Cannot format partitions during XP reinstall

By jmhood42
Feb 7, 2010
  1. I have Dell Dimension 5100c which was given to me that was running fine. I wanted to start fresh, so I booted from the Dell XP CD and removed all the partitions, then created one large partion on the 80Mb Maxtor drive.
    Now the new partition cannot be successfully formated. I'm running the latest Dell Bios for this platform. Any ideas?
  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415


    80MB ?????

    if you meant 80GB thats ok, if your having trouble doing anything with a drive download the tools from the maker and check the drive for errors
  3. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 58

    What error message are you getting?
  4. jmhood42

    jmhood42 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    originator's reply

    Yes, it is an 80Gb Maxtor Drive, I will try the tools, when I use the Bios HD check, it returns an error code 7. The web seems to be split 50/50 if this is a hardware or software issue.
    During XP reload, the error is
    Setup was unable to format the partition. The disk may be damaged.

    Make sure the drive is switched on and properly connected to your computer. If the disk is a SCSI disk, make sure your SCSI devices are properly terminated. Consult your computer manual or SCSI adapter documentation for more information.

    You must select a different partition for Windows XP. To continue, press ENTER.
  5. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 58

    Try chkdsk /r and/or defrag before installing.
  6. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415


    is it by any chance a SATA drive.?
  7. jmhood42

    jmhood42 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yes, and I also got error 7 when I ran the Dell Bios harddisc check.
  8. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,682   +86

    If its SATA; you need to provide SATA drivers to XP setup, because it doesn't have SATA drivers. Now, there are two ways of doing this.

    1. See whether your Bios supports different SATA modes, e.g. IDE Emulation or something similar (try fiddling around a bit and you may get lucky); many boards come with IDE Emulation/or similar option.

    2. If option 1 doesn't work, you will need to get your SATA drives drivers either on a Floppy or have to slipstream them onto your XP CD.
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