Question XP Home re-install cannot find serial ATA devices

Mar 18, 2019
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MSI K9NBPM2-FID MB
2 WD 500G SATA Hard Drives
1 SG 40G IDE Hard Drive
1 Teac CDR Drive

About 18 months ago I re-Installed XP Home with a "slipstream" CD created (and used before) with Nlite. I had also hit F6 during install and provided the additional SATA/RAID drivers just for good measure. I also later installed the NV61XX chipset software from inside XP.

Since then, I've been seeing 2 new alerts during boot and when XP starts. First, the bios flash screen suddenly started displaying "Not enough space in runtime area. Symbios my not be available." (or something very close to that).

Then when WinXP starts, I get 5 pop up alerts. First is a small balloon that says "Found New Hardware" described either as IDE Controller, or Nvidia Nforce 430/410 Serial ATA Controller. Immediately after this a larger box pops up saying "Cannot install this hardware", "cannot find the device specified", "Nvidia Nforce 430/410 Serial ATA Controller".

I get these errors twice, once for each of the SATA drives? So at every re-start I deal with the "new hardware found" and "cannot install" balloons and dialog boxes. Then finally comes a pop up saying "Error installing new hardware, some of your devices may not work properly".

WinXP is installed on one of these SATA drives. Device Mgr. shows no yellow exclamations, nor does it list any Serial ATA controllers. Device manager does list 3 Primary and 3 Secondary IDE controllers, and a Standard duel channel PCI IDE controller, all with Microsoft drivers. Also, under SCSI and RAID controllers I have 2 IDE Controllers listed, both with "Unknown drivers".

I recall this exact scenario the first time I added the 2 SATA drives to the system about 2 years prior, but I don't recall how I resolved it. I have downloaded and attempted to update the SCSI/RAID IDE drivers with the newest versions out there from both the MSI and nVidia web sites, but during the update the same error box pops up mid-way thru saying "Cannot find the device specified".

What am I doing wrong?

Wolf
 
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Grobe

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Have you done any changes to hardware? Have you moved the computer between locations? Have other people being using the computer in the meantime?

Do you find all HDD listed in BIOS? In which drive are Windows installed onto?
What disk do you NOT see in disk manager?

Have you configured any of the drives as RAID? If so, HW or software Raid?
 
Mar 18, 2019
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Have you done any changes to hardware? Have you moved the computer between locations? Have other people being using the computer in the meantime?

Do you find all HDD listed in BIOS? In which drive are Windows installed onto?
What disk do you NOT see in disk manager?

Have you configured any of the drives as RAID? If so, HW or software Raid?
There were no changes in hardware or location, and no one else uses this machine.

All storage devices are listed in Bios and initial flash screen.

WinXP is installed on one of the Sata drives...... the C drive.

Not sure what "disk manager" is.....
 

Grobe

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I'll say it is fair to assume you haven't got a drive letter for the other disks.

Go find disk manager somewhere in Control panel, take a screnshot and post link to that, and from that I may spot what is wrong.

If you get that machine from somebody else and the two 500 Gb drives was configured in Raid ? Did you see one large driver or two of same size before you reinstalled ?
 
Mar 18, 2019
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Perhaps my original post was lacking..... but Windows always detected and used all of my devices fine. This includes the 3 HDD's, the CDRW drive, and the 3.5 Floppy drive. Windows also detects USB devices fine as I insert them.

Even now after I installed Linux Mint on one of the hard drives with 2 partitions for the OS and a Swap area, Windows "Disk Management" still sees this HDD and reports it as Healthy (active & unknown) partitions. When I installed Linux, Windows no longer listed that drive in File Manager because Windows doesn't recognize the file system. But File Manager still shows me all the other devices. I have never used Raid.

I bought this case and components starting about 25 years ago and put the system together. Since then however, I've replaced or changed a lot of the components as needed, including the MB. The last major upgrade I made was taking out one of the smaller HDD's, and installing the 2 500G Sata drives.

Everything with this system always seemed to be working fine, except I think perhaps running kinda slow lately, and I wonder if that's because I don't have any evidence that I have the correct nVidia Nforce 430/410 serial ata controller drivers installed. All my IDE drivers are MS, or Unknown.

What I do have is constant popup balloons telling me Windows found the new hardware, and then cannot find the device..... makes no sense to me since I've tried many ways to install the hardware specific drivers.

On some driver packages I have, I tried clicking on the INF file and choosing INSTALL, but nothing happens.

On other driver packages I have there is a SETUP program. When I run these (nVidia) packages it will go thru and install display drivers, audio drivers, sometimes ethernet drivers depending on the package, but even though they all list Sata/Raid drivers, none end up being installed.

When I go into Device Manager and try to update the Scsi/Raid drivers and point directly at where the drivers are located it seems to start copying and changing settings, but then quits half way thru the process and pops up the same box I see at Windows start-up..... "Cannot find the device specified".

Device Manager still shows me that all devices under ATA/ATAPI are MS drivers, and the 2 IDE controllers under SCSI/RAID are "unknown".

As I recall, WinXP never does list any Sata devices, and instead refers to them as SCSI..... but don't quote me on that.

Wolf
 
Last edited:

Grobe

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Have you used the same Windows installation that you had when the old MB was installed?

What's the thing about that 40 GB drive, is it installed?

Disk manager is not the same as Device manager, I refered to that because it should give some of the answers.
 
Mar 18, 2019
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Have you used the same Windows installation that you had when the old MB was installed?

Yes

What's the thing about that 40 GB drive, is it installed?

Good working drive..... why get rid of it? I currently have Linux Mint 19.1 on it with duel boot to XP.

Disk manager is not the same as Device manager, I refered to that because it should give some of the answers.


At this point, my goals are:

1) Verify that the correct drivers for my MB chipset are installed for the Sata drives.

2) Get rid of these damn popups.

3) Hopefully see a speed increase with the above.
 

Grobe

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Ok, bur your slip streamed XP is still bounded to the old hardware, right?

Thing with XP is that it's starting to get harder to obtain drivers to various hardware. Maybe it's time to drop XP alltogether and use Linux only (you can always have XP installed on a virtual machine).
 
Mar 18, 2019
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Ok, bur your slip streamed XP is still bounded to the old hardware, right?

Thing with XP is that it's starting to get harder to obtain drivers to various hardware. Maybe it's time to drop XP alltogether and use Linux only (you can always have XP installed on a virtual machine).
I am using exactly the same hardware and software as I originally did about 3.5 years ago, and then again about 18 months ago. And as far as I recall, the same install methods.

Because I'm aware of XP's shortcomings, I have now installed Linux Mint 19.1. I did play with installing XP on a virtual machine inside of Linux, but it obviously does not respond the same as a normal install, adding other applications to the virtual XP is not easy.

This has little to do with answering my original Q of why XP won't allow me to install the correct drivers I have had backed up for many years now.
 

Grobe

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Well, there is a lot of potential causes for this.

1:
Slipstreaming Windows is not guaranteed to always work. Have you used the exact same CD/DVD plate before and it have worked for you?

2:
Are the computer in perfect order? That is - can you see all drivers when booted up with Linux (you can use Gparted for this if you don't change something) ?

You may want to verify that the RAM is working perfectly well, use Memtest86+ to check.

Is there some other odd behaviour the computer has gained lately not mentioned here?
 
Mar 18, 2019
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1:
Slipstreaming Windows is not guaranteed to always work. Have you used the exact same CD/DVD plate before and it have worked for you?

Plate? I am using the same physical drive and the same CD as I have used in the past.

2:
Are the computer in perfect order? That is - can you see all drivers when booted up with Linux (you can use Gparted for this if you don't change something) ?

I am certainly a Linux "novice", and have not used Gparted, or Memtest86+. Linux Mint 19.1 on that disgusting little 40G drive does seem to boot up and be ready to use about 10 times as fast as XP, so I surmise Linux has a lot less code or a lot better design behind it than WinBloze.

I doubt there is a computer on planet earth in perfect order.


You may want to verify that the RAM is working perfectly well, use Memtest86+ to check.

"My Computer" has always reported that I have 3.25G of the actual 4G of memory installed..... Someone tried to explain to me once that this is normal.

Is there some other odd behaviour the computer has gained lately not mentioned here?

Yes..... but I don't think it's pertinent. Ever since I installed Mint, my BIOS clock keeps changing itself to GMT at every restart. XP time was always off by 8 hours, but then we had "daylight losing time", so XP was always off by 7 hours until I lied to XP and told it I live in Arizona instead of WA state.

One day, someone will explain to me that this is normal......
 

Grobe

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Ok, let see. First thing that strokes me when you said the clock is resetting itselv, strongly suggesting that the CMOS battery (the flat ~1 inch diameter battery localized on every motherboard) is empty.
Dead cmos battery may cause several odd problems beyond just the clock resettings.
Replacing that battery may even solve that driver install problem - I suspect the RAID controller behave oddly because it cannot store settings.

I don't know your motherboard in detail, but it may be neccesary to set up the raid controller card again (via past bios menu, if one is offered before boot).
 
Mar 18, 2019
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Ok, let see. First thing that strokes me when you said the clock is resetting itselv, strongly suggesting that the CMOS battery (the flat ~1 inch diameter battery localized on every motherboard) is empty.
Dead cmos battery may cause several odd problems beyond just the clock resettings.
Replacing that battery may even solve that driver install problem - I suspect the RAID controller behave oddly because it cannot store settings.

I cleared the CMOS successfully but this made no difference. The next day I flashed the Bios with a slightly newer version which obviously increased performance, but did nothing so far as solving this particular problem with XP not installing the "Nvidia Nforce 430/410 Serial ATA Controllers".

I don't know your motherboard in detail, but it may be neccesary to set up the raid controller card again (via past bios menu, if one is offered before boot).

You may be correct that I need to enable Raid, which I have never used b4. I just started reading up on Raid options, and how to enable it with an existing O/S.
 
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Just read a lot relating to enabling Raid on my system, and I sure hope there is another way to get WinXP to stop throwing these "cannot install" boxes at me. The deciding factor thus far was the 25 pages of instructions in my MB user guide on how to enable, select, configure, install drivers, initialize, etc..... 25 fracking pages!!! That's just nutz.

Perhaps part of my problem is that I don't really understand what the problem is, so let's start in Device Manager.....

There are 2 IDE (PATA) drives attached to my MB, and 2 Sata drives. Both of the IDE drives are Master. Why does Device Mgr. show 3 Primary and 3 Secondary ATA/ATAPI controllers?

There are also 2 SCSI AND RAID controllers, which I always assumed were for the Sata1 and Sata 2 ports that have a connection on the MB. These are the 2 Controllers which I have been trying to update from "unknown" to Nvidia drivers.

How do I know which controller listed in Device Mgr. is for which physical hardware?
 

Grobe

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Well, you probably cannot tell when there is more than one port per controller.

Are both IDE drives connected to a separate IDE cable and located on the furthest connector ?
 
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Well, you probably cannot tell when there is more than one port per controller.

As I understand it, a "port" is a physical socket on the MB, and I would imagine that each socket needs a separate Controller? The Controller I assume is the associated software supplied by the MB chipset BIOS.

Are both IDE drives connected to a separate IDE cable and located on the furthest connector ?

Yes Grobe, these drives include a Seagate HDD and a Teac CDR-W which are connected to the two IDE sockets using one device only ribbon cables. (no intermediate plug as needed for slave drive connections.)
 
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Are the 2 IDE controllers I have listed in Device Manager under "SCSI and RAID Controllers" used by Windows for the WD Sata HDD's?

The General and Driver tabs of these report the device is "Unknown", the driver is "Unknown", but the hardware is working properly.

Why won't Windows let me update the drivers?
 

Grobe

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If i remembers this correctly, a RAID controller card on a mobo is often seen as a scsi device under Windows. That may be the case here.

I suggest you follow up my suggestion on checking your RAM and cmos battery.
 
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I believe you're close, but not quite right on this Grobe.... Since WinXP is pre SATA but not pre RAID the OS will recognize a SATA drive as a SCSI device, but will detect RAID as such and list it accordingly in Device Manager.

On my system Device Manager does have a SCSI and RAID Controllers section, but the term SATA appears no where. Under this section, I have 2 IDE Controllers installed which are unknown and have unknown drivers.

Also, with my MB SATA and RAID are integrated onto the board. There are no add on cards required.

While pursuing an unrelated problem, I recently cleared the CMOS which involved yanking the battery, and so I replaced it at that time. This didn't make any difference. Eventually, I also flashed the BIOS which made a big improvement in speeding up boot and loading the OS, but did not affect WinXP installing the proper drivers for the SATA drives.

Of the 4.0G of Ram installed, my BIOS reports 4096MB Physical, and 3328MB Usage. WinXP reports 3.25G under System Properties. From the reading available online, this is not unusual for a 32 bit system.

Starting a few weeks ago when I revisited this problem, I installed some "driver packages" along the way which I had D/L from either MSI or Nvidia. None of these installs affected the "SCSI and RAID" controllers at all, but did give me unwanted changes to video and ethernet performance. I was able to either "roll back" or manually install the original drivers.

But try as I might, and I've tried a lot of different approaches, I cannot update the SCSI "IDE Controllers", I cannot install new hardware (Serial ATA), and if I remove one of the current "IDE Controllers" and reboot, I end up with an additional "Standard Duel Channel PCI IDE Controller" under the ATA/ATAPI section in Device Manager.

On the other hand, it seems I can mess with any other drivers till the cows come home and instantly affect changes.

I really do appreciate your input Grobe..... but my gut tells me this problem is not related to Ram.
 

Grobe

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Well, I can to a certain degree agre it is less posibility that ram is an issue (as you seem to run Linux just fine) - thing is I prefer to know for sure there is no such fault, and without proper testing you can never be 100% sure. Only you can decide to spend time for that or not.

But for the driver install, I must say sorry - If it is not a hardware related problem I don't have any solutions.

One last thing : If you have an old XP cd laying around, you could try to install from that and manually install any update packages. This is time consuming, and far from certaing that it will work either. . .
 
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without proper testing you can never be 100% sure. Only you can decide to spend time for that or not.

I'm certainly not a computer guru or expert, so if you can point me in the right direction with utilities and/or methods to test the Ram I'll take the time to do this.

One last thing : If you have an old XP cd laying around, you could try to install from that and manually install any update packages. This is time consuming, and far from certaing that it will work either. . .

About 3.5 years ago when I added the 2 SATA drives to this system I had this same issue and somehow resolved it, but looking through my own bookmarks I might very well have disabled "find new hardware" in the Registry to get rid of the annoying pop-ups.

Then, 18 months ago it was the re-install of Windows that brought this problem back to life! :b
 
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If this is a matter of just finding drivers for the hardware, have you tried WinDrivers.com?
WinDrivers appears to be another tech forum.

No matter.... I have the original chipset driver and utilities disk for my MSI MB. I also have the updated version D/L off MSI website. Since MB uses Nvidia Quadro and nForce 430 chipsets, I also D/L some drivers off the Nvidia website. This was all for not.

Windows appears to start the update wizard, then stops and shows me same box I get at startup..... "Cannot install this hardware - Nvidia nForce 430/410 Serial ATA Controller - Cannot find the device specified"
 

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