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HP nc6400 can't recognice hard drives during WinXP install

Posted on 2009-03-31
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I have a HP NC6400 which I'm trying to rebuild with Windows XP Pro.  When I insert and boot from the installation cd, I get a message that the installation can't proceed because it can't find any hard drives on the machine. After looking around the internet for a while it appears that the NC6400 has SATA harddrives which aren't supported on the standard Windows XP boot cd and so SATA drivers must be installed.
Unfortunately all the solutions that I have found (including on the HP site http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareIndex.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodNameId=1847704&prodTypeId=321957&prodSeriesId=1847703&swLang=8&taskId=135&swEnvOID=1093#166237) require a floppy drive (I didn't even know these existed any more) which I don't have.

There are two solutions which I've found: 1) booting up from the cd while installing the drivers (Intel SATA AHCI Controller Driver) from a floppy disk; 2) creating a new boot cd and include the drivers in the boot cd.  Unfortunately even the second solution required a floppy drive as the .exe from HP, which contains the drivers, loads them onto a floppy drive and won't run without one.

Is there anyway that I can install the drivers without a floppy drive, or should I give up and disable the SATA drives in the BIOS and simply run them as IDE? I'm not entirely sure how to do this, but I read somewhere that someone had used this option. Also if I manage to install XP with the drives as IDE will I then be able to convert them back to SATA and have them work correctly?
Long question, but I'd appreciate any help.
Thanks.
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Question by:sh_adow
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8 Comments
 
LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:PUNKY
ID: 24035538
Access bios and disable AHCI, then select IDe mode. Try install again see if XP will pick up the drive and continue installation.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:lauchangkwang
ID: 24035558
First, have a check under the BIOS to see whether it is detected the Hard Disk. (To make sure all the connections are tightly) ..... after that, take a look under BIOS for the Hard Disk options, if it is set to AHCI (where will not allow any OS to be installed in the Hard Disk) . and there sure be have a nother options like Compatability / ATA .... etc, select it and try to reinstall the Operating System again .....
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LVL 4

Accepted Solution

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Compnecessity1 earned 2000 total points
ID: 24035571
You can use a program that can walk you though the steps such as NLite.  It will re-build the XP CD with the SATA drivers/
http://www.nliteos.com/
Or the best way in my opion is to use a USB floppy with the XP Cd that you already have.  Extract the SATA drivers that you can download from HP.  Extract the SATA drivers  to the floppy then you can use the F6 key during the first part of the Windows Install to load the SATA drivers.
Or order a recovery CD from HP.  
If it's not a company laptop I'd spend the $25 for the recovery CD's.
Unless you already have or can borrow a USB Floppy
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LVL 66

Expert Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 24035768
Kep in mind, the benefits of AHCI are minimal, so if you really have a hard time with this, go for IDE.....One of the biggest benefits of AHCI is Hot Swapping a hdd, but obviously you wont be doing that......
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24037794
>>  Unfortunately even the second solution required a floppy drive as the .exe from HP, which contains the drivers, loads them onto a floppy drive and won't run without one    <<   can you make this floppy on another PC, and copy the files to an usb stick, to transfer them to your slipstreamed cd  ?
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24037797
>>  Unfortunately even the second solution required a floppy drive as the .exe from HP, which contains the drivers, loads them onto a floppy drive and won't run without one    <<   can you make this floppy on another PC, and copy the files to an usb stick, to transfer them to your slipstreamed cd  ?
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Michael-Best
ID: 24038176
"There are two solutions which I've found: 1) booting up from the cd while installing the drivers (Intel SATA AHCI Controller Driver) from a floppy disk; 2) creating a new boot cd and include the drivers in the boot cd.  Unfortunately even the second solution required a floppy drive as the .exe from HP, which contains the drivers, loads them onto a floppy drive and won't run without one."

Put SATA drivers on USB

Buy a USB Flash drive $5
Boot from USB Flash drive
How To Boot From A USB Flash Drive
http://www.bootdisk.com/pendrive.htm
MKBT, Make Bootable
http://nu2.nu/mkbt/
http://www.weethet.nl/english/hardware_bootfromusbstick.php
Information about computer floppy drives
http://www.computerhope.com/help/floppy.htm

Set BIOS to boot from USB
Hit F8 (F5 on some computers) on re-boot to enter BIOS
Install SATA drivers off USB
Set BIOS to boot from CD
Install OS
Set BIOS to "default"
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Compnecessity1
ID: 24044149
Buy the darn recovery CD's from HP.  It has everything you'll need.  And incase your hard drive goes out again you'll have the recovery CD's for the future.  Sure you could build another XP CD or make a bootable a USB stick bootable, but these things take time and don't always work the first time.  
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