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Gateway LT20 Netbook won't recognize new Hard Disk


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#1 jtru1

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 09:33 PM

My Gateway LT20 netbook had a bad virus that would not clean, so I decided to replace the drive and rebuild the system. I bought and installed a WD Scorpio Blue 250 SATA 2.5" drive. Orig drive was WD Scorpio Blue 160. I found an XP Home install disk (might be an upgrade version)and used my "Slim" external CD drive to try to install XP. When the XP install routine got to the screen where you select the drive you want to install to, it said <none>.

So, I formatted the drive on another system (running XP Pro sp3) with an Apricorn USB Hard Disk adapter, using Disk Manager. I partitioned the entire surface, formatted NTFS, but did not assign a drive letter, because E: was the first available and I knew I wanted it to be C: in the netbook. Tried XP Home installation again, and it stopped at the same place with the same error.

So, I put the disk back on the Apricorn and made the partition "Active" (forgot to do that before) and tried again. This time, it blue-screened with a 07B error. Oh, joy.

Two chat sessions with Gateway yielded some interesting links for drivers and a useless format utility (intended for downgrading a Vista installation to XP). They were pretty nice. This box is really an Acer netbook, but that's another story.

So, what do I do? The bios (F2 setup) sees and id's the drive, but the XP Home disk does not. I have not looked at the drive in Linux. It is VERY difficult to get this netbook to boot from the CD. It continually tries to boot from the Ethernet adapter, probably because that is how they load the image at the factory. It prompts to "press any key to boot from CD", but that does not work. Quickly pressing <alt> and F10 seems to work to boot from the CD, but it hangs at the same screen (and BSOD, now).

Thanks for your suggestions.

Edited by jtru1, 11 August 2011 - 09:36 PM.


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#2 Dan Penny

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 09:55 PM

Ref.: http://support.gateway.com/s/notebook/2009/gateway/lt/lt20/lt20nv.shtml
  • Restart the computer.
  • When the Gateway logo appears on the screen, press the F2 key repeatedly.
  • Arrow over to "Boot".
  • Ensure that the external optical drive is plugged into a USB port.
  • Refer to on screen instructions to set the first device to "USB CDROM".
  • Press the CD-ROM drive eject button and insert the System CD.
  • Close the CD-ROM tray.
  • Press "F10", then press "Enter" to save the changes and reboot the system.
  • The computer will boot from the Gateway Recovery Media
  • When prompted for the Recovery CD, remove the System CD and insert the Recovery CD. Note: If there are multiple Recovery CDs, please insert the first Recovery CD.
  • After the system recovery program has loaded follow the prompts to reinstall the operating system.
Note: If you do not have a set of Gateway Recovery Media you may purchase recovery media online.

Edited by Dan Penny, 11 August 2011 - 09:58 PM.

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#3 Allan

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 06:51 AM

You probably need to install the sata drivers during the XP installation.

#4 jtru1

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 08:49 AM

Thanks Dan. I had already done the USB CD boot change, but it still tries forever to boot from the Ethernet interface, unless I do the alt-F10 trick, during boot. I do not have the Gateway recovery disk. I do bare bones XP installs all the time on Dells, Compaqs, and HPs, but never had one fail to recognize a drive.

Allan, that is a good suggestion. The XP Home disk I have prompts to press F6 for a 3rd-party RAID driver. Is that where I need to load the SATA driver? Do you think I could get it from the Acer link that Gateway gave me?

I may have to order the Gateway recovery disk, but no telling how long that will take. They didn't seem to have a download option.

Edited by jtru1, 12 August 2011 - 08:51 AM.


#5 jtru1

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 11:15 AM

WELL -- I appear to have found the cure.

In the BIOS setup (F2 on boot), on the Main tab, at the bottom is a setting called "SATA Mode". It was set to AHCI. The choices were IDE or AHCI, in that order. After changing it to IDE and saving the change, I loaded the XP Home CD and it saw the new disk perfectly. So, I am in the process of completing the install.

BTW, it was an upgrade CD, but only needed to see a 95, 98, 2000, or XP setup disk to be happy. I have a full XP key on the back of the Gateway, so I don't anticipate any problems. Of course, I will have to go to Acer to get the drivers.

I also changed two other things in the Bios/Main setup: ENABLE F12 boot menu, and DISABLE Network Boot. I tried the XP reinstall after those changes, before I changed the SATA Mode, and it failed as usual. So it was definitely the SATA Mode = IDE change that worked. Obviously, Gateway/Acer loads a SATA driver into the XP stream, which is there on the Gateway Restore Disk. To quote Wikipedia, "Older versions of operating systems require hardware-specific drivers in order to support AHCI. Windows XP does not provide support out of the box." You would think that one of the three Gateway techs I talked to would have known this!

I'll let you know when I get done if it worked and what else I had to do with the drivers. Thanks for your suggestions.

#6 Dan Penny

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 05:08 PM

Good catch. I have a Gateway that came with Vista (and a (computer store burned) CD of Vista install). I remember now that I had to do the BIOS setting change to IDE in order to install my (full) XP O/S.

Edited by Dan Penny, 12 August 2011 - 05:09 PM.

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#7 Allan

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 05:24 PM

Sorry - was playing a mediocre round of golf. Glad you got it figured out.




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