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UltimateSilence

Windows XP Professional RTM and SATA drives?

5 posts in this topic

Hello again, :ph34r:

Is it possible to install Windows XP Professional RTM on a SATA hard drive?

Sorry for stupid question.

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Yes it is possible. But... the age of your machine might be a good indicator of the probability you come across an additional hurdle or not.

If the PC is more than 4 years old, you have 50/50 chance that you can do it without having to provide drivers for the SATA controller.

If it is more recent, the chances increase that you will have to dig out those drivers.

-the drivers can be called "text mode drivers", "F6 drivers" or "floppy mode drivers" must come from the motherboard's manufacturer or from the controller's manufacturer (mainly Intel), NOT from the actual hard disk's manufacturer.

So 1st thing to check is if booting from the XP cd, your HDD (and possible partitions) is listed when asked where to install Windows. If not, you might have a 1st backdoor in Bios, where you might find a setting to turn the SATA controller to "compatible" or "IDE" mode. That is most probably in the advanced settings of your Bios. You won't loose anything from that change.

If still no luck (no such setting in Bios), you have two possibilities;

-load the drivers when XP boots (when it says "Press F6 to..") by providing them on a floppy (might be an usb floppy)

-rebuild your XP disc integrating those drivers with for instance a program like nLite.

--> try the easy ways first if possible.

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Yes it is possible. But... the age of your machine might be a good indicator of the probability you come across an additional hurdle or not.

If the PC is more than 4 years old, you have 50/50 chance that you can do it without having to provide drivers for the SATA controller.

If it is more recent, the chances increase that you will have to dig out those drivers.

-the drivers can be called "text mode drivers", "F6 drivers" or "floppy mode drivers" must come from the motherboard's manufacturer or from the controller's manufacturer (mainly Intel), NOT from the actual hard disk's manufacturer.

So 1st thing to check is if booting from the XP cd, your HDD (and possible partitions) is listed when asked where to install Windows. If not, you might have a 1st backdoor in Bios, where you might find a setting to turn the SATA controller to "compatible" or "IDE" mode. That is most probably in the advanced settings of your Bios. You won't loose anything from that change.

If still no luck (no such setting in Bios), you have two possibilities;

-load the drivers when XP boots (when it says "Press F6 to..") by providing them on a floppy (might be an usb floppy)

-rebuild your XP disc integrating those drivers with for instance a program like nLite.

--> try the easy ways first if possible.

Thank you, Ponch!

Very helpful and thorough.

The computer is from 2008 (no floppy drive)... Is it possible to load the drivers from anything else?

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Why RTM when SP3 can be integrated into XP Gold? Just integrate SP3. Then an easy way is to find the F6/AHCI floppy drivers as already mentioned for your disk controller manufacturer and slipstream them with n-Lite (makes it easy). Then transfer XP setup to a USB flash drive using a tool like WinToFlash and boot from it to start Setup. Installing with AHCI mode enabled in the BIOS will give the benefits of SATA, notably native command queuing for your HDD. If F6/text mode drivers aren't available, set the controller in the BIOS to IDE mode and XP will install without the need to slipstream the F6 drivers.

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It is possible.

DO note that 48-bit Logical Block Addressing is disabled by default in the RTM build of Windows XP Professional. So if the drive is larger than about 128 GB, you would need to update a hive file in the installation source used during text mode setup (I forgot which) to enable 48-bit LBA addressing. (Like what is necessary for Windows 2000 family at at least the Service Pack 3 level)

48-bit LBA was enabled by default in the Windows XP family (this does not include x64 Edition) at the Service Pack 1 level.

Edited by Ascii2
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