Unable to install Windows XP with RAID mode!

July 19, 2009 at 23:17:44
Specs: Windows XP
I am attempting to set up a multi boot
configuration on my Dell XPS 420 computer.
The computer came loaded with Windows
Vista Ultimate 32 bit on a 500 GB hard drive. I
have now recently purchased a second 500
GB hard drive, installed it into the computer
and installed the Windows 7 RC on to the
second drive. This went fine and the computer
dual boots Vista and 7 perfectly.

I now want to install a third OS on to the
computer, Windows XP, but the installation
will not commence, coming up with an error
message advising me to check my hard drive
setup (0x0000007B). I then went into my BIOS
and switched the drive configuration from the
computer's default setting (RAID on) to (RAID
autodetect / SATA). In that mode, Windows
XP is able to begin setup, but I haven't actually
attempted to install it yet because both Vista
and 7 refuse to boot in RAID autodetect mode.
I wouldn't be able to get Dell RAID drivers
working with the XP setup because I don't have
a floppy disk drive.

So, is there any way of
simply getting Vista and 7 to work in RAID
autodetect / SATA mode?
I don't get why the hell the factory setting for
the computer was RAID on though, because
the computer only came with one hard drive!
Anyone know why that is?

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July 20, 2009 at 08:24:27
"I wouldn't be able to get Dell RAID drivers
working with the XP setup because I don't have
a floppy"

This is why you would slipstream the xp cd with the dell raid drivers as well as any service pacs.

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July 20, 2009 at 09:20:29
Many motherboards with multiple SATA ports will have SOME of the ports that DON'T support a boot drive.

From what you describe I would guess that might be your problem.

How many total SATA ports do you have? Are they different colors?

Read your motherboard manual to determine which ports support boot able devices. Also, some only have ONE port that can be used for optical drives.

BTW, I would advise you to NOT use the Windows boot logger. Windows multiboot creates a dependency on the other OSes being present in order for it to work.

Most modern BIOSes have an option to select the boot device at start up. In my case I have an option to hit Esc at start up to get a boot menu that is independent of any OS.

Using that requires that you have a separate hard drive for each OS. When using that option I select to boot from Hard disk. Then a second menu appears with all available hard drives listed. You select which one you want to boot to.

Elsewhere in the BIOS settings you choose which hard disk will be the default. If you don't hit Esc and allow the computer to automatically boot it will boot to the default drive.

Doing things that way allows you to cycle drives in or out or change the OS on any of the installed drives.

Your current setup would need to be modified by changing the boot.ini.

One other thing to note. In order to setup the drives as described above you need to disconnect all drives other than the one you are installing to. After installation is complete you then re-connect and they will show in the Esc boot selector.

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July 22, 2009 at 01:15:14
All right, I have uninstalled 7 for now and decided to just try for
a XP / Vista dual boot for the moment. I was able to
slipstream the RAID drivers onto my XP install CD and setup
is happy to begin in that case.
The partitioning, formatting of the hard drive and expanding the
setup files to the drive all goes ok, but once XP concludes the
text part of the setup and attempts to reboot and start the
graphical part of the setup, rather than starting the graphical
part of setup XP gives me an error saying;
Windows could not start because of a computer disk
hardware configuration problem.
Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path
and disk hardware.
What has gone wrong now?

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Related Solutions

July 22, 2009 at 06:30:15
You either need to provide SATA controller drivers when prompted at the beginning of the install or set the BIOS to an IDE compatibility mode or AHCI mode. This pertains to WinXP because WinXP doesn't have those drivers included.

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July 23, 2009 at 01:37:02
OK guys, my problem has been solved!
With my slipstreamed XP install CD i decided to shrink my
Vista partition (which is on my primary drive) and create an
XP partition on that drive - and that worked absolutely fine!

OtheHill, you were right in saying that some hard drives
weren't able to be booted off, because while XP can't boot off
the second hard drive it has no problems booting off the first.
Thanks for your help in suggesting that I try my primary hard

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