HDD Problems, cannot install windows

I got this message after I erased the entire disk, due to a virus infection, during the installation process, I even get it when I try to use the Recovery console of th windows setup CD

Setup did not find any hard disk drives in your computer.
Make sure any hard disks are powered on and properly connected. to your computer, and that any disk-related hardware configuration is correct. This may involve running a manufacturer-supplied diagnostic or setup program.

Setup cannot continue. To quit setup, press F3.

Can anyone help me, its urgent?


Honorable Member
It has been too long since I did an installation of XP to be able to go into much detail, but that sounds like it needs the SATA drivers during the installation to work properly. That means that you need the drivers on a floppy (or maybe on a CD or flash drive...not sure), and during the installation...somewhere, there is a place for you to point to it, The drivers should be available on the motherboard's website.

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Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
1. Try again... and again.

2. It can be a connection / cable problem. If you have SATA, check the cables and be sure they aren't in any 90 degree turns. But if the disk has worked, it sounds a bit theoretical. It may be possible, like seekermeister writes, that you need specific SATA drivers, if your motherboard is older. Could you give some system specs, like what mobo you have?

3. Sometimes Windows has problems with recognizing disks, even if there is no real problem. In those cases I've found it helpful to use another partition program, like GParted, http://gparted.sourceforge.net/


Senior Member
After "erasing" it, did you format/assign drive letter to it?


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
I was just wondering how you "erased" the disk?


Senior Member
I was just wondering how you "erased" the disk?
Yeah. that's why I put it in quotation marks. Probably just deleted it and did not created a volume afterwards which is one possible reason why it's not being detected.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Like seekermeister, I do not have that much experience with what XP can or cannot do when it comes to configuring a Hard Drive. I do know, in Windows 7, a drive can be cleaned using Diskpart and Windows will configure the drive normally, even though it is RAW and no volumes are present.

In XP, and I am assuming SP3, even if you try to load with AHCI enabled, it will at least try to load the Windows files, but that does not seem to be happening. So possibly, what Pauli mentions concerning the physical connections could be involved, or for some reason the drive was cleaned in such a way XP needs it to be brought part way back.

Also, I suppose, if the drive had not been cleaned sufficiently, there may still be a boot virus or something else hanging around.

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