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New MoBo can't access SATA boot drive

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I could not solve this, so I finally reformatted my boot drive and reloaded Windows and all my programs. But it bugs me I could not solve this -- so for my next upgrade, can anyone tell me what I should have done?

After upgrading my MoBo to an EliteGroup G31T-M and attempting to reinstall XP, XP Setup saw the SATA harddrive was there but didn't recognize the NTFS file system on it.

The original MoBo had a Silicon Image add-in Sata controller. Boot disk is WD 320 GB running XP Pro. When I originally installed XP Pro on that disk, I had used F6 and the SATA drivers provided by Silicon Image.

The new MoBo has the ICH7 Southbridge with a SATA 3.0Gb/s host controller. The AMI BIOS saw the SATA drive, and my XP Pro install CD (pre SP1) saw the SATA drive, but said the filesystem is [unknown] and said the size is 132GB.

Unfortunately, the ECS drivers CD didn't appear to have SATA drivers. I searched the ECS site and didn't find any. I downloaded ACHI/SATA drivers for the ICH7 from the Intel site and fed that to XP Setup after F6, but again Setup didn't see NTFS and thought my 300GB drive has 132GB.

I have assumed my problem is I don't have the proper SATA drivers for this MoBo's Southbridge. But XP Setup can see the drive, it just isn't able to read its master boot record properly. Am I barking up the wrong tree?

I don't know much about SATA. I assumed it is a way to talk to the hardware, but does not get involved in how the disk is formatted. But is there something else going on that keeps XP Setup from knowing that the SATA disk has a NTFS file system and that XP Pro is already on the disk?

Any suggestions on how I can reinstall XP onto what had been my primary boot disk without wiping it out?

Here's my solution -- it wasn't pretty.

I still had an add-in PCI SATA controller, so I put that into the new ECS motherboard and used that to talk to the 300GB SATA drive. The company that made that controller (Silicon Image) supplies drivers that can be put on a floppy and supplied to the XP install disk with an F6. I then loaded a fresh copy of XP, copied over my backed-up data, and installed all my needed programs.

After updating XP to SP3, I took out the add-in SATA controller and plugged the drive into the motherboard. Booted up fine.

So the root causes of my problem were 1) Old XP Setup disk with no large drive and SATA support; 2)Unable to find ECS motherboard SATA drivers for XP install (F6).

The ECS board itself is fine for my purposes -- inexpensive, all the i/o ports I need, enough expansion slots. Their install disk and website are second rate for what I was doing. Finally, I filed a question on their Tech Support web page and they have not answered it for over 1 week. Apparently they were closed for 2 weeks during holidays and have not yet caught up.

For next time, was there a better solution?
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