Hard drive not recognized

December 27, 2009 at 11:15:20
Specs: Windows XP Home, 1GB
When the message on the screen says push enter to install windows xp and I push enter I get a message saying there is no hard drive. Yet when I go to setup at the beginning it shows the brand new WD hard drive.

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December 27, 2009 at 12:02:26
WinXP doesn't natively recognize SATA type hard drives or controllers.

Do you have a custom built computer or a pre assembled unit by an OEM like Dell, emachines, HP, etc?

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December 27, 2009 at 14:56:12
Thanks for the response. I have a Dell 8400 which I got in 2004. It was more or less custom built as I understand the term custom. I asked for certain components etc. and they were installed. The drive that failed was a WD Caviar 80GB SATA and it had a jumper on the last upper and lower pins to the right. I tried to install XP with both the jumper on and off the new hard drive. I guess I assumed that all I had to do was to unplug the old drive and plug in the new and load XP. Doesn't look like that is the case. Any help would be of huge benefit. I run my own business and need the machine ASAP but it looks like I may have to buy a new machine. Thanks again.

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December 27, 2009 at 15:02:24
I consider that an OEM pre-built.

So, are you attempting to install WinXP from a full installation CD or are you trying to use a recovery CD?

Is the hard drive the original unit?

Why are you re-installing anyway?

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Related Solutions

December 27, 2009 at 17:17:59
It sounds like drivers that were installed for SATA on your machine went the the old drive. You will probably need to download the drives on another machine and put them on a floppy drive if available. Others here will probably be better at giving you detailed steps to help than I on this though. Apparently your BIOS is seeing it but a BIOS update still may help though.

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December 28, 2009 at 10:34:36

I am attempting to install WindowsXP from a full installation CD. No the hard drive is not the original one. The original one went toes up, crashed, doesn't spin anymore.

I haven't a clue on how to download the drives (I think you meant to say drivers) on another machine. I do not have a 3.5" floppy any longer. Looks like I'm in a pickle. Thanks to both of you for your comments. At least I'm learning something.

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December 28, 2009 at 12:33:20
You will need to slip stream the SATA drivers into the files on your WinXP CD. You can also slip stream service packs and updates. Try slip streaming with nLite OS. It is pretty easy. Get nLite OS at the link below.


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December 28, 2009 at 16:09:45
Don't know what slip streaming vis a vis computers.

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December 28, 2009 at 16:49:30
Read the link I posted. If you don't think you can handle it then get someone else to do it for you.

Other option if to install a floppy drive.

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December 29, 2009 at 03:26:31
I guess I don't understand..........if the computer is not working at all what good will a floppy drive do?

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December 29, 2009 at 04:06:30
How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft® Windows® on a Dell™ Computer

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December 29, 2009 at 07:10:32

The poster no longer has that option because the original hard drive is no long installed.


I should have asked you earlier, do you have any Dell restore disks for that computer. If not, then you need to somehow supply SATA controller drivers when you first start the WinXP installation.

These drivers are not on your WinXP CD and that is why the hard drive is not being found.

There are two ways to supply those drivers. First method is to supply them on a floppy disk when asked at the beginning of the process. Do you recall seeing a message to hit F6 if you need to supply any SCSI or third party drivers? That is when you need to do it. The only method on most computers is with a floppy drive because that is where Windows looks.

The second method is to include those drivers into the files already on your WinXP CD. That process is called slip streaming. When you do that Windows can now install the necessary drivers to use the SATA hard drive.

Do you now understand?

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December 29, 2009 at 16:40:40
Here is your Hard Drive Controller: http://ftp.us.dell.com/SATA/R82876.exe

You can contact Dell (through Chat) here to have the driver available for burning to CD: http://support.dell.com/support/top...

Floppy disk Instructions for R82876.exe:

At the beginning of the operating system setup, press F6 to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver.

1. When prompted, select 'S' to Specify Additional Device.

2. When prompted, insert the floppy disk

3. At this point you should be presented with a selection for one of the following depending on you hardware version and configuration:

- Intel(R) 82801FR SATA RAID Controller
- Intel(R) 82801FR SATA AHCI Controller

4. Highlight the selection that is appropriate for the hardware in your system and press Enter.

5. Press Enter again to continue. Leave the floppy disk in the system until the next reboot as the software will need to be copied from the floppy disk again when setup is copying files.

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December 29, 2009 at 17:45:25
Many ,many thanks to both of you for the explanation and the solution. I do have the original Dell CDs that came with the machine. I will give this a try in the next day or so and see how it all works out.

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