How do I recover my Windows XP installation - SATA driver problem?

I have stuffed up my installation of XP. Points are for telling me how to get things back to normal but please note: I need step-by-step, idiot-proof instructions.

The problem. My machine boots XP, but very slowly. In particular, the pale blue screen with the word "welcome" stays up for much longer than normal. When the machine has finally finished booting and I can see the desktop etc, there is no taskbar, the windows key has no effect when pressed, and simple operations like dragging a file from one explorer window to another do not work.

This happened after I installed AVGFree, ran a couple of checks and then uninstalled it. When I booted the machine after the uninstall, windows said it had to check a disk for consistency and then spent many hours correcting the security descriptor on - I think - every single file on my C: drive. (I went to bed after file number 135,000.) When it eventually finished and ran XP, I found the problems described above.

If you can get my system working normally again without me having to re-install windows then the points are yours.

I suspect however that I have a sick machine and XP needs repairing at least. I am really not enthusiastic about a complete re-install, but I accept that this may be necessary; it has been some time since I did a reinstall and the machine was getting rather sluggish.

The problem with a repair/re-install is that my primary disk is a SATA and my XP disk does not have SATA drivers (I believe XP disks released after SP1 do have drivers). I know the standard procedure is to create a floppy disk containing the drivers, to hit F6 when booting from the XP disk, and load the drivers from the floppy when prompted. Unfortunately this doesn't work: XP seems to load the drivers but when I then try to install windows or hit 'R' for the recovery console, I am told XP can't find any hard disks.

Here's the context of my problem. My machine is a dual-boot Win XP/Ubuntu 7.10 AMD64 with an Asus A8V Deluxe motherboard, a SATA and an IDE drive. I do not know the precise configuration of the drives, but until recently the machine was working fine and I have not changed anything so my guess is that everything is OK in terms of how the drives are physically connected to the motherboard and the BIOS settings.

I do not care if any proposed solutions delete/disable GRUB/Ubuntu.

I have the CD that came with the motherboard but I cannot use it to create the driver disk because of my problems with XP. If I try to use the setup program on the CD I get a message "InstallShield: 1607: Unable to install InstallShield Scripting Runtime". I can however read the disk and found what I think is the right "MakeDisk" program. This creates a floppy that is read by Windows during the F6/load SCCI driver dialog.

Please do not use email to contact me because that is another thing that is not working. Also I will not receive email notifications of proposed solutions for the same reason. I will of course check back regularly.
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

I have a friend that was in the exact same situation as you a few weeks back and unfortunately we did have to do a reinstall of the XP operating system.  Since your system has SATA drives it is a little more complicated but still very simple to reinstall but you will need access to another computer with internet access and a CD burner.

follow these instructions and you should be able to rebuild the system:
1. Go to the manufacturers support page and download the SATA driver for your particular model.
2. You will need to download a program called nLite to make a custom XP install that will wrap the drivers right into the XP installation...  
3.  And you will need your XP CD
4. Once you have all of this...  Open the nLite utility and follow the very easy to follow guide instructions from the nLite website and wrap the SATA drivers right into the XP install.
5. Burn to CD...  
6. Boot to CD and the this should get you past the issue of XP not recognizing the SATA drives.
kilgore661Author Commented:
Thanks for the link/idea Deroyer.

I have a couple of issues with your suggestion. First, I am not convinced I have the right drivers. Second, it means a reinstall. If I don't get any other suggestions then I will try yours.

Re the drivers, I have found a number of sites including Asus offering drivers. I have also found posts saying "don't use the Asus drivers". None of these sites apart from Asus look particularly authoritive.

So far I have made three driver disks (two look the same) from three different sources and none work. However it has just occurred to me that the correct drivers must already be on my machine's dis. Perhaps I can copy them to a floppy and use them like that? Problem is I don't know where to look for the drivers/what they are called. Any ideas?
I would say the partial correction process described above is one way of doing it IF you get teh correct driver you can slipstream it with yrou xp install disc and then do a repair install


this depends on teh BIOS you have you can change the drive settings for teh HDD. If you have a setting called AHCI change it to compatibility and thsi will allow you to repair install the sata drive as if it were an IDE
Determine the Perfect Price for Your IT Services

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden with our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Download your free eBook now!

kilgore661Author Commented:
Thanks Slam69. What does "slipstream" mean? Also, why should I need to change anything in the BIOS? The computer already boots from my SATA drive.
slipstream is using nlite to add additional drivers into the install for xp to allow you to include sata drivers etc instead of using f6 to preload them, in addition you can add service packs etc to yoru xp installt o speed it up and make it a one install process, if you google slipstream xp install you shoudl get some good instructions, maximum pc site has a g ood breakdown.

the reason I have put about teh bios is that you mentiuoned in yoru  post you had tried to load drivers to get to recoveery console, changing to compatbility will skip this f6 required process
kilgore661Author Commented:
Thanks for the clarification Slam69.

Am I right in thinking that if I put the drive into IDE mode and then successfully install windows and the latest service pack (which I believe contains SATA drivers) then I can go back into the BIOS and return the disk to non-IDE mode?
yup you can as it shoudl plug and play detect the device and boot the driver although i think its sp2 that holds teh sata drivers?

You might try a repair install first though once you get it into ide mode
kilgore661Author Commented:
OK guys, I am backing up my machine before attempting to follow your suggestions.

I have a CD that claims to have SP2 on it. If I make an nLive boot and include SP2 then that should have the SATA drivers?
kilgore661Author Commented:
Nope, nLive didn't seem to help. Fairly sure I did the right thing: used nLive to read my XP disk, then ticked "add service pack" and pointed it at the .exe for SP3 (yes, 3 not 2), burned it direct to CD, booted it on the other machine but on choosing "install windows" I get "Setup did not find any hard disks".

I don't know if I have AHCI. How can I tell?
It really does depend on teh make of your machine, some like the new hp pavillions dont have the option at all, its a matter of going into the bios and taking a look at the settings in teh BIOS, if your unsure drop your model back and ill see if i can find out for you
kilgore661Author Commented:
It's an Asus A8V Deluxe
if it still boots, just try a system restore to a previous date - done !
if nto take a look at this site

step by step instructions for hwo to get the sata driver onto yoru machine for repairing.

im still looking for if its possible in bios to change AHCI
Look for option configure sata in bios and if its there what options do you have?
kilgore661Author Commented:

This is very embarassing. I have solved the problem myself without using your contributions ...

I'm new to EE but I will try to find a way of closing this question and give you some points for your time and effort.

Best wishes,

what was the solution ?
kilgore661Author Commented:
The solution: re-install everything. A friend had a driver disk that got me going again

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
that cures all software even don't need us for that lol
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.