We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Windows 7 installation - "no drives were found"

splait
splait used Ask the Experts™
on
Working on this laptop is getting old.

I am using a Windows 7 Upgrade retail DVD.  I bought a new drive, set up one partition, formatted it as NTFS, and installed it into the laptop.

When I try to install Win7, in the "Where do you want to install Windows" screen, no drive shows up.

Weirdly, when I look in the BIOS, there is no place for looking at the drives, so I can't tell if the BIOS sees the drive or not.

How do I proceed?
Comment
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®

Commented:
What model PC?

Can you put the drive controller into IDE or Compatible mode?

Whats happening is that Windows is not picking up your drive controller.
We can load the drivers from a USB stick once I find out the model of your laptop

Author

Commented:
It's a Sony VGN-SR140E laptop.  I tried going to the Sony site, but they provide .exe. files that install the drivers and I can't run those (obviously).  The drive is SATA, and the BIOS gives me no options at all for hard drives except when I look at boot order.

Commented:
Ill get em

sec

Commented:
This laptop uses a Chipset Type Mobile Intel GM45 Express which uses the ICH9M Sata chip


OK so here are the Graphics, Chipset and SATA drivers

http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/sb/CS-029319.htm

Yours is the GM45, You want to click download on Intel Matrix Storage Manager, then select your OS (make sure you select 64 bit or 32 bit)
Download the top file named

Intel® RST Driver Files for F6 Install

Upack the zip file to your USB stick and then point windows to it for the drivers.





Author

Commented:
OK.  I did that and installed the driver when the option came up.  It still doesn't see the drive.

Should I reformat the drive or something?  I can do that from another PC.

Commented:
Thats really odd, Windows doesnt care if its been formatted or even partitioned. Only if it has been partitioned by LIINUX OR MAC.

But its a used or new drive it shouldnt have any issues.
Does XP pick up the drive? I ask because it looks like it only comes with XP and i assuming your trying to get 7 in place of XP.

What do you mean by this
" I bought a new drive, set up one partition, formatted it as NTFS, and installed it into the laptop."

So you formatted it in another computer? FYI for the future you dont need to format or partiition new drives.

I would take it back out, install on the other comp, go to control panel, administrative tools, computer management, Disk management

Delete the volume and create a new partition as a Primary Partition but dont format it.Make sure its active.

Author

Commented:
I'll do that and let you know.

Author

Commented:
Sorry.  I forgot to answer your question.

After I bought the drive, iI installed it without doing anything.  The installer didn't see it.  So I initialized the drive, doing exactly what you said, then set up a single, primary partition

There may be a hardware issue with this laptop.  Just for grins, I put an XP installation disk in the machine and got a BSOD 0x0000007B with a first parameter of 0xC0000034, indicating a problem with the hard drive or controller driver, yet XP shouldn't have that problem.

I hate to tell the client this, but this may be the reason the original hard drive got corrupted.

Do you have any other ideas, or should I just take it in for hardware evaluation?
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
In BIOS try changing SATA mode to IDE (not AHCI).
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
If you can get some formatting tool try first formatting the drive to FAT ...
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
hey splait, can you test the drive with a diag from ubcd ?  it may just be bad (or the controller)
(since you formatted it on another pc...)
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      

Author

Commented:
Since my last post, I tried two other drives, both of which came from working laptops running XP.  The laptop never saw either drive.

@senad - I stated in the original question that the BIOS gives me no control over the drive, so that's not possible.  Windows 7 does not recognize FAT, so why format a drive that way - what would it buy me?

@nobus - I will give ubcd a shot this morning.  Thank you!

Thanks for the ideas, guys!
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
if no drives were seen, try to use bios default settings, or update it.
if none works, it looks like a bad mobo to me...
you can check the disk connectors ...
can you tell if the drive is running ?
Commented:
The drive spins up, so power works.

It's a bizarre thing, but the ribbon connector does not have a snug fit to the drive.  Sony jerry-rigged the whole thing by using a paper drape over the drive to keep the connection in place.  I've never seen anything like it before.

I've attached some photos.  The fact that they did this indicates to me that they knew the Foxconn connector was looser than normal.
VGN-SR140E-drive.doc

Author

Commented:
OK. I didn't know the file I attached would have to be downloaded to see it.  Here are the photos:
DSC00625.JPG
DSC00626.JPG
DSC00628.JPG
DSC00631.JPG
DSC00633.JPG

Commented:
See if you can update the BIOS, if that doesnt work and you cant change the mode of the drive controller I think it might be a wash.

Author

Commented:
I'm taking it in in a few minutes.  I'm fairly sure it isn't the BIOS, (although the BIOS is screwy!)

Author

Commented:
The client is thinking about getting a MacBook Pro.  He's had so much trouble with Windows, and now this.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
unbelieveable they use that kind ona Sata drive...complicates everything.
it may just be a bad cable + connector, but where to get one?
did you try ubcd yet?
I've seen that message before while installing Windows 7 and I had to set the jumper on the drive so that the bandwidth was capped to 1.5gbps.  After I did that Windows saw the drive and I was able to install

Author

Commented:
Good info, @johnohare!  However, the original drive wasn't jumpered, so I suspect that won't help.  What an interesting issue!

Sorry, @nobus.  I did try it but no drive was found.

The shop has it now, and they only charge $20 (!!) for diagnostic work.  I should know today, hopefully!
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
ok - curious to see what happens

Author

Commented:
The shop and I both think (hope) it is the Foxconn connector.  Sony charges approximately $75 for this tiny part.  It makes me wonder how many thousands of dollars this laptop would cost if I bought all parts from Sony and assembled them.

Anyway, the client wants me to order the part, so I have.

I'll keep in touch.
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
some drives get preformatted for linux or mac...
Maybe this might be the issue...

Author

Commented:
@senad -

You're right, but that's not the problem.  I reformatted the drive two different times, both NTFS.  The problem is detection of the hardware.  I'd get a different error if the formatting was wrong.

Author

Commented:
Well, Sony won't drop ship the part, so I have to wait for the parts house to get it from them before it will ship to me.  I'm glad this isn't an emergency issue!

Don't manufacturers care that we all become dependent on our machines and we need repairs fast?
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
they don't give  a damn about what you want, they only care about selling...

Author

Commented:
The cable came and it fixed that problem.  Now I have another.

...sigh...
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
and what problem is this now?
or maybe you prefer to close thsi Q and post another? put the link to it here..

Author

Commented:
The laptop won't recognize the USB floppy drive when I try to install a third-party driver during XP installation (it recognizes it during the POST and initial boot).  I'm going to Best Buy to pick up another USB floppy drive this morning to see if that works. If not, I'll be back.

Sometimes I hate technology....

Author

Commented:
nobus -

Is there a way to spoof the PC to make it think a USB key is a floppy drive during the installation?  For instance, can I attach the key to a PC and assign it the drive letter a:?  Hmm.  I suspect that drive letter is reserved.  So, can I assign it through a DOS command?  Will the laptop recognize it as a floppy drive if I can do that?
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
i'm not so good with  Dos, but maybe you can use subst : http://www.computerhope.com/substhlp.htm
but i think for loading drivers you can put them on a cd  - when needed, take out the install cd, and put the driver cd in
or just slipstream the drivers into the install cd : http://frankieloscavio.blogspot.com/2009/10/how-i-slipstreamed-windows-7-rtm.html