Unable to install XP on Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe board. I'm a moron...but hopefully not that much of one.

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Ski, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. Ski

    Ski Guest

    I have a Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe board. This board currently works great
    with Windows 2000 on a IDE drive.

    That said, now I am trying to install WinXP onto a Western Digital
    500Gig "Caviar" SATA hard drive. I am unable to get XP to load.

    Please note that I DO... REPEAT DO have a floppy disk with SATA drivers
    for WinXP and used it during the setup process, when the XP Setup CD
    asked to "press F6 to install additional drivers".

    Here is how I proceeded with the installation:

    First I disconnected all my hard drives leaving only the CD-ROM drive
    and floppy drive connected. Next I connected up the brand new 500 Gig
    Western Digital "Caviar" SATA hard drive. I made sure the cables were
    properly connected.

    I turned on the computer with the XP disk in the CD-ROM drive... at the
    prompting of the computer I pressed F8 to load the Asus Bios "Boot
    Menu"... in the boot menu I selected the CD drive and booted to it.

    XP Setup loaded whatever basic operating system it works with and then
    asked me to press F6 if I had any special drivers to install... I
    pressed F6.

    At the prompting of XP Setup I created one and only one partition on the
    hard drive (of 8 Gigs) and formated the partition with the NTSF file system.

    A bit later the XP Setup asked me to load the floppy disk with the
    special (XP SATA) drivers... I put in the floppy disk with those drivers
    and pressed the appropriate keyboard key to continue. XP started loading
    files onto the hard drive.... finally when it was 100% complete it said
    to remove the floppy disk and reboot... which I did.

    Thus far NO PROBLEMS.

    After the computer turned off and back on again, I re-entered the Asus
    boot menu and selected the one and only hard drive to boot from.

    The next thing that happened... text appeared on the screen saying:

    "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware
    configuration problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check
    boot path and disk hardware"

    Any ideas what is going on?

    Previously I had had this very problem on another driver (a Western
    Digital 74Gig Raptor SATA drive)... I told myself that it was the drive
    that was messed up and gave up installing XP (even though I got the
    drive to work as a simple file storage drive under Windows 2000).

    Now... here I am having the problem with yet another Western Digital
    drive... also a SATA drive.

    I wonder if the problem stems from the fact that I have to choose what
    drive to boot from in the Asus Bios... I wonder if it's the floppy disk
    with the drivers that is somehow not right.... I wonder, I wonder... but
    I don't have a clue.

    Please help if you can.


    Ski, Sep 29, 2006
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  2. Ski

    RBM Guest

    Just a guess on my part, but is it possible that at the point where you have
    the machine boot from the hard drive, you should still have it booting from
    the XP CD
    RBM, Sep 29, 2006
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  3. Ski

    FeMaster Guest

    That was my exact thought after reading his post as well... I don't think
    it did any installation yet, with the exception of transferring over the
    SATA drivers and possibly a few others...

    NOTE, however, that I have never used a SATA drive, let alone installed on
    one, so it's just speculation on my part...
    FeMaster, Sep 29, 2006
  4. Ski

    RBM Guest

    RBM, Sep 29, 2006
  5. Ski

    RBM Guest

    At the point that it asks for third party drivers, it hasn't loaded the
    operating system yet. I don't know that he needs to install sata drivers
    either. I have three machines with SATA hard drives and didn't have to load
    drivers for them, although I suppose it depends upon the particular SATA
    controller used.
    RBM, Sep 29, 2006
  6. Ski

    FeMaster Guest

    Not seeing a reply here? No sense quoting my post without a reply...
    FeMaster, Sep 29, 2006
  7. Ski

    FeMaster Guest

    Forget that... It showed up after this response...
    FeMaster, Sep 29, 2006
  8. There is no need to keep changing the boot drive. Set up your BIOS to boot
    in this order, CD ROM or DVD, then Floppy, then your hard drive. Make sure
    that the new hard drive is at the top of the harddrive list.

    Then install windows, there will be no need to go back into your bios and
    change the boot order, just leave it as is.

    Angry American, Sep 29, 2006
  9. Ski

    DaveW Guest

    For starters, XP cannot recognize more than 137 GB of harddrive size UNLESS
    you have the version of XP"s CD that includes SP2. As to whether you are
    loading the SATA drivers correctly onto the floppy, we have no way of
    DaveW, Sep 29, 2006
  10. Ski

    John Lewis Guest

    Also, the F6 load is only required if you want to boot WinXP from a
    RAID array. I advise reading the motherboard manual very carefully
    especially with regard to appropriate BIOS settings.

    John Lewis
    John Lewis, Sep 29, 2006
  11. Ski

    RBM Guest

    SP1 will recognize larger than 137GB also

    RBM, Sep 30, 2006
  12. Ski

    Len Mattix Guest

    Couple of things... I have the same MB and XP runs happily on my SATA drive.
    First as mentioned by another poster the XP install MUST include at least
    SP1 or the drive will not be seen. Second you should not need a driver if
    only using a single drive. Third does your bios detect the drive properly.
    I found early on that if you connect a SATA drive single to the RAID
    connectors on this board the system will not properly see the drive. I
    stayed away from the Sil RAID connections so if that is what you are using
    the story may be different.

    Len Mattix, Sep 30, 2006
  13. Ski

    Ski Guest


    Dude, you are a genius! Thank you. I have been working and unable to
    write for a day or so.... so sorry for the late response!

    Many, many thanks also to all who responded to my query.

    I have learned a few things and in the same spirit as those who have
    tried to help me I am summarizing my problem and the solution:

    Contrary to what some people have said on the Internet, when using an
    Asus A8n-SLI Deluxe motherboard, a SATA drive and Windows XP Pro, one
    does not need ANY SATA drivers UNLESS one is using a RAID array...
    Windows XP Pro HAS standard SATA drivers already! It just does not have
    SATA RAID drivers. From searches I have done with Google, it seems there
    is a lot of confusion on this last point... and not just with Asus boards.

    The Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard comes with two groups of 4 SATA
    connections on the motherboard... 4 regular ones and 4 that are loosely
    called SATA RAID... this is where my problems began. Under Windows 2000
    you can run a SATA CD-ROM drive on the SATA RAID connectors... under XP
    you cannot... or more precisely, you definitely cannot during the
    operating system installation.

    When I tried to load XP from my SATA CD-ROM, which was connected to one
    of the four SATA RAID connectors, the installation would fail with the
    error "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware
    configuration problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check
    boot path and disk hardware". The "boot disk", in this case I think the
    CD-ROM, was indeed recognized by my system BIOS... it was XP that could
    not see it... which is confusing seeing how the XP Setup disk could
    indeed boot and do stuff such as load files onto the hard drive but,
    after the re-boot necessary to complete the installation, was suddenly
    dumbstruck and incapable of seeing anything.

    The part that stumps me still is that I do not know which disk was being
    referred to in the error "Could not read from selected boot disk"... was
    it the hard drive that was unreadable or the CD-ROM? In fact, I don't
    even know if my BIOS generated that error or if it was the XP Setup
    program itself! So much for simplicity in computing! And this is the 6th
    computer I've built myself.... I guess I am still a newbie.

    Many thanks again.... and cheers to you all,

    Ski, Sep 30, 2006
  14. Ski

    Natéag Guest

    I had that (good) board. Never needed to load SATA drivers from floppy.
    That is when
    the HD is connected to the primary SATA controller.
    Natéag, Oct 2, 2006
  15. Ski

    AzraelExael Guest

    Hello Ski,

    Did you enable the RAID configuration in the BIOS? You find this
    configuration on Advance Settings. If you noticed in this section, you
    have to enable either the IDE RAID configuration or the SATA
    configuration. You have to disable the IDE and enable the SATA. You
    also have to create a "SATA Boot dist using the CD that came with your
    NVIDIA Card, it contains the RAID drivers because XP Pro do not have
    them. This is where you have to press F6 to load SCSI or RAID drivers.

    Good luck

    AzraelExael, Oct 10, 2006
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