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Solved BIOS does not detect SATA HDD

May 14, 2012 at 11:33:32
Specs: Windows XP

My friends have a Compaq SR5050NX desktop computer which originally came with Windows Vista but, after having both hardware and software problems early on, it resulted in replacing the motherboard with an exact ASUS OEM board and also replacing the Windows Vista OS with Windows XP. This was done approximately two years ago and, until now, there have been no further problems. Now, because of new problems which have begun occuring and some of the steps taken to try and resolve the problems, neither the BIOS or setup will recognizes that
the 250GB Hitachi primary HDD exists on the system and will only "boot" from the CD drive. From research that I've done on the internet and because the computer is running Win XP, it seems that a driver for the SATA HDD must be installed. Since the computer cannot boot into Windows XP, the "Device Manager" cannot be accessed and used to install the SATA HDD driver. The process that I have found seems to require that the driver/installation software be downloaded and saved to a 3-1/2' floppy disk which, in turn, is then used to install the driver during the process of installing or repairing Windows XP on the "target" computer. The Windows XP installation process breifly indicates that, in order to install "third party" or "Raid" drivers, function key "F6" must be immediately pressed and, I understand, that it will only "read" this from the floppy drive. Since this particular computer does not have a floppy drive, is there any other way to install a SATA HDD driver? Two years ago, I installed Windows XP on both this computer as well as my wife's SR5050NX and did not encounter this problem at that time. Any help and advice will be greatly appreciated.

See More: BIOS does not detect SATA HDD

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✔ Best Answer
May 14, 2012 at 21:12:22

The bios not detecting a BOOTABLE hard drive is a separate thing from the bios not detecting a hard drive !
.....

The motherboard's bios DOES NOT require that drivers be installed in order for it to detect a SATA hard drive !

If the bios is NOT detecting the SATA hard drive at all, of course the bios can't find it and it can't find a bootable hard drive !

Go into the bios Setup. Is the SATA hard drive being detected there ?

If the bios is NOT detecting it there....

- Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)

The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.

- the hard drive must be spinning.
Some power supplys have more than one +12 v output section.
In rare cases we HAVE heard of, one of those +12 v sections has failed. If the hard drive is getting no +12v power, it won't spin, and the bios cannot detect it.


- The bios must be set so that all drive connections are set to Auto detect drives by the Auto (or LBA for hard drives) method, or similar.
It's set that way by default.
If it's possible someone has set bios settings wrong, load bios defaults, save bios settings, then look in the bios again to see if the SATA drive is being detected

...

If the bios IS detecting the SATA hard drive....

The bios not detecting a BOOTABLE hard drive is a separate thing from the bios not detecting a hard drive !

The bios checks the FIRST hard it detects to see if it is bootable (has a bootable partition).

The hard drive will NOT be found to be bootable
- if it has no operating system installed on it - e.g. a new hard drive has no data on it - a hard drive that has had it's operating system deleted will not be bootable

- if it does have an operating system installed on it but the data on it is corrupted enough such that it's not found to be bootable.

- if you have the Boot Order or similar set so CD drive or similar is before hard drive or similar, if the bios does NOT detect that the first hard drive it detects is bootable, if you have a Windows CD or DVD in a drive, you WILL NOT see a line "Press any key to boot from CD" or similar while booting - the initial files will start loading from the Windows CD or DVD automatically !
......

If you have more than one hard drive installed, at least one is bootable, at least one is NOT bootable........

The first hard drive the bios detects by default, or that it is custom set to detect first, may NOT be bootable.
The bios WILL NOT try to boot from another hard drive if the first one it detects is NOT bootable.
In that case, you need to
- go into the bios and find the list of hard drives. The hard drive that has a bootable partition must be made to be first in the list, Save bios settings.

- or - in some bioses, the Boot Order or similar list has more than one hard drive listed. The hard drive that has a bootable partition must be made to be first in the list, Save bios settings.

- or - you must change which data header the drive that has the bootable partition is connected to so the bios detects it first. If it's an IDE drive you may need to change a jumper setting on the back of the drive.
.........

There are TWO ways you can get around XP not having any SATA drive controller drivers built into the contents of the Windows CD, and because of that, the intial files loaded from the CD not detecting any SATA drives.

Provide the SATA drive controller drivers to it,
OR change a setting in the Bios Setup.

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

Compaq Presario SR5050NX Desktop PC
(home support page)
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...

Compaq Presario SR5050NX Desktop PC Product Specifications
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...

Hard drive

•Size: 250 GB
•Interface: SATA
•Transfer rating: 3.0 Gb/sec

Some mboards have a main chipset that supports only the original SATA drive specs - max 1.5 gbits/sec. In that case, when you have a SATA II drive, max 3.0 gbits/sec, sometimes you need to install a jumper on the back of the drive in order for the drive to have a max speed of 1.5 gbits/sec, otherwise the main chipset won't detect the SATA II drive at all.
That DOES NOT apply to your main chipset.

Motherboard Specifications, P5LP-LE (Leonite)
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...

Ewen said...

"Sorry... had to edit this, I never noticed that you have no diskette drive."

Your computer case has no floppy drive installed in it, but your mboard has the floppy data header on it.
If you borrow a floppy drive and a floppy data cable from another computer, you can install the SATA drive controller drivers from a prepared floppy disk after pressing F6 near the beginning of loading files from the XP CD.
Or for that matter, you can buy a new floppy drive and floppy data cable cheaply, probably for under $20.





#1
May 14, 2012 at 12:46:54

You'll need to "slipstream" the driver into your XP install disc. Basically, you'll burn a new installation disc with your version of XP and the SATA driver in it so you don't need to press F6.

You'll need a utility such as NLite to do this.

Hope it helps.


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#2
May 14, 2012 at 14:59:55

Get nliteOS from the link below.

http://www.nliteos.com/


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#3
May 14, 2012 at 17:16:59

Sorry... had to edit this, I never noticed that you have no diskette drive.

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Related Solutions

#4
May 14, 2012 at 21:12:22
✔ Best Answer

The bios not detecting a BOOTABLE hard drive is a separate thing from the bios not detecting a hard drive !
.....

The motherboard's bios DOES NOT require that drivers be installed in order for it to detect a SATA hard drive !

If the bios is NOT detecting the SATA hard drive at all, of course the bios can't find it and it can't find a bootable hard drive !

Go into the bios Setup. Is the SATA hard drive being detected there ?

If the bios is NOT detecting it there....

- Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)

The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.

- the hard drive must be spinning.
Some power supplys have more than one +12 v output section.
In rare cases we HAVE heard of, one of those +12 v sections has failed. If the hard drive is getting no +12v power, it won't spin, and the bios cannot detect it.


- The bios must be set so that all drive connections are set to Auto detect drives by the Auto (or LBA for hard drives) method, or similar.
It's set that way by default.
If it's possible someone has set bios settings wrong, load bios defaults, save bios settings, then look in the bios again to see if the SATA drive is being detected

...

If the bios IS detecting the SATA hard drive....

The bios not detecting a BOOTABLE hard drive is a separate thing from the bios not detecting a hard drive !

The bios checks the FIRST hard it detects to see if it is bootable (has a bootable partition).

The hard drive will NOT be found to be bootable
- if it has no operating system installed on it - e.g. a new hard drive has no data on it - a hard drive that has had it's operating system deleted will not be bootable

- if it does have an operating system installed on it but the data on it is corrupted enough such that it's not found to be bootable.

- if you have the Boot Order or similar set so CD drive or similar is before hard drive or similar, if the bios does NOT detect that the first hard drive it detects is bootable, if you have a Windows CD or DVD in a drive, you WILL NOT see a line "Press any key to boot from CD" or similar while booting - the initial files will start loading from the Windows CD or DVD automatically !
......

If you have more than one hard drive installed, at least one is bootable, at least one is NOT bootable........

The first hard drive the bios detects by default, or that it is custom set to detect first, may NOT be bootable.
The bios WILL NOT try to boot from another hard drive if the first one it detects is NOT bootable.
In that case, you need to
- go into the bios and find the list of hard drives. The hard drive that has a bootable partition must be made to be first in the list, Save bios settings.

- or - in some bioses, the Boot Order or similar list has more than one hard drive listed. The hard drive that has a bootable partition must be made to be first in the list, Save bios settings.

- or - you must change which data header the drive that has the bootable partition is connected to so the bios detects it first. If it's an IDE drive you may need to change a jumper setting on the back of the drive.
.........

There are TWO ways you can get around XP not having any SATA drive controller drivers built into the contents of the Windows CD, and because of that, the intial files loaded from the CD not detecting any SATA drives.

Provide the SATA drive controller drivers to it,
OR change a setting in the Bios Setup.

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

Compaq Presario SR5050NX Desktop PC
(home support page)
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...

Compaq Presario SR5050NX Desktop PC Product Specifications
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...

Hard drive

•Size: 250 GB
•Interface: SATA
•Transfer rating: 3.0 Gb/sec

Some mboards have a main chipset that supports only the original SATA drive specs - max 1.5 gbits/sec. In that case, when you have a SATA II drive, max 3.0 gbits/sec, sometimes you need to install a jumper on the back of the drive in order for the drive to have a max speed of 1.5 gbits/sec, otherwise the main chipset won't detect the SATA II drive at all.
That DOES NOT apply to your main chipset.

Motherboard Specifications, P5LP-LE (Leonite)
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...

Ewen said...

"Sorry... had to edit this, I never noticed that you have no diskette drive."

Your computer case has no floppy drive installed in it, but your mboard has the floppy data header on it.
If you borrow a floppy drive and a floppy data cable from another computer, you can install the SATA drive controller drivers from a prepared floppy disk after pressing F6 near the beginning of loading files from the XP CD.
Or for that matter, you can buy a new floppy drive and floppy data cable cheaply, probably for under $20.




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#5
May 15, 2012 at 06:49:59

Many thanks to "Tubesandwires" and all others who responded with helpful advice. After doing further trouble shooting, it did turn out that the SATA cable between the HDD and the motherboard was the problem. The SATA cable connectors did not have the latches and apparently were not making a good connection, most likely to the motherboard header. After replacing the cable, the problem was resolved.

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#6
May 15, 2012 at 12:05:29

Thanks for the Many thanks

We're glad to hear you solved your problem.


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