So what’s SATA about?
You used to be able to install Windows XP just fine on your previous computers without an SATA driver – right?
Correct, that’s because your older PC or laptop was using a previous standard, called IDE.
I won’t go into great detail here about SATA, IDE, etc here but will just give you enough to understand what they are and why you need a driver for the new SATA.
The rest you can read up on our old friend Wikipedia!
In all cases, your hard drive is connected physically to your computer’s motherboard via a cable.
Previously, this interface was known as an IDE interface and used a wide grey cable known as a ribbon cable.
Nowadays, there is a new interface which is cheaper, faster and tidier known as SATA.
Windows XP, was developed way before SATA and that is why you need a special driver if you want to install Windows XP on a newer PC using the newer SATA interface.
I’ve previously written a number of articles related to this -
- If Windows XP Setup can’t find your SATA drive you may get the error such as Setup did not find any hard disks...
- If you already have your drivers and need to know how to make a boot CD then see - Custom Windows XP Disc to include your SATA drivers.
- There are many other articles too – just search for SATA using the search box at the top of this page.
Finding your SATA drivers
SATA Driver Finding Service by Rosco
If you need a little helping hand and want Rosco to find your SATA driver for you then learn more about this great new service by clicking here
The following sections show you how to:
- Find out what Chipset Manufacturer you have
- Downloading the appropriate driver
- Some Examples from reader requests
The Chipset Is Key!
When looking for drivers for my readers I’ve found quite a few SATA drivers and made them available at the links below.
In order to know which one you need you first need to determine your chipset.
Regardless of the manufacturer of your computer, your system’s chipset will be manufactured typically by one of the major companies such as:
but most likely it’s Intel or AMD.
There are a few different options for determining your PC/laptop’s chipset.
- Your PC or Laptop Manufacturer’s Website- on the support section of your PC/laptop manufacturers website you need to look for Product Information, Product Specifications, System or Technical Specifications. I’ve listed a few of the major ones below.
- For IBM/Lenovo – go to the Product Information section of their Support site and locate your exact model using the drop down fields. Typically, the latest Lenovo/IBM’s are using Intel.
- For HP/Compaq – enter your product description and model on their support page and then browse to the Product Information > Motherboard Specifications section for your model. Recent HP/Compaq models are using a mixture of Intel, AMD and Nvidia.
- For Dell – Go to Support > Downloads > Enter Model manually > Choose Windows 7 as the Operating System and browse to Chipset. It will tell you the chipset manufacturer and model on the file download page. Dell are using Intel mostly.
- Windows Device Manager
- If you can’t find out the chipset info from your manufacturers website then you can find out from within Windows, provided you can get into Windows!
- If you can access Windows, right click My Computer > click Properties > Device Manager
- Expand System Devices and locate the Chipset manufacturer and model
- Windows System Information Tool
- Another alternative is to use the System Information tool
- Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Information
- Locate your Chipset manufacturer in the System Summary.
- If you can’t see it, try clicking Hardware Resources followed by I/O and scroll. You should see the Chipset or SATA controller listed at the bottom.
Downloading The Drivers
Now that you know your chipset manufacturer, download the appropriate drivers.
I’ve made several drivers available for download but it is by no means all of them.
If you cannot find the correct driver on this site then you will need to find it on either:
- your PC manufacturer’s website (some links above)
- motherboard manufacturer’s website
- your chipset manufacturers website (links provided below)
- NVIDIA nForce
- nForce is NVIDIA’s range of motherboard chipsets.
- NVIDIA’s driver download site is quite good and easy to locate the SATA drivers. Have a look here.
- AMD’s driver download site is incredibly confusing if you’re looking for anything other than the video drivers so I’ve found driver downloads for their chipsets in other places. Usually the major motherboard and PC manufacturers will have drivers available for download.
- AMD/ATI 7 (Seven) Series SATA Drivers for Windows XP Setup
- AMD/ATI 8 (Eight) Series SATA Drivers for Windows XP Setup
- SIS – Primarily the SIS964. Download from their support page here
- VIA – VIA Driver Download Site