Desktop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

SATA Drivers for Dimension E520 with RAID controller

  • Just got my new Dimension E520 with Vista Home Premium installed. I wanted XP Pro installed at purchase but was told that it was no longer available and I would have to get the new machine with Vista installed. That was fine with me because I felt that I could install XP once I had the system in my house.
    Yesterday, when I unpacked the computer and attempted to install XP. I was quickly greeted with the old BSOD. When I called technical support I was told that since I was downgrading the system I would be charged a fee for technical support. Since this was the first time I had ever turned the system on, I saw that not to be an option.
    I believe that the reason for the Blue Screen Of Death is because I am lacking the driver for my SATA hard drive or the RAID controller or both. I get the Blue screen right after the install program loads all the drivers and then attemts to start the GUI to run the remainder of the installation. How can I get the correct drivers that I need to complete the XP installation? Technical support has been no help and there is no mention of these drivers anywhere in the documentation.
  • Go into the bios and change the "sata operation" to  RAID Autodetect/ATA.  Now try to install XP.
  • Thanks for your suggestion. I just made the change, however I received the same results. The dreaded Blue Screen of Death.
    I work on computer networks all day long. That's what I do for a living. I therefore have access to a Genuine Microsoft Windows XP Pro installation disk. When it blue screens I get the typical memory dump that we are all used to seeing.
    Last night I tried something different. I grabbed a Dell Windows XP installation disk from one of our Optiplex systems at work and began to install it. However, I got the same blue screen results when I attempted to install it. The blue screen did offer a little different message though. Along with the memory dump the screen also contained a message stating that it could not find the source disk. This would mean that it could no longer read from the CD-ROM drive...... I think.
    This is what happens. I boot up to the XP setup disk. Setup begins to copy a bunch of driver files off the disk for a minute or 2. Next I get a message on the bottom left side of the screen saying "Starting Windows". This is before I type in the CD-Key or anything. it is actually right at the beginning of the installation. Anyway. It hangs at the "Starting Windows" screen for about 30-45 seconds and then Poof! BSOD. I still think that It has something to do with disk drivers but the people in teck support don't seem to know what I'm talking about. I am really going crazy with this but I am determined to get to the bottom of the matter. Vista has far too many hardware and software compatability issues right now for me to switch at this time. I wanted to buy the system with XP on it in the first place but was told that it was not available. Now that I have the system home Tech support wants me to send the machine back so they can send me one with XP on it already.  Go figure!!
    Anyway, thanks for your help. Have you any more suggestions?
  • Are you using a SP2  XP cd?
  • Yes, It's  "Genuine Microsoft" (not oem) Windows Xp Professional SP-2. Never had a problem like this in the past.
  • I have read posts and helped on some, where you need to use a third party software to erase the drive first before installing XP, you do not need to erase the entire drive but just the first few sectors.
    I have used this in the past to erase troublesome drives, just boot from the cd you make and let it run for a few minutes is all that is needed.
  • Boy do I feel stupid. After I wrote my last post I went back to change the BIOS setting for the RAID controller back to the default setting and discovered that I somehow neglected to save my settings when I exited the setup utility the first time. In other words I never actually made the change.
    I then went in and made the change again as you suggested and this time made certain that I saved the changes. I then was able to install XP.
    I just want to let you know that your tip was right on the money. Thanks for your help.
  • Measure twice, cut once, I guess this applies to computers too!  :smileywink:
  • I have another solution to this.  If anyone needs additional help, send me a message.  My solution works for people who have already tried the following:
    1. Turn RAID off in the BIOS
    2. Download the SATA drivers, put then on a floppy, boot to WinXP media, press F6 during setup
  • Posting that solution for all to see would be nice.  :smileyhappy:
  • Last time I did that, Dell deleted my post.
  • Thanks,
    That seems like the most obvious solution. I was lucky enough to get XP installed using the other method however a friend of mine hasn't been successful on his Dell. Maybe he should try this method.
    Could you please post more detailed instructions?
    Thanks again,
    Captin Computer
  • Hi friend. Would love to know where to get those drivers as I cannot load XP even when the Raid is turned off.