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Windows 7 Professional install fails to detect drives

Posted on 2011-03-07
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
We are trying to install Windows 7 Pro over an XP and are running into all sorts of problems.

The first thing to note is that this is a download from the Microsoft store, not the actual original DVD. We burned the 3 files that we downloaded onto the DVD.

setup1.box
setup2.box
Win7-P-Retail-en-us-x86.exe

When we click on the first option link to fetch any new installation files, it says that there is no action associated with that task in Windows Explorer. So we bypassed checking the net for newer installation files.

Next, when we selected the full install option, it says it couldn't find any drives, and prompted us to provide a path to a mass storage device driver. Of course this can't be right. We have a Dell XPS machine with a 250 Gig hard drive.

Any thoughts on how this can be going so horribly wrong so early on?
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Question by:rascal
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Expert Comment

by:andoss
ID: 35065362
Are you sure you downloaded the files from the actual microsoft site?
There wasn't an option to download an iso?

Also what model XPS are you trying to install it on? It's possible the storage drivers for this model aren't included in the windows 7 install.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 35065394
The mass storage driver (for the SATA controller) for XP will not work for Windows 7, and Windows 7 obviously doesn't have the right driver for it natively.  You need to get a Windows 7 driver for your SATA controller, so Windows 7 can talk to your drive.

Which XPS do you have?  Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit?
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 35065415
I was wondering the same as andross ... you couldn't download the ISO (DVD disk image)?  You can boot to the DVD ISO to simplify things.
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Author Comment

by:rascal
ID: 35065633
Wow, thanks for the great replies - and I just can't believe Microsoft doesn't have a driver for the hard drive from a Dell XPS. I mean really, we're not talking some home kit here. Unbelieveable MS.

The computer is a DELL Dimension DXP061 and the hard drive is ST3500641AS.

We purchased it from the Microsoft Store online.

Where would we get the mass storage driver that Windows 7 woudl need?
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Adjroth earned 250 total points
ID: 35065754
Go to support.dell.com, click "Drivers and Downloads", then enter your service tag. You'll find the sata controller drivers there. Be sure to extract the files after you download them so you can provide the drivers to the Windows 7 setup.
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by:andoss
ID: 35065793
I'm not sure that Dell provides Windows 7 drivers for that model, however you could follow Adjroth's instructions and try Windows Vista drivers.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 35065801
Hard drives don't need drivers ... the controllers for SATA drives do.  Windows 7's native driver store is very impressive, but it can't possibly contain drivers for all the devices out there, especially for an odd-ball, lesser-known controllers/chipsets, like many XPS systems can have (nvidia, less-common Intel's, etc.).

I don't recognize the DXP061 ... does it have another model number or designation?  Or do you have the Service Tag?
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Expert Comment

by:Adjroth
ID: 35066060
I believe the DXP061 is the same as the XPS 410? Though I may be wrong.
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by:rascal
ID: 35066078
Correct, it's an XPS 410
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by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 250 total points
ID: 35066139
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by:Adjroth
ID: 35066159
I don't see any storage drivers under Dell's downloads page, and no Windows 7 drivers at all. You'll probably be better off downloading storage drivers for your controller direct from Intel. You may also try the Vista chipset drivers from Dell. Don't install!! Just extract.
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Author Closing Comment

by:rascal
ID: 35111509
Thank you both for your great help!
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