So my trusty old 40 GB Maxtor HDD finally died, and I'm trying to install Windows 7 on a 250 GB Western Digital Caviar SE 16 (SATA II). Windows will boot off of the DVD, load the setup, ask me if I want to perform an install or a repair, and then it asks if I want to upgrade or do a "custom" setup. I choose custom since it's a clean drive, but then it shows me a blank list of drives with the option to load a driver. My motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-G41M-ES2H, so I went to Gigabyte's website and downloaded the drivers and put them on a USB thumb drive. I spent hours trying to load different drivers to no avail. I tried the CD that came with the motherboard; no dice. I tried 32 and 64 bit installations; neither worked.
But you know what did work? My 180-day trial copy of Windows Server 2003. It detected that hard drive like Western Digital made it just for 2003.
I really don't know what to do now. I'm just barely resisting the urge to take the computer outside and smash it with a sledgehammer. Someone please help!
Not sure how he is meant to identify if it's in device manager when there is no OS installed.
When you plug the HDD into power can you here it tick over and boot up? What happens when you select driver options advanced?
Yes, it powers up, and the BIOS recognizes it. As stated in the OP, Windows Server 2003 was able to recognize the drive and install fine. Which leads me to believe that this is an issue with Windows 7 not having a suitable driver for the SATA controller.
I tried loading drivers both from the disc that came with the motherboard and also from Gigabyte's website with no luck.
"Windows 7 not having a suitable driver for the SATA controller"
It could be a raid configuration change due to a update of any sort... Try resetting your bios to defaults..
I hate to admit to such a simple oversight, but that did the trick. Thanks for helping me out combat wombat!