Yeah you read that right – Windows XP.
We’ve been installing some new PCs for a client recently and we needed to install Windows XP (the reasoning behind this is best saved for a separate discussion).
So we inserted the Windows XP installation CD, booted from the disk and waiting while Windows setup loaded. The PC then “blue screened” with the stop error 0x0000007b.
This particular error is “Inaccessible_Boot_Device” and if you do a quick search this is normally pretty straight forward to sort.
In the BIOS look for the AHCI settings, switch to IDE/Legacy/Emulated whichever your BIOS allows and try again.
After saving the settings and trying again all continued as normal.
Windows XP doesn’t support SATA AHCI out of the box as it requires specific drivers which is why changing the mode works. Once the OS is installed you could then install the correct drivers and re-enable AHCI if needed.
A couple of days later the same client asked for another PC where we ran into exactly the same problem.
However, switching from AHCI mode didn’t fix the issue.
It didn’t take long to figure out the main difference between the two PCs was obvious.
The first PC was an INTEL based PC whereas the second one was AMD.
The problem is that Windows setup doesn’t know anything about the AMD chipset. Whereas the generic Intel one provided with the setup routine while running in IDE mode was enough to install Windows.
I downloaded the drivers from the HP website (the PC manufacturer) but was unable to use them during setup (by pressing F6) as it was the chipset driver I needed to load, not a storage device driver.
So how to get around this?
I used a brilliant tool that has been around for ages.
This tool is for slipstreaming items into the installation CD. Generally this means service packs, hotfixes, etc but the tool also has the capability to add drivers.
You could do all this by hand but the tool makes it very simple and will even burn the CD directly or create an ISO file to use later.
Using my brand new CD i was able to install Windows XP without further issue.
This slipstreaming probably would have solved the same problem on the Intel based PC but it’s probably not worth the extra effort to create a custom install CD if temporarily switching modes works ok.