SATA drive problems installing XP Pro

I am upgrading my MoBo -- previously had older MoBo with a Silicon Image add-in Sata controller. Boot disk is WD 300GB running XP Pro. When I installed XP Pro on that disk, I had used F6 and the drivers provided by Silicon Image.

So now I've installed an ECS G31T-M MoBo that has the ICH7 Southbridge with a SATA 3.0Gb/s host controller. The AMI BIOS sees the SATA drive, and my XP Pro install CD (pre SP1) sees the SATA drive, but says the filesystem is [unknown] and says the size is 132GB. I have not proceeded with the install, being afraid that if XP doesn't know the real size, it may wipe out what's there. All I want is to reinstall XP Pro customized for the new MoBo.

Unfortunately, the ECS drivers CD doesn't appear to have SATA drivers. I've searched the ECS site and can't find any. I did download ACHI/SATA drivers for the ICH7 from the Intel site and fed that to XP Setup after F6, but again Setup thinks my 300GB drive has 132GB.

Any suggestions on how I can reinstall XP onto what had been my primary boot disk without wiping it out?
4 answers Last reply
More about sata drive problems installing
  1. What file system is on the drive now? I belieive XP will not allow over 128GB on FAT. Might be wrong, But just an idea. How full is the drive? If the parts over 128GB is empty, you can partition it using partition magic or a Linux live CD.
  2. The drive is formatted with NTFS. On the old MoBo with Silicon Image SATA controller, XP could see the full 300GB.
  3. Additional info: When I F6 at the beginning of Setup and supply the Intel drivers, Setup shows me the available disk with this message:
    Partition1 [unknown] 131072 MB (131071 MB free)

    Normally this would list the filesystem (e.g. FAT or NTFS) and the correct size. The disk is a 300 GB SATA drive that had been in use before switching MoBo. Normally XP Setup would also list the Operating System installs it can see, and it should show that XP Pro is installed on this disk.

    I have assumed my problem is I don't have the proper SATA drivers for this MoBo's Southbridge. But XP Setup can see the drive, it just isn't able to read its master boot record properly.

    Am I barking up the wrong tree?

    I don't know much about SATA. I assumed it is a way to talk to the hardware, but does not get involved in how the disk is formatted. But is there something else going on that keeps XP Setup from knowing that the SATA disk has a NTFS file system and that XP Pro is already on the disk?
  4. Here's my solution -- it wasn't pretty.

    I still had an add-in PCI SATA controller, so I put that into the new ECS motherboard and used that to talk to the 300GB SATA drive. The company that made that controller (Silicon Image) supplies drivers that can be put on a floppy and supplied to the XP install disk with an F6. I then loaded a fresh copy of XP, copied over my backed-up data, and installed all my needed programs.

    Key step was to go to Windows Update and update my original XP system to SP2, the SP3. These versions support SATA and large disks.

    I then took out the add-in SATA controller and plugged the drive into the motherboard. Booted up fine.

    So the root causes of my problem were 1) Old XP Setup disk with no large drive and SATA support; 2)Unable to find ECS motherboard SATA drivers for XP install (F6).

    The ECS board itself is fine for my purposes -- inexpensive, all the i/o ports I need, enough expansion slots. Their install disk and website are second rate for what I was doing. Finally, I filed a question on their Tech Support web page and they have not answered it for over 1 week. Apparently they were closed for 2 weeks during holidays and have not yet caught up.
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