HELP! Can't reinstall XP after reformatting.

  rickf 08:38 23 Feb 05

HI, I can't reinstall the XP OS after reformatting. I had upgraded to SP2 a few months ago. Could this be the prob. During installation, it goes into a loop. After the formatting process, it bstarts all over again and would not go into windows. Any help please. I was about to sell it when I decided to format the HD.

  Diodorus Siculus 08:53 23 Feb 05

Shouldn't think that SP2 is the cause.

Are you booting with XP CD?

Have you tried to format again and reinstall?

  ventanas 08:58 23 Feb 05

Is it still booting from the cd after the first restart? Make sure you ignore any further prompts to boot from CD.

  Diodorus Siculus 08:59 23 Feb 05

Is there anything else changed in the machine? RAM etc?

Another thought: can you put the disk into another machine as a slave and format / check for errors?

  rickf 11:08 23 Feb 05

Thanks for all your suggestions so far. Sorry I had been out.It does not give me the option to choose not booting from CD. Secondly, Yes I have tried reformatting, even with a full format , it still gives me the same probs. Thirdly, Its laptop so I can't put it in another machine as I onle have one laptop. I have reinstalled XP on Desktops many times for others and I am totally flumoxed by the present prob. BTW, its also a rcovery disc which I am trying to reinstall from. )Of course I have no OS in the systems at present as I have already formatted. Any other thoughts from you experienced people would be very much help.

  rickf 11:11 23 Feb 05

BTW, It started by me trying to restore to factory settings but it would not restore totally and got stuck at 85% for ages. Isuspect this is due to SP2 which I upgraded about three months ago. Because of not being able to do this, I decided to reformat and do a fresh install which takes me to the present dilemma.

  ventanas 11:32 23 Feb 05

Can we clear up one point. The Recovery Disc, is it a full XP cd or a "ghosted" image of the factory settings? I suspect the latter because of what you have said.

I cannot see SP2 having anything to do with it because even ghosted images usually do a quick format before the restore begins.

Also how did you format the drive. The usual way, without restoring the O/S, would be to boot with the XP cd and choose the Recovery Console, then type:

format C: /Q

But if you have a ghosted recovery disc I don't see how you could do this.

  rickf 11:39 23 Feb 05

Ventanas, Thanks for that. The Recvovery disc has XP on it. The restore facility is in the support CD. Formatted Drive C when trying to reinstall XP. Does that give you ideas?

  rickf 12:16 23 Feb 05


  FelixTCat 12:29 23 Feb 05

See if you can set the boot order in the BIOS to hard disk first, DVD second. On the first boot, your PC will find nothing on the HD and boot from the cd. Subsequently it will find the first stage of XP on the hd and boot from that to continue installation.

If at any stage after the first you get a screen message saying "Press Any Key to boot from the cd", do not press the Any key.

  ventanas 12:33 23 Feb 05

Ok, perhaps start again at the beginning. If you are sure the disc is a full XP cd (the support CD possibly has all the drivers etc on it, which will need to be installed afterwards.) then:

Ensure that the computer is set to boot from CD before the hard drive.
Enter the Bios (press Del, F2 or whatever on boot up) and make any necessary changes.

When computer starts press any key to boot from CD when prompted at bottom of screen (hit the spacebar)
Windows Setup will appear on a blue screen. Allow to run as files load at bottom of screen.
When prompted press enter to set up Windows XP. Press F8 to accept agreement.
Press Esc to install a fresh copy of Windows as per the prompt.
From options at bottom of screen press D to delete the partition and return to confirm.
Press L to activate the deletion.

At the next screen press C to create a new partition. Accept the default size (Press enter to set up Windows XP
Choose the format using full NTFS (not quick) file system (3rd option)
Sit back and wait.

Sep up will copy installation files. Set up will then initialize and computer will restart.
IGNORE the prompt to boot from CD
XP will install

At the prompt change settings to English (United Kingdom). Also change location to UK.
On the same prompt change Language and Keyboard settings to UK

At the next prompt enter name as will be used for the computer. Enter product key from computer casing
Enter computer name and administrator password.

Check date and time and time zone. Change if necessary.

At the next prompt accept Typical Network Settings.

Enter Workgroup settings

When finished computer will restart (again ignore prompt to boot from CD)
(The CD can be removed when restart complete)

When prompted add the user to the computer.

Restart will finalise and the computer is ready save for any personal settings and installation of any drivers etc.

Also remember to install any relevant Windows Updates before going online (particularly those for Blaster and Sasser) or install SP2.

I would reinstall everything except SP2, activate by phone, and then put SP2 on.

If it still fails to install we will have to dig a lot deeper.

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