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i have a compaq 6910p and the bios see the hard drive but windows set up does not (Note Book)

Posted on 2009-07-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I am repairing an HP Compaq 6910P Note Book for a freind but have come to a standstill.
I am not familuar with this type of Bios where there is not Hard Drive detection.
At the moment I am running the disk Sanitizer which is carrying out a format to the hard drive but before I started the Windows XP set up disk cound not find the hard drive.
Have I got an incorrect boot sequence set or is the hard drive faulty or am I doing something wrong ?
Thank you.

Question by:DAVIDA64
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 24865076
I'm going to guess that this has a SATA hard drive.

Check the BIOS of your computer and look there for the hard disk and see if you can change the hard disk setting to either Compatibility or Legacy or IDE mode.

Then try the installation.
LVL 63

Accepted Solution

☠ MASQ ☠ earned 500 total points
ID: 24866582
SATA is indeed the issue.  This type of hard drive interface isn't natively supported by XP and so you need to provide Windows drivers during the installation of the operating system.  Classically for XP this is by copying them to a floppy disk and during the installation process XP gives you the option to install from the floppy drive.
Of course this sin't a lot of help on the note book you have which has no floppy drive!
In this case the best solution is to "slipstream" the floppy disk software and the XP installation CD into just one CD.  Windows can then find the driver it needs on your rebuilt CD and the installation should proceed without a hitch.

There is an excellent, free utility that will do this called nlite and if you download it and have both your XP installation CD, nlite, the SATA drivers for your lpatop and a CD burner you should have the new disk ready in about an hour.

Here are links to the instructions and the XP drivers you need for your laptop

This is a really common issue as XP arrived while SATA was emerging as the new hard drive interface (Vista/Windows7 natively support SATA) so you'll find lots of members on the site who can help you if you get stuck with nlite.

Author Comment

ID: 24867202
I will be trying this when I get home from work today but it looks good to me.
The problem started when the user changed the password and got locked out.  I put in a CD that is suppose to overide the password allowing you to change it which infact did not work.  

I am not sure if this caused the pc not to reboot or may I just had some bad luck and a secondary problem arose (last to touch the pc and your responsible although the cause is not related syndrome ??) being a faulty hard drive.

With regard to the bios, why does it not have what I have always seen on desk top pcs where there is an hard drive auto detect utility that tells you what the capaciy of the hard drive is ?

Also there is a password set to change various bios controlled passwords, would anyone know how to default the bios including the passwords ?

Thank you.


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