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Cannot format hard drive (Win XP)

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by AL_n, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. AL_n

    AL_n Guest

    My laptop is an HP 6710b. When I acquired it, I found that the only way I
    could insatall XP was to disable SATA in the BIOS. Since then, I have been
    trying to re-format the 160 GB har drive so that I can re-install XP using
    a an installation disc (created with the nLite program) that has the SATA
    driver files on it.

    Unfortunately, Win XP professional is unable to format the drive during the
    setup process. It gives me a message saying something like: "Unable to
    format the drive because it contains essential setup files" (or something
    to that effect).

    I tried going into XP recovery mode. That cave me a DOS-like C:/windows
    prompt. So I typed in "format c:" and hit enter. I thought I was in luck,
    because it said "Are you sure you want to format C:? All data on the drive
    will be lost" (or words to that efffect). I hit "yes". However, I found
    that the C: was not formatted at all. All that apparently happened was that
    most of the files thereon had ben erased.

    I reinstalled Win XP, but found that SATA mode was still inoperable. I
    guess this is because the drive was not really re-formatted.

    If that sounds likely, how do I genuinely reformat the drive in such a way
    that the SATA will work when I reinstall XP using the nLite installation
    disc?

    Many thanks,

    Al
     
    AL_n, Nov 2, 2011
    #1
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  2. AL_n

    Bob_Villa Guest

    On Nov 2, 6:45 am, "AL_n" <> wrote:
    > My laptop is an HP 6710b. When I acquired it, I found that the only way I
    > could insatall XP was to disable SATA in the BIOS. Since then, I have been
    > trying to re-format the 160 GB har drive so that I can re-install XP using
    > a an installation disc (created with the nLite program) that has the SATA
    > driver files on it.
    >
    > Unfortunately, Win XP professional is unable to format the drive during the
    > setup process. It gives me a message saying something like: "Unable to
    > format the drive because it contains essential setup files" (or something
    > to that effect).
    >
    > I tried going into XP recovery mode. That cave me a DOS-like C:/windows
    > prompt. So I typed in "format c:" and hit enter. I thought I was in luck,
    > because it said "Are you sure you want to format C:? All data on the drive
    > will be lost" (or words to that efffect). I hit "yes". However, I found
    > that the C: was not formatted at all. All that apparently happened was that
    > most of the files thereon had ben erased.
    >
    > I reinstalled Win XP, but found that SATA mode was still inoperable. I
    > guess this is because the drive was not really re-formatted.
    >
    > If that sounds likely, how do I genuinely reformat the drive in such a way
    > that the SATA will work when I reinstall XP using the nLite installation
    > disc?
    >
    > Many thanks,
    >
    > Al


    Haven't we covered this?
    http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.laptops/browse_thread/thread/ea8fd2c278169e67?hl=en#
     
    Bob_Villa, Nov 2, 2011
    #2
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  3. AL_n

    BillW50 Guest

    In news:Xns9F91770AE4A35zzzzzz@130.133.4.11,
    AL_n typed:
    > My laptop is an HP 6710b. When I acquired it, I found that the only
    > way I could insatall XP was to disable SATA in the BIOS. Since then,
    > I have been trying to re-format the 160 GB har drive so that I can
    > re-install XP using a an installation disc (created with the nLite
    > program) that has the SATA driver files on it.
    >
    > Unfortunately, Win XP professional is unable to format the drive
    > during the setup process. It gives me a message saying something
    > like: "Unable to format the drive because it contains essential setup
    > files" (or something to that effect).


    Wow! I never heard of that error before. Unless you copy the setup files
    to the hard drive or something. In that case, you should make a second
    partition to hold them.

    And formatting the drive should wipe all files out and not some of them.
    If some of them are still there, something is seriously wrong. I dunno,
    bad hard drive, bad controller, loose cable, or something.

    > I tried going into XP recovery mode. That cave me a DOS-like
    > C:/windows prompt. So I typed in "format c:" and hit enter. I thought
    > I was in luck, because it said "Are you sure you want to format C:?
    > All data on the drive will be lost" (or words to that efffect). I hit
    > "yes". However, I found that the C: was not formatted at all. All
    > that apparently happened was that most of the files thereon had ben
    > erased.
    >
    > I reinstalled Win XP, but found that SATA mode was still inoperable. I
    > guess this is because the drive was not really re-formatted.
    >
    > If that sounds likely, how do I genuinely reformat the drive in such
    > a way that the SATA will work when I reinstall XP using the nLite
    > installation disc?
    >
    > Many thanks,
    >
    > Al


    It should work without any problems. Unless something is wrong like I
    mentioned above. Or the wrong SATA driver or something. The BIOS doesn't
    support RAID mode, does it? If it does, turn it off.

    --
    Bill
    Asus EEE PC 702G8 ~ 2GB RAM ~ 16GB-SDHC
    Windows XP SP2
     
    BillW50, Nov 2, 2011
    #3
  4. AL_n

    AL_n Guest

    "BillW50" <> wrote in news:j8rcea$lpm$:

    > It should work without any problems. Unless something is wrong like I
    > mentioned above. Or the wrong SATA driver or something. The BIOS doesn't
    > support RAID mode, does it? If it does, turn it off.


    There is no mention of RAID in the BIOS. Would it be worth trying some kind
    of low-level formatting utility or something?

    Al
     
    AL_n, Nov 2, 2011
    #4
  5. AL_n

    AL_n Guest

    AL_n, Nov 2, 2011
    #5
  6. AL_n

    Tazz Guest

    On 02/11/2011 9:38 AM, AL_n wrote:
    > Bob_Villa<> wrote in
    > news::
    >
    >> Haven't we covered this?
    >> http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.laptops/browse_thread/thread/ea
    >> 8fd2c278169e67?hl=en#

    >
    > That thread didn't cover this particular problem of not being able to
    > format the drive.
    >
    > Al



    Have you tried fdisk?

    If you wanted to really erase the drive and start from scratch try
    Darik's Boot And Nuke (http://www.dban.org/download). It'll write to and
    erase the drive multiple times to ensure nothing gets left behind,
    although I've heard it takes a while since it does the whole drive.



    --

    </Tazz>
     
    Tazz, Nov 2, 2011
    #6
  7. AL_n

    mike Guest

    AL_n wrote:
    > My laptop is an HP 6710b. When I acquired it, I found that the only way I
    > could insatall XP was to disable SATA in the BIOS. Since then, I have been
    > trying to re-format the 160 GB har drive so that I can re-install XP using
    > a an installation disc (created with the nLite program) that has the SATA
    > driver files on it.
    >
    > Unfortunately, Win XP professional is unable to format the drive during the
    > setup process. It gives me a message saying something like: "Unable to
    > format the drive because it contains essential setup files" (or something
    > to that effect).
    >
    > I tried going into XP recovery mode. That cave me a DOS-like C:/windows
    > prompt. So I typed in "format c:" and hit enter. I thought I was in luck,
    > because it said "Are you sure you want to format C:? All data on the drive
    > will be lost" (or words to that efffect). I hit "yes". However, I found
    > that the C: was not formatted at all. All that apparently happened was that
    > most of the files thereon had ben erased.
    >
    > I reinstalled Win XP, but found that SATA mode was still inoperable. I
    > guess this is because the drive was not really re-formatted.
    >
    > If that sounds likely, how do I genuinely reformat the drive in such a way
    > that the SATA will work when I reinstall XP using the nLite installation
    > disc?
    >
    > Many thanks,
    >
    > Al


    What's keeping you from downloading the live GPARTED CD and booting that
    to partition/format your drive?

    I don't understand your particular situation, so I'll rattle off some issues
    I've had.

    Drive passed diagnostics and SMART. I could read/write it in an external
    USB enclosure, but would not format.
    Turned out to be a bad TRACK 0. Drive was toast.

    Many laptops got downgraded from Vista to XP.
    No knowledge of Vista, but Win7 creates a hidden partition at the front
    of the drive. I had all manner of problems with any low level tools like
    drive image backups until I repartitioned/reformatted the drive without
    that hidden stuff using GPARTED. Don't have any real facts, but it appears
    that the BIOS creates a table of partitions and passes it to the OS.
    Win7 starts booting, then substitutes its own DIFFERENT table and complains
    that it can't find the drive it's been booting from. Pulls the rug right
    out from under itself and crashes.

    My SATA experience is mostly with desktops containing both IDE and SATA
    drives. I've been unable to get the system to boot from an IDE drive if
    a SATA drive is installed and turned on in the BIOS. Doesn't matter whether
    the partition table thinks it's not bootable, it ALWAYS attempts to boot
    the enabled SATA drive and crashes. This too, sounds like a partition
    mapping issue.

    I've tried to image an IDE "C" drive and restore it to a SATA "C" drive.
    Was never successful. I'm guessing that it's the same problem as the hidden
    partition. The BIOS and the OS have different pointers to partitions.
    The system starts to boot, then pulls the rug out from under itself.

    I have zero experience running a SATA drive in IDE mode. Gotta be
    some hardware abstraction in the middle. I don't expect you can
    install an OS in one mode and switch to the other 'cause of the suspected
    mapping issues.

    NO real facts, just things to think about.
     
    mike, Nov 2, 2011
    #7
  8. AL_n

    none Guest

    For drive preparation, I found that Format /mbr saves headaches. Then,
    for drive partitioning and formatting, I favor either the drive
    manufacturer's boot disk utility (as some of these will load the SATA
    driver for XP to find during installation) or GParted. When all else
    fails, I hook it up to my Apple G4 and do a secure-erase with format
    to Mac FS. Next time Windows sees that drive, it will want to
    repartition and format it.

    BTW, early in XP install, Set-up asks you for any necessary storage
    device controller drivers. That is a good time to load them, whether
    from drive A or a USB stick or a slip-streamed directory.

    My experience is mostly with industry-standard Pentiums, and a few
    thousand Dells, mostly OptiPlex and Latitude, of P-II to P-4/CoreDuo
    vintage. My experience with them says they work, and installs go
    smooth (if you have the right install disks). My experience with HP's
    computers is limited to a few dozen, but a lot more models. They are
    extremely fussy to do installs on, and I would only own one from their
    business line (like my Opteron workstation is).
     
    none, Nov 2, 2011
    #8
  9. AL_n

    AL_n Guest

    mike <> wrote in news:j8s37n$ne5$:

    > AL_n wrote:
    >> My laptop is an HP 6710b. When I acquired it, I found that the only
    >> way I could insatall XP was to disable SATA in the BIOS. Since then,
    >> I have been trying to re-format the 160 GB har drive so that I can
    >> re-install XP using a an installation disc (created with the nLite
    >> program) that has the SATA driver files on it.
    >>
    >> Unfortunately, Win XP professional is unable to format the drive
    >> during the setup process. It gives me a message saying something
    >> like: "Unable to format the drive because it contains essential setup
    >> files" (or something to that effect).
    >>
    >> I tried going into XP recovery mode. That cave me a DOS-like
    >> C:/windows prompt. So I typed in "format c:" and hit enter. I thought
    >> I was in luck, because it said "Are you sure you want to format C:?
    >> All data on the drive will be lost" (or words to that efffect). I hit
    >> "yes". However, I found that the C: was not formatted at all. All
    >> that apparently happened was that most of the files thereon had ben
    >> erased.
    >>
    >> I reinstalled Win XP, but found that SATA mode was still inoperable.
    >> I guess this is because the drive was not really re-formatted.
    >>
    >> If that sounds likely, how do I genuinely reformat the drive in such
    >> a way that the SATA will work when I reinstall XP using the nLite
    >> installation disc?
    >>
    >> Many thanks,
    >>
    >> Al

    >
    > What's keeping you from downloading the live GPARTED CD and booting
    > that to partition/format your drive?
    >
    > I don't understand your particular situation, so I'll rattle off some
    > issues I've had.
    >
    > Drive passed diagnostics and SMART. I could read/write it in an
    > external USB enclosure, but would not format.
    > Turned out to be a bad TRACK 0. Drive was toast.
    >
    > Many laptops got downgraded from Vista to XP.
    > No knowledge of Vista, but Win7 creates a hidden partition at the
    > front of the drive. I had all manner of problems with any low level
    > tools like drive image backups until I repartitioned/reformatted the
    > drive without that hidden stuff using GPARTED. Don't have any real
    > facts, but it appears that the BIOS creates a table of partitions and
    > passes it to the OS. Win7 starts booting, then substitutes its own
    > DIFFERENT table and complains that it can't find the drive it's been
    > booting from. Pulls the rug right out from under itself and crashes.
    >
    > My SATA experience is mostly with desktops containing both IDE and
    > SATA drives. I've been unable to get the system to boot from an IDE
    > drive if a SATA drive is installed and turned on in the BIOS. Doesn't
    > matter whether the partition table thinks it's not bootable, it ALWAYS
    > attempts to boot the enabled SATA drive and crashes. This too, sounds
    > like a partition mapping issue.
    >
    > I've tried to image an IDE "C" drive and restore it to a SATA "C"
    > drive. Was never successful. I'm guessing that it's the same problem
    > as the hidden partition. The BIOS and the OS have different pointers
    > to partitions. The system starts to boot, then pulls the rug out from
    > under itself.
    >
    > I have zero experience running a SATA drive in IDE mode. Gotta be
    > some hardware abstraction in the middle. I don't expect you can
    > install an OS in one mode and switch to the other 'cause of the
    > suspected mapping issues.
    >
    > NO real facts, just things to think about.



    Thanks for the input. I have just put the drive into a USB caddy and will
    try formatting it with my desktop PC running Vista.

    Al
     
    AL_n, Nov 3, 2011
    #9
  10. AL_n

    AL_n Guest

    mike <> wrote in news:j8s37n$ne5$:

    > What's keeping you from downloading the live GPARTED CD and booting
    > that to partition/format your drive?


    I put the drive into a USB caddy and formatted it on my Vista PC. It
    formatted without problems.

    I reinstalled the drive into the laptop and then ran Gparted to create a
    new partition (I made it the full capacity of the drive, almost). I then
    formatted it to NFTS, and then installed XP again, ising a disc created
    with nLite, with the SATA driver slipstreamed onto it.

    I did hit f2 when prompted when I started installing XP. I then saw it
    loading a bunch of drivers. I'm not sure if the SATA driver was among them.
    I don;t think so.

    Unfortunately, the system still won't boot into XP wen SATA is enabled in
    the BIOS.

    I shall continue to hunt for another means of installing the SATA drivers
    so that they eable me to use SATA. The 160 GB drive is a Hitachi 5K320-160
    Model: HTS543216L9A300

    Al
     
    AL_n, Nov 3, 2011
    #10
  11. AL_n

    mike Guest

    AL_n wrote:
    > mike <> wrote in news:j8s37n$ne5$:
    >
    >> What's keeping you from downloading the live GPARTED CD and booting
    >> that to partition/format your drive?

    >
    > I put the drive into a USB caddy and formatted it on my Vista PC. It
    > formatted without problems.
    >
    > I reinstalled the drive into the laptop and then ran Gparted to create a
    > new partition (I made it the full capacity of the drive, almost). I then
    > formatted it to NFTS, and then installed XP again, ising a disc created
    > with nLite, with the SATA driver slipstreamed onto it.
    >
    > I did hit f2 when prompted when I started installing XP. I then saw it
    > loading a bunch of drivers. I'm not sure if the SATA driver was among them.
    > I don;t think so.
    >
    > Unfortunately, the system still won't boot into XP wen SATA is enabled in
    > the BIOS.
    >
    > I shall continue to hunt for another means of installing the SATA drivers
    > so that they eable me to use SATA. The 160 GB drive is a Hitachi 5K320-160
    > Model: HTS543216L9A300
    >
    > Al

    I got no experience with running a sata drive in ide mode.
    ..
    But, let's check some things.

    If you use BIOS emulation to run a SATA drive in IDE mode, you probably
    have to set it either way before you do anything else and LEAVE IT THAT
    WAY FOREVER.

    When you used GPARTED to partition/format the drive, did you remember
    to set the "bootable flag"?


    What's the error message when you try to boot xp from the HD?
    Did you try booting the install cd into repair mode and running
    fixmbr
    and
    fixboot
    ?

    Your description suggests that the xp installation completed
    successfully. During that process, the system had to reboot at least once.


    Refresh my memory...did this laptop boot/run with this disk before you
    started messing with it? Which OS? Which service pack? Or did you
    acquire it this way?

    Where did you get the XP ones and zeros for the nlite disk? Which
    service pack? Was the hardware designed to run XP or was it downgraded from
    Vista or Win7?
    There are
    a lot of potential issues with this process. M$, in efforts to discourage
    piracy, has made it very difficult to do anything other than a standard
    install from a standard XP CD to standard hardware. While it's possible to
    extract the ones and zeros from a laptop reinstall directory/partition
    and modify it with tools like nlite to create a custom install CD,
    that process is fraught with little details that can scuttle the project.

    Sounds like the scope of your problem is too big. Try to divide it into
    smaller chunks.

    Did you try a different hard drive?

    When you had the drive USB'd to your Vista system, did you look at the
    SMART data or try to run a disk diagnostic on it?
    Some usb drive controllers can look at SMART, some can't. Just gotta try
    it. But even that's not conclusive. I've had drives pass SMART, but
    still fail to run.

    Did you try installing linux to the HD on the laptop?
    Different distributions have different problems with different hardware.
    I like PUPPY linux cause it's small and quick and very easy to install.
    Ubuntu is popular, but recent versions have had lots of issues.
    Making linux work would verify that your hardware can be made to work.
    Then you can go back to looking at the XP install CD to find the problem.

    If you have a genuine unmodified XP SP2 or SP3 CD, I'd try that.
    IRRC, there are SATA issues with SP1 and earlier.
     
    mike, Nov 3, 2011
    #11
  12. AL_n

    AL_n Guest

    mike <> wrote in news:j8up0b$nie$:

    > I got no experience with running a sata drive in ide mode.
    > .
    > But, let's check some things.
    >
    > If you use BIOS emulation to run a SATA drive in IDE mode, you
    > probably have to set it either way before you do anything else and
    > LEAVE IT THAT WAY FOREVER.
    >
    > When you used GPARTED to partition/format the drive, did you remember
    > to set the "bootable flag"?


    No - I didn't see any mention of a "bootable flag".

    > What's the error message when you try to boot xp from the HD?


    There is no error message. If I enable SATA Native Mode in the BIOS, XP
    just won't load. You briefly see an XP color logo screen, then it goes
    black and reboots up to a point where it invites me to choose between
    staring Windows in Safe Mode vs Normal etc. If I choose either, it just
    restarts and boots back to that same screen. If you hit "start Windows
    Normally, it takes you as farr as the first XP colored logo screen, then it
    restarts.

    > Did you try booting the install cd into repair mode and running
    > fixmbr
    > and
    > fixboot


    No, I didn't. Should I do that?

    > Your description suggests that the xp installation completed
    > successfully. During that process, the system had to reboot at least
    > once.


    Yes. But I had to set the BIOS to "SATA Native Mode disabled"
    >
    >
    > Refresh my memory...did this laptop boot/run with this disk before you
    > started messing with it? Which OS? Which service pack? Or did you
    > acquire it this way?


    I acquired it (and the hard drive) in used condition. The hard drive had
    been formatted. The only OS I have ever loaded onto it is XP pro.

    > Where did you get the XP ones and zeros for the nlite disk?


    The ones and zeros? Sorry I don't understand what you mean.


    Which service pack?

    SP3

    Was the hardware designed to run XP or was it
    > downgraded from Vista or Win7?


    Sorry; I have no idea. I think this HP 6710b laptop seems to have been
    first available around 2007, judging by the dates of reviews and user
    comments on the web.


    > There are
    > a lot of potential issues with this process. M$, in efforts to
    > discourage piracy, has made it very difficult to do anything other
    > than a standard install from a standard XP CD to standard hardware.
    > While it's possible to extract the ones and zeros from a laptop
    > reinstall directory/partition and modify it with tools like nlite to
    > create a custom install CD, that process is fraught with little
    > details that can scuttle the project.
    >
    > Sounds like the scope of your problem is too big. Try to divide it
    > into smaller chunks.
    >
    > Did you try a different hard drive?


    No, not yet. I do have a Western Digital 'Scorpio' WD25008EVS (250 gb)
    laptop drive, circa 2008, that would fit. it's full of data and has no OS.
    I could save the data to my Desktop, at a pinch.

    > When you had the drive USB'd to your Vista system, did you look at the
    > SMART data or try to run a disk diagnostic on it?
    > Some usb drive controllers can look at SMART, some can't. Just gotta
    > try it. But even that's not conclusive. I've had drives pass SMART,
    > but still fail to run.


    No - I didn't perform any diagnostics. What is the best easily-available
    diagnostic tool to use?
    >
    > Did you try installing linux to the HD on the laptop?


    No - I don't have any Linux discs.

    > Different distributions have different problems with different
    > hardware. I like PUPPY linux cause it's small and quick and very easy
    > to install.
    > Ubuntu is popular, but recent versions have had lots of issues.
    > Making linux work would verify that your hardware can be made to work.
    > Then you can go back to looking at the XP install CD to find the
    > problem.
    >
    > If you have a genuine unmodified XP SP2 or SP3 CD, I'd try that.
    > IRRC, there are SATA issues with SP1 and earlier.


    Thanks for your suggestions. If any of my answers above provide any new
    clues, please let me know..

    Al
     
    AL_n, Nov 3, 2011
    #12
  13. AL_n

    AL_n Guest

    mike <> wrote in news:j8up0b$nie$:

    > I got no experience with running a sata drive in ide mode.
    > .
    > But, let's check some things.
    >
    > If you use BIOS emulation to run a SATA drive in IDE mode, you
    > probably have to set it either way before you do anything else and
    > LEAVE IT THAT WAY FOREVER.
    >
    > When you used GPARTED to partition/format the drive, did you remember
    > to set the "bootable flag"?


    No - I didn't see any mention of a "bootable flag".

    > What's the error message when you try to boot xp from the HD?


    There is no error message. If I enable SATA Native Mode in the BIOS, XP
    just won't load. You briefly see an XP color logo screen, then it goes
    black and reboots up to a point where it invites me to choose between
    staring Windows in Safe Mode vs Normal etc. If I choose either, it just
    restarts and boots back to that same screen. If you hit "start Windows
    Normally, it takes you as farr as the first XP colored logo screen, then
    the system restarts.

    > Did you try booting the install cd into repair mode and running
    > fixmbr
    > and
    > fixboot


    No, I didn't. Should I do that?

    > Your description suggests that the xp installation completed
    > successfully. During that process, the system had to reboot at least
    > once.


    Yes. But I had to set the BIOS to "SATA Native Mode disabled"
    >
    >
    > Refresh my memory...did this laptop boot/run with this disk before you
    > started messing with it? Which OS? Which service pack? Or did you
    > acquire it this way?


    I acquired it (and the hard drive) in used condition. The hard drive had
    been formatted. The only OS I have ever loaded onto it is XP pro.

    > Where did you get the XP ones and zeros for the nlite disk?


    The ones and zeros? Sorry I don't understand...


    Which service pack?

    SP3

    Was the hardware designed to run XP or was it
    > downgraded from Vista or Win7?


    I have no idea. I think this HP 6710b laptop was first available around
    2007, judging by the dates of reviews and user comments on the web.


    > There are
    > a lot of potential issues with this process. M$, in efforts to
    > discourage piracy, has made it very difficult to do anything other
    > than a standard install from a standard XP CD to standard hardware.
    > While it's possible to extract the ones and zeros from a laptop
    > reinstall directory/partition and modify it with tools like nlite to
    > create a custom install CD, that process is fraught with little
    > details that can scuttle the project.
    >
    > Sounds like the scope of your problem is too big. Try to divide it
    > into smaller chunks.
    >
    > Did you try a different hard drive?


    No, not yet. I do have a Western Digital 'Scorpio' WD25008EVS (250 gb)
    laptop drive, circa 2008, that would fit. it's full of data and has no
    OS. I could save the data to my Desktop, at a pinch.

    > When you had the drive USB'd to your Vista system, did you look at the
    > SMART data or try to run a disk diagnostic on it?
    > Some usb drive controllers can look at SMART, some can't. Just gotta
    > try it. But even that's not conclusive. I've had drives pass SMART,
    > but still fail to run.


    No - but I did run a Hitachi drive fitness test from a bootable disc. It
    did lots of differenttests, and returned no errors at all.

    > Did you try installing linux to the HD on the laptop?


    No - I don't have any Linux discs.

    > Different distributions have different problems with different
    > hardware. I like PUPPY linux cause it's small and quick and very easy
    > to install.
    > Ubuntu is popular, but recent versions have had lots of issues.
    > Making linux work would verify that your hardware can be made to work.
    > Then you can go back to looking at the XP install CD to find the
    > problem.
    >
    > If you have a genuine unmodified XP SP2 or SP3 CD, I'd try that.
    > IRRC, there are SATA issues with SP1 and earlier.


    Thanks for your suggestions. If any of my answers above provide any new
    clues, please let me know!

    Al
     
    AL_n, Nov 3, 2011
    #13
  14. AL_n

    AL_n Guest

    "AL_n" <> wrote in news:Xns9F92E3E9A784Czzzzzz@
    130.133.4.11:

    PS...

    There are some utilities here, offered by Hitachi (my drive is Hitachi):

    http://www.hitachigst.com/support/downloads/#DFT

    Do any of them look like they might solve my SATA issue?

    Al
     
    AL_n, Nov 3, 2011
    #14
  15. AL_n

    Bob_Villa Guest

    On Nov 3, 10:18 am, "AL_n" <> wrote:
    > mike <> wrote innews:j8s37n$ne5$:
    >
    > > What's keeping you from downloading the live GPARTED CD and booting
    > > that to partition/format your drive?

    >
    > I put the drive into a USB caddy and formatted it on my Vista PC. It
    > formatted without problems.
    >
    > I reinstalled the drive into the laptop and then ran Gparted to create a
    > new partition (I made it the full capacity of the drive, almost). I then
    > formatted it to NFTS, and then installed XP again, ising a disc created
    > with nLite, with the SATA driver slipstreamed onto it.
    >
    > I did hit f2 when prompted when I started installing XP. I then saw it
    > loading a bunch of drivers. I'm not sure if the SATA driver was among them.
    > I don;t think so.
    >
    > Unfortunately, the system still won't boot into XP wen SATA is enabled in
    > the BIOS.
    >


    >
    > Al


    This is what I recall about SATA drivers...an XP SP3 disc has the
    necessary drivers...if you use a version like SP1 (which I had) you
    use nLite to burn a slipstreamed version with SATA drivers.
    It runs in SATA mode and you don't hit F2, because you're not loading
    the drivers from a floppy. The files load, it reboots and loads XP
    from the files.
     
    Bob_Villa, Nov 3, 2011
    #15
  16. AL_n

    mike Guest

    AL_n wrote:
    > mike <> wrote in news:j8up0b$nie$:
    >
    >> I got no experience with running a sata drive in ide mode.
    >> .
    >> But, let's check some things.
    >>
    >> If you use BIOS emulation to run a SATA drive in IDE mode, you
    >> probably have to set it either way before you do anything else and
    >> LEAVE IT THAT WAY FOREVER.
    >>
    >> When you used GPARTED to partition/format the drive, did you remember
    >> to set the "bootable flag"?

    >
    > No - I didn't see any mention of a "bootable flag".


    Somewhere in the menus for GPARTED there's something like "edit flags"
    Brings up a bunch of checkboxes, one of which is "bootable".
    Try right clicking the line that describes the partition.
    >
    >> What's the error message when you try to boot xp from the HD?

    >
    > There is no error message. If I enable SATA Native Mode in the BIOS, XP
    > just won't load. You briefly see an XP color logo screen, then it goes
    > black and reboots up to a point where it invites me to choose between
    > staring Windows in Safe Mode vs Normal etc. If I choose either, it just
    > restarts and boots back to that same screen. If you hit "start Windows
    > Normally, it takes you as farr as the first XP colored logo screen, then
    > the system restarts.


    Sounds like a driver problem to me. I'd bet it revolves around
    SATA native mode disabled.
    If you press F8 during the boot to get the boot options screen,
    there's an option to log the boot process. That should spew out
    what it's doing while it boots. The last thing printed is either the last
    successful thing or the thing it was trying when it failed. you'll have
    to look up which if it matters. Problem is that it will likely flash up
    for an instant before it reboots. Should end up with a bootlog file
    that you may be able to read if you can boot a linux Cd and mount the
    C-drive.

    I'd go ask the question in the HP laptop forum. Gotta be one somewhere.
    >
    >> Did you try booting the install cd into repair mode and running
    >> fixmbr
    >> and
    >> fixboot

    >
    > No, I didn't. Should I do that?


    can't hurt
    Your system seems to be booting from the hard drive, but crashing
    when it gets to the part where drivers are loaded.
    Can't hurt to run a memory test. There's a live Cd version of memtest86.

    >
    >> Your description suggests that the xp installation completed
    >> successfully. During that process, the system had to reboot at least
    >> once.

    >
    > Yes. But I had to set the BIOS to "SATA Native Mode disabled"
    >>
    >> Refresh my memory...did this laptop boot/run with this disk before you
    >> started messing with it? Which OS? Which service pack? Or did you
    >> acquire it this way?

    >
    > I acquired it (and the hard drive) in used condition. The hard drive had
    > been formatted. The only OS I have ever loaded onto it is XP pro.
    >
    >> Where did you get the XP ones and zeros for the nlite disk?

    >
    > The ones and zeros? Sorry I don't understand...


    Somewhere, you got the original files for the XP install disk that you
    nlited. Was this a real XP disk or something downloaded or copied
    off an existing system?

    There's a thing called the hardware abstraction layer that gets loaded
    at the original install and is based on hardware detected. If that's wrong,
    I don't think there's any easy way to fix it. You have to reload the OS.
    Configuring the hard drive emulation AFTER the HAL is loaded may
    give you problems.
    >
    >
    > Which service pack?
    >
    > SP3

    That oughta work dandy with sata??? Someone else chime in here.
    >
    > Was the hardware designed to run XP or was it
    >> downgraded from Vista or Win7?

    >
    > I have no idea. I think this HP 6710b laptop was first available around
    > 2007, judging by the dates of reviews and user comments on the web.


    Should be specs and drivers on the HP site???
    >
    >
    >> There are
    >> a lot of potential issues with this process. M$, in efforts to
    >> discourage piracy, has made it very difficult to do anything other
    >> than a standard install from a standard XP CD to standard hardware.
    >> While it's possible to extract the ones and zeros from a laptop
    >> reinstall directory/partition and modify it with tools like nlite to
    >> create a custom install CD, that process is fraught with little
    >> details that can scuttle the project.
    >>
    >> Sounds like the scope of your problem is too big. Try to divide it
    >> into smaller chunks.
    >>
    >> Did you try a different hard drive?

    >
    > No, not yet. I do have a Western Digital 'Scorpio' WD25008EVS (250 gb)
    > laptop drive, circa 2008, that would fit. it's full of data and has no
    > OS. I could save the data to my Desktop, at a pinch.
    >
    >> When you had the drive USB'd to your Vista system, did you look at the
    >> SMART data or try to run a disk diagnostic on it?
    >> Some usb drive controllers can look at SMART, some can't. Just gotta
    >> try it. But even that's not conclusive. I've had drives pass SMART,
    >> but still fail to run.

    >
    > No - but I did run a Hitachi drive fitness test from a bootable disc. It
    > did lots of differenttests, and returned no errors at all.


    That's a good sign.
    >
    >> Did you try installing linux to the HD on the laptop?

    >
    > No - I don't have any Linux discs.


    Depending on which version of GPARTED live CD you have, you may be able
    to exit
    out of that program and have some limited linux capability running.
    Don't know exactly.
    Puppy download is less than 100MB.
    >
    >> Different distributions have different problems with different
    >> hardware. I like PUPPY linux cause it's small and quick and very easy
    >> to install.
    >> Ubuntu is popular, but recent versions have had lots of issues.
    >> Making linux work would verify that your hardware can be made to work.
    >> Then you can go back to looking at the XP install CD to find the
    >> problem.
    >>
    >> If you have a genuine unmodified XP SP2 or SP3 CD, I'd try that.
    >> IRRC, there are SATA issues with SP1 and earlier.

    >
    > Thanks for your suggestions. If any of my answers above provide any new
    > clues, please let me know!
    >

    I'm outa ideas.
    > Al
     
    mike, Nov 4, 2011
    #16
  17. AL_n

    dg1261 Guest

    AL_n, I agree with mike's two posts:

    "Sounds like a driver problem to me. I'd bet it revolves around SATA
    native mode disabled."

    "If you use BIOS emulation to run a SATA drive in IDE mode, you probably
    have to set it either way before you do anything else and LEAVE IT THAT
    WAY FOREVER."


    You installed XP without a SATA driver, so it isn't there when you
    change the BIOS setting. The boot process is likely failing at the
    point where it switches from Real Mode to Protected Mode--i.e., the
    point where it switches from using the 16-bit BIOS driver to using a
    32-bit Windows driver. Because of the way it was installed, it's trying
    to boot with the wrong Windows driver.

    I think you need to reinstall XP with the BIOS already set to SATA mode.
    (If it won't install that way, then I think the culprit is probably your
    slipstreamed CD failing to use the SATA driver.)

    If you don't want to reinstall, see if this article helps:

    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=294

    I haven't tried this myself, but I've heard people claim the following
    technique, derived from the above article, works:

    - leave the boot hard drive in IDE mode;

    - temporarily add a second hard drive, configured in SATA mode;

    - boot XP and let it install the SATA drivers for the second drive;

    - shutdown, remove the extra drive, reset boot hard drive to SATA mode;

    - boot XP in SATA mode.

    I suppose the process of temporarily adding a second hard drive in SATA
    mode causes XP to install the proper driver for it, which XP can then
    subsequently use for itself after the BIOS setting is changed.
     
    dg1261, Nov 4, 2011
    #17
  18. AL_n

    mike Guest

    dg1261 wrote:
    > AL_n, I agree with mike's two posts:
    >
    > "Sounds like a driver problem to me. I'd bet it revolves around SATA
    > native mode disabled."
    >
    > "If you use BIOS emulation to run a SATA drive in IDE mode, you probably
    > have to set it either way before you do anything else and LEAVE IT THAT
    > WAY FOREVER."
    >
    >
    > You installed XP without a SATA driver, so it isn't there when you
    > change the BIOS setting. The boot process is likely failing at the
    > point where it switches from Real Mode to Protected Mode--i.e., the
    > point where it switches from using the 16-bit BIOS driver to using a
    > 32-bit Windows driver. Because of the way it was installed, it's trying
    > to boot with the wrong Windows driver.
    >
    > I think you need to reinstall XP with the BIOS already set to SATA mode.
    > (If it won't install that way, then I think the culprit is probably your
    > slipstreamed CD failing to use the SATA driver.)
    >
    > If you don't want to reinstall, see if this article helps:
    >
    > http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=294
    >
    > I haven't tried this myself, but I've heard people claim the following
    > technique, derived from the above article, works:
    >
    > - leave the boot hard drive in IDE mode;
    >
    > - temporarily add a second hard drive, configured in SATA mode;
    >
    > - boot XP and let it install the SATA drivers for the second drive;
    >
    > - shutdown, remove the extra drive, reset boot hard drive to SATA mode;
    >
    > - boot XP in SATA mode.
    >
    > I suppose the process of temporarily adding a second hard drive in SATA
    > mode causes XP to install the proper driver for it, which XP can then
    > subsequently use for itself after the BIOS setting is changed.
    >
    >

    Clever, but probably hard to do in most laptops.
     
    mike, Nov 4, 2011
    #18
  19. AL_n

    Bob_Villa Guest

    "I think you need to reinstall XP with the BIOS already set to SATA
    mode.
    (If it won't install that way, then I think the culprit is probably
    your
    slipstreamed CD failing to use the SATA driver.)"

    Isn't this what I have been saying...?
     
    Bob_Villa, Nov 4, 2011
    #19
  20. AL_n

    dg1261 Guest

    mike <> wrote in news:j91p0k$8pc$:

    > Clever, but probably hard to do in most laptops.



    Ah... forgot about that part.
     
    dg1261, Nov 5, 2011
    #20
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