XP setup does not see partitions

Hitachi 1tb 7200 rpm sata internal hard...
October 5, 2009 at 17:47:51
Specs: Windows XP, AMD x2 4200 / 2GB DDR2 800
I am attempting to re-install Xp pro on a SATA
II HD with 3 partitions (one OS and 2 data).
The problem is that windows setup does NOT
recognize the 3 three partitions i have already set up earlier. Instead, setup only shows one
"unknown" partition 131072 mb in size. My mobo is
able to recognize SATA II HD without the pri-
install driver in IDE native mode...

I am afraid that if I delete the one partition, that
I may lose my data, defeating the purpose of
the multiple partitions...

I would like to be able to set it up so that windows set up will "see" my partitions making re-installing windows much easier (I won't have to back-up my data to a separate drive each time).


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October 5, 2009 at 18:28:04
"3 three partitions i have already set up earlier"

setup using what? what size & type?


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October 5, 2009 at 18:38:22
Assuming you made NTFS or FAT32 partitions....

You must be booting the computer using an original version XP CD that has no SP updates at all.

The CD must have at least SP1 updates included on it in order to recognize
- SATA drive controllers and SATA drives properly
(Even if your mboards bios has the SATA controllers in IDE compatibility mode or similar, if you don't have at least SP1 updates on the CD, Setup sees each SATA hard drive as having one unknown partition when it already has one or more partition(s) on it, even if it has more than one).
- drives or partitions larger than 128gb in Windows and in the mboard's bios (= 137gb manufacturer's size)
(131,072 mb = 128 gb in the mboard's bios and in Windows; 1,024 mb per gb)
All drives and drive partitions larger than 128gb are recognized as 128gb.
- USB 2.0 controllers

You can make yourself a bootable "slipstreamed" XP CD, preferably a CD-R, that has the data contents of your XP CD with the SP3 updates integrated into it, and use that to boot the computer with, and use the Product Key for the original CD with it.
Setup will then recognize the existing partitions on the drive fine.

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October 6, 2009 at 08:44:22

Thank you so much for your help and for such a fast reply!

I did exactly as you said and it worked exactly as you said it

You made my day!


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October 6, 2009 at 19:56:34
We're glad to hear you solved your problems.

A bonus is, when you need to use SFC /scannow, SFC (System File Checker) will accept the slipstreamed CD with it's SP3 updates as a valid source to check against when XP has been upgraded with SP3 updates. SFC won't accept the XP CD with no SP updates as a valid source to check against in the same circumstance.

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November 9, 2009 at 08:26:19
I see this same problem yet I'm using the original XP CD from Dell that has SP3 on it already.

I have OSX and Ubuntu booting fine, but the Windows boot starts up then stops with an "Unmountable BootVolume" error.

When I go to try to repair it from the recovery console it does not see drive C:. If I try to reinstall, it doesn't see any of the partitions on the SATA drive, just the whole drive with no partitions.

GPARTED sees all the partitions.

At the initial install of XP, XP saw all the partitions that were created in GPARTED and let me choose one for the install.

Both Windows and Ubuntu booted fine. It was the installation of OSX that screwed things up somehow.

After two weeks, I think I've come to the conclusion that you can't put Snow Leopard OSX, Windows XP, and Ubuntu onto the same hard disk. You can do it with Leopard, XP and Ubuntu, and you can do Snow Leopard OSX, Windows 7, and Ubuntu, but for some reason Snow Leopard doesn't like two additional OSes (XP plus Snow Leopard does work). Snow Leopard was modified to install on an MBR partitioned drive (an option that was always available on Leopard but for some reason was removed from Snow Leopard).

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