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Computer Help Desk => Laptop Help => Topic started by: mbaldw on Aug 23, 2007, 12:39 AM

Title: Installing XP - SATA
Post by: mbaldw on Aug 23, 2007, 12:39 AM
Hi Guys,

Given how helpful you guys were with my questions regarding installing XP using an SATA optical drive, I'm hoping someone will be able to help me here too.   My Dad has just brought a new laptop from Novatech (the X60i T2350 (http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/nbrange.html?X60)).   He has a copy of Windows XP Home already, so he ordered the laptop without an O/S.   However, the laptop has an SATA hard drive fitted and I'm wondering if this is going to cause problems for the installation of XP?   He has checked the discs that came with the PC and none of them make any mention of hard disc drivers.  Moreover, neither the manual nor the Novatech website state what make/model the hard drive is, so I can't even check the manufacturer's site for the drivers.   Finally, even if I was able to find the drivers, his laptop doesn't have a floppy drive!   So, my questions are as follows:

1. Is there any way of finding out (without having an O/S installed - perhaps through the BIOS) the make/model of the hard disc?

2. If I am able to get the drivers for the drive, can these be loaded from a USB device during the XP install?   If not, is slip-streaming the only viable alternative?

3. If I cannot get the drivers, I presume I will need to change the SATA settings in the BIOS to 'IDE Mode' in order to complete the install?   I assume that this would bring about some (possibly minor) performance downgrades cf. the full SATA mode, but I guess it's not possible to change it back to SATA mode after the O/S is installed?

Many thanks for your time.
Cheers,
Marc.
Title: Re: Installing XP - SATA
Post by: Chandler on Aug 23, 2007, 11:45 AM
Personally I would use "IDE Mode" because that way you can use the standard Windows drivers and not some potentially buggy 3rd party SATA driver.  I would do this even if I could supply SATA drivers on a floppy disk at install time.
Title: Re: Installing XP - SATA
Post by: mbaldw on Aug 23, 2007, 12:41 PM
Thanks Chandler.   I 'spoke' (online chat session) with one of the Novatech techies earlier today and his response was pretty-much: 'You should find the SATA controllers on the CDs supplied with the laptop, so copy them to a floppy drive...oh, wait...none of our laptops come with floppy drives, do they?'   As you suggest, I think IDE mode is the best option (not least because I'm not at all sure what I'm doing when it comes to slipstreaming!).   I assume that he's unlikely to notice much/any difference in the performance between IDE and full SATA mode?   My Dad only uses the PC for pretty everyday tasks (Office, e-mails, web & some fairly light video editing).

Cheers,
Marc.
Title: Re: Installing XP - SATA
Post by: Chandler on Aug 23, 2007, 01:09 PM
For SATA (SATA-1) you probably won't notice any difference at all.  For SATA-II you lose support for NCQ, but to be honest I haven't noticed much of an improvement from NCQ anyway.
Title: Re: Installing XP - SATA
Post by: Mark H on Aug 23, 2007, 06:26 PM
The hard drives are not fast enough to bog down on SATA I, SATA II or IDE at this time, so you shouldn't find any loss in performance setting the BIOS to use IDE.

Mark H
Title: Re: Installing XP - SATA
Post by: mbaldw on Aug 30, 2007, 03:17 AM
Hi Guys,

Thanks very much for the advice.   It looks like Novatech had set the controller to be IDE anyway.   We had no problems installing the O/S and all seems to be working well.   Thanks again for your help.

Cheers,
Marc.
Title: Re: Installing XP - SATA
Post by: Carskick on Sep 01, 2007, 08:10 AM
A friend of mine is having a similar problem.

He has a Gateway laptop whose windows stopped booting completely out of the blue, (no pun intended) and his Gateway recovery system or disk won't boot properly, it just gets to please wait and sits there for hours even without doing anything. So I tried booting to a WinXP disk to see if I could run a boot fix, but WinXP installer said it didn't see a hard drive, as his is apparently SATA. Gateway has a floppy disk driver available, but of course, his laptop does not have a floppy drive. His BIOS does not have an IDE mode, so I guess the only solution is to buy an external floppy drive.

What a pain.
Title: Re: Installing XP - SATA
Post by: query on Sep 03, 2007, 09:27 AM
There is another option.  Make a slipstreamed CD with the SATA driver on it.

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/How-To--Slipstream-your-XP-installation
Title: Re: Installing XP - SATA
Post by: Carskick on Sep 13, 2007, 11:19 PM
Thanks Query,

I'll give that a try in the next couple of days, as he still hasn't picked up an external floppy yet. Looks like a relatively involved process, though.