SATA dvd drive usable for XP install?

Hi everybody,

I’m about to setup a computer for a friend, just waiting for the components to be delivered. We ordered Windows XP Home SP2b.

We’re going to use an ASUS M2A-VM mainboard with SATA and PATA connectors. But we plan on using only SATA drives: a WD SATA HDD and an Optiarc AD-S1770S SATA dvd burner.

I’m not planning on reading up on how to slipstream a sata driver into the Windows install cd. I’ll buy a floppy drive for the SATA driver instead.

But can the XP install even commence from a SATA cd drive? Maybe I don’t really understand the driver issue. Maybe the F6-driver procedure is only neccessary for the setup procedure to be able to deal with the NCQ feature provided by the HDD?

Do I have to pack a PATA cd drive or will this work with the SATA drive?



you should be able to install your operating system using a SATA drive, if the SATA controller is set to a IDE compatible operating mode.


It depends. If you enable AHCI mode in the BIOS, you’ll need the SATA driver floppy (or slipstreamed CD, which is quite easy to do with nLite incidentally). If you select Legacy/IDE mode as [B]Michael[/B] says, then you don’t, but you’ll miss out on NCQ (if your HD supports this). Vista already includes some AHCI drivers IIRC, so that might work without the floppy as well.

I’ve never had a problem booting/installing an OS from a SATA drive (but I don’t have a NEC).


Any SATA ODD should behave the same, so the only issues are with the controllers. I was not able to install Windows from my SATA connected Samsung drive (now dead), since additional drivers for the controller were needed.
There shouldn’t be any problem with Intel and Nvidia (if they are set to native mode), but there will be issues with VIA and many other 3rd party PCI SATA controllers.


I definitely want to use NCQ. Nice to read that there shouldn’t be a problem with SATA cd drives during install. Okidoki, I’ll just get the floppy drive and keep my fingers crossed.



Forgot to add that the SATA burner needs to run in Legacy/IDE mode. So unless you have two separate SATA controllers, you won’t be able to use NCQ on an all-SATA system.

Point taken. The picture in the manual only shows one controller.

How about this: Upon installation I choose IDE compatibility mode. AFAIK I should be able to complete the installation even without the F6-floppy step when IDE compatibility mode is enabled. After the installation finishes I’m going to install the AHCI driver as supplied by the motherboard vendor, reboot and enable AHCI mode for the SATA controller.

Would this work? Any drawbacks?



AFAIK Windows won’t boot if you change to AHCI mode in the BIOS after installation. And even if it did, I don’t think the burner will work correctly in Windows with AHCI enabled.

Maybe someone else can confirm.

That is correct Windows won’t boot if you change to AHCI mode after installation. You must first change to AHCI in BIOS and have a floppy ready with AHCI driver (f6) and clean install.

I’ll all happen tomorrow. I’m gonna bring a floppy drive and an IDE cd drive. I’ll report what worked.

It turned out to be straight forward. The mainboard (ASUS M2A-VM) comes with a nice driver cd. You can even boot it. It starts FreeDOS and creates the driver floppy for you. In the BIOS I chose AHCI over the default IDE compatibility mode and then booted the Windows XP Home cd. It had no issue with the SATA burner. I hit F6 and it went for the AHCI/RAID drivers on the floppy. No problem whatsoever.

Thanks all!


No-one said there would be a problem installing XP in AHCI mode :slight_smile: . The problems will come when reading/burning CD/DVD’s now…

Mmh, I didn’t have an issue with reading CDs after the install finished. For example I installed Firefox and Thunderbird from a CD-RW. I installed Ahead Nero Essentials for burning, but I didn’t try to burn anything.

There was a tool from Nero setup in Autostart that made the SATA burner disappear, though. I can’t remember its name, but when disabling this Autostart through msconfig the SATA burner stayed visible and usable. So I kept this particular Autostart disabled.


I hope it’s nothing more than that, but if the drive starts acting up, you’ll know why :flower: .