Windows Failure – Sata Controller Driver Missing

A few years ago when I was a Windows user I ran across a GREAT deal on a computer package from Best Buy on Black Friday.  I ended up buying four computers — two for me, one for my dad and one for my mother-in-law. The desktops are very much awesome and I believe over three years later, they’re still in use with the exception of one thing that I’ve had to repair which is the SATA controller going out on the motherboard.  This happened to me a while back and was quite a nightmare to repair.  I’d completely forgotten what I did to get things back up and running so when the same problem popped up for my dad’s computer, I was back at square 1.

My first instinct when I saw that Windows wouldn’t load was “hey, your hard drive is bad.”  My dad’s been complaining about how slow his computer is anyways so I told him this is an opportunity to upgrade his hard drive to an SSHD and his computer would very much be like new.

The new hard drive finally gets in and all of a sudden, I realize that the problem isn’t with the hard drive, but with the SATA controller.  I dissected the computer I’d already purchased parts for to get his working since his was a business computer and he’d already been waiting for a week for it to get fixed ( shipping time! ).

I think I must have installed the OS at least three times, tried auto repair on a fresh copy of windows dozens of times, tried to get into CMD prompt and copy the driver files manually because what it seemed is I was able to load the driver to install Windows, but it wouldn’t get installed with Windows. This meant as soon as installation was done, I’d get a reboot loop.

Hours and hours of research later with such vague search terms as this problem isn’t easily searchable and I stumble on a forum post that.. .. well, got me to where I needed to be.  The solution is literally nothing sort of disgusting and typical of Windows:

I finally got the problem solved. I used the solution from this thread. The guy in that situation was dealing with a RevoDrive 3, but the issue was the same. For some reason, the Windows installation was telling me that the x64 drivers were unsigned, and it wouldn’t load them. If you are having this problem, follow these steps:

1. Download both the x86 and x64 drivers from OCZ, unzip them, and copy both the x86 folder and x64 folder onto a flash drive.
2. Restart your computer, boot from the Windows install DVD, and begin the installation process (if you have an x86 option and an x64 option, make sure you select the x64 option, assuming that you want to install 64-bit Windows).
3. During the install process, when you get to the drive selection screen, click on “Load Drivers”. Click on the “Browse” button, and navigate to the flash drive where you stored the drivers. Select the x86 folder, and load the x86 driver that comes up.
4. At this point you should be returned to the drive selection screen, and the RevoDrive should appear as an option. Select the RevoDrive and click on “drive options”. Delete any partitions on the drive, format it, and create a new partition. (I’m not sure if this step is actually necessary, but it was suggested in the post that I was using, and I did it myself, so I don’t know whether or not it would work without this step)
5. Click on “Load Drivers” again, and this time navigate to the x64 folder. Install the x64 driver (there should actually be three files that show up in that folder). Install the two drivers in that list that say “(x64)” after them. If you still get the “unsigned drivers” error, don’t worry… I got that error message at this stage also, but the x64 install still worked.
6. Close the “load drivers” screen to return to the drive selection screen. Select the RevoDrive, and continue with the Windows installation.

Hopefully these steps help all the people out there who are having this problem. It took me 7 hours of solid searching and trying different methods to come upon this solution and get it to work. Good luck!

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/71858-63-unable-install-windows-pcie

Well there you have it folks!  You have to start the process by loading the x86 drivers then switch to the x64 drivers half way through.  That makes sense, right????

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