I'm planning on replacing my boot drive, a Maxtor 80 GB IDE, with a Samsung 250 GB SATA drive. I'm running XP Pro SP2 on a Gigabyte K8N Pro mobo.
Is there anything special I need to do to make sure the system will boot correctly?
I don't know that you can replace an IDE with a SATA. I believe the connectors are different and the controller would be different. So, I would hold off until you know for sure. But, I would wait for someone with more knowledge to post an answer to your question. I can't keep up with all the upgrades etc. these days.
Now, concerning windows, there is a chance (depending on the SATA controller really) that the windows installation CD won't recognize your SATA controller and thus, cannot see your hdd.
IF that happens then basically there are two ways out of this.
Either way you must find the controller's windows drivers (from the MoBo cd or the internet) and either put them in a floppy (or if you don't have one and your MoBo supports it, a USB stick) and load them during the Setup's drivers loading (you press F6 when setup tells you to)
a slightly more complex way but that will save you from subsequent hassle on future re-installations is to slip-stream the drivers directly into the installation CD (to do that just download nLite).
Thanks for the tips. I think the original Gigabyte CD has the SATA drivers on it, but I'll probably get the newer ones from their site. Now to go to another post and see how to copy my current ATA exactly to the SATA.
If the new drive is SATA 2 you will have to put a jumper on it to make it SATA 1 compatible. No biggie but most OEM drives don't ship with a jumper. Also you may have to make sure the SATA controller is turned on in the BIOS. I have a Gigabyte board (thought a slightly different model) and I've never had any problems with windows seeing the SATA controller. As far as copying your drive, I've never tried it, but I know it can be done. I'm just a backup-and-reload kind of guy.
Well, same here, I have a Gigabyte M57SLI-S4 (nForce 570) and the installation sees my SATAs just fine. However on my old Asus A7N8X Deluxe (nForce 2, SiL 3112 controller) it did not and I had to slipstream the drivers in the CD. What it's almost certain it won't see is any RAID you may have.
As for the copy part, you basically want to image your old to the new hd? I've never had to do it either but I imagine it should be relatively easy.
Even if you do image your IDE drive to a SATA drive using something like Ghost or Acronis, the next problem you face is that your boot drive controller will most likely be so different that, upon bootup, you get a BSOD (INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE being the most common).
If that happens, you can either repair-install doing what keeperos had said (F6 the drivers from a floppy or slipstream the drivers onto a new CD) or just start with a clean install (again either floppy F6 or slipstream) and use Ghost Explorer or Acronis' equivalent to retrieve certain pieces of data.
The repair would be mandatory either way, windows will detect they're running from a different drive than the one they were installed and will ask for a re-activation either way. Repairing will make sure that windows at least know the kind of HDD they're installed in.