Cannot load Windows XP won't format disk

By craigwatanabe
Apr 26, 2006
  1. I'm trying to load XP onto an older HP Pavillion running a 500MHz Celeron processor. When it gets to the format portion I get a BSOD telling me that I need to reconfigure my hardware and/or software configuration in Setup.

    When I go into setup and reset it to Default and re run it I get the same message. I've replace virtually everything from the hard drive, memory cd-rom drive and the IDE cables. I've even considered the integrated graphics chipset so I used an old PCI graphics card and nothing.

    This machine was originally running Win98 but encountered a virus. Despite the virus the systems booted up normally and functioned okay however when I installed AVG and ran it, it took out the virus but on boot up I got a Winsock32 error and the system wouldn't boot to the desktop anymore.

    Upon loading XP I began encountering this BSOD error and I'm completely stumped. I'm thinking it's the BIOS. I've cleared the CMOS settings and tried resetting to the defaults but to no avail.

    In despiration I loaded up a Linux disk and it failed to load. Am I having mobo problems? I can't figure this one


  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    why would you load XP on such an ancient computer. The hardware probably doesn't support it!
  3. craigwatanabe

    craigwatanabe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I've successfully loaded XP on other Celeron machines in the past but this is the first time this has happened. I'm trying to understand what happened so the next time it won't happen or I can resolve it.

    Since this isn't my machine I'm fixing otherwise I'd have opted to simply build a P4 from scratch. I'm assuming hardware as you suggest but before anymore money is plunked into this machine I want to rule out anything else. Right now the micro ATX power supply that I was going to order for it is on hold (+5vdc out) and I'm running this rig on a full sized ATX power supply hanging out like spilled guts just to troubleshoot the problem.
  4. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    One thing you could do is to download the diagnostic program from the hard drive mfgr website and once you have that running from floppy disk, run the diagnostic that says "write zeroes to the hard drive" They all say something like that. Now what this does is remove all viruses and anything similar from the hard drive and it eliminates the hard drive as the source of the problem.
    I have had this work for me and all went well after that.
    You will have to set the bios to boot from floppy of course.
    If it wont boot from floppy then put the prog on a cdrom and boot from cdrom. You do have to have the cdrom made bootable with your burning software, like Nero. So booting from floppy is a lot easier.
  5. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    Another thing, If the hard drive fix i mentioned doesnt help, and it may very well do the job, but if not you have to consider that maybe win xp doesnt like the chipset on the mobo. That is a common problem as well with older mobos.
  6. craigwatanabe

    craigwatanabe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I'm starting to believe it is either a BIOS or a Chipset issue as I've even used a new hard drive and same fails.
  7. benken2202001

    benken2202001 TS Enthusiast Posts: 114   +16


    Here's What You Need to Use Windows XP Home Edition
    • PC with 300 megahertz (MHz) or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233-MHz minimum required;* Intel Pentium/Celeron family, AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended

    • 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)

    • 1.5 gigabyte (GB) of available hard disk space.*

    • Super VGA (800 × 600) or higher resolution video adapter and monitor

    • CD-ROM or DVD drive

    • Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device

    Do you have enough RAM? How fast is your CD-Rom drive? Always hated HP and Compaqs. sorry to say.
  8. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    Another thing you could do is install a bios update, that might do the job for you.
    Or try a different, semi-newer pci video card.
    Try different ram.
    Remove all cards and other parts that arent needed to boot up, including the floppy.
    Set bios to factory settings. (I should have thought of this one earlier as win xp has given us a hint as to what the problem is in the error message.)
    You may have already done this, im not sure by what you said, but i think you have.

    As for the trying of a different vid card and different ram, windows xp install is very very fussy about what hardware it will accept while win98 basically doesnt care, thats the reason for trying different vid and ram.
    In the end, you might even try a different monitor if you are using a really old monitor, but i have never heard of win xp not accepting a monitor.
    Re-seating the cpu, heatsink and fan would be a good idea, make sure cpu fan is connected in the right place as win xp install is fussy.
  9. AMDIsTheBest010

    AMDIsTheBest010 TS Rookie Posts: 398

    try a full system restoer and see if that helps
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