A7V880 windows xp install says drive is damaged

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Stephen Boulet, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. I'm trying to install windows xp home on my first SATA drive. The
    install is failing with an error message saying that the installer can't
    create a partition due to a bad hard drive.

    I know that the hard drives are fine, so I think that it's a driver issue.

    First of all, the first partition is a primary partition, and I put an
    extended partition on partition 2. I'm still able to create a primary
    partition on partition 3. Can this be an issue, putting a primary
    partition after an extended one?

    I'm using SATA but no RAID. I made a driver disk from the
    "Drivers/VIARAID/DriverDisk/MakeDisk.exe" directory of the CD that came
    with the motherboard. There is no corresponding executable to make a
    driver disk for SATA without RAID. Am I using the right driver?

    Thanks for any help.

    Stephen Boulet, Feb 18, 2005
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  2. The main question is: which drivers do I use for SATA without RAID? Is
    it the 4in1?

    Stephen Boulet, Feb 18, 2005
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  3. Stephen Boulet

    RonK Guest

    The sata drivers are on the motherboard cd.

    RonK, Feb 18, 2005
  4. Stephen Boulet

    stephen Guest

    Feel free to assume I'm an idiot and need more details.

    Is it in the SATARAID directory or the SATA directory of the CD? I
    don't use RAID but want to use SATA. Is it a question of copying files
    to a blank diskette or does there need to be a special disk image put
    on the floppy?

    The makedisk utility on the CD does not put SATA drivers that work for
    me on the floppy. I see partitions with the windows xp service pack 2
    installer, but when I try to format one the format doesn't succeed. I
    get a message saying that the drive is damaged.

    I don't believe this message since I use it for linux every day. I
    suspect that the drivers are for RAID SATA only and I'm not using the
    RAID controller. I don't know how to install the non-RAID drivers.

    stephen, Feb 18, 2005
  5. Stephen Boulet

    Paul Busby Guest

    Thus spake Stephen Boulet:
    Stephen, more detail than perhaps you need:

    It sounds like the right driver, though I recall some m/bs having two RAID
    controllers, where one is SATA only/better/easier to configure than the
    other. My A7N8X-E uses a single SI SATA controller. I copied the file to a
    floppy then pressed the relevant function key when prompted during the
    initial stage of installing XP - don't expect the floppy LED to show any
    activity at this stage. A few steps further on you select the driver. The SI
    SATA doesn't have to be configured as RAID & I presume other providers ones
    don't either?

    IIRC, Active partitions get assigned drive letters 1st, whatever discs they
    maybe on, then the logical partitions get assigned to disc 0, disc 1 etc
    then removable media last. Again IIRC, SATA doesn't assign discs as Primary
    & secondary 'cos they have a controller chip for each device. I have two
    SATA h/ds which are disc 0 & disc 1. My DVD & CDR/W are both attached to the
    two PATA channels as Masters. I did have another h/d with an active
    partition on the Primary PATA channel as Master at one point & XP got very
    confused with drive letters but I didn't bother or need to sort this out as
    I was merely copying files to SATA disc 0 then permanently removing it.

    My identical SATA drives aren't configured as RAID at this point in time.
    Disc 0 has one active partition as C containing XP with a further 5 logical
    drives in the extended partition & drive 1 contains an extended partition
    containing 6 logical drives, the 1st being dedicated to the page file. My
    CD/DVD drives have drive letters starting with Z. I can add further
    partitions, drives, USB mass storage devices etc without having to change
    any existing drive letters in XP. All I had to do was to assign Z:\ as the
    Installation path before installing anything else (using MS's free TweakUI
    for XP: My Computer\Special Folders then Installation path in the drop down
    list). This stage won't be necessary for most people & probably yourself.

    From XP, you can /easily/ change the drive letters of both partitions &
    removable media etc except for the boot drive & the partition XP is
    installed to. In most cases, drive C will be both. XP can handle more than
    one active partition I hear, though I have chosen to only have one as drive

    The other method of installing devices such as SATA without resorting to a
    floppy disc is to create a custom XP installation CD with the driver on it
    (often with the latest SP slip streamed onto it as well). This so-called
    "unattended installation" method is used more for system admin people for
    configuring identical PCs but is capable of installing all drivers,
    applications, network connections, customisations, accounts, passwords etc
    along with the OS. The level of user intervention during the install process
    can also be customised, eg, entering the Windows key, passwords etc. I
    partially used this method with SP2 slip-streamed but without the SATA
    driver 'cos I have a floppy drive in my PC. If you want to experiment with
    an unattended install at some stage:
    which also contains links to a forum dedicated to doing this.

    If you do choose this method, write to a rewriteable disc - it's very easy
    to get the syntax wrong like I did on the 1st couple of attempts. The
    incentive for me going with this added level of complexity was to customise
    the location of the entire Documents & Settings/Program Files folders to
    other partitions - it's far more difficult to do this post install. Either
    method will work with an upgrade copy of XP but will require a qualifying
    previous version of Windows installation media to be read during the
    installation process. Any qualifying media can itself be an upgrade version
    (Win98/2000). Still awake? ;)
    Paul Busby, Feb 18, 2005
  6. Stephen Boulet

    stephen Guest

    Hmm, if it's the right driver then I don't know exactly what the issue
    is. I do not right now enable RAID in the bios since I'm not using it.
    Maybe I need to have the controller enabled but put in an unused mode.
    The reason I was thinking I had the wrong driver is that it says

    IIRC my third active partition was identified as C:.

    on it

    At this point I'd be happy to know that I'm actually using the correct
    driver for my A7V880 board. It's not clear to me that I am.

    Thanks for the post, btw.

    stephen, Feb 18, 2005
  7. Stephen Boulet

    RonK Guest

    Is your hard drive a SATA or IDE drive ?
    If it is a SATA you need the SATA controller enabled in bios.
    RonK, Feb 18, 2005
  8. Stephen Boulet

    stephen Guest

    It's SATA. I did check that it was enabled in the bios -- I use the
    computer every day so my guess is that it is enabled, unless linux
    doesn't actually need bios activation to use SATA.

    It looks like Windows installer can find the partition but can't format

    stephen, Feb 19, 2005
  9. Stephen Boulet

    RonK Guest

    Are you trying to create a dual boot - Linux and XP ?
    RonK, Feb 19, 2005
  10. Stephen Boulet

    stephen Guest

    Yes I am. I know that traditionally it's always been easier to put
    windows on first and then linux (back when windows needed the first
    active partition), but I was hoping that I could install windows on the
    third active partition.

    I wanted to avoid a linux reinstall but I think it's unavoidable. I'm
    going to do a big backup and see if windows will install on the first
    active partition.

    Can XP work fine on a single partition of, say, 25G? I plan on using it
    for just games.

    stephen, Feb 19, 2005
  11. Stephen Boulet

    RonK Guest

    XP will be good on 25G.

    If you are trying to install XP you should be booting the computer with the
    XP cd in the drive. Your bios boot order will need the cdrom as the first
    boot device and the sata hard drive as the second boot device.

    When the computer boots, be prepared to hit the F6 key when you see the
    prompt on the bottom of the screen. You will also need the SATA drivers on a
    floppy drive. You have to do this or XP will not see the sata drive. When it
    gets to selecting which partition to choose you should see the 25G
    partition. Allow XP to format that partition in NTFS.

    I'm not sure if XP will provide you with a boot menu that includes your
    Linux but I have seen some web pages showing how to edit the boot menu to
    include both operating systems.

    Post back if you have any questions.
    RonK, Feb 19, 2005
  12. Thanks. I'm doing all this. I have no trouble picking out the partition
    I'd like to put xp on when the partition tool comes up during the
    install. It's just that the installer tells me my hard drive is damaged.

    Stephen Boulet, Feb 19, 2005
  13. Stephen Boulet

    Paul Busby Guest

    Thus spake Stephen Boulet:
    Ah ha, didn't realise Linux was involved. I'll let Ron help you on this one
    as I have no experience at all with it but presume that Linux can take care
    of loading XP anyhow. Much of what I posted assumed an install of XP by
    itself. Good luck getting it sorted!
    Paul Busby, Feb 19, 2005
  14. Stephen Boulet

    stephen Guest

    Ok, here's what was happening. My driver was correctly loaded. Windows
    was thinking the MBR of the first disk was 57 MB in size! I had to
    clear the partition table entirely before the install was possible.

    Lesson learned: the partition tool shipping with the XP installer isn't
    the best in the world.

    stephen, Feb 20, 2005
  15. Stephen Boulet

    Paul Busby Guest

    Thus spake :
    I've only used format/mbr once. I did read that it didn't like more than 4
    partitions but it worked with a total of 2x 6. One method is to use
    something like Partition Magic from a boot floppy before installing XP which
    is happy with Linux partitions. If SATA is to replace PATA, it really needs
    to be far more transparent to set up!
    Paul Busby, Feb 20, 2005
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