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Motherboard does not see my SATA harddrive at boot (problem installing XP on new drive)

Have new MSI motherboard with newest bios.

Can boot to IDE drive with XP without problems. Have new - working and faultless and "active" - SATA drive (tried two different), but cannot for my life figure how to install XP on it, so it can be my new boot drive. If I boot up with the IDE drive the SATA drive is working perfectly.

The problem is that the Motherboard does not "see" the SATA harddrive unless I boot via the IDE drive. for example, if I boot using the XP CD-rom (as normal install). Windows XP installer stalls at the beginning and reports that XP cannot find a harddisk to install to.

Finally made a copy of the IDE drive with Acronis Image (to make a "perfect" mirror working copy of the IDE XP setup). But to no avail... The SATA drive just does not come up, unless I boot through the IDE drive.

To me it seems to be some kind of driver issue, and the lack of the right driver is preventing me from getting "into" the harddrive in the first place. Mirroring the IDE drive to the SATA disk was my last shot at the problem. Any other suggestions would be very helpful.

I can hook up a floppy - but I don't know what drivers to use - MSI homepage leaves me clueless as to what to put on the floppy (if thats the solution).

Spent a week really trying hard to get this to work. Very frustrated now.
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1 Solution
Alan Huseyin KayahanCommented:
   Hi maiaibing2000
         You should prepare a SATA controller driver floppy. Then press F6 during the text-based setup of XP setup (The blue screen when you boot from XP CD)
         In motherboard CD, there should e a utility which prepares floppy, browse folders like SATA and etc. Or download from here http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=driverfile&dno=2460&i=0

maiaibing2000Author Commented:
Mr. Husy

Thanks for your rapid reply. Sorry I did not make myself clearer. I have run the utility disk you mention - but to no avail. XP installer still says it cannot find a harddisk (until I hook up the IDE drive and presto - its there - working perfectly!).

When i said I had no idea what to do it is because on the utility there is a text (txt) message that reads:

   If you lost your Driver Disk labeled as "VIA SATA RAID Driver"
   This file will teach you how to make one Driver Disk

   First please perpare one formatted 1.44M Floppy
   Then please copy necessary driver from MSI Driver CD

- Driver for Win2000/NT40/XP/Server2003
  Please copy CDROM:\ChipSet\VIA\Floppy\i386 folder
                    \ChipSet\VIA\Floppy\TXTSETUP.OEM file"

Its the last part that leaves me totally perplexed. F

First I thought that copying the the files to the floppy and pressing F6 to use it would make everything work OK. But the floppy does not work as intended. It reads the files OK and several things seem to happen in the background. But in the end XP comes back and says that no harddisk is present. (Aaarrgghhhh)

On the CD-Rom there is no excact match, but there is this folder:

In this folder there is one file called txtsetup.oem and two folders i386 and AMD64. On the utility download (the one you also pointed to) I also have one file called txtsetup.oem and just one folder called i386.

What to do?

I could understand if something was not connected properly, something was broke etc. But the SATA disk and motherboard work perfectly without a glitch if only I boot to the IDE disk.

Sorry I cannot paste screen shoots it would make it much easier to see the file structure.

Alan Huseyin KayahanCommented:
  *Format a floppy, eave it in floppy drive
   *Dowload the file in link I submit above
   *Right-click the file, click extract. In destination, type a:\
   *Extract the files directly to floppy
   *Now boot from XP CD, press F6 when it asks.
   *After loading some files, it will ask you to Specify additional drivers by pressing S
   *Choose the Windows XP one and continue

This motherboard supports SATA1 drives. Check to make sure  your hard drive isn't SATA2. If it is, there may be a jumper setting on it to allow it to run in SATA1 mode.
Also-->Check in your BIOS for a setting to run the SATA drive in IDE mode. This will allow XP setup to see the drive and after installation takes place you can install the necessary SATA drivers for your motherboard.
There may be an option in your BIOS to disable RAID (I guess your not using it). If its enabled, even if you don't use RAID, it will still use your RAID chipset and XP is unable to see this without additional drivers.

Also I had major problems with mine, if the floppy was in as XP install loaded (press F6 blah blah blah) it wouldn't detect it. I had to remove the floppy and only put it in when you had to press 's' to specify additional devices, then remove it until it asks for it again. Hope that helps?
There may be one other option, slipstreaming the SATA drivers into the XP cd.
maiaibing2000Author Commented:
Just to comment.

I'm not up and running yet. but Sparkmaker has made two important points that I have not considered. Actually it is a SATA-2 drive. Do not know if its deceive - but I'll try getting another SATA-drive to test it out. Could of course be important for the driver also.

Also I will slipstream my SATA drivers to the XP disk if the above fails to provide a solution.

I actually have tried to run SATA in IDE-mode. But it was a good point to make.
Raid has been disabled all along. But it is true that it can make problems for people sometimes to leave it on in BIOS - if its not being used.

Closing this for now as i have gotten considerable help. And it will take a few days to sort out getting a new SATA disk etc.
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