Windows XP installation not seeing any Hard Drives

Posted on 2011-10-24
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have an older Toshiba netbook that I'm trying to reinstall Windows XP on.  I put in a new hard drive as well as connected an external Asus DVD-RW drive to it, and the BIOS sees both devices correctly.  

When I boot from a Windows XP Home edition OEM disc, it doesn't list any available drives to install Windows on.  Any thoughts?

This is a Toshiba NB305-N310.
Question by:epichero22
    LVL 89

    Accepted Solution

    >>> I put in a new hard drive as well  

    If the new drive is a SATA hard drive, XP will not install natively. You need to either (a) set AHCI to Compatability mode in the BIOS, or (b) get SATA drivers from Toshiba for the new drive.

    If the new drive is a PATA drive, XP should install. Use FDISK or like tool to clear all partitions and then try again.

    .... Thinkpads_User
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    Like thinkpads said you probably need a sata driver available before the windows xp will recognize your harddrive. when windows xp cd boots and says to press f6 if you require a special driver this is when you will press f6 and insert the media that has the sata drivers and install the drivers then continue with the operating system install. See this website.
     This may not be for your exact model of computer but it should guide you through the process of installing windows on your system.
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    here a nice guide on how to install xp on a netbook :

    or a youtube:
    LVL 11

    Author Closing Comment

    Setting AHCI to compatibility mode worked and I have to ask, what is AHCI for?  I never paid it much mind.
    LVL 89

    Expert Comment

    by:John Hurst
    Thank you. I was pleased to help. AHCI is Advanced Host Controller Interface. In new machines it assumes a SATA interface. Setting it to compatability allows older software to install on the new drives.
    .... Thinkpads_User

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