Today I bought a tiny Shuttle server to get myself up to speed on VSTS. The mainboard supported SATA, so I picked up a 200 GB SATA Maxtor to go with it ($99 after rebate!). But no floppy. I refuse. If Vista-era Windows doesn't support non-floppy F6 installs I will switch to whatever the anti-M$FT Windoze dopes are using.
The only reliable way I could find to get the SATA drivers installed without a floppy was to do a slipstream install. I've installed Windows millions of times (seriously), but I've never done a slipstream. Finding the right information took far too long, so bookmark this page. Here's the information you need:
Slipstreaming VIA Serial ATA drivers
Creating a bootable Windows CD with Nero (The first and second screenshots were most valuable. I didn't bother with the rest.)
Update: I should proof-read before posting. I didn't say how or why slipstreaming helped. Tthe drivers from the F6 floppy are slipstreamed into the Windows install CD and the drives are automagically recognized during setup.