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Windows 7: Need Help!!!

14 Apr 2011   #21
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Nothing I've found suggests that there exists Win7 drivers for this Promise SATA378 controller.

Normally (and this has existed as an option forever) at install time there is something like a "press F6 to provide 3rd-party drivers" for hardware that is not supported directly out-of-the-box by the OS installer. This certainly existed for WinXP, and I had to use it for my Adaptec 39320 U320 PCI-x SCSI controller. WinXP came with built-in support for the Adaptec 29160 family U160 products, but not the x9320 family. So, I had the driver from Adaptec on a floppy diskette and pressed F6 early in the install, and then I was prompted for this (and possibly additional) driver diskettes at the right time during the early part of the install, after other files had been copied from the installation CD/DVD.

Since at the time all of my hard drives were SCSI, and connected to this 39320 controller, without the Adaptec-provided drivers available to WinXP's installer via F6 I could not install WinXP. Now Win7 was a different story, with Adaptec getting official 39320 drivers to Microsoft for inclusion on the Win7 installation DVD, so no F6 approach was needed.

But the same F6-like capability exists even today for Win7's install... but Microsoft's done a very good job of hugely expanding the number of hardware devices supported out-of-the-box directly. So the number of genuinely unsupported hardware devices which still require a manufacturer-provided driver and which are critical to Win7's install, at Win7 install time, is much smaller than it was with WinXP. There's no problem finishing the install with still-unsupported but non-critical devices, as you can hunt around and probably get drivers from the manufacturer's site to finish things up successfully... after Win7 gets installed.

In the case of this Promise SATA378 controller, this is a critical piece of required hardware for the Win7 installer to support, either through built-in drivers provided by Microsoft or from the manufacturer. The hard drives are connected to the controller, and without the controller's support there is no hard drive support. That's the reason the F6-for-drivers option exists.

However it appears this controller simply does NOT have Win7-compatible drivers to support it. They were not given to Microsoft several years ago for inclusion on the installation DVD (nor for Vista), and they do not appear to be available on any manufacturer's web site. And you cannot use WinXP drivers instead.

I think this hardware (meaning your laptop) is simply relegated to WinXP-only end-of-life status. You're going to have to replace it with "modern" hardware if you want to use Win7.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Apr 2011   #22
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Nothing I've found suggests that there exists Win7 drivers for this Promise SATA378 controller.

Normally (and this has existed as an option forever) at install time there is something like a "press F6 to provide 3rd-party drivers" for hardware that is not supported directly out-of-the-box by the OS installer. This certainly existed for WinXP, and I had to use it for my Adaptec 39320 U320 PCI-x SCSI controller. WinXP came with built-in support for the Adaptec 29160 family U160 products, but not the x9320 family. So, I had the driver from Adaptec on a floppy diskette and pressed F6 early in the install, and then I was prompted for this (and possibly additional) driver diskettes at the right time during the early part of the install, after other files had been copied from the installation CD/DVD.

Since at the time all of my hard drives were SCSI, and connected to this 39320 controller, without the Adaptec-provided drivers available to WinXP's installer via F6 I could not install WinXP. Now Win7 was a different story, with Adaptec getting official 39320 drivers to Microsoft for inclusion on the Win7 installation DVD, so no F6 approach was needed.

But the same F6-like capability exists even today for Win7's install... but Microsoft's done a very good job of hugely expanding the number of hardware devices supported out-of-the-box directly. So the number of genuinely unsupported hardware devices which still require a manufacturer-provided driver and which are critical to Win7's install, at Win7 install time, is much smaller than it was with WinXP. There's no problem finishing the install with still-unsupported but non-critical devices, as you can hunt around and probably get drivers from the manufacturer's site to finish things up successfully... after Win7 gets installed.

In the case of this Promise SATA378 controller, this is a critical piece of required hardware for the Win7 installer to support, either through built-in drivers provided by Microsoft or from the manufacturer. The hard drives are connected to the controller, and without the controller's support there is no hard drive support. That's the reason the F6-for-drivers option exists.

However it appears this controller simply does NOT have Win7-compatible drivers to support it. They were not given to Microsoft several years ago for inclusion on the installation DVD (nor for Vista), and they do not appear to be available on any manufacturer's web site. And you cannot use WinXP drivers instead.

I think this hardware (meaning your laptop) is simply relegated to WinXP-only end-of-life status. You're going to have to replace it with "modern" hardware if you want to use Win7.
Hi dsperber
Have a read of this tutorual:
SATA Driver - Load in Windows 7 or Vista Setup
Promise SATA378 controller WinXP drivers working in Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2011   #23
makism

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

I tried using the promise 378 Controller with no avail. Any other ideas because im out of ideas. The most common idea i've gotten from everyone is that this computer just will not accept windows 7. I think that this is possibly true except for the fact that while im booted into winxp both of the hard drives show, but as soon as I try to install win7 they disappear.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

15 Apr 2011   #24
makism

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

I'm now going to try to see if I will be able to re-install winxp.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2011   #25
makism

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

Winxp is telling me the same thing that the win7 install told me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2011   #26
makism

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

What now?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2011   #27
fseal

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

During the WinXP install, did you do the "Hit F6 to install drivers" option and then install the drive controller driver before continuing on? You may have to make a floppy disk or some other horrendous thing to make that work though
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2011   #28
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by makism View Post
What now?
Restore from the "recovery disks" provided by Dell 6 years ago?

The OS was clearly pre-installed by Dell at that time, including all outside drivers for proprietary hardware that was not inherently supported out-of-the-box by WinXP back then (just as it's not supported by Win7 now). I suspect the Promise SATA378 controller was just this type of hardware... not supported by Microsoft, but supported by Dell/Promise. The driver was clearly pre-installed into the WinXP that arrived on your laptop when you bought it.

You should be able to phone Dell for support... at least to help get you started.

We have asked you several times for the MODEL number of your Dell Alienware laptop. Still no answer. So we can't do any research on our own from the Dell support web site. But you should certainly be able to get the latest WinXP drivers from the Dell support site for your machine's tag number, or at least through your model number (which still remains a secret from us).

M11x
M11xR2
M15x
M17x
M17xR2
M17xR3
other Alienware laptop

As was stated just above, a cold from-scratch WinXP reinstall provides a point very early on where you can press F6 to indicate you want to provide external 3rd-party drivers for hardware which is otherwise not supported out-of-the-box by the WinXP installer setup. These drivers MUST be provided on floppy diskette, and this tutorial certainly shows what has to be done... although simply pressing F6 at the right time will result in that side-trip Wizard which is very intuitive.

You cannot use another source media, like USB, to provide the F6-requested drivers. Must be floppy diskette.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Apr 2011   #29
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Quote from dsperber.

[quote]We have asked you several times for the MODEL number of your Dell Alienware laptop. Still no answer. So we can't do any research on our own from the Dell support web site. But you should certainly be able to get the latest WinXP drivers from the Dell support site for your machine's tag number, or at least through your model number (which still remains a secret from us).[quote]

Can you help yourself by helping us to help you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Need Help!!!




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