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Am I screwed?

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August 16, 2009 12:16:01 PM

Note: More background can be found here.

So I built a new computer, and go to install Windows Vista first (with the plan to update the BIOS and all drivers afterwards), and everything starts out smoothly - I enter my region, my key, all that works, however when it asks what hard-drive I want to install Vista to I run into a big problem.

My drive is not detected. I do a little bit of research and discover that SATA drivers (This is my hard-drive model) are not automatically detected by Windows. Apparently I'm supposed to "insert the installation media that came with the RAID/SATA drives and which contains the relevant driver," but there's one giant problem: I don't have ANY of the software that came with the hard-drive. I got this hard-drive years ago, and have since moved twice; the disks that came with it are long gone. Also, this is the only hard-drive I own big enough to store all of my files (they are backed-up on an external hard-drive; the other hard-drive is laughably old). I'm at a complete and utter loss. Am I completely screwed?

I honestly thought that I was done with this build, but something has just gone wrong every step of the way. You would think that by now I would be prepared for failure; but no, for that one, brief moment, I thought after two months this mess would finally be over. I was wrong. :pfff: 

More about : screwed

a b G Storage
August 16, 2009 12:49:23 PM

Vista shouldn't have any trouble detecting the device. If for some strange reason you do need drivers, they would not be hard drive drivers. They would be SATA controller drivers (likely downloadable from the motherboard manufacturers website, unless you are using an add in SATA card for some reason). If you do need the drivers, you should be able to put them on a flash drive, and Windows should be able to read them off of the flash drive without problems. What motherboard do you have?
August 16, 2009 1:00:07 PM

So it shouldn't have any trouble? Strange. I triple-checked and scanned multiple times but no results for drives to install Vista on ever showed up. This is my current motherboard.
Also, thanks for replying!


EDIT: Here's a completely strange question. I don't have a thumb drive currently, and buying one solely for this purpose (albeit it's very important) is not likely because I'm strapped for cash. Theoretically, would it be possible to put the necessary drivers on my external hard-drive (where all of my other backup data is located) and simply plug that into the USB port and access the information that way? I can't see a reason why not, however, I don't exactly have years of expertise with computers. Does this seems feasible?
Related resources
a b G Storage
August 16, 2009 2:08:36 PM

That is very strange - Vista doesn't normally have any trouble with Intel boards (I've had a little trouble with Nvidia SATA controllers before, but Intel controllers just seem to work). Is it set to AHCI or ATA mode in the BIOS? That's an older hard drive, so it may have trouble if you have it set to AHCI mode. Also, is the hard drive being detected in the BIOS? If not, the problem is related to the hardware rather than the OS.

As for drivers, I believe an external hard drive should work fine, but I don't think drivers are the issue. Vista has the drivers for all Intel SATA controllers built into the Vista installer, so unless you are using a nonstandard installer of some kind, that's probably not the reason it isn't working.

(on a side note, I hope you didn't buy that drive for that price, since you can get a newer, larger, faster, more power efficient drive for less money than that)
a c 415 G Storage
August 16, 2009 9:42:41 PM

One thing to verify is that the hard drive you want to install Windows onto is visible from the BIOS. If not, then all the drivers in the world won't do you any good.
August 16, 2009 10:01:29 PM

Yu psounds like its not finding it right in the bios. Try ide mode and make sure it is the boot device and not some other randm thing. Unplug everything except keyboard and mouse as well. If you have an external drive it will mess things up some times.
a b G Storage
August 16, 2009 10:10:35 PM

The last two posters got it. Go into the bios and make the machine see it.
August 16, 2009 10:18:47 PM

Sometimes Bios does not pick up your hard drives, for me, when I setup raid, changed the device type from IDE to raid in bios, rebooted and no devices were being detected, but when I went into the raid setup util, usually press a key or two straight after bios memory check, it did detect them and I could setup my raid 0.

I had to install the SATA drivers through USB/Floppy disk, when installing vista.

So if you dont have a USB stick around, dont have the funds to get one, then your last resort is to use a floppy disk, old but still works!

Iv kept my floppy disk drive, simply because of the fact that XP can only install SATA drivers during install, with a floppy disk.

If you have hard drive set as IDE in bios then your bios should pick them up, if not you will have to check everything is connected properly, set bios to auto detect drives.

If you have it set to ACHI, it should still pick up your HD in bios,

If its set as RAID, then there's a possibility it will not see them in bios.
August 16, 2009 11:13:20 PM

I realized shortly after I woke up that I had yet to try inserting the Gigabyte CD in the drive when it prompts me to install the drivers. I checked every folder in the CD, but nothing in there helped.

I checked hardware, making sure everything was plugged in correctly, so I think it's something with my BIOS settings. The following are the options in my BIOS (when I press delete during startup). Maybe something there is wrong, but I'm too inexperienced to tell. Thanks for any responses, I spent a very long time typing this up (curse my defunct camera). It's possible there are typos, so if you have any questions, just ask. Also, if you need system specs, I'll type them up.

Note: I ignore subsection headers.

>MB Intelligent Tracker (one of the main categories from the menu)
---->Robust Graphics Booster [Auto]
---->CPU Clock Ratio [8 X]
---->Fine CPU Clock Ratio [+0.5]
---->CPU Frequency 2.26 GHz (266x8.5)
---->CPU Host Clock Ratio [Disabled]
---->CPU Host Frequency [266]
---->PCI Express Frequency [Auto]
---->C.I.A.2 [Disabled]
---->Advanced Clock Control [Press Enter]
---->Performance Enhance [Turbo]
---->Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P) [Auto]
---->(G)MCH Frequency Latch [Auto]
---->System Memory Multiplier (SPD) [Auto]
---->Memory Frequency (MHz) 1066
---->DRAM Timing Selectable (SPD) [Auto]
---->CAS Latency Time 5 Auto
---->tRCD 5 Auto
---->tRP 5 Auto
---->tRAS 15 Auto
---->Advanced Timing Control [Press Enter]
---->Load Line Calibration [Disabled]
---->CPU Vcore 1.25000V [Auto]
---->CPU Termination 1.200 V [Auto]
---->CPU PLL 1.550V [Auto]
---->CPU Reference 0.805V [Auto]
---->MCH Core 1.100V [Auto]
---->MCH Reference 0.760V [Auto]
---->ICH I/O 1.550V [Auto]
---->ICH Core 1.100V [Auto]
---->DRAM Voltage 1.800V [Auto]


>Standard CMOS Features (main category)
---->IDE Channel 0 Master [None]
---->IDE Channel 0 Slave [None]
---->IDE Channel 1 Master [None]
---->IDE Channel 1 Slave [None]
---->IDE Channel 2 Master [None]
---->IDE Channel 3 Master [None]
---->IDE Channel 4 Master [PLEXTOR DVDR PX-71...]
---->IDE Channel 4 Slave [None]
---->Drive A [1.44M, 3.5"]
---->Floppy 3 Mode Support [Disabled]
---->Halt On [All, But Keyboard]
---->Base Memory 640K
---->Extended Memory 4094M
---->Total Memory 4096M

>Advanced BIOS Features
---->Hard Disk Boot Priority [Press Enter]
---->First Boot Drive [CDROM]
---->Second Boot Drive [Hard Disk]
---->Third Boot Device [CDROM]
---->Password Check [Setup]
---->HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability [Enabled]
---->Limit CPUID Max. to 3 [Disabled]
---->No-Execute Memory Protect [Enabled]
---->CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E) [Enabled]
---->C2/C2E State Support [Disabled]
----> x C4/C4E State Support Disabled
---->CPU Thermal Monitor 2 (TM2) [Enabled]
---->CPU EIST Function [Enabled]
---->Delay For HDD (Secs) [0]
---->Full Screen Logo Show [Enabled]
---->Init Display First [PCI]

>Integrated Peripherals
---->SATA AHCI Mode [Disabled]
---->SATA Port0-3 Native Mode [Enabled]
---->USB Controller [Enabled]
---->USB 2.0 Controller [Enabled]
---->USB Keyboard Support [Enabled]
---->USB Mouse Support [Enabled]
---->Legacy USB storage detect [Enabled]
---->Azalia Codec [Auto]
---->Onboard H/W LAM [Enabled]
---->Green LAN [Disabled]
---->SMART LAN [Press Enter]
---->Onboard LAN Boot RAM [Disabled]
---->Onboard IDE Controller [Enabled]
---->Onboard Serial Port 1 [3F8/IRQ4]
---->Onboard Parallel Port [378/IRQ7]
---->Parallel Port Mode [SPP]

>Power Management Setup
---->ACPI Suspend Type [S3(STR)]
---->Sort-Off by PWR-BTTN [Instant-Off]
---->PME Event Wake Up [Enabled]
---->Power On by Rind [Enabled]
---->Resume by Alarm [Enabled]
---->HPET Support [Enabled]
---->HPET Mode [32-bit mode]
---->Power On By Mouse [Disabled]
---->Power On By Keyboard [Disabled]
---->AC Back Function [Soft-Off]

>PnP/PCI Configurations
---->PCI1 IRQ Assignment [Auto]
---->PCI2 IRQ Assignment [Auto]

>PC Health Status
---->Reset Case Open Status [Disabled]
---->Case Opened Yes
---->Vcore 1.236V
---->DDR18V 2.096V
---->+3.3V 3.328V
---->+12V 12.175V
---->Current System Temperature 35 degree Celsius
---->Current CPU Temperature 38 degree Celsius
---->Current SPU Fan Speed 929 RPM
---->Current System Fan 2 Speed 0 RPM
---->Current Power Fan Speed 0 RPM
---->Current System Fan 1 Speed 970 RPM
---->CPU Warning Temperature [Disabled]
---->CPU FAN Fail Warning [Disabled]
---->System Fan2 Fail Warning [Disabled]
---->Power Fan Fail Warning [Disabled]
---->System Fan 1 Fail Warning [Disabled]
---->CPU Smart Fan Control [Auto]
---->CPU Smart Fan Mode [Auto]

Other Menu Options:

Load Fail-Safe Defaults
Load Optimized Defaults
Set Supervisor Defaults
Set User Password
Save & Exit Setup
Exit Without Saving
a c 415 G Storage
August 17, 2009 12:14:54 AM

Try going into the BIOS, navigating to the "Integrated Peripherals" section, and setting "SATA AHCI Mode" to "Enabled".
August 17, 2009 12:21:04 AM

I cant see anywhere in what you'v typed showing the hard drive mode settings, and noticed your bios DOES NOT show any hard drives!

What is your comp's spec?
Try to specific as you, including make, model and versions (bios version etc)

Check your hard drives have all the cables connected including their power connectors, spin up fine etc.

Check the hard drives in another computer.

The motherboard CD/DVD - put this in another comp, like the one your using to browse these forums, it should have a auto load menu thing, and an option in there to create a SATA driver's disk.
August 17, 2009 1:47:35 AM

I think I may have found the problem. My custom case came with a SATA cable attached on the inside. I blindly attached this without thinking to my hard-drive. So basically, no SATA cables went to my motherboard, the cable to my hard-drive went to nowhere. Now I'm going to attach the SATA cable from my hard-drive to the mobo. I really hope this stupid mistake is the problem. It makes sense on paper, and I would be one to make such a silly mistake. I'll post again once I try this out. If this doesn't work, I'll reply directly to questions posed in earlier posts.

And really? Why would a case manufacturer include a cable that is rigidly connected to the case but goes nowhere?

EDIT: I have 6 SATA ports on my motherboard, labelled as 0 through 5. Does it matter which one I connect to? I have no experience in this area.
a b G Storage
August 17, 2009 3:50:27 AM

The port you connect to should not matter at all, as long as they are all on the same SATA controller.
August 17, 2009 4:06:12 AM

So I have a new problem. I started Windows Vista installation again, and it detected my hard-drive. I start the installation, and when I check 20 minutes later, my computer has frozen. Everything. My mouse was no longer able to move, in fact, my mouse was dead during the crash. Even though it was plugged in, the laser light was completely off, as well as other indicators. My keyboard was the same. I couldn't press any button, and pressing any of the Lock buttons to test if it was working all failed.

I turn off my computer after waiting another 45 minutes (it still hasn't moved one percent) thinking I'll try again. However, when I turn it back on, I'm almost back to where I'm started. This time, my local drive is connected (it shows up in 'Browse for drivers'), but it again says I'm missing drivers. It won't let me select the hard-drive like I did last time. The only indication that it knows my hard-drive is there is when I browse for drivers. There I can select my old hard-drive, as well as look through old folders.

What's going on? It worked once, then froze completely during installation, then refused to work like it did not a moment before. I didn't change anything at all in the time of it working to the time of it not letting me work. Also, I can see some of the new files created in my hard-drive before installation crashed, but none of those do anything. Will this never end?

EDIT: I clicked repair under installation options and am proceeding with that. Here's hoping something happens.

EDIT2: I 'repaired' the drive but it still doesn't show up.
a c 415 G Storage
August 17, 2009 5:11:03 AM

Triassic said:
Why would a case manufacturer include a cable that is rigidly connected to the case but goes nowhere?
A lot of cases these days have a front-panel eSATA port. Such a case would have a SATA cable which runs from the front-panel connector and would have to be connected to a SATA port on the motherboard.
August 17, 2009 5:56:38 AM

After messing with it, I have a new error message that occurs every single time I start my computer. I can no longer access Windows Vista Install menu.

Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:

1. Insert your Windows installation disc and restart your computer.

2. Choose your language settings, and then click "Next."

3. Click "Repair your computer."

File:\Windows\system32\config\system

Status: 0xc000000f

Info: Windows failed to load because the system registry file is missing, or corrupt.


So I think I'm screwed. Under BIOS, the CDROM is the first drive to boot, so I can install Windows Vista. I tried launching the CD in every single mode available, but when I turn on my computer, this error message appears every single time. I can set my hard-drive to be the first to boot, but the same exact message appears. This is slowly driving me crazy. Agggh.

EDIT: Here's a question. I already have everything on that hard-drive backed up on an external drive. Could I simply plug that into this (the one I'm on the internet with) computer and wipe it clean (of ALL data)? I think the problem came during the crash, and now the hard-drive has both Windows XP 32-Bit and Windows Vista 64-Bit files on there, and is going crazy. If I wipe all files and data, including install files, would that then not let me try a clean install of Vista again?
August 17, 2009 5:35:43 PM

1 - ports 0 - 6, always check your manual to see which is best to use, normally would say something like 0 - 4 are with some intel/amd/nvidia controlled sata chipset with ports 5 and 6 on another chipset controller, in this case connect your boot (main windows hd) to ports from 0 - 4.

2 - ALWAYS format when installing fresh, I think the last time I used upgrade was Windows 95 or 98 to windows 98 se. So, put your windows cd into the drive that you have setup as 1st boot drive, let setup start, if prompted to install SATA drivers, do that, then install, when selecting your hard drive, it should give you options to delete, create, etc and format. Fresh install would mean, that you Delete the hard drive, this is to make sure your starting from fresh and no old filesare left on the drive, like in your case you have win xp and vista files on there. Once the hard drive is deleted, you are actually simply deleting the old partition, it should show the space as RAW data, now create a partition (of partitions if you want), then FORMAT, finally install.

If you run into any problems, try all of the above but this time, regardless of windows picking up your hard drives, try installing the sata drivers that came with your motherboard. Sometimes vista sata drivers dont work properly, you can google "SATA drivers for xxxxx(replace them 'x's with your motherboard model)"

Good luck
August 17, 2009 5:36:52 PM

Ow and 3 - yes you can simply connect that HD to your comp your using to browse internet atm, but make sure you set it up as an additional drive, not the main drive, make sure you DO NOT set it as boot drive in bios either.
a c 415 G Storage
August 17, 2009 6:50:33 PM

Triassic said:
After messing with it, I have a new error message that occurs every single time I start my computer. I can no longer access Windows Vista Install menu.
If you changed the AHCI setting in the BIOS then this could happen. If you did change that setting, try changing it back again.
August 17, 2009 11:50:21 PM

sminlal said:
If you changed the AHCI setting in the BIOS then this could happen. If you did change that setting, try changing it back again.


Just tried changing it back. Unfortunately, no change when starting up, the error message still appears. If all else fails I'm going to try and delete data off of the hard-drive, including the corrupted install files.

EDIT: Also, after not changing any more settings and rebooting a few times, the Vista install disc is loading again. But yet again, it refuses to detect the device drivers, even though it did before. After trying the CD that came with my mobo and having that fail (again), I rebooted to find that the error message had appeared once more, and won't go away.

EDIT2: Now it seems the error message at startup is random. I did make it back to the install screen, and clicked repair.
Now more information on the problem, though I don't know what it means.

"Startup Repair cannot repair this problem automatically.

View Problem Details
------
Problem Event Name: StartupRepairV2
Problem Signature 01: External Media
Problem Signature 02: 6.0.6001.18000.6.0.6001.18000
Problem Signature 03: 6
Problem Signature 04: 196611
Problem Signature 05: Corrupt Registry
Problem Signature 06: CorruptBootSectorCode
Problem Signature 07: 0
Problem Signature 08: 1
Problem Signature 09: FixBootSectorCode
Problem Signature 10: 0
OS Version: 6.0.6001.2.1.0.256.1
Locale ID: 1033"


August 20, 2009 8:08:47 PM

Your causing more problems by not following the advice properly,

Do not changing settings when you already have an error from a previous install.

Either leave it on IDE and then try installing windows, a fresh install would be needed, delete the partition, create a new partition and then format prior to installing.

OR Change and leave it on ACHI then do a fresh install of windows, again delete the partition, create new partition and format prior to installing windows.

Disconnect any additional hard drives, other extra's you do not need.

Connect 1 hard drive that you plan to install windows on,
Connect 1 DVD/CD drive to boot windows CD with.

Change bios startup to boot from CD and Hard drive as second boot device
Change hard drive/storage type to Either IDE or ACHI (IDE is better, ACHI has minor advantages that you will not really see and has been known to cause some problems)

Save and restart, then boot from windows install CD.

If after doing all of the above, you are still having problems, try installing Xp, or if you were lucky to Download Windows 7 (the downloads have stopped now), then try that instead, remembering to always do a fresh install at every install attempt.

!