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Windows Unable to Recognize Drivers for SATA HDD

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July 8, 2009 10:36:05 PM

Hey everyone -

I'm having difficulty installing a Seagate 3.5" Barracuda SATA HDD. It is a brand new drive with nothing on it, and I'm attempting to install Windows Vista on it. Vista is asking me for the drivers for the disk, and I insert the Vista disk that came with my motherboard (gigabyte GA-73PVM-S2H). However, Windows cannot seem to find any drivers on that disk. I went to the website and looked for drivers for the motherboard, found drivers for SATA/RAID, and burned them to a disk. However, Windows still cannot find any usable drivers on the disk. I've also tried putting them on a USB flash drive, but to no avail. Does anyone have any thoughts on how to solve this frustrating problem? Thanks....
a b G Storage
July 8, 2009 11:08:52 PM

Does the HD show up in the BIOS. If so, is the Onchip SATA Mode in SATA-II RAID Config set to ACHI in the BIOS?
a b G Storage
July 8, 2009 11:24:37 PM

set the sata ports in the bios to legacy mode. there are no hard drive drivers
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a c 342 G Storage
July 9, 2009 3:21:27 PM

In the BIOS there may be up to 4 options for how the BIOS treats the SATA device attached to each port: IDE Emulated, SATA, AHCI, or RAID. Unless you actually plan to set up a RAID array, don't choose that. SATA treats the device as a native SATA device and I understand that VISTA has all the drivers it needs for that and should be able to handle it right from the Install disk no problem. Likewise, IDE Emulation mode has the BIOS take over the port and make it appear to Windows of any type to be just a plain old IDE device which all Windows knows how to use. Now AHCI is different. If you choose that, Windows does not have built-in drivers and you will need to install those drivers (usually from a floppy) at an early stage in the VISTA Install process. IF you have your BIOS set to AHCI mode, you have two choices. One is to change it to IDE Emulation or SATA, which VISTA should be able to handle. The other is to prepare the drivers on a floppy and install them, But for that you MUST have the drivers for an AHCI drive, not SATA or RAID.
July 9, 2009 5:04:38 PM

thanks everyone for the replies, i'm about to leave work and give it another try
a b G Storage
July 9, 2009 5:13:23 PM

Vista does have ahci drivers integrated
July 9, 2009 5:48:20 PM

OK - heres the deal.

I've tried switching the SATA II RAID config from RAID, IDE, and AHCI, none of which seem to work.

Whenever I boot in IDE mode, Vista will boot and tell me that I need to install drivers for the hard disk (which it recognizes, because I see it on the vista install screen). However, it cannot find any drivers on my motherboard CD, or any other CD I put in there with the drivers.

If I try booting in RAID or AHCI mode with the Vista disc, I get an "invalid system disk" error at startup.

There is also some other options in the BIOS that might be relevant, I'm not sure.

On-Chip IDE Channel - Enabled

IDE Prefetch Mode - Enabled

NV Serial ATA Controller - All Enabled



** On a side note, I've also got a copy of Win XP around, if that would make things easier. However, I have not been messing with it because I believe you need a floppy drive to install SATA drivers, and I do not have a floppy drive readily available. I've also managed to install open SUSE on the hard disk, which is what I'm currently using to post this.




a c 342 G Storage
July 13, 2009 7:49:47 PM

Confusing, all right.

First, you say you that you set the BIOS to treat the hard disk in IDE mode, and then you can boot and run from the CD-ROM drive the VISTA Install disk, but it insists that you need to install drivers. That's weird - VISTA certainly should be able to deal with an IDE drive. Are you sure it insists that a driver is needed? As I recall, there's an option screen offered that says IF you want to install drivers, hit a key and do it now; otherwise, hit another key or do nothing and it will proceed with VISTA's own drivers.

Next thought: On your mobo CD the drivers often are NOT present in a form Windows recognizes. Usually those CD's have some instructions and a utility to extract the real drivers from some other file and make new driver files on a disk of your choice, be it floppy or whatever. MAYBE the driver file you downloaded similarly requires processing it to generate the actual driver files.

Third thought: you have Win XP around. It most certainly CAN install to a HDD that is run in the BIOS' IDE Emulation mode with NO additional drivers required during the Install process. It will offer you the chance to install drivers if you want to, but it won't force you to do it. So as a test, you could do this and verify whether XP will install cleanly.

Fourth thought: what if your new HDD has PART of VISTA installed? To re-install cleanly you really should Delete any existing Partitions on that drive at the very start of the Installation process. You should be able to do this with the VISTA disk; I'm sure you could delete old Partitions with the XP Install disk.

Fifth thought: When you set the BIOS to use the HDD in either RAID or AHCI mode, the error message is "invalid system disk"?? Normally that message only comes up if you are trying to BOOT from a device the VISTA Install disk cannot handle. But you should be booting from the VISTA disk in the CD-ROM drive, not from the HDD!! Did you set the CD-ROM drive mode to AHCI? It is your HDD that needs its mode set in the BIOS. IF the CD-ROM drive is a SATA unit it probably should be set to IDE Emulation mode. If the CD-ROM unit is IDE, it's already there.
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