Install XP on SATA system with no floppy

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Disk Drives (Floppy, USB, HDD, CD/DVD/BD) discussion

Install XP on SATA system with no floppy

  • Hi, I am wanting to reinstall WindowsXP on my new Dimension 8400. However, I noticed that in order to do so, Windows needs the raid drivers to see my SATA Hard Drives. I consulted Dell's site and found an article on how to do this easily with a floppy drive.

    However, my 8400 did not come with a floppy drive. Furthermore, there is not a floppy driver controller on the motherboard (except maybe via usb). Surely there is some other way to provide the Windows setup these drivers other than wasting $40 on a usb floppy drive...

    I have an external USB Hard drive if this will work, or could I burn the drivers to a cd instead? or even add the files to the XP install cd (and reburn it, similar to the slipstreaming of sp2)?

    I can't imagine that I would be the only one with this problems, since SATA is standard on the 8400s and so is not having a floppy drive.

    Thanks for any help/ideas you many have
  • There are workarounds . . you can look thru threads here for some.  The simplest workaround for me is to temporarily install a Floppy Drive ( they are dirt cheap now ) long enough to complete the installation.  You can just let it dangle from the power and data cables.
     
    wrs

  • simpswr, thank you for the advice, however, the Dimension 8400's do NOT have a standard floppy driver controller (there is nowhere to even plug a floppy cable into the motherboard). Therefore I cannot use a conventional floppy drive without a usb conversion.

    I am looking for any method other than using a usb floppy drive.
  • Are you sure . . I have not had one in a few months, but they had a controller when I last worked on one.  And, you can order the 8400 with a Floppy Drive.

    wrs

    Message Edited by simpswr on 02-02-2005 08:34 AM

  • criz8426

    You may not need a floppy drive. I just did a fresh install of Windows xp on a XPS Gen 4 using the Dell supplied cd and the sata drivers were on the cd. I did the F6 to add the drivers but the install informed me that I did not need them so I chose to use the drivers from the Win xp cd. The install went great on the Raptor hard drive I was adding to the system. Dell can be smart every once in a while. Give it a go and see what happens.

     

    Pat

    Alienware Area 51, BIOS A11, Win 7 Ultimate x64 upgraded to Windows 8 Pro, I7 980x @ 4.0 GHz, 6 GB DDR3 1333 MHz RAM, 2 GTX 480's SLI, 1.2K PSU

    XPS Gen4, Win 7 HP x86, P4 @ 3.4, 4 GB DDR2 RAM, Radeon X850XT

    Dimension 8100, Win xp SP3, Powerleap 2.8 GHz, 768 MB PC800 RDRAM, Radeon X800

    XPS T500, Win xp Home SP3, Celron 1.4 GHz, 640 MB RAM, Radeon 8500

  • Pat!

    You are doing exactly what I'm thinking of doing with my Gen3.  I would like to get a raptor 74 GB and replace my current SATA hard drive with it.  But the thing is, I would like to use my fresh, non-dell copy of windows XP to do it, because I'm afraid of all the non-essential stuff that dell puts on their copies of windows.

    Are you noticing a lot of speed increases after installing the new raptor? 

    I'm mainly concerned with my RAM bandwidth right now.  I have a friend with an AMD 64 3500, DDR400 - Dual Channel, and a raptor, and he is getting higher Memory Bandwidth scores with sandra than I am with a 3.4 GHz P4, DDR2-533 Dual-channel, and a 7200 SATA HDD.  I know the hard drive wouldn't really be the problem here, but I think a fresh install of windows would really clean things up - memory usage-wise.  And why do a fresh install of windows on the old HDD when I can get a spiffy new raptor (its just money after all : / )

    So I guess I'm asking, do you think I would get any benefit from using a fresh, non-dell copy of windows to do my re-install?  as opposed to using the copy that dell sent me?  Also, is the raptor worth it?  And any thoughts you might have on the memory bandwidth issue would be nice.

    Well, any thoughts would be appreciated.
     
    Thanks.
  • I saw on one of the Boards, that a slipstreamed SP2 disc includes the SATA drivers . . anyone know if that is true?

    wrs

  • reclinemusic

    I don`t think there is much difference between a retail version fo Windodws xp and a oem copy that comes with a Dell computer. Maybe some drivers but that is about it.

    The Raptor is fast. I really notice the speed during the install process and when launching apps. When I installed windows it said it would take approximately 39 min but finished in 11 min. Am I pleased with it? You bet I am.

     

    Pat

    Alienware Area 51, BIOS A11, Win 7 Ultimate x64 upgraded to Windows 8 Pro, I7 980x @ 4.0 GHz, 6 GB DDR3 1333 MHz RAM, 2 GTX 480's SLI, 1.2K PSU

    XPS Gen4, Win 7 HP x86, P4 @ 3.4, 4 GB DDR2 RAM, Radeon X850XT

    Dimension 8100, Win xp SP3, Powerleap 2.8 GHz, 768 MB PC800 RDRAM, Radeon X800

    XPS T500, Win xp Home SP3, Celron 1.4 GHz, 640 MB RAM, Radeon 8500


  • simpswr wrote:

    I saw on one of the Boards, that a slipstreamed SP2 disc includes the SATA drivers . . anyone know if that is true?

    wrs





    That is true. It will require a bit of work on your part though. Here's a link you can follow to get the document and see how it's done. Once you do this, you won't need a floppy drive when installing XP.

    Slipstream XP w/ SATA Drivers

    Note: your SATA drivers should be in the Dell Resource CD that came with your system.

    Message Edited by TTetpos on 02-02-2005 04:19 PM

  • criz8426 wrote :

    "however, the Dimension 8400's do NOT have a standard floppy driver controller (there is nowhere to even plug a floppy cable into the motherboard). Therefore I cannot use a conventional floppy drive without a usb conversion.
    I am looking for any method other than using a usb floppy drive."

    That is incorrect, the D8400 has both a floppy drive connector on the motherboard and the controller. 

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim8400/SM/techov.htm#wp1052739

    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

  • To install windows xp sp1 on the dimension 8400 without using a floppy drive, try doing the following steps:
     
    1.  Go into the BIOS by pressing F2 on the Dell Logo
    2.  Go to Drives, then select SATA Operation.
    3.  Change RAID Auto/AHCI to RAID Auto/ATA
    4.  Press ESC and save the changes to setup
    5.  Boot to the windows XP disk, no need to press F6 but just continue the installation process.
     
     
    The reason for this is windows xp sp1 does not have the native drivers for sata hard drives, changing this setting will allow you to use ATA mode which basically is the technology used by IDE hard drive, if you dont change this setting the system will say something like no hard drive found, by changing the setting the computer should be able to detect the hard drive and continue the installation. Windows XP SP2 cds however should continue the installation without having to change this setting as they contain drivers necessary for SATA hard drive.
  • What if you want to keep the RAID AHCI setting (w/ XP SP1)?
  • If you wish to use the AHCI setting on the computer, you need to really install a floppy drive in the system, you will really need to install the RAID driver, otherwise the computer will not recognize the hard drive during the installation.  another work around is to just install windows in the ATA mode and change it back to ACHI, settings on the mode will not affect the performance of the system at all.
  • to change it back to the achi mode do you just go into the bios and change it back the same way as you changed it before to ata?
     
  • I successfully installed Winxp with no floppy by switching the SATA bios setting to ATA, but when I go to change it back to ACHI, windows will not boot. Any idea on how to fix that? Thanks!