I'm trying to install XP Pro SP2 on a laptop but it says the drive is not detected (it's SATA). How can I install the SATA drivers without a floppy disk? Ideally I would like to use a USB drive. The laptop I'm using is a Toshiba Portege M400-S4031.

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can't. You either switch your system into IDE compatible mode (if possible) in the BIOS, upgrade to Vista/7, get a floppy drive & disc (USB drives often work), or slipstream the drivers onto your XP CD with another PC.

Personally, I'd upgrade the OS. However, if you really want XP, I'd recommend slipstreaming SP3 & the SATA AHCI drivers onto a new CD with nLite. nLite makes the process very easy.

Best would be an OS upgrade like afrazier stated before. ;)

If that isn't possible to you and you do not want to buy an USB floppy drive: most BIOSes have a legacy setting which emulates some IDE drive instead your S-ATA one. You current setting should be called AHCI or raid (if raid, try to switch to AHCI first), the legacy setting is usually called legacy or IDE.

With a little messing around with registry and drivers you even should be able to install the S-ATA drivers lateron and switch back in BIOS, there are some manuals in the internet, but I can't help you with more details, sorry.

Standard Windows XP installation can only read SATA drivers files from floppy disc; on some laptop without floppy disk reader, i used an external usb floppy reader with success.

It doesn't cost too much, and it's simple solution.

Here's what I have done in cases where a typical XP install didnt see the drive. When first entering setup, there's an option shown along the bottom of the blue screen to load SCSI/RAID drivers. It is . When that option is used, I've been able to load XP onto SATA drives with no problems. After pressing F6, setup will load some more files, then ask if there are any additional drivers from other disks. When that question comes up, just press . Windows setup should continue normally. I've used this method with both desk-tops and lap-tops. In fact, I'm using that method right now on a Dell Inspiron 1521. The XP version I'm working with is XP Pro original, so I'm not sure if the method will be the same with your version. But, its at least something to try.

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