Quick Question- SATA and XP

I have a version of Windows XP with SP2 embedded on the disc.

I want to fresh install Windows onto a brand new computer, but the computer will have SATA drives. I have been reading about this, and some sites are saying if you have SP2 embedded version of Windows XP, you do not need to also have a floppy drive, as they managed to include SATA drivers on the updated release. Is this true, or should I also put a floppy in this new computer?

It depends.

If you set your system BIOS so the SATA controller behaves like plain vanilla SATA, then you should be fine.

Some new chipsets (Nforce4, Intel 915/925) support something called “AHCI”, which can take advantage of some advanced SATA features, such as native command queueing (NCQ). But those mostly only matter in servers. Unless you’re running a server, just use plain SATA. Then you won’t need the dumb F6 floppy.

My SATA controller was a raid controller. I had an original XP version so I had to use the floppy. Would SP2 have any effect on an install with SATA Raid? It doesn’t sound like SATA Raid is “plain vanilla.”

Can you set it to non-RAID? If so, you may not need a custom driver.

I tried this recently, also with Windows XP with SP2. Apparently it has to do with XP not having the RAID drivers. Not having a floppy driver, I couldn’t load them during setup. But there are step-by-step guides on how to burn a new XP disc with the drivers included if you google it. I, being the lazy type, just ended up installing XP on my regular ATA drive instead.

Try running the install, if your harddrive is detected, then don’t worry about it. Otherwise reboot the system and slipstream the XP disc again, this time add the SATA driver to it :).

And no, you don’t actually wipe anything until you confirm several times you want to format your harddrive :).