My laptop won't install Windows XP. It stalled in the set up process.

By foxylee81 ยท 8 replies
Sep 17, 2008
  1. Howdy,

    I got a compaq presario laptop.
    it initially had window vista installed when i bought it a year ago.
    i decided to put window XP pro on it.So i formatted the hard drive and try to install window xp pro but every time i try to install window xp pro it says it can not find the hard drive.Is there something i am doing wrong?

    Any help would hardly appreciated appreciated.

    Best regards,
  2. InsaneVr6

    InsaneVr6 TS Booster Posts: 221

    That is how alot of people think of when they want to put xp on a vista machine. Well its a lot more than just format and install. Thought both Vista and XP use NTFS filesystems, theres alot more involved so vista wont go without a fight!

    Since your computer came with vista it recognized the SATA drive that came with it. Now that you have reformatted, XP cant see that SATA that vista did, so its telling you theres no hard disk, when you know there is.
    You will now need to use a third party application to format your hard drive (try something like DBAN (Dariks Boot and Nuke). I am assuming that you originally used your XP disk to format the drive.
    XP doesnt know how vista reads SATA drives simply because it didnt exist yet!
    1. Download DBAN (google search)
    2. Burn the .iso to a disk
    3. Put it in your computer and format the drive
    4. Put in your XP Pro disk and you should be good to go
    Post your results or any questions ill b happy to help more. Good luck
  3. foxylee81

    foxylee81 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes i downloaded the DBAN ISO and ran it on my coumputer.After i put my window xp pro cd in the computer but i am still getting the same message like before.The computer says it can not find a HD(SATA drive) on the it to install windows when i know there is a HD(SATA) already installed on the it and it is a new one too.I also try resetting BIOS a few time but i have no luck installing windows xp pro.

    Please help!my head is starting to feel heavy on this one.
  4. InsaneVr6

    InsaneVr6 TS Booster Posts: 221

    Hmm try and reset the CMOS back to default aswell, and try again.
    While you are there, go into your BIOS and go to System Configuration (or something like that) and go down to the SATA Native Support and change its setting to Disabled. Then hit F10 to Save and Exit.
    Try and Intall XP Pro again. Let me know how this works out because now i am curious haha good luck.
  5. foxylee81

    foxylee81 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I disabled the function in bios but i still can not get the PC to see the HD.Is there something are doing wrong?
  6. InsaneVr6

    InsaneVr6 TS Booster Posts: 221

    Strange. Not sure man i wish i could help you more. Not sure if you tried to google search your problem but thats all i can tell you to do now. And i dont see that you are doing anything wrong. Maybe someone with a little more experience than me can help you out. I have installed XP over a vista machine but it was never a vista preinstall so i am not sure if there is a differece.

    The only other thing that i could tell you to do, which WILL work, but its a very drawn out and i didnt want to mention it but i am out of ideas.

    You have to reinstall windows vista and create two partitions on the Hard Drive.
    Then, on the second partition you have to install XP
    Finally, format the primary Vista partiton and you are left with XP
    There are alot of steps on this process and i will gladly explain them here if this is the path you want to take.
  7. foxylee81

    foxylee81 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks a lot for the your help but I had enough with my laptop so i send it to compaq to fix to it and install XP on it.Can you imagine they are charging my $400 to solve my problem.
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523


    I'd say a little extreme

    But if that's what you wanted to do
    We could have helped a lot more here for free, if you had replied with I might send it in to repair, or something like that.

    We can also post all steps in how to install Windows (with pics and all)

    Oh well
  9. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Posts: 319

    Too late now but you should have ENABLED that function in the bios. InsaneVr6 gave you the opposite instructions. and the reason they are probably charging you $400 is $150 for the windows xp and probably $150 an hour for labor, so do the math
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