Limited OEM driver support is available with F6 during Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 setup


When you are installing Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows Server 2003 on a new computer or on a computer that has the latest SCSI or IDE controller technology, you may have to use an OEM device driver to support, for example, a new mass storage controller, to continue with the installation. The symptoms that you have to install an OEM device driver include the following:
  • The computer may keep restarting and never start the GUI installation after the text mode Setup is finished.
  • The Setup program may stop, and you may receive an error message if the Setup program does not correctly detect the controller.
  • If you are booting from the installation floppy disks or CD-ROM disc, you receive the following error message:

    Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your system
    If you are upgrading by using the Winnt32.exe file, or if you are performing a new installation by using the Winnt.exe file, you receive the following Stop error:

    Stop 0x0000007B Inaccessible_boot_device
This behavior may also occur after you update the firmware or the BIOS of a supported SCSI controller if the update causes incompatibility with the SCSI driver that is included with Windows.

More Information

During the text-mode phase of the setup process, Windows pauses briefly and prompts you to press F6. This option is displayed in the status line and lets you use an OEM mass storage controller driver. The F6 option is provided strictly as a means to install OEM drivers for mass storage controllers only. This is required to let the installation of the operating system continue. Microsoft does not support using F6 to install any device driver other than mass storage controller drivers.

Note Mass storage controller drivers can be loaded only from floppy disks by using the F6 key. The F6 key cannot be used to load drivers that are stored on USB flash drives, on USB hard disks, or on other external storage devices.

Use of an OEM driver is limited to installing a driver that is not natively supported or that does not match a driver that is included with Windows. If you use a newer version of an OEM driver, and this new OEM driver has the same name or Plug and Play Identifier as a driver that is included with Windows, the Setup program ignores the new OEM driver and uses the driver that is included with Windows. Therefore, you receive the error message that is quoted in the Summary.

If you press F6 when you are prompted, you receive a screen that requires you to have the appropriate driver on a floppy disk and to insert the disk into the floppy disk drive to load the driver.

Windows XP Setup boot disks are available only by download from Microsoft. The Setup boot disks are available so that you can run the Setup program on computers that do not support a bootable CD-ROM. For additional information about how to obtain and use the Setup boot disks, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

310994 How to obtain Windows XP Setup boot disks

Note The Windows Server 2003 family does not include Setup boot floppy disks.

If you require an updated OEM driver to support an existing controller that is natively supported by Windows but is not detected during setup, you must replace the Windows driver for the controller with the new OEM driver. You can find the Windows driver for the controller on one of the six Windows Setup boot disks or in the temporary installation folder ($WIN_NT$.~BT). This replacement allows Windows to use the updated OEM driver during text-mode setup, but you must copy the same updated OEM driver to the System32\Drivers folder of the final Windows installation before the installation continues into graphics-mode setup.

Note that if you choose to format the partition in the NTFS file system during setup, you cannot copy the newer OEM driver into the System32\Drivers folder after text-mode setup finishes. This is because the Windows Setup program formats the partition as NTFS before copying files. To work around this limitation, install Windows into a file allocation table (FAT) partition that is less than 2 GB in size or into a FAT32 partition that is less than 32 GB in size. Doing this allows access by using a startup disk from Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me). After Windows is installed, use the following command to convert the FAT or FAT32 partition to NTFS:

convert c: /fs:ntfs

Article ID: 314859 - Last Review: Oct 22, 2008 - Revision: 1