Adventures in the Lone Star State

Laptop Woes

Update (6 Nov)
So, I thought I was close to fixing my laptop. I installed Acronis TrueImage 7.0 on the fresh install of Windows XP Pro. I tried recovering my image (saved on an external hard drive), but Acronis could not recognize my SATA hard drive. Seriously, I’ve begun to hate this hard drive. Needless to say, I borrowed Diane’s laptop (because my drivers weren’t installed), downloaded Acronis TrueImage 11.0, burned it to a CD, and then installed it on my computer. Only then was I able to recover my laptop. Actually, I had the backup images from my external hard drive to two DVDs because I couldn’t get Acronis to talk with my hard drive. That said, it took me a little while to get Acronis to recover the data (not very intuitive). It was annoying to switch back and forth between the DVDs. So, after another 3 hours, I had my laptop working. Yay!

OK, so I really hate my Gateway Tablet PC (not Gateway’s fault, but Microsoft’s). Alright, I don’t hate it; although, this probably was true about 30 minutes ago. I am getting a new laptop tomorrow and I decided to reformat my Gateway in preparation for the file transfer. Well, I ran into difficulties because I am running Windows Vista Ultimate Edition. I installed Acronis TrueImage to try and restore my laptop to my old hard drive settings (Windows XP Tablet Edition). That didn’t work. I tried using my Windows XP Pro w/ SP2 CD to reinstall Windows. That didn’t work. It said that “setup could not find the hard drive” yada, yada, yada.

My first inclination was that Acronis TrueImage messed up the MBR (master boot record) because the version that I happen to own isn’t compatible with Vista. I freak out thinking that I just deleted the partition and no can’t install Windows. I spend a really long time (probably an hour or so) trying to figure out why Windows won’t install.

I blame Vista, thinking that it’s not liking the “downgrade.” I conclude that I must pull out my hard drive, enclose it, and then format/partition it on another laptop/desktop. I call up my old roommate, Chris, because he has every piece of hardware known to man. I check out his new apartment (he’s married now) and grab the enclosure. I go back to Diane’s place to try and put the hard drive in the enclosure.

It doesn’t work! The hard drive has a different connector on it. I think to myself, why is Gateway annoying that crap out of me. I don’t understand why they have to use their own, proprietary connector for the hard drive. I think to myself, I just need to unscrew a few star screws and then I can pull the connector out. The problem is that I don’t have star screws. I call Chris up and tell him that I’m coming back to pick up some screws. This time, I bring my hard drive to show him the problem. Chris wisely points out that I have a SATA hard drive. It uses a different connector (versus the old EIDE connector).

Sadly, I had read something about this on the Internet earlier this evening. However, I discounted it because I didn’t believe that my laptop had a SATA drive. Needless to say, I google the SATA drivers and find them on Gateway’s website (not Hitachi, the maker of the hard drive). The reason that I couldn’t install Windows is because it doesn’t natively support SATA hard drives.

After 5 hours, I have now successfully installed Windows XP Pro w/ SP 2. Now, I have to install Acronis TrueImage and see if I can restore the original computer configuration.

November 4th, 2007 at 10:38 pm

3 Responses to “Laptop Woes”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Fernando,

    I am having very similar problems with my Gateway MP8709. You mentioned that you now have the correct drivers, but you did not mention where you found them; as a result, please send me an email–if you will–where you found the drivers. My email: keeponcoding @ gmail . com


  2. Fernando Says:

    In case anybody else wants to know where I got my SATA drivers, I googled ‘gateway m285e sata drivers.’


  3. John D. Says:

    The MP8709 driver’s right here.

    Time to remove this Vista crap. (-:

    Thanks man.

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