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Can't get past "Unknown Disk" problem installing XP Pro - floppy drive issue??

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by jhgreene, Dec 16, 2011.

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  1. jhgreene

    jhgreene Thread Starter

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    Hi -
    I'm trying to install XP Pro onto a brand new SATA hard drive since my old one seems to have gone kaput after about 5 years.

    I booted from CD, and went thru all the screens to the point where it was ready to start the installation. When i got to the screen to partition the "mass storage device", i got the following:

    Unknown Disk
    (There is no disk in this drive.)
    Unknown Disk
    (There is no disk in this drive.)

    So i found an old post on this site (http://forums.techguy.org/hardware/823885-solved-unknown-disk-error.html) and followed the lessons learned there, and realized I had a floppy for a RAID DRIVER i had forgotten about (it came with the components I bought to build this box). So i tried the installation again, starting from a reboot, and hitting F6 at the right time. When it came time to install the 3rd party driver, i inserted the floppy as instructed, and hit Enter. The floppy light came on, but i don't believe i heard it do anything, and the screen asking me to insert the floppy quietly came back.

    I tried a couple times, but still the floppy did not do its magic. I continued, and the partition screen still showed the Unknown Disk error. So as suspected, the driver did not get installed. I then rebooted, this time hitting F1 to check out the BIOS. My BIOS recognizes both my new hard drive and the floppy drive just fine, and the floppy itself can be read just fine on another PC.

    Could this be a floppy controller problem? is there a simple way to test it? I'm not sure of the last time, if ever, i've used the floppy on this box. Does the BIOS recognition prove that it should be functional?

    I've installed new OSes onto new HDs a few times without problem in the past, but am no expert. So I may be missing something simple. Any help would be greatly appreciated to figure out my problem. Thank you.
     
  2. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    If the floppy drive you are using is a USB floppy there are only certain USB models that you can use to load the SATA drivers on XP at the F6 prompt.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/916196
     
  3. jhgreene

    jhgreene Thread Starter

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    Thank you for the substantive response. My floppy is indeed a USB (ULT31799), but does not appear to be on either list in the link you provided. Since its not on the "OK" list, i guess its not OK. I didn't realize there was such a problem. Besides replacing my floppy drive, is there another workaround that isn't too painful? Thank you again.
     
  4. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    The easiest way on an older machine is to access BIOS go to the DRIVE CONFIGUATION MENU and you should see a sub-menu CONFIGURE SATA AS... enter that sub-menu and the choices will be IDE, RAID and AHCI. Choose IDE, then save and exit. At this point the drive should act just like and IDE drive.

    On an older machine with a 1.6GHz. processor you won't notice any significant difference in performance.
     
  5. jhgreene

    jhgreene Thread Starter

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    Hmmm...that's interesting. I may do this to get it all going. My current m/b and processor is the following:

    Intel Pentium D 840 3.2GHz / 2MB Cache / 800 FSB / OEM / Socket 775 / Dual-Core / Processor

    Since it is a 3.2GHz dual-core pentium, and not running at 1.6GHz, do you still think the difference will not be noticeable?

    Also, moving forward, and this may be a dumb question, if I later decide to change out the floppy drive so that I can load the SATA drivers, will i have to completely reinstall the OS, or will I somehow be able to reconfigure the h/d in situ to now act like a SATA drive w/o removing the OS?

    One more thing - my m/b is an Intel D945GPMLKR, and the new HD i'm trying to install is a Western Digital WD2500AAKX Caviar Blue Hard Drive - 250GB, 3.5", SATA 6Gbps, 7200 RPM, 16MB (TSD-250AAKX). Do you anticipate any particular problems with using this HD on my m/b. In other words, did I "over buy" my HD?

    Thanks again for any help.
     
  6. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    Yes, if you set Configure SATA as IDE and you later want to change that setting to Configure SATA as AHCI you should reinstall Windows.

    The 945 series boards have a 3.0 Gb/s transfer rate. If the SATA drive you purchased has a 6.0 Gb/s transfer rate, theoretically it should work, however I have seen some boards that have problems with the higher transfer rate. I have a couple of older machine where the transfer rate is 1.5 Gb/s and if I use a 3.0 Gb/s drive the board doesn't "like" it at all, so I have to jumper the drive down to a 1.5 Gb/s transfer rate.

    I don't know why you don't just purchase an internal floppy drive for $7-$10, install it then set Configure SATA as AHCI, or purchase a USB external with one of the drives where the proper file is loaded when installing Windows and set Configure SATA as AHCI.
     
  7. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    I just looked at the WD site. Even if you Configure SATA as AHCI with a 6.0Gb/s hard drive operating on a 3.0 Gb/s controller it still may be necessary to jumper the drive down to the 3.0 Gb/s transfer speed.

    http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers...vLzEvdGltZS8xMzI0MDcwNzQ3L3NpZC90ano2VUxMaw==

    You might as well jumper the drive for 3.0Gb/s transfer speed before you install the drive, since there is no way it could ever get near a 6.0 Gb/s transfer speed with a 3.0 Gb/s SATA controller.
     
  8. jhgreene

    jhgreene Thread Starter

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    Thanks again. i do have an internal floppy drive, if i know what you mean. That's what i was using when the error prompted me to post this problem. the question i've been asking myself is how i got xp installed originally when i built the box in the first place.

    Anyway, your first suggestion was to set the drive to behave like IDE. This time, you suggested AHCI. I don't have experience to know the difference except what i can read online.

    I will be able to try this later on tonight, but are you saying that if i configure my SATA as ACHI, i should be able to install xp without F6?

    Thanks again.
     
  9. jhgreene

    jhgreene Thread Starter

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    Ok, I've tried the suggestions. I tried your last suggestion first. I configured SATA as AHCI in the BIOS, and got the same "Unknown Disk" error message. I think this is what I've been trying all along. However, i noticed that when it did not work, and I did a reboot, the BIOS page showed SATA configured as RAID...I don't understand that.

    Next, I tried your first suggestion. I rebooted, went into the BIOS, and configured SATA as IDE. I saved this configuration, and continued, bypassing the F6 option. I noticed a lot of IDE stuff loading this time, and it seemed to take a bit more time to finish that. But after all this, I still get the same "Unknown Disk" error.

    Not sure what i might be doing wrong, and I still have a mysterious feeling about how I installed XP onto the first SATA drive I bought with the box's original parts 4-5 years ago.

    I feel very stuck right now, as I think I've tried the most popular solutions - except "slip-streaming" the SATA drivers onto a XP boot CD. As always, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    a
     
  10. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    I Googled ULT 31799 and see it is an internal 3.5 floppy with some other card readers. It is likely that the drive is not reading the SATA driver floppy and that is why you cannot install the SATA driver at the F6 prompt.
     
  11. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    This is something I just thought about. Since the floppy drive has other card readers incorporated in it Windows see's these other readers as drives. Try this;

    Access BIOS and set Configure SATA as AHCI. Disconnect the USB portion of the floppy drive since the USB portion is going to be for the card readers. With the USB portion of the drive disconnected start installing Windows and at the F6 prompt insert your floppy disk that came with the board and see if the SATA drivers will install.

    I would go ahead and jumper the hard drive down to a 3.0 Gb/s transfer rate, since a 6.0 Gb/s transfer rate drive on that board doesn't help you at all.
     
  12. jhgreene

    jhgreene Thread Starter

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    I finally was able to try your suggestion - I disconnected the usb cable from the m/b usb header. I thought it was going to work - it makes so much sense. But i got the same results (floppy was not able to load the SATA drivers, with or w/o the HDD jumper for 3.0Gps).

    The famous blue screen that displays refers to the F6 disk to load says to insert "the disk labeled Manufacturer-supplied hardware support disk". The disk I am trying to use is labeled (Intel Matrix Storage Technology RAID Driver for Intel Desktop Boards". I'm assuming this is the correct disk, because i don't have any others.

    I have no idea now what to try. I'm stumped. I AM beginning to wonder about the disk I'm using tho. Here's what's on that disk:

    iaahci - Security Catalog
    iaahci - Setup Information
    iastor - Security Catalog
    iastor - Setup Information
    iastor - System File
    license - Text Document
    readme - Text Document
    txtsetup - OEM File

    Does this look like the right disk?

    But what remains a mystery to me is how I got all this installed the first time a few years back. I never had this kind of trouble, and the only difference here is the new HDD.

    Once again, thanks a lot for any help.
     
  13. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    I suspect that either your floppy drive is defective or the floppy disk is corrupted. The bad thing about floppy disks is over a period of time they become corrupted.

    The files on the floppy diskette are from the link below are;

    F6Readme.txt
    iaahci.cat
    iaAHCI.inf
    iastor.cat
    iaStor.inf
    iaStor.sys
    license.txt
    TXTSETUP

    I would go ahead an purchase a new plain floppy drive since they are very inexpensive. Install it and try at the F6 prompt to install the SATA driver from your existing disk. I would also build a new floppy disk with the drivers from Intel.

    Here is a link to the latest Intel files for the F6 driver diskette.

    http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Det...n=Windows XP Professional*&DownloadType=#help

    Make sure you choose the correct download. The first download is for 64-bit operating systems and the 2nd download is for 32-bit operating systems.

    I keep a floppy drive with a longer data and power cable at my workbench so I can just use the floppy drive from the bench and not have to install it. If you purchase a new floppy drive, and if your cabling is long enough where you can temporarily connect the drive then you don't need to make a permanent installation.

    Which ever way you go I would leave the existing floppy drive card reader disconnected. I have seen numerous case where people leave this connected and they wind up with the hard drive being assigned a letter such as H rather than C since Windows see's each one of the readers as a drive and may assign a drive letter for each drive before it assigns C to the hard drive.

    You may as well leave the jumper on the hard drive you purchased since your motherboard only has a 3.0 Gb/s SATA controller and having a 6.0 Gb/s drive is not going to help you.
     
  14. jhgreene

    jhgreene Thread Starter

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    Yes, I finally decided last night that I'm going to probably just have to get a new floppy drive. And make a new driver disk. Since I don't really use the floppy part of the drive anymore, do you have a floppy drive recommendation that I might be able to pick up at a Best Buy or Fry's? Guess I'll have to buy a few floppies too (I threw mine out with a move a few months ago - lol).

    Also, the connector pinout I found on the WD site (http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers...vLzEvdGltZS8xMzI0MTMzNzY0L3NpZC9xKjJ5S1BMaw==) for my HD didn't exactly match (of course), so I took my best guess as to which pins 5 and 6 were. The diagram shows the jumper block next to the power supply connector, but that's not how the HD connectors are arranged. I installed the drive before any of these problems started, and i didn't want to take it back out. I may have to thought, to see if there's any printing on the circuit board that will tell me for sure which end of the jumper block is which.

    I wanted to try to find my floppy driver disk, so I could find out from the .inf file what the hardware product Id was, and put it in the txtsetup.oem file so the installation would recognize it, but i think the floppy driver disk is in our storage unit, so it looks like a new floppy is going to be the answer.

    Anyway, I'll be getting the 32-bit download, and hope to be able to give this another go in a few days after picking up the floppy. When I get some results, I'll post again. Thanks a lot for all the help. this has definitely been a learning experience.
     
  15. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    Attached is a pic showing pins 5 and 6. This is an older pic, but the location is the same on new drives.
     

    Attached Files:

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