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Trying to clean install XP on Dell Dimension


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#1 DBricker

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 01:43 PM

I'm beyond exasperated at the point and would greatly appreciate any help that can be offered.

In order of operation - I've got Dell Dimension E310 that came with a RAID 1 setup (two 160GB drives). Within 6 months the 'backup' drive began to have physical issues so I broke the raid and bought an external for backups - easier than dealing with Dell tech. The main system drive started showing signs of wear and it had to have clean installs several times over the years. Recently the blue screens got unbearable so I installed a new 250GB West. Dig. drive where the 'backup' drive was and installed XP on it. I've been using it successfully for about a year. I should have left well enough alone. I ended up with a Seagate 1 TB drive (due to a poor experience with Iomega Home Media Drive) that I was going to use to replace the original 'system' drive. I didn't realize the second XP install was still utilizing the boot info on the original drive to operate. When I switched them out, I received the "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem" error, and realized that I had gone too far.

Since this happened, I've tried replacing the original hard drive, which resulted in access to the old, glitchy, version of XP I had on it, but when trying to access my most recent XP, I would receive the Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem error. After trying everything in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314477, as well as repairing the install of XP (all repeatedly), I decided it was time to get rid of the the original failing drive and start over from scratch once again. I placed the 1 TB drive in the primary slot, with no other drive installed and attempted a clean install of XP...still the Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem error. At this point, I have no access to any windows other than the OEM XP CD. I can boot with a Ubuntu disc to modify anything I need to, but I'm lost as to why it won't let me simply start over.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 02:08 PM

Are you following Dell instructions for reinstalling the O/S?

http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kcs/document?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&docid=DSN_179256&isLegacy=true

Louis

#3 DBricker

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 02:24 PM

Thanks for help.

Unknowingly, yes. I've done 10 - 15 clean installs, using that procedure, in the past with no hiccups. Now it chokes. The error pops up when trying to get to step 6.

Thanks again,

DJ

#4 hamluis

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 04:00 PM

Is the hard drive properly recognized in the BIOS...as an installed drive?

Are the date/time reflected in the BIOS...accurate?

Louis

#5 DBricker

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 04:02 PM

Yes on both of those...

Thanks,

DJ

#6 hamluis

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 04:07 PM

<<I've got Dell Dimension E310 that came with a RAID 1 setup...>>

Does the BIOS still reflect a RAID configuration?

Why are you attaching this second drive? Pleasd detach it...the only attached drives should be the one you intend to install Windows on and the optical drive necessary to read the installation files.

Louis

#7 DBricker

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 04:14 PM

Yep, and I've since (about 3 years ago) broken the raid and reconfigured it for no raid. I'm down to just the one drive. Since I posted the original message, I've tried to clean install both the 1 TB and the original 160GB hard drives again with the same results...

#8 DBricker

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 04:33 PM

I hate Windows.

Truly.

If I could get Quickbooks for Linux I would spend 3 times the amount of money I spend on software now donating to open source formats. After 20 tries, it has worked...for no special reason at all. I'm currently installing XP on the 1 TB drive. I'll drop a line when it's finished.

Thanks.

#9 hamluis

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 05:23 PM

Well, there's usually a reason :). In any case, glad you resolved it, happy computing :).

Louis

#10 noknojon

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 07:18 PM

I've done 10 - 15 clean installs, using that procedure, in the past with no hiccups.

Hi -
I hope that not too many 'clean installs' involved the unit that you are talking about -
If you have, then there will be more problems than you can see now - I've never done a 'clean install' since I purchased this unit many years ago -

Thank You -

#11 DBricker

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:40 PM

Unfortunately, yes. They've all been done with this machaine. 4 have been caused by physial problems on the original 2 Seagate drives. The rest were caused by me playing too hard with my toys. I participate in what some would consider to be risky computing, resulting in infections penicillin simply won't fix. I've found it considerably easier to keep good backups and simply start over when my computer catches something from being so promiscuous.

So far so good on the install. I took a break after it started working to celebrate with food an drink, and have decided not to return to the cursed machine until morning.

#12 noknojon

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:45 PM

4 have been caused by physial problems on the original 2 Seagate drives.
The rest were caused by me playing too hard with my toys.

As long as you are prepared for these instances, then you will be an expert Reinstaller :P

Regards -




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