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Gateway laptop needs rid of VISTA

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  • User profile image
    Banker2004

    I bought a new Gateway laptop last week and it will not work with a software program that I must have for work -- the software vendor will not support VISTA for another 8 months.

    So, I bought new copy of XP Pro Ugrade to install over it.  I found that it will not work.

    I tried my XP Home full install that I know works and when it starts to load it says there is no "fixed drive".

    FDISK and deleted all partitions, formated and got the same no "fixed drive" message.

    I backed off to full version of win98se and it formats, then loads, then reboots and tells me that a TSR is running and I must remove TSRs from the config.sys and autoexe.bat files in order to free up resorces.  When I looked nothing was in the config.sys and I did not find the autoexe.bat....

    There must be a better way.  I own every version of win produced to date, but it seems that even after formating the drive -- VISTA is leaving something behind that messes up the installs of everything else.

    Do I need a hard drive utility other than FDISK?

    Can someone tell me how I can get my PC to the ready state for the Upgrade XP Pro to load?

    Thanks in advance

  • User profile image
    YearOfThe​LinuxDesktop

    are you certain you loaded the right drivers during the XP install? I saw many PCs that were working with vista but not with previous windows releases because they had hardware that XP did not support without loading the correct drivers during the XP setup (like the SCSI or SATA drivers).

  • User profile image
    eagle

    A dual boot of Windows Vista and XP Pro works great for me.

    You must install XP first on the D:/ drive, then install Vista on C:/.

  • User profile image
    Banker2004

    I think your on the right track with hard drive driver support advice.  The lapotop has a Hitachi 5k160.  Its an SATA hard drive.  I checked with Hitachi and they say FDISK and FORMAT will work.

    I was hoping to find that Hitachi had a "driver utility" but their web page makes no mention of a utility to format the drive so the NTSF (?) partition is correct for XP to see it and load to it.  XP gets to the point of loading the OS then it stops and says the PC has no "fix drive" to load to.  I suspected this was due to it being an SATA drive and needing the manufacture's driver to address the drive during the XP load.  When XP is starting it asked to F6 in the event you have to load hard drive third party software for SCSI or RAID support on the drive -- not asking about SATA I did nothing at that time.  Perhaps SATA was not a product when XP was developed (?)

    This is where my knowledge and skills become limited.  I will google XP load on SATA and see where that leads me.

    How do I get the SATA drive into the laptop during the load and where do I get them from?

    Is there a utility that I need to get?

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    Banker2004 wrote:
    Perhaps SATA was not a product when XP was developed (?)


    Correct it wasn't. At the point where you are prompted to load RAID drivers follow those instructions.

  • User profile image
    Banker2004

    I have the Gateway "bootable CD" with drivers on it.  I just put it in and run the FORMAT c: command - it is 60% complete with the format right now.

    My limited knowledge still makes me worry.  I think it will only format a DOS partition -- perhaps not a NTSF (SP) drive?

    The CD has nearly everything you would exspect to see on a win98 boot disk and it all runs from a DOS prompt.

    Do you think I will continue to have trouble even after the format with the Gateway untility CD?

    I ask because I used a win98 boot CD and partitioned the dirve in my past effort.  FDISK and FORMAT /s and got no further with that move either.  XP still reported there was no "fix drive" in the laptop to load to during the install. 

    Before trying the Gateway CD to format the drive this morning I did try a re-install of XP Pro and when promted for drive support I hit "F6" and then "s" to manualy select -- but it did not ask for drivers or tell me to place the Gateway CD in the CD-ROM drive like I thought it would.  It did load a bunch of "generic" SCSI and RAID drivers (not SATA), but at no time did it ask me to make a selection or request that I use my owne Gateway CD. 

    I think I need a NTSF partioned SATA drive for XP Pro to see the drive(?)

    Any advise on that?

  • User profile image
    Banker2004

    Still pulling out what little hair I have left.....

    After formating c: with Gateway CD I ran XP Pro again and it failed to see the hard drive.  I suspect that is because the SATA drive has a Dos partition and not a NTSF after the format.

    So, I loaded XP PRo again and hit F6....then before hitting S I placed the Gateway driver CD in the CD-ROM.

    XP then told me that NO "floppy dive" was detected, therefore no drivers could be loaded.  It did not seek out the e: CD-ROM.

    How do I overcome that?

     

  • User profile image
    YearOfThe​LinuxDesktop

    you need to create a floppy disk with the drivers for the s.ata controller.


    if your laptop doesn't have a floppy disk then you're screwed unless you download nlite and use it to build another XP cd with the s.ata drivers integrated in it. be sure to use a cdrw because it could require several tries to find out the right s.ata driver.

  • User profile image
    csv

    Check your BIOS settings. On my Thinkpad, I must set the SATA controller to Compatibility mode before I can install Windows XP. Once XP and service pack 2 are installed, then I can set the controller back to AHCI mode. On my laptop the item for setting this is called:
    SATA Controller Mode Option.

    Chuck

  • User profile image
    Banker2004

    Guess I am screwed....the laptop does not have a floppy -- and no option to buy it. 

    Did Microsoft not get the memo that the floppy drive was replaced by the CD-ROM 6 years ago?????????

    And, why would they not support SATA in the XP Home/Pro?  Did they think no one was buying SATA drives?.........

    "unless you download nlite and use it to build another XP cd with the s.ata drivers integrated in it."

    Looking into "nlite" -- never heard of it but I will give it a try.

    Can you point me to a link on the net that might give the details on how to integrate the drives into the "new" XP Pro CD?

    You guys are GREAT....thanks for getting me in the correct direction!

  • User profile image
    Banker2004

    Crazy thought.....

    Can I buy a external floppy (USB) for my laptop just to support the XP Pro install?

    Will XP PRO see the external floppy on boot-up during the installation?????????  Or, will this require drivers to be loaded like the SATA HDD -- via an internal existing floppy (that I do not have)?

    I was thinking of buying a USB floppy for the laptop....not sure if they sell any other types of external floppy.......

  • User profile image
    csv

    Did you check your BIOS settings yet, per my post above?

  • User profile image
    Banker2004

    Yes, just looked at my BIOS settings....they are very very simple and not nearly as complex as your Thinkpad.

    The only HDD option I had to change was "Dos" vs. "other"....

    It was set to Dos....so I changed it to other and trying the XP Pro load again.

    I do own:

    Win98se
    Win 2000 Pro
    XP Home (full version)
    XP Pro (full version)
    XP Pro (upgrade)

    Laptop has NO "floppy".....

    I tried the Win98se and it failed....so I am trying the load for the last two days with just XP Pro (full).

    Should I be using something else in my MS inventory????????

    While in BIOS I see option to "boot from LAN"....I have a LAN -- is there a way to load XP Pro from the LAN that could get me around the lack of having a floppy to install the HDD SATA drivers during XP installation?

  • User profile image
    csv

    It may not be listed under HDD in your BIOS. Essentially, you want to turn AHCI off. If you google, you will find a lot users with problems installing XP when AHCI is enabled. They get the same error you get, No Fixed Disk Found.

    I believe that only some USB floppy drives are recognized by XP during install. Sorry, I do not know which ones.

    Chuck

  • User profile image
    Banker2004

    OK, so I found this link that walks through the process of creating the "new" XP install CD winth the SATA drivers on it.  I will try it using NLITE as you have spoke of in previous postings.

    http://news.softpedia.com/news/Install-Windows-XP-On-SATA-Without-a-Floppy-F6-47807.shtml

    Additionally, I will look at my BOIS settings again to see if the HDD options you refer to are listed in another section of the BIOS.

    The BIOS was very very simple and not nearly as complex with options as some are.

    But it is worth a revisit to the BIOS before I embark on creating the "new" XP PRO install/SATA driver CD.

    Thanks again for all your support.

  • User profile image
    Banker2004

    Looked at the BIOS settings again and checked options for each one that was selectable (less than 12 settings can actually be changed).

    No AHCI options.  The PhoenixBIOS version 77.09 is very very limited.

    You can change the time and date, HDD (dos vs. other), and the order that you want devices to boot -- and that's about it.

    All the "drive" information is "static display info" -- the HDD is listed as a Hitachi SATA but no options can be selected.

    Brian

  • User profile image
    Banker2004

    My googles are turning up a lot on "VISTA and XP PRO Dual Boot".

    I am tireing -- can you tell.....its been long 5 days working with this challenge.

    I think I may look into the dual boot option and just run the laptop on the XP PRO build.

    VISTA is not compatible with a program called "One-Site" that we use for a business application and they will not support VISTA for another 8 months (if ever).  So that is my driving motivation to getting VISTA off this new laptop.

    I did try to buy a laptop with XP but Circuit City was my only sorce and they offer only VISTA on all their laptops.

  • User profile image
    rssvihla

    Banker2004 wrote:
    Guess I am screwed....the laptop does not have a floppy -- and no option to buy it. 

    Did Microsoft not get the memo that the floppy drive was replaced by the CD-ROM 6 years ago?????????

    And, why would they not support SATA in the XP Home/Pro?  Did they think no one was buying SATA drives?.........

    "unless you download nlite and use it to build another XP cd with the s.ata drivers integrated in it."

    Looking into "nlite" -- never heard of it but I will give it a try.

    Can you point me to a link on the net that might give the details on how to integrate the drives into the "new" XP Pro CD?

    You guys are GREAT....thanks for getting me in the correct direction!


    Windows XP was released in October 2001, the SATA 1.0 spec itself was released in  August 2001, so even if there had been widely available commercial drives/controllers ..they wouldnt have been finalized in time for them to make it into XP that next month.  Also in 2001 floppies were standard equipment.

    Even worse the first sata controllers didn't have any "compatability mode' that you find in most modern controllers that allow you to install XP without F6'ing in the driver.

    Nowadays, this is largely a thing of the past, and its rare for a notebook like yours to need updated drivers for the sata controller.  It normally speeds up the install substantially but every day thousands of installs onto sata controllers occur without f6'ing the drivers in.

    Also, note usb floppy usually does the trick ( I carry one with me now for onsites for this reason), again depending on how recent the equipment is.  Normally if the machine has no floppy its recent enough to use a usb one for F6'ing in the drivers.  Now I usually only go through this process on servers with raid controllers..and not basic sata controllers, but it may apply in your case.

    Anyway best of luck but I wanted to give you some background about your problem, and hopefully give you a better understanding of your situation..rest assured technicians get around the issues your experiencing without breaking a sweat..you'll get through this wiser when its all said and done.

    PS I havent used FDISK other than win9x installs for years. I just use the installer in xp for partitioning and formatting.  FDISK brings in a large variety of issues in of itself that I wont bore you with...just remember it was coded for the 16-bit world.

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