Dell 9200 XP Reinstall - can't get SATA/RAID drivers to work during install. Install fails.

Posted on 2012-09-09
Last Modified: 2012-09-14
Hi All

Having problems with a oldish Dell Dimension 9200 that I need to reinstall XP Pro on. (either as a repair install or complete).

It's booting ok as is but there's some software issues on there that mean I'm going to need to do a repair install.

Attempting to boot from a standard XP CD gives the usual 0x...7B error.

I assume that the machine requires SATA/RAID drivers & after a bit of googling around found a link from a forum to the Dell R158601 downlaod. Extract those onto a floppy & use F6 during the setup XP CD process.

That gives me a list of Intel Controllers. (Mainly ICH8/9)

I've tried each one in turn but they all then fail with the following error message:
Driver fail
The BIOS contains two related options: RAID ON or RAID Autodetect/ATA - both have been tried with similar results.

I'm loathe to completely flatten the machine (and from the look of it, this same issue would arise when doing a full reinstall anyway) so any pointer on getting this system to do a repair install would be fantastic.

Need to reinstall XPP on Dell 9200 (SATA RAID)
Got drivers on floppy for F6 during install - didn't work
Tried changing BIOS settings - didn't work
Tried more coffee - didn't work...
Question by:TheSEOGuy
    LVL 20

    Expert Comment

    Enter "Setup" F2 at Dell screen and highlight "SATA Operation", there you "Turn OFF" Raid. Save settings. XP should install in PATA mode...

    If you have a "Floppy Drive" download the drivers below and "Extract" them on to a Floppy Disc and install at the F6 screen at the beginning of XP install. If you use this method do not change the Bios setting mentioned above.
    LVL 18

    Assisted Solution

    LVL 62

    Expert Comment

    by:☠ MASQ ☠
    Strange, you should just need the driver for" Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R SATA RAID Controller" that extracts from the R158601.exe floppy image.

    You shouldn't need to change the BIOS SATA settings

    Author Comment

    Tried using that newer driver, still no joy. Likewise with alternative BIOS modes.

    With the newer driver, I don't get that error message, you can continue on from the 'select external driver' section but it falls over with a 7B error when trying to start setup.

    The drive(s) have been chkdsk'd of course, nothing reported. Being a Dell, they were factory supplied with two hard drives in RAID 0. I could just wipe the lot & try and start again with it but I'm concerned that the original user might not have masters for some of the software that they need on there.
    LVL 20

    Expert Comment

    Aha...  the truth comes out!

    If they were in RAID 0 mode (striped) you WILL have issues!  I NEVER recommend using RAID 0 as a "system" disk due to recovery issues! (You may use that config  on DATA ONLY disks that do NOT ever require recovery, or are backed up externally!)

    Your choices are:
    1) Reinstall with RAID OFF... Wipe disks and do NOT use driver... Use a SINGLE DISK during OS install, then install 2nd disk...
    2) Reinstall with AHCI (RAID AUTO), use drivers and install on a SINGLE DISK, then create a RAID 1 (mirror) array with 2nd drive AFTER successfully reinstalling OS

    I am surprised you were able to successfully able to "chkdsk" the drives!  If they were truly RAID 0 (striped) they would appear as a single drive to the OS, with data scattered between the 2 physical drives...  If you ran chkdsk on the 2 drives individually, it either wasn't RAID 0. or the RAID array is already broken!

    Author Comment

    Oh believe me - if I'd have built the thing, RAID 0 would have been nowhere near it!

    Good point with the Chkdsk, it was scheduled for during Windows startup so existing drivers loaded and it was able to at least do a basic scan.

    The machine does boot, it's just that there's errors on there that I suspect would be cured by a repair install.

    I've rebuilt these in the past & F6'd the drivers with no problem but this one's being a pain.
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    This is a longshot, but I have seen rootkit infections that cause the dreaded STOP 7B error.  Have you tried running TDSSKiller (either from the system itself if it boots, or slaving the drive) to see if the MBR is infected?
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    I would attempt to slipstream the driver as this has fixed a similar issue in the past for me. Somtimes XP just hates floppies. nLite is a great tool for this.  Pretty good instruction here if you are unfamiliar with nLite:

    Author Closing Comment

    Looks like that must've been the issue after all. It'd already had full scans from Spybot, MABM & AVG but interestingly TDSS wouldn't run.

    Nuked the Array & partitions. Rebuilt as RAID 1 and used the updated drivers and good to go.

    In response to the slipstreeam comment, I already had slipstreamed CDs with those drivers on and they weren't happy either - so looks like there may well have been something rootkitty going on.

    Thanks everyone for the ideas.

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