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Installation Wont find Harddrives

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November 24, 2011 6:40:08 PM

Hi, I'm tyring to install ubuntu or "elementary to be precise" I've tried other versions of linux but when installing from a usb It doesn't show any of my hardrives. One has XP and other is blank ive tried that one format as NTFS and unformated. Nothing shows in Gparted in the live usb either.

Both drives show in the Bios and in Xp
From searching around, somone mentioned setting the hard drive to AHCI which I looked in the bios and i can switch the mode to it but Ive no idea what it does and I would like to be able to dual boot into XP and Linux.

Any advice?
Thanks
Luke
November 25, 2011 8:21:59 AM

Interesting, I'd never heard of Elementary before but it looks interesting. I see it's a Ubuntu spin so setup wise it should be very similar.

For a bit of an idea on what AHCI is Wiki has a decent enough basic overview:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Host_Controller_I...

Now if you read that you see that AHCI is not supported 'out of the box' on Windows XP. It is possible to install AHCI support within XP and then you should be OK to make the change in BIOS as XP will understand what's going on.

How you install the AHCI support depends on your motherboard. If you can let us know the details of your motherboard or give it a google 'Asus vpSuperMegaBoard AHCI install XP' for example you should be able to find a guide.

The good news is that if you mess up the AHCI support install in XP then changing the option back in BIOS should let you boot XP to sort the issue. As always though backup before you start playing just to be safe.
November 25, 2011 11:21:39 AM

I don't see how enabling AHCI will solve anything. AHCI is to increase disk controller efficiency.
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November 25, 2011 1:33:04 PM

Yep found that article on AHCI last night. But Id rather not mess with the the hard discs modes to be honest plus I'm on XP.
Hoping someone has an idea for a fix for it, I assume it must be something to do with my mother board.

XFX 8300

November 25, 2011 1:55:51 PM

amdfangirl said:
I don't see how enabling AHCI will solve anything. AHCI is to increase disk controller efficiency.


Yes it is, but it's also going to affect the way things are handled by the controller in a lot of other ways. You need AHCI mode to get the most out of SATA 3. I seem to remember that there were some issues with this a while back on certain versions of the Kernel.
November 25, 2011 2:11:00 PM

lukelc1 said:
Yep found that article on AHCI last night. But Id rather not mess with the the hard discs modes to be honest plus I'm on XP.
Hoping someone has an idea for a fix for it, I assume it must be something to do with my mother board.

XFX 8300


You might want to look at it a slightly different way here. Turning on AHCI should improve the performance of your existing XP installation. In the real world however features such as NCQ that it brings are more suited to servers than desktops and some people see a minor performance hit. It does have other things such as hot swap, but if you've lived OK without it then you're not likely to see much

You might well firnd that the latest version of Mint or Ubuntu would work without you having to make any changes at all. You could download a copy and try it to see.

I'm having a look for drivers for you, but XFX seem pretty crap on the support side. Having found a couple of pieces it seems the controller chip is a MCP78S, so there may be other drivers we can find. There are some other reports of issues with the board and RAID support so I really don't know.

My suggestion is to try the latest Mint or Ubuntu if you want a play with Linux. Alternatively you could run a virtual machine on top of XP and run Elementary in that. The VM presents a very compatable virtual system that most things will run fine on.
November 25, 2011 2:20:58 PM

audiovoodoo said:
You might want to look at it a slightly different way here. Turning on AHCI should improve the performance of your existing XP installation. In the real world however features such as NCQ that it brings are more suited to servers than desktops and some people see a minor performance hit. It does have other things such as hot swap, but if you've lived OK without it then you're not likely to see much

You might well firnd that the latest version of Mint or Ubuntu would work without you having to make any changes at all. You could download a copy and try it to see.

I'm having a look for drivers for you, but XFX seem pretty crap on the support side. Having found a couple of pieces it seems the controller chip is a MCP78S, so there may be other drivers we can find. There are some other reports of issues with the board and RAID support so I really don't know.

My suggestion is to try the latest Mint or Ubuntu if you want a play with Linux. Alternatively you could run a virtual machine on top of XP and run Elementary in that. The VM presents a very compatable virtual system that most things will run fine on.



I've tried Ubuntu and Gnome 3 same problem. I don't want to run a virtual machine.
AHCi isn't support in Xp according to wikipedia and I cant afford for it to corrupt the XP installation and I don't have time to reformat it all.

Its very strange why it isn't showing up If I tried this on any other pc it would probably work :/ 
November 25, 2011 3:38:10 PM

Plenty of people do get AHCI to work on XP so it can be done. If you have a hunt people talk about extracting it from the Intel driver and doing it by hand. It's a none trivial process though.

You might find changing the SATA port you use improves things. From memory having looked earlier you should have 6 ports, 3 on each of the two controllers. It might be one on the other controller will work.

If you do enable AHCI in BIOS then it will not break your XP install, it just means it will not boot. But then you would have to change BIOS each time you booted the system. Not sure if corruption would be possible or not if you wrote files to the NTFS partition when in Linux though.

Don't suppose you have an old IDE disk in the parts bin? You could stick that in and install Linux on that and just use the boot menu. I used to do this to boot between three disks with different OS's on.
November 25, 2011 3:49:12 PM

Don't think I want linux that bad to start hunting for drivers, but you mention changing the Sata port? at the moment in the Bios there set to Sata port 1 and port 2

On the manual I have it says

"6 x SATA ports by BGA , Maximum Speed to 3GB/s,support for
SATA RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 0+1,5,thereinto SATA5&6 only
support AHCI or Raid mode, don't support IDE mode."

November 25, 2011 3:56:41 PM

I would have thought that legacy IDE mode would have been more compatible.

:/ 
November 26, 2011 9:49:51 AM

Computers may be built on logic, it's the HW Engineers that ain't ;) 
November 26, 2011 9:51:08 AM

lukelc1 said:
Don't think I want linux that bad to start hunting for drivers, but you mention changing the Sata port? at the moment in the Bios there set to Sata port 1 and port 2

On the manual I have it says

"6 x SATA ports by BGA , Maximum Speed to 3GB/s,support for
SATA RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 0+1,5,thereinto SATA5&6 only
support AHCI or Raid mode, don't support IDE mode."


I'm a bit busy this weekend to spend much time on this but I'll have a bit more of a dig when I can and let you know.

If anybody else can unpick this one I'd be interested on suggestions.
December 1, 2011 7:57:21 PM

audiovoodoo said:
I'm a bit busy this weekend to spend much time on this but I'll have a bit more of a dig when I can and let you know.

If anybody else can unpick this one I'd be interested on suggestions.


I'm putting this down to a incompatible motherboard I reckon.
December 1, 2011 11:58:14 PM

It's strange, I had a play earlier today looking at another issue and my drives are set to IDE too. I've installed a few different versions of Linux on this box. Interestingly changing to AHCI I can no longer get my Vista install to work, that's supposedly got AHCI support baked in.

I'm going to have to read up on this, it's really not making sense to me.
December 2, 2011 1:43:10 AM

Oh on Windows, if you change anything from IDE to AHCI, it automatically refuses to boot. Even if you go from AHCI (normal) to AHCI (RAID).
!