1. Sun xVM VirtualBox version 1.6.0 or higher (this process has only been tested on 2.2.0, however)
2. Windows 2000, XP, or 2003 installation CD-ROM; any release/edition should do, although this process has only been tested on the latest service packs
3a. If you need Windows XP or 2003: Download the drivers from Intel
3b. If you need Windows 2000: There are no official drivers, however you may use unofficial drivers as described in an MSFN forum post. WARNING, of course, that using these drivers comes with a certain amount of risk; scan with virus checkers and back up important data inside the VM periodically, I cannot guarantee the safety of these drivers.
For Windows 2000, you need to create a floppy disk (real or image) from the unofficial files you downloaded; all the files should be placed in the root directory of the disk.
(Under Windows, I am unfortunately not well-versed enough to understand how to create floppy images using native tools, however the GNU/Linux instructions should work under Cygwin as well)
To create an appropriate image under GNU/Linux hosts, you will need the unzip and mtools software packages installed (check your local package manager):
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$ unzip AHCI_v22.214.171.1240_for_ICH8.zip
$ dd if=/dev/zero of="Win2000 SATA.img" bs=1k count=1440
$ mformat -i "Win2000 SATA.img" -f 1440 ::
$ mcopy -i "Win2000 SATA.img" "AHCI v126.96.36.1990 for ICH8"/* ::
(note the position of the quotes on the last command, the asterisk cannot be placed inside quotes!)
For Windows XP/2003, you need to extract the f6flpy32.zip Zip file. Inside it is an EXE; all it does is write an image to a real floppy; if you're already using Windows and want to make a real floppy disk, go ahead and use it, otherwise just use an UnZip utility to extract the image (named F32.IMA).
Just create a virtual machine now for Windows, and change the virtual hard disk so it uses SATA instead of the default IDE. Mount the floppy in VBox (either real or the disk image, the latter is faster), and make sure that the floppy drive is not set as one of the boot devices (or press F12 when you start the VM and boot the CD-ROM manually).
Press F6 when Windows Setup prompts you if you want to load additional drivers. It doesn't seem to take effect immediately, but just wait a few seconds. Once that is done, this screen will come up:
Press S, and select "Intel(R) 82801HEM/HBM SATA AHCI Controller (Mobile ICH8M-E/M)" as the driver to load:
After that's done, just press Enter to continue installing Windows as normal. Be sure to remove the floppy disk after the text mode portion of the installation is completed, or you may encounter boot issues (the floppy is not bootable itself of course).
Windows 2000 in the graphical portion of the setup might warn about unsigned drivers being loaded, this is normal as the drivers in use are not official ones from Intel.