Installing OS after Hard Drive Format

By malibu76 ยท 26 replies
Nov 16, 2004
  1. I just formatted my HD with the Maxtor Software that came with my HD. Now it says to install OS from floppy press a key. to go to C Prompt type c.

    Now my OS I want to install is on disc. When I go to the c prompt it doesnt recognize any drive letters, it just stays on c. Basically I dont know how to get to the Disc Drive Drive letter prompt so I can run the setup on my OS Disc.

    I will be installing Win XP on it.

    Thanks for any assistance you can give me,

  2. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    Welcome to Techspot jimmy!
    You can exit out of that prompt ,and reboot your computer.
    When you see the boot up screens go into your Bios and change the Boot device order to CD rom first.
    then reboot get the windows disk in the rom ,and follow prompts to boot from the CD.
    You will be able to Partition and install windows from there.
  3. malibu76

    malibu76 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well LL, I did as you said, I went into Bios, changed the first to CD-rom and the second says Hard Drive.

    Now when the computer boots up it says OS Load in progress


    ez-bios :initializing
    ez-bios : Hold the CTRL key down for status screen or to boot from floppy
    ex-bios : Continuing startup...

    Starting Windows 95...

    Microsoft (r) Windows 95

    C:\> blinking cursor

    thats it. when I type in dir on the c prompt it says

    command com

    the hard drive initially had Win 95 on it. I added a maxtor HD and used the software to format and partition it. I used the software to format the hard drive again and here I am.

    when I reboot it definatley does not start up my Win XP Disc that is in the CD Rom.

    Please Help,

  4. dadecamp

    dadecamp TS Rookie Posts: 30

    Go back into your bios and make sure it still has boot to cd first. Be sure to save new settings, usually f10 button saves. Put XP disk in cdrom. Reboot. During the boot it should say something like "press any key to boot from cdrom" Press a key at that point and it should start loading from cdrom. If you don't it will preceed to the HD. Also, be sure to remove any floppies.

    During the Xp install it will come to a point where you can format your HD and create partitions if you want. I would suggest you format then.
  5. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    "Malibu Quote;

    "the hard drive initially had Win 95 on it. I added a maxtor HD and used the software to format and partition it. I used the software to format the hard drive again and here ..."

    I am sorry but I am a little confused.You have 2 Hdd 1. 'Old' had Win 95 and you formatted it , and you want to install XP on it .
    2.'New' Is a new Hdd that you formatted with Maxtor's software .

    Try what Dad... says ,if that does not work go to this;

    When you were at the screen(Not quotation marks) ' C:\> ' just type
    'D:\i386\winnt32.exe ' ,press' enter', "D" must be the drive letter of your Cd rom drive so it might be E or F in your case.I cannot tell because you have not given the break down for the formatted drives.
    When XP starts I recommend you re-format and partition your Drives using the Xp disk it will get rid of stuff in the boot area of your old drive.
    If this does not work ,you will need to give us a breakdown of each HDD , eg. Partitions ,Fat32 , Size ,primary ,Slave , etc.

  6. malibu76

    malibu76 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    First off the HD was installed and formatted and partitioned. I used this computer for quite some time. Well it was crashing and I formatted the HD with the Maxtor Software and it partitions the hd into like 5 hd's.

    When the format is done it says says to install os from floppy insert the first disk into a drive.

    type a to begin os installation

    type c to skip os installation and boot to c:

    . So I have no OS on Floppy so I hit c.

    Now it is at the C prompt. I restart the computer and it says

    Microsoft (r) windows 95

    C\> blinking cursor

    so I restart computer and change bios boot options so the CD rom is the primary drive. f10 to save it.

    Restart with Windows XP disc in CD rom. again it goes to the cprompt with flashing cursor.

    the Maxtor software formats to fat 16 I think and formats the drive into several partions.

    When it goes to the c prompt I have no idea what the cd rom drive letter is or how to find out or if it is available.

    So there you go, maybe you can help me from here.


  7. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    The drive letter will be the next letter in the alphabet from the last letter from the final Partition you installed .
    5 from C + one = H:\ ( try every letter up from C:\ if you have to)
    If this does not work you are going to need to download and make a Bootdisk.
    You are probably right the the HDD is probably formatted Fat 16 ,but that won't matter you are definitely going to reformat with the XP disk.
    Also make sure you did not leave the Maxtor floppy disk in your A:\ drive
    Good luck
  8. aglennon

    aglennon TS Rookie

    Some older boards seem to have trouble booting from CD-ROM's. On my old Abit BE6, I had to plug my CD-ROM cable into the first IDE in order for 1st boot device to fire up the CD. Make sure you unplug the pc first before working inside the box! Hope this helps. BTW, personally haven't had much luck with ezbios; Windows XP has all the partitioning stuff you need.
  9. dadecamp

    dadecamp TS Rookie Posts: 30

    like aglennon said about the maxtor ezbios partition/format software. I have not had much success with it and I have had quite a few maxtors. It is best to use the one in the XP install.
    I take that you never had a prompt to "press any key to boot from CDROM"? It usually won't boot to it without some action (push key) on your part.Also like aglennon said, if you have an old board you may need to make your cdrom the master on the first ide plug on the motherboard. It could be marked ide 0 on the board.

    What sized HD do you have? I would caution you not to make the boot partition (the one you load the OS on, most likely C:/) too small. Make it at least 8-10gb. They tend to fill up with programs, documents, etc. So if you had 5 partitions, what size were they?

    If you don't have a boot disk and you download one make sure it has cdrom drivers.
  10. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Download XP's boot floppies and boot with them.
  11. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

  12. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Download smartdrv.exe from here:
    Put that on a floppy disk, put the floppy disk in your comp that you are trying to put XP on.
    From the Win95 prompt where you see c:\ and then flashing cursor type the following:

    Now your XP install will begin.
  13. malibu76

    malibu76 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well sngx1275, I tried what you said and this is what happened.

    I went to a: prompt and typed in smartdrv and hit enter

    it then said.

    Cant be loaded because the xms driver himem.sys is not loaded. Check the config.sys file for a device=himem.sys command line.

    Now this is completely foreign to me. I pray that this means something to you and you can help me get my Win XP installed and my computer up and running.

    Thank you so very much for your help,

  14. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Ok, your Windows95 is not really functionable even in dos prompt mode then. What you need to do is grab youself another floppy and go to and download a windows98 or 98se or me boot floppy. Boot from that, with cdrom support (its an option you will be given). Then once you get to the command prompt take out the boot disk and put in the one with smartdrv.exe on it then type a:\smartdrv.exe.

    One thing to watch is when you are booting with cd rom support after its done it will tell you above the command prompt what your cd drive is lettered.

    Then type in what I said above abotu the I386\winnt.exe
  15. Nunja Business

    Nunja Business TS Rookie

    Some valuable advice


    You guys can flame me all you want, but this needs to be said:

    You are wasting your time installing a newer Operating System on technology that is on a par with my clock radio. That is IF your PC came with 95 on it.

    Bite the bullet and get a new system with XP pre-loaded. You should be able to get an entry-level system at Wal-Mart or Best Buy with XP Home for $300 or less. If your monitor, keyboard and mouse are OK, all you need is the CPU box. Any peripherals you already have should also work fine.

    I am not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but $300 can be saved up in a few months by most people (many stores have financing) and it is usually deductible on your taxes if you claim it as educational supplies.

    Welcome to the 21st Century! :D
  16. malibu76

    malibu76 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I wont flame you, but I will tell you I just built me a brand new computer because of this old one causing problems. My grandmother expressed interest in having a computer so she can type her memoirs, so I am trying to get this going for here!!!
  17. malibu76

    malibu76 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well sng, I did as you said,, downloaded the bootdisk. I put it in a drive and rebooted. It came up and immediatley said take out media and hit any key. I did and it went to the normal c prompt.

    I then changed to a prompt and typed in boot98 which is the file name on the boot disk. It said cant be run in dos mode. I dont understand why when I put the boot disk in the a drive, and when it booted up and tried to read the a drive it would do the boot.

    Crap. well maybe this means something to you.

    thanks, Jim
  18. malibu76

    malibu76 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well I just got smartdrv torun. It said y was my drive. I then typed in \i386\winnt.exe and it said this below on a blue screen
    Windows XP Setup
    Internal error has occured.Could not find place for a swap file

    So getting closer, maybe??

    thanks, Jim
  19. dadecamp

    dadecamp TS Rookie Posts: 30

    I think you need to re-format your HD. Boot to the new boot disk. At the A prompt, type "format c:" without the quotation marks. This should re-format the HD from the ezmax format to dos.
  20. {{clewless}}

    {{clewless}} TS Rookie Posts: 26

    I think that if he has a win98se or winMe Boot disk he should just run fdisk and eliminate all the partition information. This is quick and easy. Then reboot and choose boot with cd rom support. Then navigate to the i386 directory on the cd drive and run winnt.exe (winnt32.exe cannot be run from dos prompt. When the computer is booting it will tell you the drive letter or letters of your cd roms.) Or just type 'D:\i386\winnt.exe ' (Where D is the drive letter of your cd rom.)at the ?:\ prompt. (?:\ should be a ramdrive .) After the Winxp boot sequence starts I believe that it will ask you to use smartdrive, but you don't have to. It will just take longer to install XP. If you are like me, I will usually let it do it's thing and come back a couple hrs later so the length of time it takes isn't that critical. Hope this helps.

    Oops, looks like the Hd needs to be formatted so the install can create temporary files. It needs to be at least 500k and fat32. I don't believe it can be read by dos if it's ntfs and fat16 isn't good for XP.
  21. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    You are very close!
    Go back and boot from the 98 bootdisk.
    Run Fdisk
    first delete all existing partitions
    Make a new Partitions and make the first one Active
    Format them Fat 32
    You should be able to boot to the XP disk or start smartdirve again to get to XP
    Just pay attention to the drive letter designations
    Good luck
  22. kiwijohn

    kiwijohn TS Rookie

    Installing OS after HD format

    Yeah . . . been there, done that!! You probably reformatted with a DOS boot disk, and that may have created a RAM-disk, but won't recognize your other HDs or partitions. Anyway, you'll probably find that XP won't install directly to a DOS formatted HD.

    First you need a DOS boot disk which will install CD drivers and then you will probably have to install Win-98 from its CD and upgrade to XP over the top.

    At least that's how I had to do it.
  23. malibu76

    malibu76 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey LL,

    Ok so now I have gotten even farther and have just realized I have a hardware failure. So here is the low down.

    I can get Win XP up and running in Setup. But my Disc drive is faulty. It spins up and stops, spins up and stops during the setup. Then setup says error installing files, different ones at different times. I know this is because of the disc drive not spinning up and running.

    So I have the primary disc drive that came with the computer. I also have a 2nd drive which is a phillips cdrw. The ribbon cable has a connector at the very end and in the middle. The original drive that is the drive the computer boots to is plugged into the middle connector. The Phillips, is on the end. I first thought if I switch the slave and master jumpers I could use my Phillips, but no. Then I thought if I unplugged the original and just left the phillips plugged in it would boot to the phillips, but no.

    The computer says cdr101 not installed or something like that when I have the original drive unplugged and does not recognize the phillips.

    Thats when I realized that when the computer is booting it says cd installed and list some info about it during the boot up process, the original . So apparently there are no drivers or something in my computer to make the computer use the phillips.

    So my question to you is:
    1. what do I have to do to make my computer use my phillips drive?
    2. Do I have to delete the boot up info about the original drive, and how?
    3. Do I have to install something "drivers" to get the phillips to run?
    4. How do I do all of this with my computer just booting to the a: and c: prompt with a formatted hard drive?

    Now if I have to I can go buy a 20 dollar cdrom and install it if you think I need to.

    If I can get past this hurdle I am done.

    Thank you so very much for helping me,

  24. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    Jimmy ;Unplug the ribbon cable from the HDD and the CD rom .
    Place the Jumpers on both items to master.
    Get a new ribbon cable ( 80 conductor)and connect the HHD on the 'end 'connector(master)only,. closest to the middle one.
    The other end goes to the Primary connector on the Motherboard.
    Make sure you check for the # 1 pin on each connection.
    Do the same for the Cd rom ,but attach it to the secondary connection on the Motherboard.
    If you have done this correctly you should have no problems loading your OS.
  25. malibu76

    malibu76 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Is there any way for me to get my phillips cd/rw to run without purchasing a new ribbon cable? I mean what is wrong with the one I have. It does have 2 plug ins on it but I would think I could just plug in the phillips drive to it instead of the oem drive that came with the computer.

    Also like I said when the computer boots up , you see information about the cdrom drive as its booting, info about it being installed and stuff. When I unplug it and just plug in the phillips it immediatly says cdr101 not installed. I assume this is because the computer is setup with drivers and crap to recognize this oem drive.

    So is there no way to remove that information and enter the information for my phillips drive/?? if so how/??

    As for the new ribbon cables, can I not use the ribbon cables that are in the computer now? I mean there is apparently one going to the HDD> and there is definatley one going from the HDD to the cdroms?

    If I have to go this route where can I purchase these ribbon cables at a reasonable price.

    One more question. I know that Basic CD ROM READERS are like 20 bucks. I have considered taking that phillips out and putting just a reader in it since my grandmother is only going to use the computer for word processing and has no need for a writer. If I go buy one of these drives will it have a ribbon cable in it or will it be possible for me to install it instead of the phillips?

    LL Again, I cant express how much I appreciate all of your help. Forums are absoloutley awsome and you can meet some really nice people. I hope I am not taking up too much of your time, but you can bet your A** you are much appreciated HERE!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you so much,

    Jimmy Overcast
    Huntsville, Alabama
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