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Old 25-04-2006, 15:15   #1
tradesurplus
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is my SATA hdd broken?

my desktop wont boot, either normally or in safe mode, it gets as far as the windows loading bar and then goes to a blue screen of death and displays the message: page_error_in_non-page_area. or something like that, I have all my data backed up, so Ive decided to reformat.

But...

when I boot from the xp disk and go to format it displays an error message saying that it cannot find a hard drive and to make sure that a hdd is plugged in powered up etc.

it's a 120gig SATA Hitachi deskstar, I searched this forum and a couple of posts suggested that you need some kind of floppy to boot SATA drives when installing windows, but this seems unlikely in my situation because of the relatively small size of the hdd, also the bios is relatively new. my whole system is just over a year old, and in any case the hitachigst website said that they dont offer drivers for download because they should be included in the OS (I use xp-pro btw)

Ive also searched around on the net and found a number pages saying that the error message could indicate a problem either with the RAM chips or a corrupted hdd, so ive put some different sticks in, with the same results.

ive plugged in an ancient 20gig IDE hdd and managed to boot it on safe mode on windows98 (which was already installed on said old hdd) so I reckon its probably my hdd which is broken, which is a bitch, given its relative newness

before I go ahead and buy a new hdd, is there some kind of generic boot disk available for sata hdds i can get on the net, or is it possible to format a drive outside of windows before (trying to) re-installing xp onto it? or is there another solution to this problem that ive overlooked, and which doesnt invole financial outlay? :P

any help would be appreciated^_^
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Old 25-04-2006, 15:30   #2
dnaddison
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The drivers for the hard drive will come from the Motherboard maker as it is there SATA controller that you will be using. Windows needs the drivers to be able to see the haddrive (I think it classes is as a SCSI device). On the Hitachi site there should be some diagnostic software that will check the drive for you.
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Old 25-04-2006, 15:33   #3
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It's more than likely down to the fact that XP is old enough not to have an SATA driver install during the installation process rather than the size of the drive or the age of the BIOS.

You'll need the SATA driver appropriate for your motherboard on a floppy and then, during the XP install when you get the "press F6 to install 3rd Party drivers" message - do it and point to the floppy.
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Old 25-04-2006, 15:36   #4
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try hitachi disk drive utilites and the drive fitness test software initially and some of the others.
Note that original windows xp won't recognise sata drives as it lacks the drivers for sata so you either need to borrow an xp with sp2 cd or use the sata drivers on the cd that came with your motherboard when beginning xp installation (the drivers are dependant on the disk controller rather than the drive). (you could also slipstream sp2 and the original xp cd together but using a motherboard drivers cd will be quicker)
Note some one may post a comment saying aaaah the deathstar , your drive is not a 3 year old IBM model so laugh at them and call them old.
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Old 25-04-2006, 15:37   #5
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If it's just the drive you want to check, get hold of a Linux CD (Knoppix LiveCD - which installs nothing - or any distribution's install CD). Linux has SATA drivers included, so if it picks up your harddrive you're okay. You don't then have to proceed with the install, it's just to check the drive's okay (well, unless you want to ).

The drive was obviously being recognised if you could start to boot XP from it initially. It's possible part of it got corrupted (possibly the part with the pagefile?), but my knowledge of arcane XP error messages is limited.
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Old 25-04-2006, 15:41   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alamar
If it's just the drive you want to check, get hold of a Linux CD (Knoppix LiveCD - which installs nothing - or any distribution's install CD). Linux has SATA drivers included, so if it picks up your harddrive you're okay. You don't then have to proceed with the install, it's just to check the drive's okay (well, unless you want to ).

The drive was obviously being recognised if you could start to boot XP from it initially. It's possible part of it got corrupted (possibly the part with the pagefile?), but my knowledge of arcane XP error messages is limited.
The last 3 harddrives that failed on me were all detected fine it was only on booting into windows that problems occured would a linux CD check the whole disk for errors? Just curious as I've see this recommendation before. Surly the best thing to try is always the hard drive makers own drive checking tools?
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Old 25-04-2006, 22:17   #7
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Sorry, I completely misread your post. If you want to check the HDD for data then, yes, you want the manufacturer's own tools (if available). I'm not sure if there are Linux distros that come with HDD checking tools (I'd imagine there's some such tool on a Knoppix LiveCD though).
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Old 25-04-2006, 22:20   #8
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thanks for the replies so far

I ran the diagnostic tool, and it gave the deskstar a clean bill of health, which is good, so it seems to be just the OS that has corrupted. I tried re-installing XP with the motherboard disk in the E drive, when i pressed f6 to install third party drivers though it only lets me install from A (floppy) drive, the Asus website i found a bit useless, the only SATA drivers provided for my mobo model (p4v8x-x) were RAID drivers (I assume that refers to the dual-hdd setup some people have?) and they were 7mb, so too big for a floppy, so i'm kinda at a loss of what to do at the moment. installing onto the ancient 20gig IDE remains a (last ditch) option I guess, or finding someone with an sp2 disk^^. i cant install linux because it doesnt support the programs that I use unfortunately:P
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Old 25-04-2006, 23:11   #9
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explore your motherboard cd and under drivers/sata should be some files including an oem file which refers to other files in the same directory(note i am looking at an asus a7n8x cdrom and am guessing that they use a consistant structure). the gui and linux directories are just for installation to an existing setup so ignore these.
Copy the files in the sata directory (just the files not the subdirectories) onto a floppy and repeat the f6 procedure.
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Old 26-04-2006, 00:30   #10
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thanks, I used the floppy-disk app on the cd to create a boot disk, and that seems to have done the trick,

whilst installing XP an error message popped up during the wizard indorming me that it couldnt copy across the file 'system' and perhaps my xp disk is damaged, :scared:

but it carried on installing anyway, and it seems fine now, im just installing the drivers...
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