Vista Installation Disc Can't See Hard Drive

I can't get Vista to see a hard drive in a Toshiba Satellite Pro S300-11H. I can format the disk using the command prompt but the installation routine can't see it when it looks for it.

This hard drive has tested fine elsewhere but the laptop itself had a liquid spill a month or so ago. Is it possible that it has a hardware problem that is stopping the HD Controller from seeing the drive properly or is it just a software issue?

I have tried both AHCI and IDE settings in the BIOS without success.

I've seen this SATA problem with XP but not Vista.
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:

What happens if you try a Linux installation such as Ubuntu

You can try the Live CD from there.  Boot from it and see if it sees the disk.  Also consider trying an actual installation on the disk.  If Ubuntu can see or install then there is something wrong with the Vista install disk.
could be the spill causing it - was it cleaned properly?
if not rinse it with water, and brush it with a soft brush
inspect the "diskcontroller and connector " parts closely, and clean them
let it dry  for a couple of days above a heater, or with a fan directed at it
then test again

**vista has the sata drivers, as you suspected
alfaroAuthor Commented:
Well, this is weird. I installed Linux Mint which had no trouble finding and formatting the hard drive and then installed normally. Previously, I had tried various different discs with various versions of Windows and got the no hard drive problem with all of them.

However, after installing Linux I retried Vista again (with a disc that had previously not worked) and it found the hard drive straightaway. I deleted the Linux partitions, reformatted and Vista installed normally.

The hard drive had previously been formatted and tested in another Windows PC, where I could read and write to it..

What could have been going on?
Protecting & Securing Your Critical Data

Considering 93 percent of companies file for bankruptcy within 12 months of a disaster that blocked access to their data for 10 days or more, planning for the worst is just smart business. Learn how Acronis Backup integrates security at every stage

dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
You obviously hadn't sacrificied your first born to the Microsoft gods so they decided to stop any Mickeysoft instalation on your hard disk.  However when they found that pagan Linux had made it there they decided that they had better get their act together.  Hence the Vista installation was permitted.
</humour off>
alfaroAuthor Commented:
It is strange though...
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
The only other I can think of is some weird type of partion information that the Windows install didn't like.  The Linux install fixed that to something more standard and that then permitted Vista to install.

However you were able to read the disk on another machine so that kills that theory ...

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
alfaroAuthor Commented:
I've just thought. I didn't actually read or write to the disk. I just formatted it in another pc. Maybe that explains it..
and it is not necessary
alfaroAuthor Commented:
Problem sorted..
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.