XP won't install on new computer, help

By Sadgirl ยท 7 replies
Jan 27, 2009
  1. Hello all,

    It's the Inept One again and the continuing saga of the Inspiron 530s she wished she hadn't bought.

    I bought it reconditioned and without an OS because they were only selling Vista. I have an official copy of XP pro that a family member sent me and when I try to install it, it comes up with a blue screen that says there were errors and windows has shut down to avoid damaging your computer.
    And then advises I do the following:

    'Check for viruses on your computer. Remove any newly installed hard drives of hard drive controllers. Check your hard drive to make sure it is properly configured and terminated. Run CHKDSK /F to check for hard drive corruption and then restart your computer.'

    I haven't the faintest idea how to do any of this without an OS installed. As it's only just come out of the box i assumed the HDs would be fine!! It has two 320gb HDs installed, Intel Duo Core 2.66Ghz, 3gb ram.

    Sadly the company I got it from doesn't have a phone number so I can't expect much from them, tho I will email them about it too.
    I really haven't a clue how to fix this and I really need my computer asap for my job. Any help would be much appreciated.
    Thank you!
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    Try disconnecting one of the hard drives and installing Windows on the remaining one. If that doesn't work, try the other way around. If it works, you've found the hard drive that might be defective. Once the Windows is installed to a good hard drive, you can reconnect the "bad" one and attempt to reformat/partition it. If the bad one still gives error messages, I would consider just discarding it.
  3. Sadgirl

    Sadgirl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, I will try! Bit nervous about fiddling around with wires in the back there.
  4. Sadgirl

    Sadgirl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It's working! Thank you thank you thank you!

    Ok so once windows is installed good and proper, shut down and plug in my other HD. Start up and either format or partition it? I'm not sure which is best, I'm don't really know what partitioning does other than it, er, partitions it from the rest of your computer. So I would probably format it. But if my comp doesn't start up with it plugged in again then I should not use it (I'll send it back to the shop with a fish head).
    Does that sound right?
    So happy, thank you again!
  5. hrlow2

    hrlow2 TS Rookie Posts: 136

    Do a chkdsk on it first to see if it's OK .
    Partitioning can create seperate storage spaces on your disk. On my 80GB main drive I have 60GB for the OS and the remainder for storage of pictures and other things that don't really need to be on C.
  6. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    You don't have to partition the second drive if you don't want to. You could just format it and have one large partition and use that drive to store stuff. Once you install Windows on the first hard drive, you can run chkdsk on the second drive as already suggested, then you can use Window's Disk Management to format the drive.
  7. Sadgirl

    Sadgirl TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, here's the update:

    The guy at the shop I bought my comp from said that XP is too old to run on Sata drives and I needed to install a driver so that they could both handle XP. However by this time I had already installed XP onto one of the drives and when I plugged in my other drive XP would crash on start up.

    So my plan was to uninstall XP, install drivers and then reinstall XP and live happily ever after.

    Here's the funny bit, I couldn't uninstall windows xp

    I tried going through Add/Remove programs but Windows wasn't there. I've tried cd\windows\system32\osuninst.exe in command prompt but it says I need to have the appropriate tool...management...utlities folder or something, and I haven't. I tried doing it from my installation CD, choosing to format my HD before installing a new copy but it bloody well went ahead an installed another copy before I could stop it!
    I also tried doing it through the windows startup command prompt type screen, and it didn't recognise 'format' or 'delete' for some reason.

    I just now plugged in my other drive, tried to install drivers from the cd which it couldn't boot from so just started up and Huzzah! Windows started with both HDs plugged in! Should I now format the rogue HD? It seems to have it's own windows folders on it that are empty.
    Also when I start up the computer I get the Dell screen then it goes black and says Diskette 0 failed to recognise or something, press F1 to continue, F2 to go to setup. How do I get it to stop doing this at start up?

    Apologies for probably sounding hilariously or painfully stupid to everyone.
  8. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    It's not true that XP is too old to run on SATA drives. You just need to Install the appropriate SATA/RAID controller drivers for you motherboard as part of Windows setup. You get that opportunity at the beginning of Windows setup when it asks if you have any third party drivers to install and press F6. For the F6 procedure to work you need a floppy drive with the SATA/RAID drivers on a diskette.

    Alternately, through your BIOS sometimes you can configure your SATA hard drive to emulate an IDE drive. However, you lose any speed advantage SATA could give you but at least the hard drive will work. This might not work with all BIOSes.

    You can't uninstall Windows through Add and Remove Programs like you do other programs. You would delete/ uninstall by using Windows setup to reformat and/or reinstall Windows with the CD. In a PC that is already working with XP installed, you can use Disk Management to reformat a second drive.

    So to sum up, you can start your computer, go into the BIOS and be sure SATA mode is enabled and the CD drive is first in the boot order, save and exit and using only your known good SATA hard drive (no other hard drive installed), boot with the Windows CD in the CD drive and attempt to install Windows all over again. Hit F6 at the prompt at the beginning of Windows setup. Nothing will happen at first but after a bit of file copying, Windows setup will ask you to press "S" and install the third party drivers from the floppy. It will refer to them as SCSI drivers but disregard that term.
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