NVIDIA: Integration of nForce AHCI/RAID Drivers into XP

@ all users with a NVIDIA nForce RAID or AHCI system:


The problem:
None of the Pre-Vista Windows Operating Systems do support the S-ATA Controller features RAID (“Redundant Array of Independent Disks”) and AHCI (“Advanced Host Controller Interface”). Unless the suitable nForce Sata/PataRAID or AHCI drivers are separately presented by the user, the OS installation fails, because the OS Setup doesn’t find the related RAID/AHCI drives and their partitions.
The traditional method to provide the needed drivers by F6/floppy has some severe disadvantages:

  1. A floppy drive is needed, but not available at many actual desktop computers and notebooks.
  2. Floppy disks are the worst data storage media regarding the file integrity. Bad floppy disks are the main reason for corrupted driver files.
  3. The F6/floppy method doesn’t work at all with some “LEGACY mode” nForce RAID systems. Even if the user loads the correct nForce drivers and the RAID is detected by Windows Setup, the OS installation may end with a BSOD and endless reboot loops.
The better alternative is the integration of the needed textmode drivers into a bootable OS CD. Only this way the user can be sure to succeed with the installation of the OS onto an nForce RAID or AHCI system. Nevertheless the developers of the driver integration method had to solve the above specified problem (see point 3). Until 2005 the correct installation of the nForce S-ATA/P-ATA Controllers and drivers needed addtional manual work of the user. They only succeeded after having created special folders and edited some SIF and/or OEM files.

The solution:
The safest and easiest way to get the problematic nForce textmode drivers properly installed is to integrate them by using a tool like nLite. All actual versions of nLite (Since v1.0 Final) have incorporated a special method, which guarantees the successful OS installation onto any nForce RAID or AHCI system (if the user observes some rules layed down below). The replacement of the correct nForce Controllers and drivers by the “wrong” MS IDE ones will be prevented by the built-in suppression of the MS IDE drivers during the hardware detection part of the OS installation.
  • fully automatic method (without creating new directories or editing SIF or OEM files)
  • support of not digitally signed textmode drivers
  • without restriction of any kind during the use of nLite

Who needs to load/integrate which nForce IDE driver subfolder?
You can get NVIDIA nForce chipset deskop computers and laptops with the following variations:
  1. non-RAID/AHCI nForce systems (RAID/AHCI not supported or disabled):
    Users with such system don’t have to load/integrate any nForce IDE drivers.
  2. nForce RAID systems (SataRAID or PataRAID):
    NForce Users with enabled RAID settings within the BIOS need to load/integrate the LEGACY (for NF2-4 chipsets) or the SATARAID subfolder of the suitable nForce chipset driverpack as TEXTMODE driver. Users with an old “LEGACY mode” nForce RAID system, who want to integrate the SATARAID subfolder, additionally have to integrate the SATA_IDE subfolder as PnP driver to prevent a BSOD at the end of the OS installation.
  3. nForce AHCI systems (S-ATA Controllers set to AHCI mode):
    The actual nForce chipsets (MCP65 and up) do support the enhanced features (NCQ etc.) of the new S-ATA standard AHCI. If the NVIDIA nForce S-ATA Controllers are set to “AHCI mode” (instead of “IDE mode”) within the BIOS, users have to load/integrate the suitable SATA_IDE subfolder as TEXTMODE driver. Only the new generation of nForce S-ATA drivers named “NVGTS” do support the AHCI features and can be integrated as textmode driver. Suitable SATA_IDE subfolders contain a TXTSETUP.OEM file.

Here is the way how to do it:

Integration of NVIDIA’s nForce RAID/AHCI drivers
by using nLite

Guide for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 (32/64bit)

(Last update: 05/25/2022)

A. Integration of the nForce RAID drivers

(if the OS will be installed onto any RAID partition)

Short form guide:
(for hasty users, who want a quick result)

If you want to create a bootable OS CD, which will detect your RAID and be successfully installed onto it, you should do the following:
  1. Get the actual nLite version from here and install it (.NET Framework 2.0 or equivalent is needed).
  2. Download and unzip one of the following already prepared drivers (the choice depends on the OS, which shall be installed, and the nForce chipset of the destination desktop/laptop):
  3. Create a folder named “nLiteCD” (or similar) somewhere and copy the whole content of the original OS CD into it.
  4. Start nLite > point to the content of the just created folder as source > hit the buttons “Drivers” and “Bootable ISO”.
  5. When the task “Drivers” comes > hit “Insert” > choose “Single driver” > point to the prepared SATARAID resp. LEGACY driver folder.
  6. Click onto any of the shown INF files > a popup window will come up.
  7. Both shown “required” NVIDIA products should be highlighted (already done by nLite) > hit “OK”.
  8. Only needed for some NF4-5 RAID systems after the integration of the SATARAID drivers: integrate additionally the SATA_IDE folder as PnP driver.
  9. Let nLite burn the Image directly onto an empty CD (“General” > “Mode” > “Direct Burn”).
  10. Boot off the created CD, choose the destination partition, do a quick NTFS formatting and install the OS.
  11. Have fun!

Detailed RAID drivers integration guide:
(for users, who want the best possible results or who ran into problems)

Important Requirements:

You only will succeed with the integration of the nForce Pata/SataRaid drivers, if you have
  • a correctly created nForce RAID array (shown as “healthy” and set as bootable, for further information look here)
  • an up-to-date mainboard and nVRaid BIOS (= MediaShield IDE ROM), which is part of the mainboard BIOS. Actual nVRaid drivers may need a Raid Bios v4.81 (NF3) resp. v5.60 (NF4) or higher.
  • a stable system (proper RAM modules and stable BIOS settings)
  • an original (=untouched) OS CD as source (don’t use or reuse a source, which has already been processed by nLite!)
  • a proper working IDE-connected CD or DVD drive (a S-ATA connected optical drive should not be connected with an nForce S-ATA Controller which are set to RAID or AHCI mode)
  • an enabled ACPI power management (within BIOS, don’t disable it by nLite settings).

  1. You can see the nVRaid BIOS (=MediaShield) version of your system on the second boot screen. If you can’t get a Raid BIOS version v. 4.81 or higher after having flashed the latest mainboard BIOS, you might get problems with the integration of the latest nForce Pata/SataRaid drivers.
  2. The successful integration of the nForce Pata/SataRaid drivers into a bootable OS CD requires the presence of the latest available Service Pack (SP) of the used OS. If your OS CD does not contain any or the last SP, you should integrate the latest SP as first step, when you are going to create your nLited CD with integrated nForce Sata/PataRaid drivers.
  3. XP 32bit (x86) only: If possible don’t slipstream SP3 into an XP SP1 or SP2 CD. In this case it’s better to take an original (“Gold”/RTM) OS CD without any SP as source for slipstreaming SP3 and the nForce Raid drivers. Otherwise you may get problems during the installation of the nLited CD.
  4. It is a good idea to unplug all unnecessary external hardware devices during the installation of the OS with integrated nVRaid drivers.
  5. If you have any hard disk drive outside your RAID array or a plugged-in USB stick, you may get the problem, that the MS Setup routine tries to install the master boot record (MBR) onto that non-RAID device, although you have set the RAID array as first bootable hard disk drive within BIOS. The only sure way to prevent this is to unplug these non-RAID devices during the installation of the OS. After the successful installation they can be reconnected without any problems.

1. Preparation and driver choice

If you are not already running the latest version of nLite, you should download it here and install it (.NET Framework 2.0 or equivalent is needed).

The next step is the preparation of the nForce textmode driver for the later integration. The choice of the “best suitable” nForce IDE driver version and subfolder mainly depends on the nForce chipset details, the RAID configuration (SataRAID or PataRAID) and maybe on the nVRaid BIOS version of the destination desktop/laptop.
NVIDIA is offering for all nForce chipsets complete driverpacks with included nForce SataRAID drivers. You will find them, if you go here, choose “nForce” (NF5 and up) or “LEGACY” (NF1-4) as “Product Type” and then choose your special nForce chipset and the OS you are going to install. Unfortunately NVIDIA’s official nForce driverpacks are not always the best choice for nForce RAID users. Either they do not work at all (example: NF4 RAID), they are outdated (example: NF2-3 RAID) or they don’t provide the best possible performance (valid for nearly all NF chipsets).

Since January 2008 I am offering alternative nForce drivers and driverpacks, which are actual, but maybe better than NVIDIA’s official ones (for details you may look here). The used drivers themselves (=SYS files) were developed and released by NVIDIA, but for unknown reasons the manufacturer didn’t add the HardwareID’s of all supported nForce IDE devices. That is why I customized the associated INF/OEM files to make them compatible with as many nForce chipsets as possible. This modification doesn’t touch the driver’s function and the loss of Microsoft’s digital signature (WHQL) has no impact on the driver’s installation (thanks to nLite’s built-in textmode driver integration method).

For the later integration I recommend to prepare the following actual and approved nForce textmode drivers, which are optimized for being used with nForce RAID systems:

a. Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 (32bit)
  • for nForce2/3/4 SataRAID and nForce2/3/4/5 PataRAID systems:
    >32bit nForce LEGACY drivers v6.99 mod by Fernando< (>MIRROR<)
    This LEGACY textmode driver package contains the newest non-AHCI capable nForce IDE drivers v6.99 dated 14th May 2007. Since I have added all needed HardwareID’s, this package will support all “LEGACY Mode” nForce2-5 RAID systems (“LEGACY Mode” means, that the NVIDIA nForce RAID Controllers of the mainboard do support Pata- and Sata-RAID simultaneously).
  • for nForce 430/410 (MCP51), nForce 590/570/550/680i/650i/780i/750i (MCP55) and nForce 430/405/400 (MCP61) SataRAID systems:
    >32bit nForce IDE drivers v9.99.09 mod by Fernando< (>MIRROR<)
    Within the small package you will find the nForce IDE drivers v9.99.09 dated 01/17/2008, which have been customized by me to make them compatible with all NF4-7 chipsets. These drivers will give your nForce RAID system the best possible performance. Usually only the SATARAID driver folder will be needed for the later integration, but some users with a LEGACY Mode nForce RAID system may have to integrate both included driver subfolders (SATARAID as textmode and SATA_IDE as PnP driver).
  • for nForce 560/520 (MCP65) and nForce 630a (MCP67) SataRAID systems:
    >32bit nForce SATARAID drivers v10.3.0.46 WHQL< (>MIRROR<)
    These are NVIDIA’s latest nForce IDE drivers, which do fully support MCP65 and MCP67 chipsets.
  • for all other nForce SataRAID systems:
    >32bit nForce SATARAID drivers v11.1.0.43 mod by Fernando< (>MIRROR<)
    These are NVIDIA’s latest nForce SataRAID drivers v11.1.0.43 dated 04/09/2010. I recommend to use these new drivers for users with a SataRAID system and an MCP73-79 chipset mainboard. Users with an MCP51, MCP55 or MCP61 chipset mainboard may take them too, but I am not sure, that they will get a better performance than with the modified nForce SATARAID drivers v9.99.09.

b. Windows XP x64 or Windows Server 2003 x64
  • for nForce3 250/nForce4 SataRAID and PataRAID systems:
    >64bit nForce LEGACY drivers v6.99 mod by Fernando< (>MIRROR<)
    The package contains the newest natively 64bit nForce IDE drivers, which have been customized by me to make them usable with all “LEGACY Mode” nForce RAID systems from nForce3 up. Even MCP51, MCP55 and MCP61 PataRAID systems are supported by them.
  • for nForce 430/410 (MCP51), nForce 590/570/550/680i/650i/780i/750i (MCP55) and nForce 430/405/400 (MCP61) SataRAID systems:
    >64bit nForce IDE drivers v9.99.09 mod by Fernando< (>MIRROR<)
    Within the package you will find the nForce IDE drivers v9.99.09 dated 01/17/2008, which have been customized by me to make them compatible with all NF4-7 chipsets. These drivers will give your nForce RAID system the best possible performance. Usually only the SATARAID driver folder will be needed for the later integration, but some users with a LEGACY Mode nForce RAID system may need both included driver subfolders (SATARAID as textmode and SATA_IDE as PnP driver).
  • for nForce 560/520 (MCP65) and nForce 630a (MCP67) SataRAID systems:
    >64bit nForce SATARAID drivers v10.3.0.46 WHQL< (>MIRROR<)
    These are NVIDIA’s latest nForce IDE drivers, which do fully support MCP65 and MCP67 chipsets.
  • for all other nForce SataRAID systems:
    >64bit nForce SATARAID drivers v11.1.0.43 mod by Fernando< (>MIRROR<)
    These are NVIDIA’s latest nForce SataRAID drivers v11.1.0.43 dated 04/09/2010. I recommend to use these new drivers for users with a SataRAID system and an MCP73-79 chipset mainboard. Users with an MCP51, MCP55 or MCP61 chipset mainboard may take them too, but I am not sure, that they will get a better performance than with the modified nForce SATARAID drivers v9.99.09.

After having downloaded the suitable driverpack and unzipped it with a tool like WinRAR or 7-Zip everything is prepared for the later integration procedure.

2. Processing with nLite

This is what you should do, before you start nLite:
  • Create a new folder somewhere on any available hard disk drive and name it as you like (for example “nLiteCD”).
  • Copy the whole content of the original OS CD into the just created folder. Don’t use or reuse any already nLited or modded source.
  • Check, if you have already running the latest nLite version. If not, download and install it.

Now you can begin with the nLite processing:
  1. Start nLite.
  2. Choose your language > hit "Next"
  3. Hit the “Browse” button, find the path to your just created folder “nLiteCD” (or similar) > click onto the folder name. Now you can see the OS details inclusive the eventually already integrated Service Pack version > hit “Next”.
  4. Don’t import or enable any presets > hit “Next”.
  5. Now you will get the Task Selection page.
    You can enable all offered tasks (not recommended for newbees), but you have to enable the tasks “Integrate Drivers” and “Create Bootable ISO”.
    • You should additionally choose the task “Integrate Service Pack”, if the OS SP version is not actual.
    • Don’t enable any other tasks, unless you are already familiar with nLite and nearly sure, that the nLite CD will work with your system (the more you are adding, tweaking or removing, the more difficult is the search for the reason, if the OS installion should fail).
    > hit "Next"
  6. When you get the “Drivers Integration” page > hit “Insert” > choose the “Single driver” option > point to the prepared SATARAID or LEGACY folder with the suitable nForce Sata/PataRAID drivers > hit onto any of the shown INF files (=files with the suffix “.inf”).
  7. Now you will get the following popup window:

    Both listed “required” NVIDIA products (“NVIDIA RAID CLASS DRIVER” and “NVIDIA nForce Storage Controller”) have to be enabled. Usually nLite has already highlighted both of them and set the integration mode to “TEXTMODE” (if not, you should do it manually) > hit "OK"
    Important: Users with an NF3-5 chipset RAID system, who had just integrated the SATARAID folder, may need to additionally integrate the content of the SATA_IDE subfolder of the same driverpack as PnP driver to get the OS properly installed.
    If you have integrated all needed nForce Sata/PataRAID drivers > hit "Next"

  8. Let nLite start its processing > hit "Yes"
  9. After the successful nLite processing > hit "Next"
  10. As last step you will get the “Create Bootable ISO” page. Within the “General” section you can choose the “Mode”.
    You have the options “Direct Burn” (burns the image directly onto an empty CD/DVD), “Burn Image” or “Create Image” (default setting).
    If you don’t want, that nLite burns the Image itself, you should let nLite create the ISO file by hitting the “Make ISO” button.
    After having chosen the storage place and -if applicable - a special name for the ISO file > hit “Store”.
  11. At this point nLite has finished its work.

If nLite hasn’t already burnt the Image onto a CD, you have to burn the stored ISO file as bootable Image by using a burning tool.
You will get the best results with Nero Burning ROM, when you choose the options “Recorder” (on top task bar) > “Create Image…” > point to the ISO file nLite has created > hit “Burn”.
Tip: Burn at no more than 8x(DVD) or 24x(CD) and choose the “Verify” option of Nero to avoid any burning errors!

At the end you will have a bootable 32bit or 64bit Windows OS CD with integrated NVIDIA Sata/PataRaid drivers - no F6 and no floppy will be necessary.

Tips for the Installation of the OS:
  • Make sure that your BIOS settings are ok. You will only be able to install the OS by booting off your nLited CD, when the CD-ROM device with your nLited CD is set as first bootable device.
  • Before you begin with the installation of the OS by using your nLited CD, make sure that there is no floppy within your floppy drive, no USB stick within any USB port and no Memory Card within your Card Reader.
  • If you are using more than 2 GB of RAM, it is a good idea to remove 1-2 sticks during the OS installation (otherwise you may get a lot of errors during the OS Setup). Once the OS is up, they can be reinserted.
  • Don’t hit F6 and don’t insert a driver floppy if you install an OS by using a CD with integrated nForce SataRaid drivers!
Good luck!

B. Integration of the nForce AHCI drivers
(only valid for AHCI supporting nForce mainboards with enabled AHCI)

Actual nForce chipsets (MCP65 and up) do support some advanced S-ATA-Features (e.g. NCQ) of the AHCI standard. Users of such systems usually have the BIOS option to set the nForce S-ATA Controllers to “AHCI Mode” instead of the “IDE Mode” (which doesn’t require any separate textmode drivers). If AHCI is enabled, Windows Setup will not detect the S-ATA hdd('s) unless the needed AHCI drivers will be loaded (F6) or have been integrated into the OS CD.

If you try to get Windows XP or Server 2003 (32/64bit) installed onto a non-RAID nForce chipset system and should realize, that Windows Setup doesn’t find any hard drive, the following procedure will be successful for nearly all users:
  1. get the actual version of nLite from here and install it (.NET Framework 2.0 required)
  2. depending on your nForce chipset and the OS you are going to install, download and unzip one of the following drivers:
  3. create a folder named “nLiteCD” or similar and copy the whole content of the OS CD into that folder
  4. start nLite > point to the just created “nLiteCD” folder as source
  5. choose the tasks “Integrate Drivers” and "Create Bootable ISO"
  6. when the “Driver Integration” task comes up > hit “Insert” > choose “Single driver” > point to the prepared SATA_IDE subfolder
  7. check any of the shown INF files
  8. now you see the following popup window:

    let the “NVIDIA nForce Storage Controller (required)” enabled > hit "OK"

  9. let nLite burn the Image directly onto an empty CD/DVD
  10. boot of the just created CD > choose the destination partition > do a quick NTFS formatting > install the OS
  11. have fun!

C. Most common problems during the OS installation

If you have followed my guide until this point, you can be rather optimistic, that you will get the OS perfectly installed onto your nForce RAID or AHCI system, but the success is not guaranteed.
These are the most common mistakes/errors, which will cause a failure of the OS installation:
  • The prepared CD doesn’t boot. (“Hit any key to boot off CD/DVD” message is missing).
    Reason: Either you haven’t set the correct boot device order within the BIOS or you didn’t burn the ISO file correctly.
    Solution: The CD/DVDROM device has to be set as 1st bootable device and the ISO file has to be burnt as bootable Image (see above).
  • Windows Setup doesn’t detect the RAID or the SATA drives, which were set to “AHCI Mode”.
    Reason: You obviously didn’t integrate the “suitable” textmode drivers or didn’t choose the needed Controllers during the integration procedure.
    Solution: Check the exact chipset name of your mainboard, the BIOS settings and the sort of the S-ATA Controllers, where your hdd’s are connected (example: you can’t get Silicon Image S-ATA Controllers working with nForce drivers and vice versa).
    After having found the “correct” textmode drivers you have to restart the integration procedure from scratch (don’t reuse the nLited source again!).
  • You get a message like "The file NVxxx.SYS is corrupt."
    Reason: You obviously mixed the 32/64bit textmode driver version or you didn’t use a clean source.
    Solution: Start the nLite processing again from scratch with a clean source and integrate the correct 32/64bit textmode driver version. XP, W2k and W2k3 can only be installed by using 32bit textmode drivers, whereas the 64bit Operating Systems (XP x64/W2k3 x64) need 64bit drivers.
  • You get an error message like “Cannot find file NVxxx.SYS”.
    Reason: You either didn’t integrate the textmode driver or you tried to additionally load it by F6/floppy method.
    Solution: Don’t hit F6 when prompted, if you have integrated the textmode driver.
  • The OS installation fails at last reboot with a short BSOD and endless reboots.
    Reason: You either didn’t choose the correct driver integration method or your optical drive is connected to a S-ATA port, which is set to RAID or AHCI.
    Solution:Connect the optical drive to a non-RAID/non-AHCI S-ATA port or take an IDE connected CD/DVDROM drive for the OS installation.

Aside from the previously mentioned problems there are some other sources of error:
  • not correctly configurated RAID or wrong BIOS settings regarding RAID/AHCI
  • wrong BIOS settings regarding the “HARD DISK BOOT PRIORITY” (solution: the RAID/AHCI drive has to be set as first bootable hard disk)
  • presence of additional hdd’s outside the RAID/AHCI device (solution: disconnect all non-RAID/non-AHCI hdd’s during the OS installation)
  • plugged-in USB sticks, floppys, memory cards etc. (solution: unplug them all before you start with the OS installation)
  • faulty RAM sticks, overclocking or > 3 GB of RAM (solution: check the RAM with Memtest, no OC’ing, removal of RAM sticks during the OS installation)
  • hardware malfunction (broken or not really connected S-ATA cables, poor PSU etc.)

D. After the successful OS installation

Once the OS is up, you should install the complete “suitable” nForce chipset driver set. The best suitable driverpack is that one, which contains the same version of nForce IDE drivers as the integrated ones (v6.99, v9.99.09 or, if you had followed my advices).
Here are the download links to the related complete nForce chipset driver packs:

a. XP/W2k3 (32bit)
b. XP/W2k3 (64bit)

That’s all - I hope, that you will succeed with the integration of the drivers and with the installation of the OS onto your nForce RAID or AHCI system.

Good luck!

Important notice:
This guide contains a lot of links to drivers, which have been modified by me to make them usable for nForce chipset users. As you certainly understand, I cannot overtake any warranty for the function and the quality of the drivers. You may use them nevertheless, but at own risk.

Annex I

MediaShield/Raidtool installation guide

The easiest way to get the Raidtool installed is by running the SETUP.EXE of the associated nForce chipset driver package, but by doing this all nForce IDE drivers of the package will be installed too (and maybe replace the better and currently working ones).
In these cases you have to use another way to get full access to the MediaShield/RAID software (NVIDIA Control Panel) after having completed the OS installation.
Here is the guide for the manual installation of the nForce Raidtool (on the basis of a post from nForcersHQ forums member TheMaxx32000):
  • Run your just installed OS.
  • Create a new folder named “RAIDTOOL” somewhere within your currently running OS partition (for example within the directory “\Program Files”)
  • Search for the RAIDTOOL folder of the actual 32bit/64bit XP/W2k/W2k3 nForce chipset driver package
  • Extract the RAIDTOOL.cab into the just created RAIDTOOL folder of your OS partition
  • Open the RAIDTOOL folder with the extracted files
  • Doubleclick the REGRAID.BAT (you will find it in older Raidtools) or REGRAIDSEDONA.BAT (actual file name of the Sedona type Raidtool) to register the Raidtool Services
  • Run the NVRAIDMAN.EXE (normal MediaShield) or NVCPLUI.EXE (Sedona type NVIDIA Control Panel)
Now you will see the MediaShield Control Panel. It should also appear as NVIDIA Control Panel within the Vista Control Panel, but if it doesn’t, try to install nTune on top.
For further information about the abilities of the NVIDIA MediaShield software you should open the MediaShield help file (as .chm or .pdf), which you will find within the extracted raidtool files.
Suggestion: You should create shortcuts to the .EXE files of the RAIDTOOL folder and put them into your Startmenu folder. This way you will get an easy access to all services of the MediaShield/Raidtool.

Annex II

Tips for users with a SATA RAID array outside the OS partition

Here are some advices for such users:
  • Users, who are going to install any OS onto an IDE or non-AHCI S-ATA drive, which is outside the RAID, should not integrate any nForce SataRaid drivers. They will be able to get the OS installed without any problems.
  • Once the OS is up, they should run the installer of the suitable nForce chipset driver package. After the reboot, the RAID array normally will be detected by the OS.
  • If the OS should not show the RAID device and their partitions, you should do the following:
    1. Open the Device Manager and check, if you see the “NVIDIA nForce RAID Controller” within the “SCSI and RAID Controllers” section. If not, you haven’t enabled the NVIDIA RAID Controllers within the BIOS.
    2. If you see the “NVIDIA nForce RAID Controller”, you have to open the “IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers” section and look for the “Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controllers”, where your RAIDed SATA hdd’s are connected to.
    3. Right click onto these Controllers and do a driver software “update” until you see the compatible devices.
    4. Choose the “NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controllers”, if they are shown as compatible.
    5. After the reboot your OS will see and will be able to work with the datas of the RAID array.

First, I want to thank you for taking the time to write down this guide. I have had some problems trying to put it to work, though. It comes that the driver package in 7z format was being open by Winrar, which showed its contents, but was unable to unpack them (it created a list of files with the very same names, but zero size). The problem was solved by using the proper extractor to open them (7-zip on sourceforge). But first I had to realize that Winrar was not doing the work, which was not as easy as it seems (for me, anyway). I’m leaving this message as it might help other users, or at least I hope so.

Thanks again from Valencia!

P.D.: I don’t understand where the SATA_IDE and SATARAID folders are supposed to be; the drivers I downloaded lack any folders.

@ Shiverio:
Welcome at Win-RAID Forum and thanks for your info regarding the use of WinRAR and 7-Zip!
By the way: It is the better compression, which let me use the tool 7-Zip in the past, but I have already started to replace it by the more common tool WinRAR. As soon as I have the needed time, I will replace step by step the .7z archives by .rar ones to avoid future problems while trying to unzip my driverpacks.

If you have downloaded a small package containing just the "LEGACY" or "SATARAID" drivers, you will not find any subfolders. All you need is to integrate its unzipped content. If you want to see the SATA_IDE and SATARAID folder, you have to download the related complete nForce chipset driver pack, which you find within the chapter D of my guide (start post).

Greetings from Moraira!

Hi Fernando,
I am continuing to struggle against Win xp64 and my legacy nforce4 System.
Following your Guide described here I intergrated the 6.99 legacy drivers into a xp64 ISO with nLite.
After that I was thinking to try the ISO with a USB stick before burn it in a DVD, but whatever method/guide I use, from winusb to easy2boot, I obtain AT BEST a bsod after completing installation (as you mentioned in the guide).

One can easily say that it is all related to the USB stick Installation method, but I am not convinced and before trying wasting time and a dvd, I am here asking your opinion.
Is it worth a try to burn the ISO on a DVD or the easy2boot method should be ok and the problem is elsewhere?

@uazzamerican :
If you want to minimize the risks to get a BSOD while trying to get XP (32/bit) installed, I recommend to burn the ISO onto a CD or DVD.

Your answer is valid for xp64 also? Because I am doing all of this to install xp64.

Although it has been a long time ago, when I installed the last time XP x64 onto any of my computers, I am pretty sure, that the answer is "Yes!".

I am about to give up…
I burned the ISO and the setup ended with a bluescreen.
I searched for a solution and I found your words on another forum:

It is impossible to get the newest nForce SataRaid drivers installed onto an nForce SataRaid system by using F6/floppy method. Reason: The actual nForce SataRaid drivers are not correctly digitally signed by MS. Although the XPx32 and XPx64 setup routine detects the Raid array correctly during TEXTMODE part of the installation, it installs at least the wrong MS IDE Standard drivers. Bad consequence: endless reboots.

I think it is exactly what is happening to me.
I am able to make to the first stage of the installation, but on the second XP64 installs wrong ide (or nVidia) drivers and the Array disappears giving Blue screen.
I Must say that the copy of xp64 I have has built in integrated sata drivers and I suspect that this is the problem, they overwrite my textmode drivers inserted with nLite.
If I want to eliminate them from the ISO and I am using nLite to do that.
First I am eliminating all SATA/RAID drivers, than I am inserting the 6.99 TXT drivers ( your SATA/PATA RAID Legacy system Drivers).

My doubt is, at point (8) you say to install the drivers in the SATA_IDE folder in PNP mode for some nForce 4/5 systems.
I don’t see a SATA_IDE folder in your Legacy 6.99 package, should I obtain it from somewhere else?

Does that mean, that you are using an already customized XP x64 CD as source? If yes, this was a big mistake. The source CD has to be absolutely "clean" (untouched original).

The only SATA driver, which is within the original XP x64 image, is the in-box MS standard SATA driver, but you should not try to remove it!

This problem only occurs with “LEGACY mode” nForce RAID systems like yours, because the related users need to get integrated 2 INF files (for the nForce RAID and the nForce SATA driver). To prevent, that the inserted nForce SATA driver will be overwritten by the MS in-box SATA driver, nLite uses another procedure than other XP customizing tools like the “Unattended XP CD Creator”.
So this is what I recommend to do:
1. Make sure, that your source XP x64 CD is an untouched original one.
2. Download the tool named “Unattended XP CD Creator” (the latest version is 1.0.2 Beta10 and can be downloaded from >here<) and install it.
3. Follow >this< guide (the download links to the drivers are broken, but you got the required textmode driver already).

Good luck!

So that is the problem, my XP64 ISO.
Unfortunately I am doing all efforts to install exactly this particular release: it is "Superior XP64", a highly modified XP64 version.

I am trying my procedure (uninstalling SATA/RAID drivers and reinstalling your packages with nLite and burn again on a DVD the modified ISO).

Just an update.
Everything I tried led me to bsod after rebooting on the completion of Installation.
It is because the txt drivers are replaced by my modified Release of Windows xp64.

Only thing I was able to do is:

Remove the two ssd of the raid-0 Array
install xp64 on a third different HD connected on a non raid port.
Reconnect the Array
Make it visible manually changing the drivers of every single Sata channel visibile on Control Panel and of course of the NVIDIA raid with yours 6.99 drivers.
The Array is visible and operative

Now I want to try cloning the system to the Array using Paragon Migrate OS to SSD.

Another update:


I was able to clone the Operative System to the detected array.
Now I have a very stable system (and faster than Seven, especially in DX9 gaming, reason why I prefer XP64)

I think that this procedure using a third HD can be longer but effective.

Hi Fernando, I’m meeting some problems on my PC, which has a hardware as below:
Motherboard: Onda N82G( MCP78+nForce 730a+Geforce 8200 GPU)
Hard disk drive: Seagate barracuda 250g+ Seagate 320g, SATA2
And I’m booting via USB-CDROM/DVD-RW (On a Kingston USB Drive, the iso is written into it by MPALL tool)
The boot of USB CDROM is ok, but my hdd cannot be detected by setup. I’ve successfully integrated the driver into it and I’m sure I’m using the correct driver. So what to do next?

I really want to use AHCI on my PC :slight_smile:

@KevinMX :
Welcome at Win-RAID Forum!

Which nForce driver version did you integrate and - provided, that more than 1 NVIDIA nForce SATA Controller was listed - which one of them did you highlight during the integration?
JFYI: Only the latest NVIDIA nForce SATA drivers do support some AHCI features, but none of them 100%.

Dieter (alias Fernando)

I’m using >32bit nForce SATA_IDE driver v11.1.0.43 mod

EDIT by Fernando: Unneeded parts of the fully quoted post removed (to save space)

@KevinMX :
If you have integrated the correct nForce AHCI driver according to my guide and set the NVIDIA nForce SATA Controller to "AHCI mode" within the BIOS before starting the OS installation, your system drive should be detected by the XP Setup.
I have no idea about how I can give you any additional help.

Well… Thank you anyway… It’s nice to see someone still working on nForce chipsets. My disk are in AHCI Mode… And now I’m using Windows 10 x64 1703 with Windows built-in driver in AHCI Mode…

Hi fernando, do you still have NF4-7 Performance Packs for XP on file somewhere, desperately need it thanks.
A related question is if AHCI can be installed via device manager post OS installation?

Please ignore my post I found them now (right under my nose).