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Setting a SATA drive as C: for Windows install


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#1
DayMeYun

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I apologize ahead of time because I won't even pretend to fully understand what I'm doing and this may very well be a silly mistake on my part, but I'm trying to recover some very important data and want to avoid a hefty repair bill.

I've been running Windows XP Home on my machine for a good 3 years now. In the past month or so, my machine became prone to random restarts and then last week, became completely unable to boot to Windows. I'll get as far as the XP loading screen, and then it will just restart again. I attempted a repair install with my installation disc, but it's not an option, and I'm assuming my hard drive (a 160GB IDE drive) is damaged in some fashion. I do NOT want to do a clean install since there is data on the drive that can't be easily duplicated (I'm a writer and all of my work is on it).

So I bought a new hard drive, a 1TB SATA drive. What I need to do is install Windows on the SATA drive, and then get the data off of the old IDE drive and use that as a backup. When I hook everything up and go into the Windows install, it shows my drives set up like this.

C:// The old IDE drive
D:// The new SATA drive

Obviously, I can't install Windows on the SATA drive without formating the IDE drive, and losing everything. I'm trying to make the SATA drive into the C drive, but I'm at a loss to figure out how I can do so.

I've done some research on master/slave settings, and tried a few things with the boot priority in BIOS, but to little effect. I have the SATA drive plugged into the SATA0 slot, and I've set the jumpers on the IDE drive to master, slave, and cable select. In any situation, the IDE is still seen as the C drive.

Is there any way for me to do this? Thanks in advance.
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#2
Neil Jones

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Install Windows without connecting the IDE drive. Connect it back up afterwards and it'll show up as Drive E, F, G or whatever.
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#3
7ken

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You may also have to go into your bios and set the boot order after you hook your old hard drive back up. Making sure that your new hard drive is listed on the boot sequence.
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#4
DayMeYun

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I unplugged the IDE drive, and that seems to work as far as the SATA drive taking over, but now I seem to have created a new problem as Windows refuses won't fully install on the SATA drive. It will format the drive and restart, but then I'll get a message saying "Error loading operating system".

From looking around, apparently XP has issues installing on SATA drives, and there are some drivers that I have to load through a floppy for the install to work, though I can't seem to get a reliable answer as to where I can get these drivers.

Edited by DayMeYun, 01 October 2009 - 07:15 PM.

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#5
Neil Jones

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From looking around, apparently XP has issues installing on SATA drives, and there are some drivers that I have to load through a floppy for the install to work, though I can't seem to get a reliable answer as to where I can get these drivers.


There is no issue with XP and SATA drives. If you'd needed a driver for your SATA drive Windows would never have found the drive never mind formatted it.
You may need to change the boot order again in the BIOS. Some boards decide that if you disconnect a drive it was previously booting from, it won't boot off any other hard drive until you tell it specifically.
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#6
7ken

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Yes, but won't the drive be running in IDE Mode without the correct drivers for SATA? It will still run fine under IDE Mode and should not have problems installing the OS. My question would be do you have a full XP Install disk or a disk from Dell, Hp, or other manufacturer? I don't know if that would make a difference. But like Neil Jones and I said, make sure the boot sequence is set correctly in your bios.
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#7
DayMeYun

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It's the full install disk for Service Pack 2. The boot order is correct. If it's not an issue with the drivers, then I'm at a loss to figure out what to do from here. My computer's been down for two weeks now and I may just give up and send it to Best Buy or somewhere to figure it out.

Thanks to the both of you for your help.
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