XP won't install, can't format drive

By lons
Mar 20, 2007
  1. I've tried to install fresh version of Win XP pro. However, as
    XP tries to format to 100%, before formatting is complete, I get the error
    saying it cannot format the drive due to "drive damage." At first I
    thought it was because I had a dead Hard Drive. So I then used a spare
    drive I had on hand, but again got the same error. I then went out and
    got a brand new one, but again, got the same error. I now don't
    believe the hard drives are dead, but something else is wrong. I've
    tried using another XP home disc I had, and got the same error. Any
    ideas? Anyone aware of this problem and know how to get around it?
  2. rf6647

    rf6647 TS Maniac Posts: 829

    change things a bit

    Your problem is unique in my book. Change a few things and see what happems.

    Use partition size <32gb (bios limitation?)
    Use secondary ide (cable or connector problem)
    Download new bios for motherboard - refresh the program

    Since I am a novice, you can await more expert replies. You can also visit the forum for "Guides & solutions".

    If your real goal is to install the fresh version of XP pro, "Guides & Solutions" will have references to procedures that use a Win98 Startup floppy to Fdisk the new drive; format new partitions(fat32); copy folder i386 from the CD to the 2nd partition; copy XP files to the 1st partition(via 'winnt' command) . Format from Win98 may not experience the problem. Likewise, a 2nd computer, if available, can handle the format.
  3. lons

    lons TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i was able to correct my problem and formatted my drive. what i did was i switched my IDE cable. it seems i had a faulty cable. however, my problems were not solved. during the installation process, windows keeps asking me to re-insert my xp pro sp2 cd (which is already in). after i press ok, windows then asks me to locate/find/copy the i386 file. so now i dont know what to do. i thought it was because i had a faulty cd-rom drive, but i was able to install an older version of xp home completely with no problems. so i know its not the cd-rom, but when i tried upgrading to xp pro from the home addition, i ran into the same no i386 file. could it be that i have a faulty xp pro cd?
  4. rf6647

    rf6647 TS Maniac Posts: 829


    Microscopic contamination can cause these problems, as well. A extra push on the cable could have had the same result. Having said this, cables are a replaceable item.

    Next problem - is this CD readable in this drive in the region for the i386 folder? If possible, find someway to transfile this folder & sub-folders to a temporary folder on the hard drive. When prompted by the installation program, browse to the temp folder. (This assumes that when using the CD, the browse function did not find the i386 folder)

    If this gets you past the difficulties, other members can suggest utilities to diagnose hardware problems.
  5. lons

    lons TS Rookie Topic Starter

    as it turns out, again somehow, my xp cd is also messed up. i was able install xp pro using a friends disc. does this happen often? how does an xp cd go bad cause i used it before and it worked? anyways, thanks for the help
  6. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Posts: 441

    os should be on primary master.
    anyway, you can try this:
    try formatting with win98 instead of xp.
    1-get a 98-se floppy boot disk from here:
    2-start your machine with this disk and choose "with cd-rom support"
    3-do "fdisk" - delete any partitions, and create a new one (fat32)
    4-restart same as in #2
    5-format the hd
    6-put xp cd in cd-rom drive and navigate to i386 directory on the cd
    7-run program winnt.exe. this will start xp install process.
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