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First thing to check is to connect one hard disk to a black SATA port on the motherboard and then power on and enter BIOS via F2.
In the BIOS check that "Configure SATA as" is set to IDE, the drive is visible under "disk configuration", and finally check under Boot section that the hard drive is listed as first boot device or second behind the optical drive.
Once you have the hard drive visible in BIOS, then as long as you have the optical drive as the first boot device in BIOS, and you have enabled Boot to optical devices in the Boot section (in BIOS) you should be able to power on with you XP installation disk in the optical drive and it will boot from the XP disk. During the XP installation, you should then see the drive in order to format / partition it, etc and then the installation should be able to copy all the files and complete!
Hi Thanks very much for the reply. I have set the BIOS options as you advised. My hard drive was recognised correctly by the BIOS setup. I attempted to reinstall Windows. Part way through the installation I had this message:
'Setup could not determine the type of one or more mass storage devices installed in your system, or you have chosen to manually specify an adaptor (No I did not) Currently Setup will load support for the following mass storage devices: <none>'
I carried on with the installation by pressing 'Enter' and arrived at the point where Windows formats the drive. Windows Setup correctly displayed the identity of my hard drive. I went through the format procedure and at the finish got the message:
'Setup was unable to format the partition. The disk may be damaged. Make sure the drive is switched on and properly connected.' etc.
I have been through this procedure with two separate and different hard drives and two different Windows XP installation disks, and each time got no further than this point.
And so I am wondering whether there is a problem with my motherboard and/or BIOS. If I could I would attempt a BIOS update. But the laptop I am using for this reply doesn't have a floppy drive, unfortunately.
Again many thanks for your reply.