How to install Windows XP on a SATA Hard Drive

This problem and topic maybe old but I still receive mails asking me on how they can install Windows XP on a SATA HDD I also still encounter this type of problem posted on forums so I thought I should write an article on this problem. The problem is when they try to install Windows XP, they got the problem of not able to find any hard disk drives installed. The hard drive is detected in BIOS and also start up POST but not in Windows setup. Here is the exact error message.

“Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer. Make sure any hard disk drives are powered on and properly connected to your computer, and that any disk-related hardware configuration is correct. This may involve running a manufacturer-supplied diagnostic or setup program. Setup cannot continue. To quit Setup, press F3.”

First method is to change the SATA Mode to IDE in BIOS. Different bios has different settings location. This example comes from a Phoenix AwardBIOS 6.00PG BIOS. You can change the SATA Mode to IDE by going to Integrated Peripherals > SATA Devices Configuration > SATA Mode [RAID] and change to [IDE]. This first step is enough to allow you to install XP on your SATA disk. But if you are gonna use RAID you must perform the remaining steps.

Now I am able to install Windows XP as normal. If you’re unable to change RAID mode to IDE or disable SATA in BIOS, then you need to download SATA RAID from your motherboard manufacturer’s website, extract the drivers to a floppy disk and then insert the floppy to your computer during Windows XP installation.

Insert Windows XP CD and boot it up. You should see a message that says “Press any key to boot from CD…” Simply hit any key and it’ll start to boot from CD. Pay attention to the next blue colored windows setup screen. When you see a message that says “Press F6 if you need to install a third party or RAID driver…” at the bottom bar, immediately hit F6 key.

After loading some files, you will come to a screen that says the following:

Setup could not determine the type of one or more mass storage devices installed in your system, or you have chosen to manually specify an adapter. Currently, Setup will load support for the following mass storage devices(s):

* To specify additional adapters, CD-ROM drives, or special disk controllers for use with Windows, including those for which you have a device support disk from a mass storage device manufacturer, press S.

* If you do not have any device support disks from a mass storage device manufacturer, or do not want to specify additional mass storage devices for use with Windows, press ENTER.

Enter floppy drive with SATA drivers and press S. It will present a list of drivers which it read from the disk earlier. Select the appropriate driver and continue the Windows XP installation. The setup will continue and this time it will recognize the SATA hard disk drive in your PC. This problem is quite common nowadays compared to last time because a lot of computers now are using SATA hard drive with better motherboards that has RAID.