Some computers contain motherboards that support Serial ATA (SATA) hard drivers. The motherboards may have a separate dedicated SATA controller. You can determine if your computer has a dedicated chipset during the POST because a second screen may appear identifying the SATA hard drives.

When you install Windows XP, you may need to inform setup that your SATA hard drives are on a separate controller. You can do this during the text mode phase of setup by pressing F6 when prompted to install additional drivers. Then insert the floppy disk containing the SATA controller drivers. If you don’t supply the drivers, Windows setup may stop indicating that it cannot locate any hard drives.

The procedure for installing the SATA controller drivers during setup is as follows. As soon as the setup of Windows begins, a prompt will appear at the bottom of the screen to press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or RAID drive. Setup will prompt you for the drivers which should be available on a floppy disk that came with the motherboard. Insert the disk into the floppy disk drive and press “S” to continue. Setup will look for the drivers on the floppy and present you with a list. Select the appropriate driver and press Enter. You will then be able to proceed with the installation of Windows XP.

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