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New Build - Trouble w/ SATA at XP Format


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#1
RobInDenver

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I am building a new pc (Abit AA8-Duramax, Seagate SATA NCQ 160MB) and installing 1 SATA hard drive, but I get stopped at the WinXP Pro screen that asks for a quick or low-level format. I have tried setting up the SATA parameters in BIOS to IDE (then not hitting F6 on XP install), AHCI (I believe this should be the correct setting for NCQ but non-RAID drive), and RAID (following advice found on internet). My BIOS recognized the correct drive, but when I try to install XP Pro for the CD, and answer either quick or low-level format, I get a response saying something like, "Windows XP cannot format drive, may be malfuntioning ...". I went out and bought a WD 120MB SATA drive, tried the same thing (no AHCI because it is not NCQ) and received the same problem. I have:

1) upgraded the BIOS
2) tried different SATA drivers
3) cleared CMOS several times (some before and after BIOS upgrade)
4) tried formatting with the Seagate utilities

Any clues? I intially thought bad drive, then maybe bad motherboard, but I'm sure I am just missing something.

Thanks.
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#2
warriorscot

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First make sure you have the drive installed in the non raid sata port it should be detected in the bios as an IDE drive. Then when installing windows remeber to use the floppies with the drivers only one should be needed.
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#3
RobInDenver

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Thanks for the reply. I'm pretty sure my AA8-Duramax doesn't have different different headers for RAID and non-RAID drives (just from reading through that section of the manual). I like your driver suggestion. When I was given the options for drivers, there was only one AHCI driver, but several other RAID drivers with numbers that I didn't recognize. Should I try to match them with some chip number? Not sure what that would be (they don't look like the SATA controller chip numbers).

Thanks.
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#4
RobInDenver

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Solved. I downloaded new drivers from ABIT and the drive installed just fine. Thanks for the help.
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