Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio USA
    Posts
    116
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Can't find hard drive for new XP install

    A social worker gave a disabled friend a Gateway M285-E tablet notebook without an operating system. The computer will boot from a Windows XP Pro (full version) cd up until you enter the partitioning information and then displays a "Setup cannot find a hard disk...". I have booted with a diagnostic disk - Spot Mau Powersuite and it won't transfer files. The HD is a Hitachi 80GB SATA confirmed both with BIOS and physical observation. I know the screen, DVD drive, screen mouse and button all work fine. I don't have an external enclosure to check the HD. Would it be best to just replace the HD, or buy the ext. enclosure and check the drive? Or can someone suggest software to reformat the drive or rebuild the MBR if that is necessary? The Windows sticker says it came with "Windows XP Tablet PC Edition" Will XP Pro be useable on that machine? I don't mind loosing some of the graphic features since my goal is to get basic funtionality for web surfing and word processing. I suspect this unit is from a school system and the HD was wiped before giving it away. How do I rebuild from that? Thanks!

  2. Subscribe to our Windows Secrets Newsletter - It's Free!

    Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 480,000 subscribers!

    Excel 2013: The Missing Manual

    + Get this BONUS — free!

    Get the most of Excel! Learn about new features, basics of creating a new spreadsheet and using the infamous Ribbon in the first chapter of Excel 2013: The Missing Manual - Subscribe and download Chapter 1 for free!

  3. #2
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    176
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 39 Times in 33 Posts
    The issue is the SATA hard drive. Your XP CD does not have SATA drivers. The standard way around that is to get the SATA drivers for the tablet's chipset and put them on a floppy disk, then when booting from the CD your first step will be to press F6 when prompted and load the drivers from the floppy. I'm not sure whether the tablet can use a USB floppy drive (most netbooks can), but at least this should give you a clue in what direction you need to be researching.

    Some BIOS's have a configuration option to change the hard drive mode from AHCI to ATA-compatible, which avoids the problem by making the SATA drive appear like a legacy IDE drive. Another option is to build a custom XP CD by slipsteaming the SATA drivers into it; there are numerous websites describing that process. Some people also claim a XP SP3 CD supposedly contains SATA drivers. Maybe some do, but the Dell SP3 CD I have does not and I still had to do the F6/floppy dance.

  4. #3
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio USA
    Posts
    116
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. I don't have USB floppy. Will a USB Memory stick work? I will look into the custom XP CD option.

  5. #4
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    176
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 39 Times in 33 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by paulh7436 View Post
    Will a USB Memory stick work?
    It depends on the BIOS, but probably not. The XP F6 routine only looks for floppy drives, so it will only work if the BIOS lets the memory stick emulate a floppy drive. I would expect it emulates a hard drive instead.

  6. #5
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio USA
    Posts
    116
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Thanks again. I found someone to help me with the slipstream process. I'll let you know how it works.

  7. #6
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio USA
    Posts
    116
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    I created a DVD with XP with SP3 from an ISO. The computer responds with "Missing Operating System whn I try to boot up. I ran Partition Magic to format the drive with: C: 74 GB, NTFS, Primary, Active and a D: 300MB, NTFS, Primary, None. Now when I try to boot it displays a flasing dash. Any suggestions? Thanks

  8. #7
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,203
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 212 Times in 199 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by paulh7436 View Post
    I created a DVD with XP with SP3 from an ISO. The computer responds with "Missing Operating System whn I try to boot up. Now when I try to boot it displays a flasing dash. Any suggestions?
    paulh,
    Hello....Sounds like your PC "BIOS" is not set to boot from a CD\DVD RW. On my PC you enter BIOS screen at boot time by entering..."F-10". (F-10=Setup) This lets you into the "BIOS" Setup... Not the same for all PC's. Once in, find the screen that says "Boot order" or something like it.. (Using your Up & Down arrows) to change things. Make sure that the order is something like this ... That should allow you to run the disk at boot time. Regards Fred

    1st device... Floppy disk
    2nd device.. CD Rom Group
    3rd device... Hard Drive Group
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2012-03-06 at 14:53.
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  9. #8
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Posts
    126
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts
    My HP a620n system has only SATA drives - doesn't even have an IDE connector on the motherboard. XP SP3 had no problems.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •