How do I get XP to install SATA drivers for the disk, and where do I get the drivers from?

I've got a brand new MS Vista  Acer, which I need to downgrade (or is that upgrade!) to XP.
Trouble is, my XP install disk won't recognise the SATA drives. I know I need to install them using the F6 OEM drivers option, but that's looking for a floppy as well!
I'm sure I must be able to use a flash drive here somewhere, but I can't get XP to recognise that either.
The laptop WILL allow me to boot from a flash drive. I formatted one flash and the laptop BIOS found it, but didn't like the boot setup.
I've also searched for the Intel SATA drivers (or whatever) with no luck.
Any ideas will be very welcome!
Peter_PhillipsAsked:
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BillDLConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi Peter.

Can you check the model number please.  I don't see an Extensa 4220 in the Acer Europe support drop down list for drivers:
http://support.acer-euro.com/drivers/downloads.html
I do, however, see the model numbers 4120, 4320, and 4420.

The first one I saw SATA Drivers under the Windows XP OS choice (F6 Intel SATA HDD Driver Floppy Utility) is the 4320 model, so I downloaded the driver package:

ftp://ftp.work.acer-euro.com/notebook/extensa_4320/driver/F6 Intel SATA HDD Driver Floppy Utility.zip

and read the Readme.txt file in the root of the folder created when I unzipped it.

Here's the contents (grammatic errors corrected), and hopefully they will allow you to do this with a begged, stolen, borrowed, or eBayed USB Floppy Drive:

----------------------------------------------------
XP installation:

Create the driver floppy
------------------------------
1. Copy the downloaded file "f6flpy32.exe" (or other file for your computer's model number if not this one) to your computer
2. Plug in a USB Floppy drive into the USB Port and insert a blank formatted floppy disc
3. Double-Click "f6flpy32.exe" (or other file if not that name) and follow any prompts.

Install Windows and load SATA Drivers from floppy
---------------------------------------------------------------
1. Insert your Windows XP SP2 CD into the CD-Rom or DVD-Rom Drive
2. Ensure that the USB Floppy containing the AHCI (SATA) driver is plugged into a free USB Port
3. Power on the system and press "F2" Key (or other key if not F2 - see computer manual) to enter the BIOS setup (or more correctly the "CMOS Setup")
(5. System starts installation - Huh?? - I assume they mean the CMOS/BIOS Setup Screen loads)
4. Set the boot priority to 1:CD/DVD 2:IDE0 3:USB FDD then restart. (They forgot to tell you to press the F10 key to "Save Settings and Exit")
6. Press the "F6 key"repeatedly when you see the "Press F6 if you……" prompt is displayed at the bottom of the screen.
7. After about 3 or 4 minutes,you should see the "Windows Setup" screen.
8. Press the "S key" , then select "Intel 82801HEM/HBM SATA AHCI Controller(Mobile ICH8M-E/M)"
9. The system will load the AHCI driver from the USB floppy disc, and you should be prompted to press the "Enter key"
10. The system should now be able to identify the SATA HDD and start the Windows XP installation successfullywithout showing a bluescreen error.
-------------------------------------------------------------

By the way, to get the download URL's for items in a drop-down box on a web page, scroll over and copy the drop-down field, paste into a web editing program, then right-click the field and choose "Edit Form Field".  The named list item should allow you to copy the direct link to the file.

Hopefully this will work for you, but you need to verify the model number and download the correct file for it.

Bill
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dhoffman_98Commented:
XP Install will only allow the F6 process to read from a floppy. A flash drive or CD won't work.

As for where to get the drivers, you'll need to contact the manufacturer of your system to be sure you are getting the proper drivers for your machine. All you told us was Acer... but didn't mention any model numbers. I'd suggest going to Acer's web site and getting the drivers there.
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Dominik_LCommented:
As far as I know there is no possibility to use anything else than a floppy on XP - its stupid, but that's how it is.
First of all You must find correct drivers for SATA controller in Your notebook. You my search for it at Acer's page. But its possible that You'll find there only Vista drivers. If so than You must identify this SATA controller and search for correct driver for it.
If this is a problem post here Your laptop's model info.
If there will be a driver than there is to possibilities:
1. Find a way to connect Floppy drive do your laptop (PCIMCIA maybe)
2. Prepare an XP installation disk with these drivers.
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Peter_PhillipsAuthor Commented:
Guys.
Sorry, I should have said, it's an Acer Extensa 4220, model number 4220-050508Ci
The SATA controller is made by Intel (I think) so hopefully, I might be able to get something from there.
The floppy is another problem. Who the hell has floppies these days, and that you can connect to a laptop?
What about building XP on the key and booting the laptop from there? The C drive may be unaffected, and I could use the "remote" boot to control another installation? This is a very thin straw though.
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Peter_PhillipsAuthor Commented:
A fulsome answer - Many thanks Bill.
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BillDLCommented:
Aaah, I was searching and typing (in GMT too - late afternoon here) as you were posting.

Now why doesn't Acer Support show that model in the drop-down field?

Is this an import?

I'll have a look at the files in the driver package and see if any also relate to your model.  There may be such minor differences between the model numbers that they haven't included it in the list.
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Peter_PhillipsAuthor Commented:
Basically, if you don't have the USB floppy, you're screwed.
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Peter_PhillipsAuthor Commented:
Hey Bill - It's a brand new model here - I saw they didn't have it up on their site too.
Ah well. Been an interesting experience, which has warned me off buying kit with SATA and no XP. Luckily I managed to flog the box to somebody else within minutes of telling the punter the bad news!
Manythanks again for your help!
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BillDLCommented:
Peter, the only models I've found with downloadable programs to create SATA Driver installation floppies are the 4320 and 4620 models.  I'll keep looking though.

External USB Floppy Drives on eBay UK:
http://tinyurl.com/2y24yr
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BillDLCommented:
Hee, hee.  No problems Peter.  Are you Del-Boy Trotter logging in under an acronym?  ;-)

Note: this is a UK joke.
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Peter_PhillipsAuthor Commented:
Ah! A man with taste! Sadly, no - not that talented, mate!
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