP drivers though, start from Dell own service site.
  3. candersen

    candersen TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So i managed to change it from SATA, installed windows. Now i have a 30 day trial version. But every time i enter the product code on the side of the machine it says its invalid, any ideas on this?
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Probably because you are using an install CD from an OEM supplier (from your friend). They are keyed to the manufacturers hardware and simply will not register on 'foreign' hardware - it's tough, but protects Mr Gates from being ripped off as he deeply discounts the OS to the likes of Dell, HP etc.

    The simple solution I know of is to use a retail install CD, which can be used on anything. Others may have suggestions, I don't know of any sure answers myself. If you had a code for your original Dell you should be ok, but will have to either re-register automatically over the web (if lucky) or have to phone MS who very likely will supply a new code. The situation has many posts about it on this site. Do a little searching about 'activation code' for it.

    There is also this which lower down, presents a method of activating automatically if you are sure your key is valid. The particular circumstances you have used might not work in that situation, you might have to actually explain the situation to a MS telephone rep. and get an entirely new key. This is because the CD key only works for specific hardware, including HDD, video card, network card and motherboard (all of which are, of course, different to the CD you actually used).
  5. candersen

    candersen TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for that, i will ring MS during the week and explain my situation. The desktop is about 6 years old now and the product key for the dell and the key for XP are definitely valid. I'll ask around and hope to god some one has a general install disk for XP.
  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    You said you already have it installed? Is there still a problem? You might need the right drivers, which you can get from the Dell site just by entering the PC id on the case (unless you have changed any hardware since new).

    I would have thought you just need to activate it, and cannot at the moment because the activation expected by the CD you have actually used is for a different PC model. MS will give you a key probably without question, but as far as I remember, you have to have a working system first.

    They ask you run a little utility which tells MS what your hardware setup is, and they respond with a new key that takes all that into account. Dont phone until your OS is working to your satisfaction. You have 30 days to do that.
  7. candersen

    candersen TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have a 30 day trial on the system of the home edition. I enter the product key on the side of the Dell, but isnt valid. Thats my main problem. I found the drivers here:
    (wont let me link)

    I'm thinking on explaining my situation to MS as nothing illegal is done and i have all codes etc.
  8. Tekkaraiden

    Tekkaraiden TS Evangelist Posts: 997   +93

    Your other option would be to contact dell and get them to sell you a restore CD/dvd. It couldn't be more than $20-$30. It's likely what Microsoft is going to tell you.
  9. candersen

    candersen TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Its all sorted now. I rang MS, directed me to dell. I explained my situation how i never got a XP CD and that i wiped hard drive etc. He said i got one, when i obviously didnt, he asked his supervisor and a day later got me the CD and a driver CD . All sorted.

    Oh yea it was sent out free of charge, no p+p charges or for the cd its self.
  10. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Lucky you. Dell didn't have to do that....after 6 years. Probably they still had some in stock from 6 years ago, paid for long ago. But even then......not many companies would do that, or even be able to do that.

    I'm impressed.

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