A+: Providing Device Drivers During Installation

In Windows Vista, device drivers are added within the same screen where partitioning was done by clicking Load Driver. These could be drivers for SATA or SCSI controllers, or other special hard disk controllers. These drivers can come from floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB flash drive. Microsoft recommends that before you install, you check if the devices you wish to use are listed at the Windows Vista Compatibility Center (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/) or at the Windows Logo’d Products List (http://winqual.microsoft.com/HCL/Default.aspx?m=v). If you click Load Driver and cannot supply a proper driver for Windows Vista, or if the computer cannot read the media where the driver is stored, you will have to exit the installation program.

In Windows XP/2000, very early in the installation process, the status line at the bottom of the screen displays a prompt to press F6 if you need to provide drivers for the drive that will be used for the installation, such as an SATA or SCSI hard disk, a PATA hard disk connected to an adapter card, or a RAID array. As soon as the Windows XP or 2000 setup program starts, you have only a few moments to press F6 if you need to install a third-party SCSI or RAID driver (or Serial ATA driver).

If you don’t provide a driver when prompted and Windows cannot display your drive as an installation target, exit the installation program, restart it, and provide the driver when prompted. The driver must be provided on a floppy disk. Windows XP/2000 will not recognize a driver provided on a USB flash memory drive, CD, or DVD. Be sure to check for hardware compatibility with the Windows XP Logo’d list (formerly the HCL): http://winqual.microsoft.com/HCL/Default.aspx?m=x.

If the SATA host adapter used by your hard disk is incorporated into the system chipset on the motherboard, you might not need to provide a driver.