After hours of Google searching, I've decided to come here and post my issue because I know you guys know so much more than Gateway support. I have a Gateway P-7805u FX laptop that I bought in February 2009. Specifications here: http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668231.php. I have not added any additional hardware since I bought it.
First, I haven't had any issues with my laptop prior to this. Recently, I was simply planning on formatting it and installing Windows 7 RC1. (BTW, this is in the Vista thread because it's also a Vista/possibly hardware problem).
When I boot up the Windows 7 CD and go through the prompts until I get to the "Where do you want to install Windows?", the Windows installation does not recognize that there are any hard drives installed on the machine. At first, it had the two partitions that were originally on it, but I deleted them with the intent of having just one large partition. After I deleted them though, nothing shows up, not even unallocated space or anything.
It says at the bottom: "No drives were found. Click Load Driver to provide a mass storage driver for installation." So I load the latest drivers Intel Chipset and Matrix drivers from the Gateway website (chipset 126.96.36.1997 and matrix 188.8.131.529) with all the drivers that are compatible with it, but the Windows installation still does not recognize that there is a hard drive installed.
I thought it was an issue with Windows 7, but when I tried to install Windows Vista instead, it does the exact same thing. I previously had the OEM version of Windows Vista 64 bit Home Premium.
I tried contacting Gateway but that led to nowhere. Now I don't know what to do as I basically have a powerful laptop with no OS that I can't do anything with.
Yes, the HDD is detected by the BIOS. RAID isn't one of the options in there.
Not sure if someone edited their previous post, or it was another place I read, but someone suggested that since I deleted the partition, I had to use the HDD manufacturer's tools to re-partition it. Thing is, I don't know what company it is. That same person also suggested using a free boot partitioner or something, and mentioned ubuntu live, which I'm going to try to see if I can recognize the disks.
What I ended up doing was booting Ubuntu, which did recognize the hard drive, allowing me to create, format, and partition. Once that was done, I then booted up the Windows 7 CD and installed Windows 7 without any problems, even allowing me to delete, format, and reorganize the partitions.
Just wanted to update in case anyone else has similar issues.