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I am setting up a PC with an Asus A7N8X Motherboard complete with Serial ATA interface and a Maxtor 120Gb Serial ATA drive. During the initial driver loading before installation commences everything seems to be working normally but when the Windows is starting up message appears, shortly after I either get SESSION3_INITIALIZATION_FAILED stop screen, or it goes through to the Press Enter to set up Windows screen and fails there because it can't find any hard disks. The hard disks are discovered in the boot process and using an ME start up disk I can FDISK the drive into partitions as required but XP Home still refuses to acknowledge their existence.
Any ideas which might stop me losing the rest of my hair in frustration.
Don't know whether the "Session3 Initialization Failed" error is related to the second one - can't find any hard disks. May or may not be.
For the second one, I think it's because you need to load the Serial ATA hard disk controller driver during XP Setup.
When the computer first boots up from the XP CD and you get the first welcome screen, there's a prompt at the bottom of the screen asking you to press F6 to install SCSI or other hard disk controller driver.
It doesn't give you a lot of time to press F6, so get your finger ready on the key, press it when prompted. XP Setup will continue to load drivers and files, and ultimately you will be prompted to press S to install hard disk controller drivers, and then you will need to insert a floppy which contains the driver.
See if your motherboard comes with a floppy for the Serial ATA controller driver. If not, copy the relevant driver from the motherboard CD to a floppy. You should copy the contents (all files and subfolders) of the relevant folder to the root of the floppy.
The Serial ATA controller is produced by Silicon Image.
Thanks temp003. Worked a treat. I still had the error message "Session3 Initialization failed" until I removed 512Mb of the 1Gb memory in machine. I then put it back in after XP was installed and then restored the caches which I turned off to try and encourage installation. Anyway its all working okay now thanks very much for your assistance.
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