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wipe Vista install XP on Gateway notebook

Posted on 2007-10-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Someone asked me to replace Vista on a Gateway notebook with XP Home.  Thought it would be easy but boy, did I find out different.  When the XP CD is placed in the NB it soon states that the hard drive cannot be found.

I did the following:
* used DBAN to wipe the hard drive
* downloaded from Gateway the SATA driver for 32-bit OS and put it on floppy disk
* put floppy in external USB floppy drive and plugged it into NB
* booted from XP CD and pressed F6 to get to install third party drivers and when the time came loaded the driver from the floppy
* same error message cannot find hard drive
* went into BIOS and toggled Large Disk Access Mode from DOS to Other, same error message
* there is no other area in BIOS that mentions the hard drive so cannot enable/disable SATA or otherwise

Any ideas?
Question by:michealbeethoven
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 20010727
What is the model of the Gateway unit, and what version of the BIOS does it currently have?
LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Jason Watkins
ID: 20010874

Does the BIOS have a "legacy" mode for the SATA controller?

LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 20011032
You need to provide the disk drivers during the install by pressing F6 when prompted, if you did this and it attempted to use the drivers and still did not find the disk it must have been the wrong driver - you need to locate the correct driver for the disk controller - if one exists.
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

ID: 20011173
I agree with KCTS, you need the correct disk driver for XP.

I hope this helps !

LVL 39

Expert Comment

ID: 20011482
I am confused your question, you are trying install Vista 32 bits OS, aren't you? I guess the typo here when you said boot from XP cd.

Back to your question, try this to work around this behavior by manually install the Standard PC hardware abstraction layer (HAL):

1.Restart the computer to restart Setup.
2.When Setup starts again, press F7 (not F6) when you see the "Press F6 if you need to install a third-party SCSI or RAID driver" screen. Windows automatically disables the install ation of the ACPI HAL and install s the Standard PC HAL.

I wonder that when you have option to press F6 while install Vista. Because there are steps that lead you the page with several options: Load Driver (similar F6 when install XP or older), Drive options, Refresh, etc. If you go to that page, click on Load Driver and continue installation.

Author Comment

ID: 20011792
Hello Everybody:

Thank you all for your prompt and enthusiastic response.  I reply in bulk mode so as to accommodate all.

Hello souseran: The model number for the Gateway notebook is MT6707 with BIOS version 77.09.

Hello Firebar: As explained in my first deposition there is no other reference to any controller, let alone SATA, except changing Large Disk Access Mode from Other to DOS and back.

Hello KCTS:  Gateway is famous for not providing much support but they at least gave me four (4) drivers in a ZIP file which pertained to the 32-bit Windows OS (with a caveat explaining that this was the "initial release of the driver for Windows Vista" and also lists this particular notebook model number as being supported).

The drivers are:
Intel(r) 8280HR/HH/HO SATA RAID Controller (Desktop ICH8R)
Intel(r) 8280HR/HH/HO SATA AHCI Controller (Desktop ICH8R)
Intel(r) 631xESB/632xESB SATA RAID Controller (Server/Workstation ESB2)
Intel(r) 631xESB/632xESB SATA AHCI Controller (Server/Workstation ESB2)

I chose the second listed driver and attempted to utilize it at least three (3) times with variations regarding BIOS Large Disk Access Mode...
I tried the the first driver just to make sure it was not listed correctly...

If you have a source for the "correct" driver I would much appreciate it!

Hello SysExpert:  Thank you for your input.  Please see above.

Hello PUNKY:  Please do not be confused.  Please understand that the subject title says it all.  "Wipe Vista install XP on Gateway notebook" means that I need to remove (uninstall Vista from the Gateway notebook) and install XP OS on a hard drive that has never seen XP before (but perhaps I should have placed an appropriate comma so that it read "Wipe Vista, install XP on Gateway notebook").  Just to be sure regarding your suggestions I actually went and tried to install XP using the F7 workaround.  It sent me to the F6 function and eventually, the same error message, hard drive not found.


LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 20011835
Have you tried to go into the BIOS, disable SATA and use IDE to detect the HD. Then install XP, find and install the SATA driver and then revert to SATA in the BIOS?

Author Comment

ID: 20011860
Hello souseran:

Please refer to my above answer to Firebar.  There is no access in BIOS for IDE, SATA, or any other hard drive controller except for changing "Large Disk Access Mode" from "Other" to "DOS" and back.

Author Comment

ID: 20012093
Hello souseran:

Thank you for the information.  However, it is a Google-based  English translation of a Spanish overclocker site that mentions the particular Gateway notebook above.  The computer generated translation does little to explain in conversational English what I need to know.  I am still pondering the meaning of "Good I have obtained all drivers of this Notebook (beautiful by the way portable), me has cost hours but it was worth the trouble well, already was a personal question XD"....
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 20012595
I'm not familiar with DBAN, but from your post I assume it's a self-contained O/S and utility of some sort. If this utility can "wipe" the HD, the HD is presumably alive and well, as should be the controller. Unless "wipe" is to be taken in a very literal sense, the operation requires that the HD is recognized.

Since the drivers are named as " 'initial release of the driver for Windows Vista' ", I'd be inclined to suspect they are wrong for this controller and this O/S (XP), or the controller isn't an Intel at all, but something else.
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 20012600
... oh, I meant to continue:

If you can load a live CD like Knoppix or Ubuntu, you might be able to find out what kind of controller is present in the unit, enabling you to do a search for the correct drivers.

Or you could contact Gateway again and see if they can provide a driver for XP instead of Vista...
LVL 26

Accepted Solution

souseran earned 2000 total points
ID: 20013080

Be that as it may, it's only the only site I've found that has the information and the drivers you'll likely need. If you know someone who reads Spanish, the original site is here:


I neither speak nor read Spanish, but will give you my best understanding of the translated page.

Tthe link below the word Unloading: is to the download for the drivers you'll need. It is a 70Mb file located on RapidShare. Those are here:


Since I don't need them, I didn't download them to see if they were in English or Spanish. As to the rest of the instruction, here's what I make of it:

1. Download nlite from http://www.nliteos.com/download.html Integrate the SATA controller drivers with the Windows xp sp2. (stuff in parentheses, I'm adding . . . instructions for using nlite can be found at http://www.nliteos.com/guide/ Use of the term "integrate" makes more sense once you've read them. step 1 here corresponds to the Part 1 nlite instructions)

2. (From the nlite Part 2 instructions) Search the SATA controller drivers (from Step 1) for Intel® 82801GBM SATA AHCI Controller Mobile ICH7M/DH and add that.

3. (Corresponding to the nlite Step 3 instructions) Make ISO and burn the image to CD. This new CD is what you will use to boot your notebook computer.

4. Note that when you boot with the new CD, the system recognizes the 160Gb hard drive (the number they used. not meant to say that it is the same size as the drive in your system) and that there are two partitions on it. (this is specific to a system that has not had the drive wiped)

5. Erase all the partitions on the hard drive and create new partitions of whatever size(s) the user desires.

6. Install the customized XP installation (the one you just created with nlite)

7. After the install is finished, install the rest of the drivers you downloaded one by one

8. You will need to force the Intel Gigabit driver, point the system to the driver you downloaded instead of looking for it on the Internet. Despite any warnings the driver install generates, it will work.

(Hopefully you did understand this important bits of the next part, which I am copying directly from the translated site:)

That would be everything, some details:
- The modem is a motorola SM56 but with driver modified
- The VGA is a GM950
- The sound is an Audio Sigmatel HD
- The wireless connected to the network wi-fi without problems
LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Jason Watkins
ID: 20013807

Author Comment

ID: 20019454
Hello rid:  Thank you for your suggestion.  However, I think we have the correct HD driver.  Please see below.
Hello Firebar:  Thank you for your suggestion.  However, I think we have the correct HD driver.  Please see below.

Hello souseran:  Success!  Thank you for your interpretation of the Spanish overclocker site.  It provided enough input that I was able to forge through the remainder.  After making several more CD coasters for the living room coffee table I was able to come up with a viable bootable CD that the NB did not reject.

Unfortunately, many of the drivers on that Web page that were offered do not seem to apply to this Vista->XP conversion.  Therefore, I propose to allocate all 500 points to your efforts and copy this lower portion of the following issues to another 500 point challange.

Here are the missing drivers for the conversion of a Gateway notebook model MT6707 from Vista OS to XP Home OS:
Ethernet Controller
PCI Device
Video Controller
Video Controller (VGA Compatible)

These issues will be listed under My Questions as Vista->XP conversion on Gateway notebook MT6707.

Good Luck!

Thanks again to all that provided input.


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