Installing Windows and the

By Loyd Case  |  Posted 2004-11-30 Print this article Print

RAID Driver"> One of the curious quirks of Windows XP is that you need a floppy disk drive to install drivers for custom disk controllers. Weve never tried USB keys or USB floppies for this chore, but we do know that Windows Setup will stubbornly refuse to search a CD-ROM drive for this purpose. So youll need whats commonly called the "F6 floppy". Thats because you press the F6 key on your keyboard when Windows setup launches. Youll see a question on the bottom of the screen telling you to "Press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver". Press F6 at this point. Eventually, youll see a screen asking for the driver.
When you press the S key at the screen, Windows setup will search the F6 floppy and find the driver. Choose the 82801FR SATA RAID Controller driver with the cursor keys and hit the Enter key. Make sure youve selected the correct driver. Once you commit, you cant change, and the result will be a blue screen crash on the first boot after Windows is installed—and youll get to start over. Note that the current drivers for Intels RAID may not be digitally signed or otherwise approved by Mi-crosoft, so youll need to ignore the warnings from Windows Setup and make sure you press the "Yes" button. This will likely happen twice, once with no hint as to which file is causing Windows to freak out. Finally, we can format the primary partition and install Windows. Note that if you select the second drive and attempt to use it as the boot drive, Windows Setup will simply tell you that this drive is not usable.

Loyd Case came to computing by way of physical chemistry. He began modestly on a DEC PDP-11 by learning the intricacies of the TROFF text formatter while working on his master's thesis. After a brief, painful stint as an analytical chemist, he took over a laboratory network at Lockheed in the early 80's and never looked back. His first 'real' computer was an HP 1000 RTE-6/VM system.

In 1988, he figured out that building his own PC was vastly more interesting than buying off-the-shelf systems ad he ditched his aging Compaq portable. The Sony 3.5-inch floppy drive from his first homebrew rig is still running today. Since then, he's done some programming, been a systems engineer for Hewlett-Packard, worked in technical marketing in the workstation biz, and even dabbled in 3-D modeling and Web design during the Web's early years.

Loyd was also bitten by the writing bug at a very early age, and even has dim memories of reading his creative efforts to his third grade class. Later, he wrote for various user group magazines, culminating in a near-career ending incident at his employer when a humor-impaired senior manager took exception at one of his more flippant efforts. In 1994, Loyd took on the task of writing the first roundup of PC graphics cards for Computer Gaming World -- the first ever written specifically for computer gamers. A year later, Mike Weksler, then tech editor at Computer Gaming World, twisted his arm and forced him to start writing CGW's tech column. The gaming world -- and Loyd -- has never quite recovered despite repeated efforts to find a normal job. Now he's busy with the whole fatherhood thing, working hard to turn his two daughters into avid gamers. When he doesn't have his head buried inside a PC, he dabbles in downhill skiing, military history and home theater.

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