Monday, September 7, 2009

How to install Windows XP Pro on a HP 6910p and 8510p laptop with SATA hard drive

Windows XP does not come with sata drivers which allow it to see the hard drives recent computers. This first dawns on many people when they try to install Windows XP on a machine with a SATA hard drive and it is unable to find a hard drive to install on.With SATA Native Mode enabled, windows will either crash when you try to install it of will not see a hard drive to install to. SATA Native mode must be turned off in order to allow windows to install properly and it can be turned back on after the installation is complete. With this enabled all features of SATA are used which gives the drives more speed and they can use less power.

To allow installation of Windows do the following:
- Press F10 to enter the BIOS,
- Go to the last tab: System Configuration,
- Select 'Device Configurations'
- Press down to 'SATA Native Mode' and set to DISABLE
- Press F10 to accept
- Go back to the first tab: File and select 'Save Changes And Exit'
- Press F10 to accept.

After the installation is complete you can install the appropriate drivers found on HP's website for your laptop.

Before you re-enable SATA Native Mode in the BIOS you need to give windows a SATA driver to be able to see the hard drive when you change the mode.

In order to add the driver, follow the instructions on this page.

Points to note:
To open the command prompt
- Go to Start, select Run.
- Type cmd and press enter
- To go to a new location in the command prompt type use the 'cd' (short for 'change directory') command. eg. typing "cd c:\ryan" will move you to the 'ryan' folder under the root 'c:' folder.

For the 6910p laptop I used sp41383 from the hp site. The driver folder became visible when I extracted files from the executable I downloaded from the site. This means I could skip the command prompt step in the instructions and go straight to updating the driver in Device Manager.
The Model which I have is Intel(R)ICH8M-E/M SATA AHCI Controller, I do not know if this is the only model on controller used on this model laptop. Most likely you have the same model. If you choose another model, you will get a BSOD. Switching SATA Native Mode to Disable and booting with the 'Last Known Good Configuration' will let you go back into windows and choose the correct model controller.
For the 8510p I used sp36334 from the hp site. The driver folder was not visible after I extracted files from the exe file so you have to do the command prompt step in the instructions on the link.
I found that selecting ANY model controller from the list and shutting down, switching SATA native mode on (or leaving it on if you already have a possible wrong controller chosen), and then starting windows will work and will allow you to boot normally into windows. You can then go back into the Device manager > IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers > Update Driver... section and do the same steps as if you want to add the driver initially, except now in the window where you click 'Have Disk', the 'Show compatible hardware' checkbox is ticked and there will only be different versions of Intel(R) 82801HEM/HBM SATA AHCI Controller. Selecting the latest version (first in the list) and clicking next let the correct driver install.
While working on the 8510p, I forgot to enable Sata Native Mode immediately after I installed the Sata driver. This gave a flash of a BSOD and the machine restarted itself to the list or boot options. Selecting 'Last Known Good Configuration' let me go back into Windows normally and try to install the driver again. I repeat, as soon as the machine says it has to restart and shuts down, as soon as the prompt comes up to enter the BIOS, be sure you go in and enable SATA Native Mode.
Any time I got the BSOD I was able to get back into Windows by disabling SATA Native Mode in the BIOS and then choosing 'Last Known Good Configuration' in the boot menu.
It may be possible to slipstream the appropriate SATA drivers and boot and install windows normally. I tried doing it but was unsuccessful, please let me know if you get through with slipstreaming.

This was written with help from :


I just tried to fill in the gaps for my specific models of laptops. This will work for a lot of other computers, desktops and laptops with slight differences in accessing the BIOS and also the titles inside the BIOS. The appropriate SATA drivers must be downloaded from the manufacturer's website.

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