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XPS 400 installing new Hard Drive No Floppy Drive to install Dell Drivers

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This is my issue...

My Dell XPS 400 80 GB SATA hard drive crashed.  I bought a new 500 GB SATA hard drive.

While installing Windows XP Profesional, I get a prompt reading:

*Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer.

Make sure any hard disk drives are powered on and properly connected to your computer, and that any disk-related hardware configuration is correct.  This may involve running a manufacturer-supplied diagnostic or setup program.

Setup cannot ccontinue.  To quit Setup, press F3.*

I downloaded the drivers from Dell, burned them to CD-R and while reinstaling Windows I get a message to put my

"Manufacturer-supplied hardware support disk into Drive A:"

My issue is that I DO NOT HAVE A DRIVE A:  Only a drive D: and E: DVD roms.  My computer never had a Floppy disc drive.  Windows setup will not allow me to go passed this step and does not give me another option for a second drive.

Any comments or suggestions will be appreciated.

 

Verified Answer
  • Vulgan

    As you don't have a floppy driver, try the following:

    If you are not using RAID, enter the system setup, scroll down to drives, press Enter or + to expand the drive menu then down to "SATA Operation", press Enter.

    Change the SATA operation mode to "RAID Auto/ATA" press ESC to save and exit the BIOS.

    Then windows should install without a problem.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

All Replies
  • Hello Vulgan, This seems to be a common problem if you are using an original Windows XP install disk without the SATA drivers embedded in it.

    There are three options to overcome this issue, but all are not easy to accomplish.

    First, I would try to acquire a Windows XP SP1 or SP2, or SP3 disk. These versions usually have the SATA drivers embedded in them.

    Falling short of that option, you could slipstream the original Windows XP disk with the SP3 and then burn a CD that would have SP3 with the needed SATA drivers. Slipstreamimg is a little complicated, but there are instructions available to do it.

    The third option would be to purchase a USB floppy drive, copy the SATA drivers to a floppy disk, and when asked for the drivers in A:, you could load them from the USB floppy.

    You then would not receive the error and the install should proceed without issues.

    Hope this helps.

  • Hanspuppa,

    Thank you so much for replying so quickly.  I am using an original Windows XP service Pack 2 version 2002.  So it must be out of date for a computer bought late 2005 (a week from 2006).  I will see about acquiring a service pack 3.  While slipstreaming sounds more difficult than buying a USB Floppy drive, I would rather put more time than money into solving  my computer issue.

    So now I have two issues to work on and maybe you or someone reading this thread can answer for me.

    1. I am not familiar with "Slipstreaming".  Any information or links to this process would be appreciated.  I'll know if it s too advanced for my computer knowlege once I understand how involved it is.

    2. If slipstreaming is too advanced for me I'll buy a Floppy drive.  One of the two files downloaded from Dell is 3.40 MB in size.  A floppy is 1.44 MB if memory serves.  How is it possible to fit on a Floppy?  And if Zipping the file will solve the issue, will I still need windows instaled to unzip the file?

    Hanspuppy,

    Thank you again for replying.  While I might not be able to solve my problem today, your reply gives me hope that it will get fixed and that I am not the first person to deal with thi issue.  :o)

  • Hello Vulgan, I just had a thought after I read your original post again.

    You may need to go into the BIOS and see if it recogonizes the new hard drive.

    I am not exactly sure about the BIOS on your system, but I believe to enter the BIOS, when the Dell Logo appears, in the upper right corner of the screen will be two options.

    Press F2 to enter the BIOS. Once there, on the left look for the Drives section and expand it.

    The drives should be seen on the right panel.

    Look for the new 500 GB drive, and if found, move it up to the top of the list.

    The go to the boot sequence and expand that. On the right panel, make sure the first boot device is the onboard CD\DVD device and the second boot device is the new 500 GB hard drive.

    Save your settings, and with the XP disk in the optical drive, reboot the system and see if it will install the OS.

    I am trying to recall all this from memory so may be off a little, and your BIOS maynot be setup this way.

    The version of XP should be new enough to install and should have the necessary drivers on it.

    Just another suggestion.

     

  • Vulgan

    As you don't have a floppy driver, try the following:

    If you are not using RAID, enter the system setup, scroll down to drives, press Enter or + to expand the drive menu then down to "SATA Operation", press Enter.

    Change the SATA operation mode to "RAID Auto/ATA" press ESC to save and exit the BIOS.

    Then windows should install without a problem.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Hanspuppa,

    Thanks for another suggestion.  I've become quite familiar with my BIOS in the past week.  Under "Drives", the only drive above Drive 0 (my 500 GB drive) is "Diskette Drive".  I do not know how to move Drive 0 above the Diskette Drive in the list sequence.

    As a side note, yesterday I disabled the Floppy drive and Windows Setup gave me a message that it could not find a floppy drive on my machine to load OEM drivers from floppy disk.

    However, you brought up something that I could not figure out. 

    You suggested in the "Boot Sequence" to have my Onboard CD/DVD-ROM drive first, and the Onboard SATA Hard Drive second.  I tried that several days ago but BIOS will only allow me to have the CD/DVD Rom Drive first if I do not have the Hard Drive selected.  When I select the hard drive after the CD/DVD-ROM, it automatically defaults to the Hard Drive as being the first in the sequence making the CD/DVD-ROM second.  Unless you know a workaround to get them both listed, I have only the Onboard CD/DVD-ROM Drive selected right now.

    I'm currently trying to download Windows SP 3 from their website.  But I'm having delays because it tries to update the computer I am currently using instead of offering me a download to burn to CD (or make a diskette) to be transferred to another computer.

    Additional suggestions are welcome and I'll give an update once something new happens on my end.

    Thanks again for your continuing help.  :o)

  • Bev, you were absolutely correct!  Big Smile

    As soon as I changed that setting, windows was able to see my hard drive.  Now I get to go through the fun and exciting part of reinstalling all the software and hardware that I installed over the past three years.  LOL  And I can't think of anything I would like to do more.  Thank you so much!

    Hanspuppa, thank you again for your time and effort in assisting me with this issue.  I have been dealing with this problem for almost two weeks now and no internet access.  I had confidence that once I could get access to a Dell forum that there would be people like you and Bev that enjoy helping others solve their computer problems that would be able to help me out.

    Thank you both again for your help.  I'll give an update if any new issues arise.

  • Hello Vulgan, That's really great news.

    Sometimes these things can be difficult, especially dealing with the Dell BIOS settings.

    They are unlike any other.

    Thanks to shesagordie, (Bev) for her insight and help.

    And thank you for the update. Many reslove their issues and never give updates for others that may have the same or simular issue.

    I know you system will perform much better with the newer hard drive and freah OS install.

    May it last for a long time.....Yes

  • Vulgan

    You are welcome, glad to hear the problem is resolved.   Big Smile

    You will find that all the members are dedicated to helping each other.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Bev I just purchased a 500 gig SATA Seagate Barracuda hard drive. I was having the same problem as Vulgan no floppy disk on my Dell XPS 400. I applied what you suggested to him to my XPS 400 and then i proceed to reboot my system and then after I  press "F6 if you need to install a 3rd party SCSI or RAID driver" on the blue screen then it loads the drivers from Windows XP OS service pak 1 after it's done it shows this screen http://www.seagate.com/images/support/en/us/sata_detect2_2.jpg so i press S= Specify Additional Software and it takes me to this blue screen   http://www.seagate.com/images/support/en/us/sata_detect4.jpg then take out the Windows OS cd and but the Seagate Disc Utility software cd and then press enter to continue and the screen stays the same and doesn't continue. What do you think is the deal with this? I'm getting really fustrated. Any info. will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Apbt

  • Hello Apbt, After you install the hard drive, boot into the BIOS and set the drives as shesagordie suggest.

    Save your settings and reboot and enter the BIOS again. In the drives section, make sure your settings show the new hard drive.

    Then go into the Boot Sequence section and make the onboard SATA CD\DVD drive as the first boot drive and the onboard SATA hard drive as the second boot drive.

    You can move the order up and down as needed.

    Insert your OS disk in the optical drive, save your settings in the BIOS and reboot.

    The system should then boot to the CD\DVD drive and start the OS install process and recogonize the new hard drive.

    If you have XP SP1 you should not have to press F6 to load any drivers.

    Just let the install proceed.

    Hope this helps.

  • Hello Apbt, I just replied with a very detailed explanation as to how to set up the BIOS to recogonize the new hard drive.

    The post got delayed and did not show up. After several minutes, now it has.

    Hope this helps.

  • Thank you.  This helped me. 

    But I'd like to know if I should switch it back to take advantage of SATA's speed or will that corrupt the install???

     

    John

  • deltyme

    Thank you.  This helped me. 

    But I'd like to know if I should switch it back to take advantage of SATA's speed or will that corrupt the install???

     John

     

    John.

    Personally, I would leave it alone, as changing the setting will not make any difference to a 7200rpm hard drive's speed.

    7200rpm hard drives can deliver and sustain approximately 66MBps, no matter what the interface.

    Bev.

     

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • jgrubic,

    I am having a similar problem, tried your suggestion.

    1. I cant change the order of the boot sequence it still puts the hard drive first.

    2. It seems to be accessing the CD, but I get a  "no boot device available" error message when I try to boot up.

    Any help will be appreciated.

    Thanks

  • Tried that it does not help. Do you think my DVD drive could be the problem.