If it was a standard computer [not a Compaq, Dell etc] and you had an actual XP CD, you would not have to format the drive, the XP CD would do it for you.
Do you have a floppy drive, and can you get a Win98 boot floppy??
I have an HP pavilion 532w with an intell 4 processor and 512 mb RAM, on an 80 GB hard drive and I am running windows XP. I went to turn my computer on one day and got the message Disk boot failure, please insert system disk and press enter, I had to contact HP to get the disks I needed as my computer did not come with the disks nor a way to create any. After I got the disks I did just what it said to do and I got the message no hard disk found. I called a local computer place that works on computers and was told that my hard drive had gone bad. I bought a new hard drive, (Western Digital 80 GB) and then installed it on my computer. Upon booting the computer up with the system disks I got the message NTLDR is missing, I have no idea what this NTLDR is and when calling HP to ask this question I was told there would be a 40 dollar basic charge and would go from there. They would not tell me what it meant unless I paid this money. I also got the message. while trying different things (dectected Boot image on LBA 0x00000015, Error! PC system not supported, Press any key to continue. I would greatly appreciate any help I can get with this problem. Have I bought the wrong Hard Drive?, has HP sent the wrong Boot up disks,,,, Please HELP!!!!!