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Windows 7 and SATA drive?


Established Member
I have recently upgraded my computer, after much help on this forum.

I have installed XP Pro on the IDE HDD that I have connected to the motherboard. All is working fine.

I also have an internal SATA HDD, which I have not yet installed in XP, because I don't have a floppy drive and so could not create the "F6 floppy" that the XP install process suggests. Device Manager can "see" the SATA drive and reports the serial number with no problems; but I know that I can't use it for anything until I install the drivers (which I have now failed to do in this XP install; so I guess that means I've missed my chance). At the moment, the motherboard BIOS is set to AHCI for SATA drives; and I would know how to change these settings if needs be.

I know that I could do a new install of XP through nlite, but I will be installing Windows 7 when it retails next week (via a DVD they're sending me, as opposed to a download), so I'm not sure I want to go through all that.

So my question is this: if, when I come to install Windows 7, I disconnect the IDE drive and make the
SATA the only HDD connected (and the first Boot option from the BIOS menu), will Windows 7 automatically install on this: and will it find the drivers within Windows 7, or will I still need to download them separately (and therefore probably use nlite to make a slipstreamed installation disk)? Does nlite work with Windows 7 anyway?

The SATA HDD is a Seagate ST325031 & I'm using a Gigabyte GA-73PVM-S2H motherboard.

In Admin tools> disk management, it describes Disk 1 (which I assume must be the SATA drive) as "dynamic" and "unusable". I know a few people like that....;)

I would be very grateful for any help you can give; hopefully what I have posted makes sense.
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Established Member
Win7 will install fine on the SATA drive, no need for extra drivers. No need to disconnect the IDE drive either, just pick the correct drive during the install process.


Established Member
You can install the drivers from XP when it's running. You only need to install them from floppy if you want to install XP onto the SATA drive.

Windows 7 will almost certainly come with the relevant SATA drivers, and you should be able to install the SATA drive without any problem. If, by some off chance it doesn't, Windows 7 can install drivers from USB sticks, CD ROM and other media. You don't need a floppy any longer.


Established Member
Thanks to you both for your replies.

nmw; I assume that, as I have the SATA drivers for the motherboard, I could try to install them within XP now; and then the SATA drive would be ready when I install Windows 7.

But the mobo SATA drivers come as a self-extracting exe file; and I don't want to mess up the SATA drive before I try to install Windows 7: so I could just wait a week until Windows 7 arrives; and then just do a clean install on the SATA drive.

So which would be better? My personal leaning is towards waiting until I install Windows 7. Any reason not to do this?



Established Member
You're worrying about nothing. The SATA drivers will just enable XP to see the SATA drive, nothing more. Personally unless you're in dire need of the extra space i'd just wait and install windows 7 on the SATA when you get it.


If your copy of XP has SP2 (it might even be SP1) then it will install on a SATA HDD without the need for any more drivers - I know as I have done it with XP Pro SP2.


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