It does that if you have ZIP drives in the system. Microsoft seems to be loathe to issue a new installer to address this issue.
The IDE drive on my four year old Athlon-based computer recently up and died, fortunately with most of the essential stuff backed up. I'd purchased a Western Digital Caviar SE16 250 bg internal drive to upgrade the hard drive in another machine, so I had a replacement for the drive that quit. Given the age of the machine, it didn't have SATA capability - no problem, I got a generic SATA controller card from Compusa. I installed that, installed the WD drive, and ran XP Setup, which allowed me to install the SATA drivers as part of the setup process. Also allowed me to partition the new disk as part of the XP installation process, which was a relief since I couldn't run the WD-provided disk utilities UNTIL the disk was partioned and formatted. Then in hardware setup - hit the Delete key during the boot process to access system BIOS - I disabled the IDE primary master, primary slave, secondary master, secondary slave drives so the system wouldn't waste time looking for them during the boot process.
Then I restarted the system and everything appears to be working fine, I've reinstalled four years of XP updates, etc etc etc. The system boots from the new WD with no problem and software reinstalls, reupdates, etc seem to go appropriately. The only problem, if it is one, is that XP identifies the hard disk as.....H drive, and this is the first desktop machine I've ever seen that identifies the only functioning hard disk as H drive. Since I've been horsing around with PCs since the Dark Ages (CPm, Msdos 1.0, etc), this makes me......uneasy. Therefore:
1. Have I committed some sort of egregious screwup?
2. Is there any way to force the machine to identify the SATA drive as C: drive?
Thanks in advance for any input and/or advice.