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Reinstalling Windows XP Home on blank drive


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#1 bonald

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 06:09 PM

Hi--

I have a 5-year old HP Pavilion a1210n that runs XP Home. I also have the system recovery disc that I made when I bought the machine as well as 16 other discs I made at the same time. Two years ago I replaced the hard drive and was able to use these discs to reinstall the operating system and all original software. Now I have bought a new computer and am trying to clean up this old one to pass on to my dad.

I managed to use the Microsoft Recovery Console earlier today to format the hard drive. Now I'm stuck though in how exactly to put everything back on. I am able to get into the Recovery Console--I'm just at a loss as to how to use the various commands to prepare the hard drive to reinstall the OS and additional software.

When I do CHKDSK, I get this: "The volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems." (This machine was working fine this morning.)

When I do FORMAT C:, I get this: "You cannot format removable media." ???

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#2 bonald

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 08:32 PM

Update: I'm messing around with the Recovery Console and getting the same messages as earlier. So I used the command "Map" and got this: G: \Device\CdRom0 It's like Recovery Console isn't even seeing my hard drive.

#3 hamluis

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 08:41 PM

IMO...the evidence points to a bad hard drive.

"Unrecoverable" in error messages...is the key word.

I would run the appropriate hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic (long test, not short).

Free Hard Drive Testing Tools - Hard Drive Diagnostics - http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/tp/tophddiag.htm

Hard Drive Installation and Diagnostic Tools - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic28744.html

Louis

#4 bonald

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 09:35 AM

I think that it was showing "unrecoverable" because for whatever reason Windows Recovery Console is examining my CD drive rather than my hard drive.

I called Western Digital, and the tech advised me to use the DOS version of their Data Lifeguard Diagnostics tool to do an extended test and a low-level format. I had all kinds of trouble trying to create the DLD disc and wound up finding a tool called Ultimate Boot CD, which contains the DLD tool: http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ I ran the extended test, and the hard drive passed. I can't figure out though how to do the low-level format--I don't see that as an option with the DLD program. Where do I go from here?

#5 dc3

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 09:59 AM

What type of problems did you encounter?

Did you read the instructions?

Here is information and a download for low level formatting.

You may want to Google how to make a disc from a ISO file.

Google is your friend.

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#6 hamluis

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 10:04 AM

http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/other/2779-701022.pdf

Instructions are pretty clear, IMO.

Louis

#7 bonald

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 10:06 AM

Yeah, the instructions really didn't help. First I couldn't do it on my desktop, as the Western Digital site wouldn't let me since the desktop is Windows 7. I got a message about it not working on my operating system and then it went no further. So I went to my laptop, which has XP. The program totally did NOT behave as explained in the instructions. This part in particular just DID NOT HAPPEN:

# You will see a Diskette Creator icon on your desktop.
# Double-click on the icon, follow the prompts and create your diagnostic diskette.

Called WD back and they said just to make a bootable disc from the file I downloaded. In Googling to find out how to do that, I came across the Ultimate Boot CD. Was able to make that, no problem. It works in the broken machine. It says that the hard drive is good.

Thanks for the link for the low-level formatting. I am getting ready to run out for a few hours but will do that when I return.

#8 bonald

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 10:07 AM

http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/other/2779-701022.pdf

Instructions are pretty clear, IMO.

Louis


The instructions are very clear. Unfortunately, what they say is NOT what happens for me. No diskette creator icon, no instructions, nada.

#9 dc3

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 10:32 AM

You posted this in the Windows XP forum which implies that this is the operating system that we are concerned with. If you look at what operating systems are supported on the page that I provided the link for you would have seen that W7 isn't included.

Edited by dc3, 08 December 2010 - 10:34 AM.

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#10 bonald

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 10:38 AM

I'm sorry, I feel like I'm being reprimanded. I posted in the XP forum because the sick computer is XP. I happen to be typing this on a Windows 7 computer. But I also have a laptop running XP, so that's what I went to when I couldn't make my disc on this computer. It's certainly not your fault that the WD instructions don't exactly jive with the WD product (not just talking about the Windows 7 thing but the fact that even on an XP machine, double-clicking on the file didn't get me a desktop icon or any sort of assistance--just adds frustration to an already tense situation, you know?).

The WD tool on the Ultimate Boot CD calls formatting "write zeros to drive," so I just set it to do that and we'll see what happens. I'll report back later! Thanks!

#11 dc3

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 10:49 AM

I most assuredly was not meaning my post as a reprimand. I only intended to point out that the download isn't supported for W7.

Edited by dc3, 08 December 2010 - 10:57 AM.

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#12 bonald

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 09:00 PM

Whew! This has been a real roller coaster ride!

The WD utilities all pointed to no hard drive problems. I did a full reformat (again!) and then rebooted with the first of my recovery discs. Everything went well until disc 2, when it abruptly froze. (I think it sensed that I was celebrating prematurely.) I wound up plugging in an external CD drive and starting over. This time it worked, and I have now gone through all 16 discs. I've got the old dinosaur hooked up to the Internet and am now downloading 5 years worth of updates.

I might not have put so much effort into fixing this machine up, but even though it is 5 years old (although I did replace the hard drive 2 years ago), it is quite new compared to the machine my dad is using and I want to pass this one on to him. He currently has a 20gig hard drive, to give you an idea of the upgrade this will be (500 gigs).

Thanks!
Bonnie




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