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I just finished building my new system and XP doesn't recognize my SATA HDD at the setup. BIOS registers it but XP doesn't. I tried a small 1 GB IDE drive to see if XP would see it and it did. So I am assuming this is an issue with my HDD. I used an ME boot disk to install a FAT 32 and that went smoothly but XP still doesn't see it. Can anyone help me? Thus far I have close to a grand invested in something that doesn't work.

The drive is a Seagate SATA 150 80GB running on an ABIT NF7-S.
Since there is only one drive I am assuming that the raid setup doesn't matter, as I haven't touched it. Please help!

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OK nobody's responded yet in 5 days so I'll have a go...

Abit's manuals downloads were broken, but the specs were there. Your mobo appears to use a Silicon Image 3112A SATA controller hanging off the PCI bus. You might want to look for the numbers on the chip to be sure it's that, and not a 3114.

Usually XP setup first inspects your configuration, then loads a whole slew of drivers, DLL's, etc. into memory. With standard chipset devices, is enough to get XP kickstarted. But sometimes the device the O/S will be loaded onto isn't in the main chipset (nForce2 in your case), or is something so modern that the version of XP knows nothing about it. For these situations XP setup give you a chance to load a special chip-specific driver into memory at the beginning. That driver allows XP setup to locate your non-chipset boot device, and the install is typically OK after that. Because your SATA chip hangs off PCI, you are in this situation.

Disclaimer: I've never actually had to load a special driver in this way.

First go to the Abit NF7-S download site and download the Silicon Image SATA driver. It will be in a self-extracting EXE format: execute it and direct it to extract onto a floppy, which is the default (usually they will fit, in this case there's less than 1MB). You probably already have this file, maybe an older version on a mobo setup CD.

After extraction, read the file A:\silicon\3112\readme.txt which will tell you the complete procedure, see "1) Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000/XP Fresh Installation". I'll outline the first part below...

Start the XP install from CD. Get ready: right at the beginning a red message will appear at the bottom, something like "Press F6 to install a third party SCSI driver". The message will disappear a few seconds later, so you don't have very long; as soon as the F6 message appears, hit F6, even though you are not using SCSI. You should be taken to a dialog from which you can load the drivers you downloaded. How it works from here is covered in that readme file.

After loading the special driver, your SATA drive should become visible to XP within this install session and you should be able to successfully install onto it.

Hope this works,

-clintfan
 
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