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Win 7 Installer won't recognize Hard Drive

HerkimerHerkimer Registered User regular
Just build a new computer, and everything seemed to be going swimmingly, until the OS installation part. I'm trying to install Win 7 Home Premium, and the installer can't see my hard drive.

It's a Western Digital Caviar Black on a Gigabyte Intel H55 Mobo.

The hard drive shows properly in the BIOS (I've also double-checked that it's seated properly and properly cabled), but Windows stubbornly refuses to acknowledge its existence. Rather, Windows keeps asking me to install the device driver manually. Well, OK, if I could find the bloody driver anywhere on the web.

Some BIOS settings stuff:
The HD is in IDE Channel 1 (optical drive is in Channel 0, if it matters)
SATA AHCI Mode is set to IDE
SATA Port0-3 Native Mode is set to Enabled

Those are all the possibly relevant settings I could find in the BIOS. I've googled the problem, and I couldn't find anything that looked promising. Any ideas?

In the meantime, I'm going to make a linux boot disk and see if it's just a Windows problem, but I'd love to get this fixed. Thanks very much for the help.

edit: no available BIOS updates, btw.

Herkimer on

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    travathiantravathian Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Put the hdd in the first SATA port and the optical drive in the second. Set BIOS to defaults, then try the install.

    And just to confirm, you can boot off the Win7 dvd correct? The installation program begins, but when it gets to the hdd detection/installation section it says no drive is found?

    travathian on
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    HerkimerHerkimer Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    travathian wrote: »

    And just to confirm, you can boot off the Win7 dvd correct? The installation program begins, but when it gets to the hdd detection/installation section it says no drive is found?

    Yeah, exactly.

    And thanks for the advice. I just switched the drives around and reset the bios. We'll see if Windows wants to play nicely now :)

    edit: nope. Again, BIOS recognizes the drive just fine. Windows doesn't. grrrr.

    edit edit: Same result in the other SATA ports. Downloading Knoppix atm & will try that; think I'll also stop at Best Buy tomorrow and see if Windows likes a different HD better.

    Herkimer on
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    HerkimerHerkimer Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Minor update:

    If I run diskpart from a command line in the Win 7 installer, then tell it to list disk, the Western Digital HD does show up. I'm not sure exactly what to make of that, but there it is. Back to looking for drivers...

    Herkimer on
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    General_WinGeneral_Win Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Your Caviar Black is an IDE hard drive? Are you really sure? If you bought it just recently I don't know why you went with IDE.

    If its a SATA drive change the SATA AHCI Mode is set to AHCI or the one above it, it'll provide better performance.

    Normally Windows 7 detects all IDE drives no problem. I don't think you'd ever find IDE drivers anywhere as I'm pretty sure since Windows 2000 the IDE driver hasn't changed.

    The SATA drivers you may need would be found at http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=18668&ProdId=3143&lang=eng
    These are Sata drivers BTW, not IDE.

    There are 32 and 64 bit versions, pick the one you're using. Open the zip, move the files onto a floppy or usb key and when you're given a chance try to load them at the disk management part of the installation.

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    HerkimerHerkimer Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Your Caviar Black is an IDE hard drive? Are you really sure? If you bought it just recently I don't know why you went with IDE.

    Well, it's a SATA connection, but the BIOS defaults to IDE mode in the settings I listed above.
    If its a SATA drive change the SATA AHCI Mode is set to AHCI or the one above it, it'll provide better performance.

    FWIW I've tried that and the installer still won't recognize the drive.
    Normally Windows 7 detects all IDE drives no problem. I don't think you'd ever find IDE drivers anywhere as I'm pretty sure since Windows 2000 the IDE driver hasn't changed.

    The SATA drivers you may need would be found at http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=18668&ProdId=3143&lang=eng
    These are Sata drivers BTW, not IDE.

    There are 32 and 64 bit versions, pick the one you're using. Open the zip, move the files onto a floppy or usb key and when you're given a chance try to load them at the disk management part of the installation.

    Thanks, I'll try that driver and see how it goes.

    Herkimer on
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    HerkimerHerkimer Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    But even before that, I think I've solved the mystery!

    I had to go into the command line and partition and format the HD manually using diskpart. Exited out, went back into the Windows installer, and voila, it sees the hard drive.

    I'm not going to mark this solved until installation's complete, as I'm paranoid, but Windows now seems to be merrily installing.

    I'll post what I did in a spoiler, in case this happens to anyone else:
    This is what worked for me, YMMV and all that, and I'm not responsible if you bork your computer.

    Once in Windows setup, hit shift+F10 to bring up the command line.
    >diskpart [enter]
    >list disk [enter]
    From the list above (assuming you have more than one HD installed, if not it'll be the only one), find the number corresponding to your HD.
    >select drive [number] [enter]
    >clean all [enter] * see note below
    >create partition primary [enter]
    >select partition 1 [enter]
    >active [enter]
    >format fs=ntfs [enter] ** see note
    >assign [enter]
    >exit [enter]
    >exit [enter]

    Exit the Windows installer, then reload it. Your drive ought to appear.

    NOTES
    *If you have data on the hard drive you're working with, you'd better have it backed up by now because once you hit enter on this step, there's no going back. Clean all zeroes every sector on the disk. Also, clean all takes a while: I've read stories about 1 TB drives taking upwards of five hours. I set mine to work before I went to bed, and it was done when I woke up.
    ** Formatting the drive also takes a while, though not nearly as long as the clean all.

    Herkimer on
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    exoplasmexoplasm Gainfully Employed Near Blizzard HQRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I recently ran into this problem. I had to format the drive with NTFS with a livecd because the existing partitions (something to do with vista) borked it up. Kind of strange, it only happened on one computer out of the dozen I've installed it on.

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    lewlaskinlewlaskin Registered User new member
    registered just to tell you that you are a life saver! thank you so much herkimer!

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