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reformatting hard drive problems

by melfew / May 9, 2007 5:45 AM PDT

System: windows XP home
Dell 4400 dimension
memory 512mb

i have been attempting to reformat the hard drive. Following instructions, i have tried changing the BIOS to boot from CD drive, but windows XP home loads irrespective.

when i tried via the original windows xp, CD i received a message that the CD version of windows XP was earlier than the one loaded on the machine. Do not know why, as this is the first time that i have had the OEM cd out of its packaging.

i then tried using the 6 diskettes but received a "fatal error" message on diskette number 5.

any advice would be really appreciated.


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use your xp cd and
by mark04276 / May 9, 2007 8:23 AM PDT

when you get to the screen that asks where you want to install. Delete that partition "L I believe". Then when you get back to that screen install to unallocated space. It will mpartititon and format by itself after you continue windows install.

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not at that point
by melfew / May 9, 2007 4:47 PM PDT
In reply to: use your xp cd and

thanks for the feedback, but i dont get to that point. the windows xp loads automatically irrespective of where the boot drive is. when i get into the detail i receive the message that the version on the hard drive is newer than on the original CD that came with the system.

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To be clear about this
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 9, 2007 6:12 PM PDT
In reply to: not at that point

Do you insert the XP CD when Windows is already running, then reboot?

That is what you should do. With Windows up and running, insert the XP CD. The operating system will try and open the CD and/or run from the CD automatically. Whatever appears when you insert the CD cancel out of it until you get back to the windows desktop. Then follow the instructions below;

1. With the XP CD inserted in the drive, restart your computer.

2. Your computer should automatically boot from the CD to the Windows Setup Main Menu.

3. At the Welcome to Setup page, press ENTER.

4. Press F8 to accept the Windows XP Licensing Agreement.

5. If an existing Windows XP installation is detected, you are prompted to repair it. To bypass the repair, press ESC.

6. Use the ARROW keys to select the partition or the unpartitioned space where you want to create a new partition. Press D to delete an existing partition, or press C to create a new partition.

7. Type the size in megabytes (MB) that you want to use for the new partition, and then press ENTER, or just press ENTER to create the partition with the maximum size.

8. Select the format option that you want to use for the partition (Recommended: NTFS), and then press ENTER.

9. You have now successfully reformatted the hard drive with Windows XP.

Note - This method does not re-install XP

If what you do is failing, please state at what stage it is failing.


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xp reformatting
by melfew / May 10, 2007 12:12 AM PDT
In reply to: To be clear about this

thanks for the info. i guess the problem is the my CD winXP home version is the original one that came with the machine. since then i have loaded the SP2 pack and the system now does not recognise the old CD version.
i have now downloaded the bootable diskettes from MSFT site (original HomeXP) and rebooted from these and so far (now in the process of formatting) so good.

all the best

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harddrive reformat
by kenmarshall4 / May 10, 2007 9:08 PM PDT

You may have downloaded sp2 with the updates from microsoft and they are not on the orignal cd you can load them again after reloading windows at there website.

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reformatting hard drive problems
by melfew / May 11, 2007 10:26 PM PDT
In reply to: harddrive reformat

thanks all problem solved now have reformatted the Hard Drive all working well.

all the best

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