Why can I not see the SATA drives when trying to install Windows 7?

Na gallóglaigh Soccer FC June 15, 2013
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I have an Acer Aspire X3400. The HD just died. I popped in a new one and while trying to install Windows, when it gets to the point to choose what to do with the HD it’s just empty and it asks to upload the SATA drivers.

I have downloaded the drivers from the ACER website and made sure they are the correct ones (nVidia based chipset). The driver installer searches/finds the drivers and when trying to install it just goes back to point 1 (To upload the drivers).

I have tried:
-updating BIOS (it has the latest one)
-Physically checked all the SATA connections and made sure they are properly connected.
-I have removed the RAM for a a bit to make sure the RAM memory is not with old info.

Any help will be appreciated!

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  1. Emmanuel Asuncion
    June 26, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I agree with Jim, most probably the HDD is not getting enough juice from PSU.

  2. yudics
    June 22, 2013 at 4:20 am

    Or If you have a brand new hardisk, you must partition the disk first and then formating the hardisk, before you use to install windows..

  3. yudics
    June 22, 2013 at 4:16 am

    It maybe SATA cable problem, have you try to use another SATA cable (a Good one) for your SATA drive..

  4. yudics
    June 22, 2013 at 4:12 am

    It maybe SATA cable problem, have you try to use another SATA cable (a Good one) for your SATA drive..

  5. Jim Chambers
    June 17, 2013 at 3:45 am

    Another possibility is that the PSU is failing and not providing consistent 5 and 12 volt supply for HDD maybe due to overheating. Is PSU fan working? When computer is off long enough to cool, you indicated that drive is detected. Only a drive that spins up and initializes will be detected by the system

  6. ha14
    June 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    change in BIOS the HDD mode from AHCI to Compatible.

    how do you install Windows from dvd, usb key?
    "A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing" or "A media driver your computer needs is missing" error message when you install Windows
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2755139

  7. Leland Whitlock
    June 16, 2013 at 8:38 am

    I would look at booting up with a Linux boot CD like SystemRescueCD as seen at http://www.sysresccd.org/SystemRescueCd_Homepage which would give you the tools needed to find out if the hard drive is seen by the system and if it can be formatted. If so you should be good to go. If not then maybe the drive is bad. The main thing would also be to check the BIOS to see if the low level hardware can see it or not. If not this would backup what you see in the boot CD. Good luck...

    • Na gallóglaigh S
      June 17, 2013 at 1:29 am

      I used HIrens Boot CD and the HD tested 100% ok. I haven't try formatting, I will give it a shot...

  8. DalSan M
    June 16, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Also, even though it normally is set to Master, check the jumper settings on the HDD itself. The jumpers are located usually near the other connectors of the drive; there are multiple pins with either white or black jumper connectors. The diagram usually is on the top of the drive along with the Manufacturer's name and other information. If the jumpers are set to Slave, then you should change it to Master.

    • Jim Chambers
      June 16, 2013 at 3:15 am

      Unlike PATA HDD with master, slave and cable select settings, SATA HDD only use a jumper on pins 1&2 to reduce data transfer rate to 1.5GBytes/sec.. Pins 2,3&4 of 4 pin block are only used for factory setup.

    • Na gallóglaigh S
      June 16, 2013 at 5:32 am

      Correct the Serial ATA doesnt need jumpers.

  9. Jim Chambers
    June 16, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Is the HDD detected in the BIOS? Windows 7 has Sata drivers so the installer should detect the drive.

    • Na gallóglaigh S
      June 16, 2013 at 2:51 am

      When it gets disconnected from the power outlet for lets say 1 hour and I restart the system, BIOS will see it... if I keep installing it will get to the same screen where you tell the system where you want windows to be installed... then I chose the bigger partition and all disappears.. Y tried from the BIOS the SATA option and also NATIVE IDE and nothing.

      I have tried Removing the DVD drive to see if theres a problem with the SATA ports and nothign happens.. I have tried all the SATA ports.

  10. Bruce Epper
    June 16, 2013 at 1:17 am

    Does the drive show up in BIOS? If not, there is a problem with the connection somewhere, the drive is bad (yes, it can happen with a new device) or the SATA controller is shot. If the drive cannot be seen by the BIOS, it won't be seen by the operating system.

    When doing a fresh install, after installing vendor-specific disk drivers, the system does not always refresh the device list properly, so forcing a refresh will frequently populate the list with your drives.

    If you are still getting the same results and you can connect the old drive to another system as a slave or via a USB-to-SATA adapter, you may want to try that to see if the drive can be accessed. In that case, your drive may not have been bad, but your controller could be toast.

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