Can not install XP Pro

August 3, 2009 at 13:33:23
Specs: Vista Ultimate, Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q9300 6MB L2 Cache 2.50Ghz 1333Mhz
I have been surfing the net trying to find out how to install Windows XP Pro SP1 on my Seagate 500GB 7200RPM 32MB Cache Serial ATA II. No luck. Could you tell me how to go about it? Yes I have used F6 but need to know what I need to copy when it asks for driver if that is what I need. Totally new to this so please be gentle. Here are the complete specs of my pc below:

Processor Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q9300 6MB L2 Cache 2.50Ghz 1333Mhz
CPU Fan Intel Original Socket 775 CPU Fan
Motherboard ASUS P5N73-AM Motherboard
Memory 4GB DDR II 800 Memory 240 Pin (Kingston) (2048 x 2)
Hard Drive Seagate 500GB 7200RPM 32MB Cache Serial ATA II
Optical Drive LG 22X DVD RW + Dual Layer SATA w/ Lightscribe Technology
Video nVidia GeForce 7050 Integrated Video Up To 256MB
Audio VIA VT1708B 8 -Channel High-Definition Audio CODEC
Network Card 10/100 Lan Network Card
Ports 6 USB 2.0 Ports, 1 Parallel, 1 Serial
Case Deluxe 8197B Case
Power Supply 500 Watt Heavy Duty Power Supply

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August 3, 2009 at 13:45:41
I am easily confused......why do you need to press f6 ?

Someday I hope to run into a machine that needs to have special drivers I can use them.

All I ever get when sata drives are installed and machines using another blow and go installation with no chance to use f6 and a bunch of drivers.

How did you get so lucky?

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August 3, 2009 at 14:08:29
(Windows XP does not natively support most SATA controllers, but that does not mean it's impossible to install it)

You need to obtain the SATA controller drivers (these can PROBABLY be found on Asus' website). There will either be a special package to make a floppy containing the drivers, or you'll need to sort of transplant them onto it. Note that the files you would put on the floppy would not be a single installer EXE or a zip file, but would be several individual files (the actual drivers themselves). If you just put the installer/extractor or an archive Windows can not find them.

Then, when you press F6 (yes, you're on the right track with that), you insert that floppy and have it look for them there.

Alternatively (and in my opinion better, but if you don't have a floppy drive this is your only option), you can use a program called nLite (google it).

Basically, what that does is copies the CD to your hard drive, then inserts the drivers you tell it to which you already downloaded (SATA in this case), then burns the disk including drivers to a new blank CD and then you have a copy that works with no F6 required. Of course, that must be done on an already working computer, but I imagine you have one since you wrote a forum post.

Good luck - let us know if you need clarification.

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August 3, 2009 at 16:37:10
You can do what kiskkizzle suggests, or you can do it an easier way.


In most bioses for mboards that have built in SATA controllers you can set the SATA controller mode to IDE compatible or similar - in fact, on more recent mboards it's often already set that way when you first get the mboard. In that mode, SATA drives are detected as IDE compatible drives, which XP already natively has the support for. In that case, XP's (and 2000's) Setup finds the SATA drive(s) fine and you can install XP (or 2000) on it no problem.

You can leave the SATA controller mode in the bios set to IDE compatible, but that limits the SATA drive to the max IDE data burst speed - 133 mb/sec. If you want the drive to be in SATA mode, which has a max burst data transfer speed of 150 mb/sec for a SATA drive, or 300 mb/sec for a SATA-II drive if the SATA controller supports SATA-II, AFTER Setup has finished, you can install the drivers for the SATA controllers on the mboard, and then go into the bios Setup and change the SATA controller mode to SATA (a.k.a. AHCI).
However, the max data transfer burst speed is hype - your drive certainly does not run that fast all the time - it can only be maintained for very short periods of time, and it depends on the size of the memory cache built into the hard drive - after a short period of time of continuous max. burst speed data transfer, a few minutes at most, the cache contents are exhausted and the max speed the drive can transfer data at, if it continues to be accessed, is the max sustained data rate, which is much slower - e.g. well under 100 mb/sec for the fastest recent hard drives, much slower than that for older drives. You won't notice much difference between a drive with a 133 mb/sec and a 150 mb/sec max burst speed, and not that much more difference overall between a drive with a 133 mb/sec and a 300 mb/sec max burst speed.


How to do it in your case....

I looked at the manual for your mboard.....

Go into your bios Setup.
Onboard Device Configuration
Serial ATA configuration.
SATA Operation mode - choices are IDE (default) AHCI (SATA) or RAID (SATA RAID)

Set it to IDE, save settings, reboot.
Run XP's Setup.

If you later want to run the SATA controller(s) in AHCI (SATA) mode, after you have loaded the drivers for it (them) in Windows, go into the bios Setup again and set that setting to AHCI (SATA) mode.

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August 3, 2009 at 19:53:55
That is correct, you can do what Tubes suggested. It's certainly easier, but MIGHT result in performance issues (but ones only benchmarks can see, not ones you'd notice in real use).

I typically avoid suggesting it because the option name and if it exists at all varies so much from board to board, BIOS to BIOS...users who aren't necessarily experienced in the BIOS may think they've done something wrong if they can't find the option (when the problem may be that it doesn't exist).

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August 4, 2009 at 00:25:27

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