"Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in
Welcome to Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition "Setup did not find hard
drive" fresh install step by
step, this guide is to help you through a windows install when you can't find
the hard drive, or I doesn't seem to be available .
This will give you an idea on how to do this when and if
the time arises for you to either reinstall the operating system, install for
the first time or upgrade your present operating system. This install guide is
fully graphical and will take you through each step of the installation.
The error you will usually get is pictured below, but remember
windows will pick up card readers, and other hard drives also.
The first thing you will have to do is find out the manufacturer
of your motherboard, and also the type of drive you are using.
SATA (Serial ATA) Hard Drive
SATA Connectors on hard drive
SATA data cable
|IDE (PATA) Connectors on Hard Drive
||IDE (PATA) data cable
Once you have determined the type of hard drive you have go to
the motherboard/computer manufacturers website and download the SATA or PATA
drivers for that board. Make sure if the files are compressed that you extract
them to your floppy disks. Now copy the extracted files, (Or downloaded file)
onto a blank floppy disk.
If you are using a raid array then you will also need the
motherboards raid driver.
Your Windows XP Media Center Edition CD
Windows XP COA, or serial number.
Your computer Plugged into Mains Power
A Computer, with the usual accessories (Mouse,
monitor, keyboard etc)
To start this Windows install. First check that the first boot
device in your system BIOS is set to the CD-ROM Drive.
( To find out how to access the BIOS please refer to your
motherboard manual or the manufacturer of your Computer. (The system bios can
usually be entered on boot, usually by pressing the F1, F2, F8, F10 or DEL key.
Make sure you save the settings before exiting))
If you are unsure or don't want to enter the BIOS then just test
the computer by putting the CD-ROM in the drive and reboot your computer. This is the recommended way to
To begin install insert your Windows XP Media Center Edition CD, or
first boot disk and reboot you
computer. You may get prompted to press a key to boot of CD. Click any key on
keyboard to boot.
Setup will start inspecting your computer hardware
As soon as the next screen appears press the "F6"
key. This is the first blue screen to appear and you will see the prompt at
bottom that says "Press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or
Raid driver". You only have a few seconds to react to this prompt.
you find the F6 key doesn't work then check that your keyboard doesn't have an
F-Lock key, this may need pressed to activate the keys.
though it will be several minutes before you know if you pressed the key
If you have pressed the "F6" key on time then
the following screen will eventually appear. Press "S" to load
in the drivers you downloaded.
You will now be prompted for the floppy disk you created
earlier, put it in the drive and press "ENTER"
Setup will now you give you a choice of files that it found on
the floppy drive. We are installing a SATA drive, so we select the "SATA-RAID
Required 1", use arrow keys to select then press "ENTER"
This will return you to the main screen. In our case we need to
load two drivers of the disk, so Press "S" again to load in
Once again the floppy prompt, as floppy disk is still in driver
We now select the option for "SATA-RAID Required 2",
use arrow keys to select then press "ENTER" to load.
Once again you are returned to the main screen, as you can see
the two files are loaded, press "ENTER" to continue to the
Now you have to select where to install XP. Press
"ENTER" to confirm the partition you want to install into.
Now you need to format the hard drive, NTFS is recommended,
but you can also use FAT32. Make your decision using the arrow keys and press
The hard drive will now format.
and then setup will begin to copy files.
Setup now initialises the Windows XP configuration.
It is now time to restart Windows XP, press "ENTER"
to speed up process, otherwise Windows will do it itself in 15 seconds.
Boot will recognize that the XP CD is in the drive, DO NOT
press any keys, let setup bypass the CD boot.
Windows is now booting.
The install process continues.
Now your regional and language options. Your mouse should now
be active, so click on "CUSTOMIZE".
Now select your Standards and Formats, plus your location,
then click "OK".
Now click on "DETAILS".
Next select your default language, click "OK" when
Now that you have made all necessary changes click on
Now it is time to personalize Windows. File in your name and
if you wish you can also file in the Organization section. Click
"NEXT" when ready.
Now it is time for your product key. The product key will be
on the packaging that XP was supplied with. It is 25 digits long. Some OEM
computers will have a sticker on the side or back with your product key. Input
the key and press "NEXT".
Now select your computer name and your admin password. Confirm
the Admin password and press "NEXT".
Date and Time settings are next, change as need be, then press
Unless you want to manually setup your network then leave
the "Network Settings" option selected and press "Next"
Now change workgroup name and press "Next" to continue.
Windows will then continue installing.
you will now be prompted for "Windows XP Professional CD2",
insert Windows XP Media Center Edition CD2 disk and press "OK" to continue
When prompted for ‘Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2
CD’ place the Windows XP Media Center Edition CD1 in the drive. Click OK to
Windows will now adjust your resolution, click "OK" to
If you are happy with the changes, click "OK" otherwise
press "Cancel" to return to the old settings
"Welcome to Microsoft Windows" screen now appears, press
"Next" to continue.
"Help protect my PC" screen now appears, click top option to
enable Microsoft's Firewall, Automatic updates and virus checker warning. It
is recommended to do this even if you wish to put your own firewall on
later. Only select "Not Right Now" if you not intend to use the internet.
Once you select your option, press "Next".
Internet connection option is next. If your computer
connects to a Media Center Edition network or directly using the network card, or is on a
network then select "Yes", otherwise select "No".
Activate Windows option appears next, we recommend that you
select "No, remind me every few days", that will allow you to make sure
everything is correct and running OK before you use up one of your activate
attempts. It also allows you to setup your security options and internet
connection correctly. Click "Next to continue"
Windows now thanks you, click "Finish" to continue.
Windows will now apply your settings...
Now Windows "WELCOME" screen.
and finally the Windows XP MCE Desktop. Windows is now
If you are lucky you will have no drivers to install, but
chances are the next step will be to install them. Check out device manager
for unknown devices, likely items are Network Cards, Sound Cards, Printers,
Scanners, Graphics Cards, Digital Cameras, etc.
It is very important that you install all required hardware
drivers before proceeding.
Once the drivers are installed, run Windows update and get
all latest patches and upgrades. This may take a while.
To continue with the
Media Center setup click here