how can i fix my laptop?

I have an Acer Aspire 5050 running Vista home premium, 100gb hdd. Here's the prob... the old hdd crashed got another (used) didn't have an OS disc but a friend did so I let him install it. Somehow he screwed up the installation or something just went wrong because it now thinks my hdd is less than 10gb..? Since I got it back I've tried loading 3 different OS discs to try and go back and format the hdd again but it WON'T read the discs! Keeps saying OS not found. I've changed boot order, f12 is enabled. I know the discs work because I put them in a friends desktop and they ran. I'm also wondering if the hdd was clean, maybe that could be what's wrong with it. I really need help with this one.

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After about 2 years those CD/DVD drives fail.

Most won't replace that drive so I use the usual USB external DVDRW drive for the re-install.

Also, don't waste your time with having the wrong restore media. It's one of those real time wasting issues.

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I'll give that a try. I really hope it works. I still don't get how it thinks the hdd is only 9.36gb (when its 100) and doesn't see any partitions. And I'm NOT putting Vista back in it. I'm trying to put XP in instead.

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I think this unit has a SATA drive. It's almost legendary what folk ask next when XP fails to install.

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this one is IDE. Wish it was SATA. Can't I make it external, hook it to another computer, and just wipe it?

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Re: wiping

Two ways to do that:
1. Take it out, connect it to another PC via some USB2-IDE-cable or enclosure, delete all partitions on it via the disk management on that other PC.
2. Boot from a DBAN disk (free download, burn to CD as an image) on this PC and tell it to go ahead erasing all hard disks it finds.

Don't use DBAN on that other PC!


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Thank you

That's what I was looking for, thanks. I'm hoping I can get it fixed. If not, I'll have fun breaking it into tiny pieces...

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