Acer Aspire 5050 Sata Driver needed to install Windows

I'm working on an Acer Aspire 5050 with a Phoenix bios. It needed a new hard drive so I put one in but neither XP nor Vista recognizes the Sata drive I put in. I formatted it via a desktop computer but still no luck. I've been reading online and a suggestion was to switch Sata mode in bios to AHCI but that isn't an option in this bios. I've been searching high and low for a sata driver to use when installing windows but without luck. I'm wondering if there isn't a driver because the bios is natively in AHCI and the sata controller is toast. I'm hoping someone has some answers!
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earth-travelerAsked:
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nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
i suppose it has only 1 sata connector? otherwise you can try the other of course, even connected with a sata cable.
are you trying to install vista?  as said - it does have the sata controllers and should work; if not, you have a bad motherboard (sata controller?)

it is strange -all acer 5050 zr3 docs i find tell me it 's an IDE interface :  http://www.notebooksolutions.ca/zc/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2741
and Acer does not even mention if its sata or not.. :  http://support.acer.com/acerpanam/notebook/0000/Acer/Aspire5050/Aspire5050sp2.shtml
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nobusCommented:
>>  and the sata controller is toast.   <<   if the controller is dead - you cannot use it to connect a sata drive.
End of story !
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earth-travelerAuthor Commented:
Can I ask for some clarification for this diagnosis? Should this natively recognize the sata drive? Do you believe the sata controller is dead and why?
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nobusCommented:
well - i should ask you that, since you posted it is bad.  how did you come to that conclusion, or what exactly do you mean with it?
if you try to install xp - Vista, Vista at least should have the driver for it.
is the disk seen in the bios?
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earth-travelerAuthor Commented:
I didn't mean to say it's bad, I'm trying to figure out if it is or not. This version of bios has to be the most simplistic I've ever seen. It has next to no configurable options and no mention of sata anywhere. It shows the IDE Pioneer DVD-RW drive. No sata devices, the boot device priority list also doesn't mention sata devices. I know I've had to use sata drivers in vista before but it's been a good year since I've installed it on anything. I should mention that the Vista disk I'm using is probably not even SP1.
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nobusCommented:
that model does not support sata drives imo; so i don't understand how you plan to install a sata disk ??
please explain !
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earth-travelerAuthor Commented:
The drive I pulled out of it was sata and the drive I put in was sata. It's definately sata, not ide. The lower right corner of the display has the badge "Aspire 5050", the bottom says Aspire 5050 series model ZR3.
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nobusCommented:
ah - ok.
did you test the sata disk on another pc ? it can be bad
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earth-travelerAuthor Commented:
Yes, I connected it via a external drive adapter to one of my desktops. It pulled it up right away and said the drive needed to be formatted (new drive). I did format and that went off without a hitch as well. I'm gonna run memtest just for good measure.
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earth-travelerAuthor Commented:
Memtest came up clean. Any ideas?
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earth-travelerAuthor Commented:
It does only have the one drive bay. Are you 100% positive that all builds of vista had native sata drive support? I was pretty sure I've had to use drivers when installing vista before but like I said, it's been a while since I've had to mess with vista.
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nobusCommented:
AFAIK all Os'es after XP have the sata drivers.
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earth-travelerAuthor Commented:
so at this point, its pretty much guaranteed the sata port or controller are shot and this laptop is toast.
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nobusCommented:
i still find it very strange, that no article on the net refers to sata drives for it..
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earth-travelerAuthor Commented:
I'm pretty sure that early in my searcing I ran across some sites that had sold the notebook in the past that listed it as sata but I can't find those sites now. I was looking at their motherboards on ebay and here's on that has a sata port: http://cgi.ebay.com/AMD-Motherboard-For-Acer-Aspire-5050-31ZR3MB0005-Laptop_W0QQitemZ280476288809QQcmdZViewItemQQptZMotherboards?hash=item414db08729#ht_1800wt_1165

but here's one that appears to have an ide port: http://cgi.ebay.com/31ZR3MB0030-AMD-MotherBoard-For-Acer-Aspire-5050-Laptop_W0QQitemZ270545332147QQcmdZViewItemQQptZMotherboards?hash=item3efdc227b3#ht_1424wt_1002

So it must have gone both ways. Anyway, this laptop isn't mine and I wouldn't have wasted this much time on it if it were. I'll just tell the people that own it that it's shot and give it back to them.
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earth-travelerAuthor Commented:
Assuming sata controller is shot
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nobusCommented:
tx for the feedback !
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