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downgrading to XP - SATA driver and Nlite issue.

by evenstar818 / March 3, 2009 2:16 PM PST

So I've been doing some research on installing XP on a machine that previously had Vista installed, and I've got the issue that seems pretty common....the "can't find the hard drive" issue? So I downloaded Nlite, and found the SATA drivers for my Dell Inspiron 1520 laptop...however Nlite needs the drivers to be in .inf form, but the ones I downloaded from Dell are .exe files? Ummm...what do I do now? I'll admit I'm a total newbie at this, but I'm trying Wink

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you

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Any chance of a BIOS setting change?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 3, 2009 8:37 PM PST
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by helljack6 / March 4, 2009 12:51 AM PST

I think what "bob" was referring to was to boot the laptop and enter the bios. Under hard drives section, it might be possible for you to change the behavoir of the SATA so that instead of running either SATA or ACHI mode it will run native EIDE mode which is compatible. Be forwarned that there is a speed difference with making this change.

As far as nLite goes, if you downloaded the SATA Driver from Dell and it's in EXE format, don't worry. Save it to your desktop and then click on start, run and drag it into the run line. At the very end of the command in the run line hit the spacebar once and then add /e. This will cause it to run, act like it's installing, but it won't install. It's just extracting the files from the EXE format. NOTE the path that it creates because that's where you're going to find your SATA Driver *.inf file.

Another option that you can use and this might be a bit of overkill, is download the mass storage device driver package from and extract them to a folder on your desktop. Then with nLite, when you get to the part that you add drivers, just add the whole folder and it will import all the drivers for you. Because you don't need the all the drivers just one, make sure you check the box in the lower left corner that says delete drivers after installation. Hope this helps.

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