"No hard disk" error on XP install (SATA)

My notebook came installed with Vista, which of course had to go. When trying to install XP I received a "no hard disk" error.

The HD in the laptop is a SATA drive, hence the error. As the laptop doesn't have a floppy drive I tried slipstreaming the drivers onto the bootable Windows XP installation CD but to no avail - I tried it both manually and with nLite. I don't get the "no hard disk" error, but another one, namely that the driver cannot be found despite it being there (double-checked, retried, etc).

So, any ideas on how to solve this? How do I get XP onto the SATA drive without a floppy?
54 answers Last reply
More about hard disk error install sata
  1. Where did you get XP driver? Driver for SATA controller on laptop? You could try with a USB floppy to install the motherboard drivers.

  2. At this point you could get a USB floppy (or borrow one) and do it that way.

    Otherwise, you could pull the drive and plug it directly into your main machine and copy over the driver to another partition and then select that partition as the source of the driver.

    Or you could ... well do one of those things.
  3. I know a way to solve this problem quite easily. Go into the Bios and there should be an option somewhere saying "legacy something" under the hard drive section.
  4. I've ordered a USB floppy, hopefully that'll do the trick.

    In the BIOS there's no legacy option, nor an option to change the SATA options (Google said change it to "compatible") :(

    I don't have a main machine, I moved to the UK in February and everything except for this laptop is still in my icky native land (not Poland).

    The SATA drivers came from the Intel website, it are the ones for the 945 chipset (which is the one this laptop uses, of course).

    Thanks for the replies so far!
  5. Does your XP disc have SP2 installed on it? SP2 install discs load more drivers, including a bunch of SATA drivers.
  6. Yeah, it's got SP2 on it, but it doesn't load the proper drivers, apparantly :(
  7. So make a floppy disk and try using a USB floppy drive to install it.

  8. You need to use the Intel Matrix Storage Manager drivers, freely available from Intel.

    They provide a self-executing 'F6' floppy disk image with the RAID drivers on it, but you'll need a floppy to make it work - nobody seems to have found a way around this issue.

  9. Well, the USB floppy drive was dispatched today, so hopefully I get to play around with it in a day or two.

    The Intel Matrix Storage Manager comes in an .exe file, and basically installs itself on Windows, as opposed to providing me with files (such as the .sys files that come with the Intel SATA controller).
    Is there a way I can steal the .sys and other needed files from the .exe?
  10. Intel Matrix Storage F6 Floppy:*%20XP%20Professional&lang=eng

    (Copy and paste entire link into browser. Forum software won't allow a link this long.)
  11. Ah yes, that one. I forgot about that one due to the lack of a floppy drive at the time. I probably would've forgotten to search Intel again when I have the floppy, thanks!
  12. Hey guys I have the exact same problem.

    Here's what I've done so far:

    Bought a USB Floppy, copied the Intel Matrix Storage F6 Floppy file onto a floppy
    Entered in Windows XP set up and pressed F6

    here's the problem with mine....

    F6 doesn't work!!!!! It just won't go into the screen to load my floppy!

    I need to install XP, but I just can't! Does anyone know what the problem is?
  13. Had the exact problem on an HP notebook
    Went to bios-->system configuration-->SATA Native Support-->changed enabled to DISABLED

    That fixed my problem.

    As mrbbq said, look for any SATA settings in your bios.
  14. I had this exact problem and what Ponce17 said is the exact solution... you can do that (that's what I did) or attempt to load the driver when Windows prompts you to press F6 for a storage driver. My employer was accidentally shipped laptops with Vista and I had to reload XP Pro and encountered this same problem.
  15. Dont' know if it was already said but check to make sure that you have the sata disk if you have more than one set to boot from the one you want the os on. In otherwords make sure it is set as the first sata device.
  16. What do you do if your computer is a Gateway Laptop Bios

    I tried removing the SATA HD in the Bios and STILL there is No HD detected by Windows XP Installation disk.

    I too, have NO Floppy drive, I'm disabled and cannot get out again to buy one or borrow one.

    Can anyone walk me through a GATEWAY Bios or OTHER work around?

  17. I forgot these details:

    I recently purchased a Gateway M6817 with Windows Vista Home Premium Pre-Install.

    On my Desktop I have an internal HD that runs the following: 95, 98se, ME, 2000, and
    XP. On that HD I used the boot.ini file to multi boot


    How do I Boot into my other OS sytems (95, 98se, ME, 2000, and XP) using my new Laptop
    Pre-loaded with Windows Vista Premium?

    I especially need windows 2000 access. Every time I try to install it on my laptop
    it shows the blue screen: "No Hard Drive Installed"

    My HD is a WD SATA connected NOT to the motherboard but via a PCI Card (? I think)
    attached to the motherboard. With my WD Lifeguard utility disk, it reads as a BIOS
    HD attached via an "unknown controller".

    What do I do. It won't even read my already installed windows 2000 (or anyother OS)
    that I attach via USB Enclosure device.

    What do I DO?........HELP ANYONE
  18. Use nLite to integrate Intel's AHCI drivers into your XP installation, then burn it to a blank cd-r. No need to use floppy or press F6. But you have to read all the visual tips/ help in the program or you won't really succeed
  19. I had the same problem. I just installed Vista instead... NOT x64 though.

    Why do you not want to install Vista? I originally didin't want to to save resources, but I didn't have a floppy drive (who does anymore?) Anyway, i'll just deal with Vista. I love it anyway.
  20. You need the F6 floppy contents and nlite to create your own slipstreamed drivers install CD. I had success doing this with a half dozen different HP laptops this week.

    I tried the USB floppy with an F6 driver disk, and they would load the initial driver, but after the installation said "Starting Windows" (text mode setup), the USB gets reset and the floppy becomes inaccessible. About 2 minutes later, setup asks for the floppy again, and insists it must be A:. Fooked.

    Long story short, F6 disk and nlite is the solution (or switch to Vistcrap).
  21. Thanks! Just loaded a new Vista Dell notebook with Win XP.

    First it wouldn't let you install XP saying it was an older version operating system. Make sure it is booting directly from the CD.

    Then when it started, it didn't recognize the HD when booting and trying to install from the XP disk so we had to switch the HD to ATA from SATA, disable the flash ram something.

    Good to go now!
  22. Hi

    I have been reading the replies/solution to your post and got bored reading halfway down the list. Why would you need a floppy drive to install when the entire world has stopped using floppies. Check your Win Xp disc. I bet its a pirated ancient version. Go in for Win Xp with SP2 or SP3. That cd will install and detect the SATA HDD.

    Hope it helps and sorry for sounding a bit rude.

  23. avinash74-

    sorry, but this isn't very helpful.

    I have a XP professional XP2 release CD. this does not install any SATA drivers that would allow the boot OS to see my HDD. I have a HP dv2000. However, allowing legacy support for the SATA device does.

    go in the bios.

    system configuration-->SATA Native Support-->changed enabled to DISABLED

    drive is now recognized.
  24. It would be helpful to state which BIOS one is using and maybe the version.

    Not every BIOS allows for SATA disable, so there is a need for F6 driver install in those particular cases. XP SP2 (and previous) does NOT install SATA drivers unless the drivers were previously slipstreamed into the image. Im not sure about SP3 as I've yet to try it.

    I've just tried a couple XP discs w/o success; gonna slipstream the drivers instead.
  25. Why deal with the bloody external floppy and all that stuff?It's a huge waste of time!
    Just google "eXPerience TinyXP" and your problems are over!It's a modded XP SP2 to be as fast and as small as possible.Also,it has integrated drivers for ALL SATA controllers and most sound and lan cards.
    If that doesn't work,search for "eXPerience Server2003" on google.It has all the drivers for anything : SATA,LAN,chipset,Sound,WiFi you name it!
    Also, @ Nd4Spdr : vista is microstuffed's IDIOTIC response to a problem.Yes,they've made windows a faster OS than any previous version.But that's just for the OS!Whenever you want to run something you have to wait...because,most of the RAM and CPU is gobbled up by vista.Now,vista may run great on microstuffed machines which are all high-spec and have lots of RAM but more than 70% of the world's PCs don't have more than 1GB of RAM installed.On that note,gonna wait for Haiku to come out.
    Sorry for the off-topic.
  26. Hey, i have the same problem.

    in my bios it says something about USB legacy support but that didnt change anything. do you know if you can do this from like a flashdrive or something. cuz i have a laptop and no floppy drive...

    edit: found a bios thing that fixed it, now installing windows.
  27. ye har!!! all sorted for me,i have tried everything,apart from one thing.....i went into my bios screen,and changed the sata setting to non raid....hey presto......xp up and running
  28. Here's one I didn't see above yet. On my new machine as I stepped through the setups, I set the BIOS SATA options to AHCI, and the XP SP2 install disk could not find the HDD. Changed BIOS to not AHCI, but to IDE emulation, and it went perfectly. Seems the XP install disk has drivers for IDE (of course!) and maybe plain SATA, but knows nothing about AHCI. Check your BIOS SATA parameters.
  29. I am running a Lenovo ThinkPad T61 with the same problem. All the talk about SATA got me thinking and here is how I fixed it:
    BIOS -> Config -> SATA -> (change: AHCI to Compatibility)

    Similar solution to what Paperdoc said, but thought I would share my solution.

    All The Best,
    Hunter MacLean
  30. it works

    just like huntermaclean said :
    BIOS -> Config -> SATA -> (change: AHCI to Compatibility)

    Dell 1525
  31. Ok...
    My problem is also solved
    In Bios...Config->Sata-->from AHCI to Compatibility
    Thx very mutch...
  32. if your bios laptop don't have copatibility setting you can use this way...
    1. Input the diskette contain sata ahci driver , Plug your usb floppy drive to your laptop (make sure that you have enabled the floppy in bios setting)
    2.booting with win xp cd F6 for install scsi and raid hdd,when there is message press S to specify sata ahci driver,select sata AHCI 82801 mobile for 965 chipset or sata AHCI 9 mobile for intel 45 chipset.if your chipset is AMD you must use another AHCI (usually you can get it in XP cd drivers notebook or you can looking for in internet) and then press enter for continue.
    4.usually would appear a message to use driver just select yes is done
  33. I had same problem long ago, here is what I did, download xp installation disk with sata driver. that's it. hope you guys be fine
  34. ponce17 said:
    Had the exact problem on an HP notebook
    Went to bios-->system configuration-->SATA Native Support-->changed enabled to DISABLED

    That fixed my problem.

    As mrbbq said, look for any SATA settings in your bios.

    Thanks ponce worked great I have been messing around with it all day even killdisk'd it and rewrote the MBR thinking it had something to do with the hp hdd protection....thanks again....kris
  35. i completely gave up on this problem until my friend told me about SATA and I read this post.

    Disabled SATA setting in Bios and read from my CD-ROM xp install disk right away

    Thank you!!
  36. Guys just a really quick suggestion. I had the problem with no hard drive recognised and also the f6 button wouldnt work for me to allow USB Flash drive drivers etc...bah humbug!

    I am working on a new install of Win XP Pro (SP3) on a HP Compaq NC6320 Notebook.

    I also have a vista Home premium 64bit cd as well so thought I would try that instead. It got me easily enough to the stage where it wanted to install the O/S on the recognised HD, so at that point I formatted that drive maybe like 10 times to make sure which only took a couple of mins.

    I also went into bios and put sata "native disabled" as per the other fine suggestions in comments above.

    As I am writing, I am 45% + through installing now after many failed attempts for XP to recognise the fingers crossed......mayeb the Vista Disc did the job or disabling Sata not sure and not bothered as this Laptop has done my head in to be honest......just ordered a shitty USB Floppy that I dont seem to need....who knows....this was my experience and it worked.....

    Just be persistant and logiocal, try everything....nice feeling when you get there. Good luck guys!

    p.s - 97% through.....hurrah

    pps. now almost complete by time all fine!!!!
  37. Have you tried going into the cmos setup and seeing if you can change the hard drive mode from sata to ide ? If so this should cure your problem...
    ..... CyberSavior
  38. Same on Lenovo T60. Changed SATA from AHCI to Compatibility.

    And it works.
    Thank you.
  39. Ponce 17 you rocks dude :bounce: :lol: :hello:
  40. BIOS-System Configuration-SATA -disable....WORKS!!! awesome ...thank ye one and all...!!!

  41. Great job! This is the fix. Thanks, because I've never experienced this issue before. Does this happen because VISTA is installed on a SATA drive or this is standard protocol for formatting SATA drives?

    ponce17 said:
    Had the exact problem on an HP notebook
    Went to bios-->system configuration-->SATA Native Support-->changed enabled to DISABLED

    That fixed my problem.

    As mrbbq said, look for any SATA settings in your bios.
  42. Ponce17 was right. The fix is to DISABLE the SATA native support in the bios.
  43. Hi
    With Acer (Aspire 5315) BIOS update the XP was crashing. I went into BIOS 'Main' and changed the setting for SATA Drivers from AHCI to IDE. This worked, the OS could recognize the Hard Disk and things are now working with latest BIOS updates (1.45 for Acer)
  44. we just got 6 new dell inspiron desktops at my office. they came with vista home basic. needed to downgrade to xp pro so i could get them connected to our windows server 2003 domain. kept getting messages that newer os installed and couldnt get xp pro sp2 to install. formatted the brand new hd's and tried again with no luck. ntldr is missing error.

    went to bios, advanced system configuration, sata settings, changed ACHI to ATA and problem solved. xp pro installed like a champ. ACHI and ATA were the only options. there was no IDE option on this computer.
  45. Same solution as well, changed the ACHI to IDE on an Acer...loaded XP pro without a problem.
  46. Solved!

    Same as above.

    I have an Acer Aspire 4720Z Laptop.

    I prepared a USB wth XP SP2!

    At first, XP installation couldn't recognize the built-in hard disk. On the 'create partition' screen,
    it showed only the USB disk (I was installing from this USB disk).

    So, I went to the BIOS. Looked for the SATA option, and lo and behold, it was set to ACHI mode, I think.
    I changed that to IDE.

    Saved, and exit.

    Reboot, and XP installation recognized the hard disk, and I was able to partition, etc. etc.

    In case anyone is running an Acer laptop from this series, I hope my explanation helped.
  47. XP doesn't have SATA support. That's why you need compatibility mode enabled which basically turns the sata to ide. You lose all the sata functionality when you do this such as command queue and hotswap.

    Very soon within the next year XP on new drives will not work.
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