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Problem Installation - Windows XP 64-bit on Dell XPS 720

Posted on 2010-11-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Okay. The situation is this:

Refurbished Dell XPS 720 that is now being handed down from one of the scientists to the technicians in his lab. It has 8 gigs of RAM in it and was sporting Windows 7. There were, however, issues that were unresolved with the Windows 7 installation that were either related to hardware compatibility or something else that the scientist who had it prior had installed had made the system unstable.

So, I did what one would normally do. I typed in the Service Tag, found my drivers and got them ahead of time. It turns out it was a good thing to do because we ran into BSOD issues when trying to install XP. It was a STOP code ending in 7B. I found, thanks to Google, issues regarding SATA drivers that needed to be loaded ahead of time. I got said drivers from the Dell website listed for Windows XP 64-bit and placed them on the root directory of a floppy disk.

I, as instructed, hit F6 to install RAID/SCSI drivers. I selected said drivers and everything seems to be fine. The install gets going then it asks for the drivers yet again except this time the warning says:

"Insert the disk labeled: NVIDIA RAID DRIVER (SCSI) into Drive A: "

This is AFTER I've already selected the drivers its asking for prior to that. It won't let me do anything other than Quit the setup process at this point.

Any ideas as to what's going on here? I'm at a loss.
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Question by:USDAARSCSRL-IT
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by:SeanMN
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Can you set the sata mode in bios to comparability(or similar phrasing)? This should let you install xp, then the drivers then enable AHCI.
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by:SeanMN
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compatibility rather
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by:USDAARSCSRL-IT
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My BIOS, Dell version A06 (Latest according to the website), only has three options for disk drives. Off, On, RAID On.
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by:SeanMN
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With no Sata option at all? Thats too bad thats the way i get around this issue on lenovo laptops. I haven't been able to get SATA drivers to work during install at all for a couple of the new models.

In that case I'm assumings its looking for the raid controller driver, which may be separate from the SATA driver package.
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by:USDAARSCSRL-IT
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Yeah. I'm going to try going with a SATA driver floppy and a RAID floppy and see if that works.
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by:USDAARSCSRL-IT
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So, now it gets to the point of copying over the Windows installation files to Drive C: and then the message "Insert the disk labeled: NVIDIA AHCI DRIVER (SCSI) into Drive A:" is shown. I'm wondering if maybe a SP3 installation disc would have a lot of these drivers already in there, or if I'd still need to preload like this. Right now I'm using an SP2 disc that we still have.
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by:SeanMN
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It really doesn't and quite honestly xp 64 bit is not something i would ever toy with again if 7 is at all an option. You may have to play chase the driver until you get it done. (RAID/SATA/AHCI) should really cover the storage drivers.

I really can't believe there isn't some non-AHCI compatibility mode. Thats just surprising.
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Setting to non-AHCI can be convenient but is the last thing you want to do, as your computer will not be able to take advantage of what SATA has to offer.  Remember, this chipset is an nVidia chipset, not the Intel chipsets we are all used to working with in 99% of systems, so the option to set to ATA/Compatability may not be there.  Anyway ...

Is this the file you used?
ftp://ftp.us.dell.com/SATA/R164976.EXE

Being asked twice for the driver is most often a corrupt or incomplete driver - may be the file itself or the floppy.  First, make sure you're using the right driver.  Second, I would skip the floppy altogether and use nLiteOS.com to integrate the driver into your installation media (this will create a new CD ISO).
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by:USDAARSCSRL-IT
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That is indeed the file I used. I also went to the nVidia website directly and found updated (well more up to date than what Dell had) drivers for said chipset. Both sets of drivers have produced the same result. Well, at least from loading from a floppy. So, you're suggesting nLite eh? Hmm.
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by:USDAARSCSRL-IT
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Slipstreaming did the trick. Thanks for the help!
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by:PowerEdgeTech
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nLite is easy to use, straightforward and is much more reliable than using those dang outdated floppies.  

Just a note to account for the difference in nVidia and Dell drivers ... Dell's drivers will be based on the same driver as nVidia release but may be tweaked for Dell-specific hardware.  Dell may not have the same driver available as nVidia, either because they have not tested the latest driver released by nVidia or they found the latest driver by nVidia does not work on Dell hardware for one reason or another.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
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Glad you got it sorted.
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