Can't Reformat

So a friend of mine has a HP/Compaq NX7400 and after screwing up his OS he attempted to re-format and reinstall Windows XP... After formating using fdisk and restarting the computer, suddenly the drive could no longer be located by the Windows XP install CD... and thats when he brought it to me...

First I figured it was a bad HD so I checked the BIOS and it was still recognized... I then ran a built in "Self-Check" utility that is built into that BIOS and it claimed that the drive was fine...

So I figured perhaps that maybe it was a special type of laptop drive that the driver did not come with XP or something... (Maybe it's the HD controller?) ... so I pulled the drive and put in a brand new maxtor 320gig... again the BIOS recognized the drive but after booting from the XP CD the OS Installation program claimed that there was no HD and that it could not continue... So... My thinking goes like this..

1) It's not his HD because I tried a BRAND new HD in it and BIOS recognized it but again windows CD claimed there was no drive...

2) It's not the OS CD because I tried a few different CD's and none worked...

3) His computer seems to work okay because when I popped in a working drive with vista on it, it booted to the Safety Mode selection menu at which time I turned it off...

4) It's not his BIOS, I figured it was perhaps corrupt or something so I updated his BIOS to the newest release and it still made no difference...

Sooo... yeah... I'm out of ideas... the only thing I could think is that perhaps the XP CD's that I tried don't come with the HD Controller Driver that the NX7400 uses... but shouldn't it just work with a generic driver?

I would appreciate any help... Thanks, Ash
4 answers Last reply
More about reformat
  1. You may have to change the SATA Mode in the BIOS
  2. I disabled/enabled the "Native SATA" mode... the only option that I found relating to that and it didn't make a difference... ? :(
  3. you'll need the original CD that came with the laptop which contains the RAID drivers for the hard drive. the other way is to go to website of hp and download the drivers (sata) to a floppy disk, then when you run the xp press f6 to install third party drivers. then use the floppy to detect and install them. then you'll be able to install xp.

    this can be painful and other advice much easier is to use (last xp 17) which you can get as a torrent and install xp normaly then change your xp key to activate.
  4. Main page listing of OS' for the NX7400 hp laptop:

    For XP Home, the driver is listed under: Operating System - Enhancements and QFEs >> Intel SATA AHCI Controller Driver >>
    (Link to driver download)

    I have the same problem, having to custom install sata drivers suprises me. But on the bright side, having just bought the nx7400 hp laptop on the cheap from a friend who told me the HDD in it is dead, I have a feeling that I recieved a free 40gig HDD alongside the 250gig bought to replace it.


    :pfff: :non: Update: I eventually only disabled the 'Native Sata Mode' in the Bios to read the drive and install XP, Once installed I updated using the 'Storage Matrix Drivers'. Before the update, with Native Mode disabled, My HDD bench-marked at 60mg/sec. By re-enabling and fully updating the system I am getting 70meg/sec throughput. I will update with full analysis of all scenarios soon.
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