Solved Can not install anything

June 29, 2012 at 09:24:40
Specs: N/A
I purchased a sata hdd for a rebuild also and optical drive which both function normally in another comp. When I put them in the comp they were intended for, they show up properly in the BIOS however when I try to use them to install windows they are not recognized by the pc. I even installed windows on the HDD on another computer and just tried to swap it and hoped windows would just load from it but it did not. The error message I get is "no boot device available". The computer is a Dell Dimension 4700, I have an IDE Optical and a SATA optical both do the same thing when I change boot priority and the HDD is SATA and if I choose it as first boot device I get the same results. I have tried to use several different install disks as well to be sure it was not the disk. Please help and thanks in advance.

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#1
June 29, 2012 at 09:34:30
What motherboard do you have?
Is it new or old.
Does the computer have a history of problems?

I am a hardware guy not a software guy but i try to help.


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#2
June 29, 2012 at 09:51:50
It's old and I got it from a friend who said it worked before it just needed a HDD due to the keeping of the old one. Cannot find where it says what type of MoBo is in it but here's thew link http://support.dell.com/support/edo...

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#3
June 29, 2012 at 11:15:53
✔ Best Answer
The XP CD must have SP1 or later updates built into it's contents, or the 2000 CD must have SP4 or later updates built into it's contents, in order for it to be able to support SATA drive controllers when they're in SATA or AHCI mode in the bios Setup, and in order to support the recognition of the full size of hard drives that have a capacity of more than 137 gb manufacturer's size (= more than 128 gb binary size in the bios and in the operating system), and in order to support the recognition of USB 2.0 controllers / devices.
If the CD does not have at least those updates built into it, you can make yourself a "slipstreamed" CD-R that has had the SP updates integrated into the contents of your original Windows CD by following a procedure found many places on the web.
E.g. to integrate the SP3 updates into an XP CD's contents. or to integrate SP4 updates into a 2000 CD's contents.
While you're doing that, if your mboard has SATA drive controllers, you can integrate the SATA controller drivers into that CD's contents. E.g. you can do both of those things with the freeware nLite program.

"when I try to use them to install windows they are not recognized by the pc"

If they show up fine in the bios Setup they ARE being recognized by the bios / the computer - your problem is SATA drives are not being recognized by the files initially loaded from the operating system installation disk.

XP and 2000 have no built in support for recognizing SATA drive controllers.
If a setting in the bios has been set to SATA or AHCI mode, XP's and 2000's intitial files loaded from the CD will not find the SATA drive controller(s), and because of that cannot find SATA drives.
You may have the same problem with Vista or a newer Windows version if the operating system DVD does not have the drivers for your particular SATA drive controller built into it.

What you can do about that situation.....

Installing XP and SATA drive controllers, SATA drives; the SATA drive controller bios settings.
See response 2:
http://www.computing.net/answers/ha...

"I even installed windows on the HDD on another computer and just tried to swap it and hoped windows would just load from it but it did not. The error message I get is "no boot device available".

You cannot load an existing Windows 2000 or up Windows installation from an external hard drive due to Microsoft's wishes. The blue screen error message is generated by the Windows installation on the external hard drive.

If the hardware devices on the mboard you had the hard drive connected to when you installed Windows are more than a little different from the ones on the mboard that same hard drive and Windows installation is connected to later, it is NORMAL for Windows to NOT load properly when you attempt to boot the computer from that hard drive's Windows installation. The symptoms of that vary. Sometimes you see the initial Windows graphics then a black screen with a blinking cursor top left and nothing further happens, Or the computer may load some files from the hard drive then restart in an endless loop, Or you may get a blue screen error message generated by the Windows installation, etc., etc.

The procedure to fix that problem for XP is to run a Repair installation of Windows procedure, often called (incorrectly in my opinion) a "Repair Install". You're essentially running Setup again to accommodate the changed hardware situation, WITHOUT deleting the data already on the hard drive on the partition the Windows installation was installed on.

See response 10:
http://www.computing.net/answers/wi...

Scroll down to:

"- If that doesn't help, you can try running a Repair installation of Windows"
........

"The error message I get is "no boot device available". "


In order for the bios to be able find a bootable partition on a hard drive there must be an existing operating system installation on a partition on the hard drive.

If you have more than one hard drive connected to the mboard that the bios is detecting, the FIRST hard drive the bios detects by default, or has been custom set to detect FIRST, MUST have an operating system installed on a partition, and it MUST be the FIRST hard drive detected - the bios WILL NOT try to boot from a partition on another hard drive if the FIRST hard drive it detects is found to be NOT bootable.

When you have more than one hard drive connected to a mboard, if bios defaults do not find a bootable partition on a hard drive, there is either
- most common - a list of hard drives in the bios Setup - usually they are listed by their detected model number - the model of the hard drive you want to boot an operating system from MUST be listed first in the list, Save bios settings

- or - less common for modern mboards - there is more than one hard drive listed in the Boot Order or similar list in the bios Setup - they're usually listed generically - the hard drive you want to boot an operating system from MUST be listed first in the list, Save bios settings.


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Related Solutions

#4
June 29, 2012 at 12:13:24
Documentation - English
Manuals
Dell™ Dimension™ 4700 Series
http://support.dell.com/support/edo...

Service manual, Owner's manual

(Online) Service manual - System Setup
http://support.dell.com/support/edo...

Excerpts:

System Setup Options

Drive Controller

Sets the SATA controller operating mode.

Use the Normal option ATA native mode. Use the Compatible option for SATA/PATA combination mode.
...

All IDE (a.k.a. EIDE, PATA) drives are recognized in either case

"Normal option ATA native mode" = SATA or AHCI mode.

The SATA controller drivers must be either provided at the beginning of loading files from the 2000 or XP CD on a floppy disk in a conventional floppy drive, or they must have been integrated into the contents of the 2000 or XP "slipstreamed" CD-R.
(The initial files loaded from the 2000 and XP CDs only recognize a small number of USB floppy drive models that were available when the Windows version was first released.)

You may also need to do that for installing Vista or a higher Windows version if it doesn't have the proper SATA drive controller drivers built into the DVD - with Vista and above you can provide the drivers on a USB flash drive or a CD or DVD.

"Compatible option" = IDE compatible mode

The SATA drives are recognized as IDE (a.k.a. EIDE, PATA) compatible drives, without you having to supply SATA drive controller drivers - the SATA drives are recognized by the Windows installation disk and you can complete Setup successfully, and install the SATA drive controller drivers later after Setup has finished, and after you do that, set the bios to "Normal option ATA native mode"
..........

If your Windows disk does not have the SATA drive controller drivers for your mboard built into it, when you boot the computer from that disk it will NOT find SATA drives if that setting is NOT set to "Compatible",
or if it's set to "Normal option ATA native mode" unless you provide the SATA drive controller drivers while loading the intial files from the disk.
.....

If the hard drive has the original SATA specs - max burst data transfer burst speed of 150 mbytes/sec (= 1.5 gbits/sec - SATA drives transfer data at 10 bits per byte, not 8 bits per byte). that's only a little bit faster than the max burst data transfer burst speed of 133 mbytes/sec you get when the SATA drive controllers are in IDE compatible mode in the bios.
In that case, you won't see much if any of a perfomance difference when the SATA drive controllers are in IDE compatible mode in the bios


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#5
June 30, 2012 at 11:21:25
A lot of good information in that post thanks, however I resolved the issue by connection an external dvd drive that I had and turned my two internal (1 IDE and 1 SATA) DVD drives off in the BIOS and that one on. Ran a windows live disc that I had and checked that the HDD was there in my computer and it was. So I installed windows 7 on it from the external and re-enabled all devices and it all worked fine. There had been no OS on that drive previously so it was easy after that. Thanks for the replies hopefully this will help others out.

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