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The Impossible Task of Reformatting my PC

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#1 axelbd


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Posted 16 June 2014 - 06:31 AM

I've reformatted this PC before and it was the easiest thing in the world.
This time however, it simply won't let me, I feel like I've tried everything there is to format the drive and reinstall an OS

Model: Dell Dimension
Added hardware: GeForce 6200 AGP 512mb, 1gb RAM
Note: The computer isn't infected.



As you can see, I've used 5 different copies of windows XP and one of Win7, all of which boot (except the dell copy) and then fail at an early stage.

What is this problem? All of these copies have worked for others, why not me?

There is no problem with the cd drive.

My options to enter in to:

- A previous version of windows
- Windows 7 (I installed without booting from the CD over my last copy of XP, this was AFTER the formatting problems.)
- Microsoft windows recovery console (can't reformat through this either because it only lets me type one letter)
- Continue Windows XP Setup (because I tried to install from inside the OS, when the PC rebooted I got the same errors as above, except this option stayed on my options)

Please help me! Any help would be really appreciated, I don't want to have to pay to get somebody to reformat a hard drive which is supposed to be childsplay :C

Thanks a lot to whoever replies.




Everything else on the PC seems to be working okay.

I installed windows 7 without any problems by running setup from the disk while in windows and installing over XP (not exactly a reformat) it did restart and boot the setup from the win7 disk, so there's no problem with the HDD or the optical drive. The problem seems to be simply when I boot straight from a CD.

The problem is I don't want windows 7 and my PC can barely cope with it, maxes my CPU by just moving the mouse around, also the sound card isn't compatible. I really just need a good old solid version of XP.

The reason for reformatting was just because it's an old PC and I wanted to start fresh. Yes the PC has experienced all kinds of problems in the past with deep infections and blue screens etc. that was fixed through the first reformat, since then there hasn't been anything too major.

Update: The Dell CD is most likely too damaged and that's why it wont run (it literally does nothing when I hit "any key to boot."

Originally Posted by Panther063 viewpost.gif
I disagree, as they are using illegal copies of Windows, they can't expect any help.

I have a genuine Delll copy and I have a legitimate key. By law I'm allowed to use burned images to install windows as a back up for a damaged or lost CD. This also applies to games/roms you might download, if you own a genuine copy it's legal to own an emulated version for back-up.

Absolutely nothing illegal and as you can see my Re-installation CD is clearly visible so you don't just have to take my word for it.

Edited by Platypus, 16 June 2014 - 07:36 AM.

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#2 Platypus


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Posted 16 June 2014 - 07:28 AM

You are really only going to be able to resolve something like this by a process of elimination. Corruption problems in an old computer can be caused by many factors, although my instinct is to suspect you're installing onto a faulty hard drive. A partial install occurring under Win7 doesn't necessarily divert suspicion from the HDD, it may just mean the faulty location(s) on the drive was not being used at that time.


The possibility of faulty source disks only complicates it further.


Potential causes for corruption during installation include HDD or optical drive data cable/connector, failing HDD, optical drive with weakening laser/dirty lens, something that provokes noisy supply rails including capacitor faults in PSU or on mainboard, or a fault that comes & goes like a bad contact on a memory DIMM.

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#3 HairCut


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Posted 16 June 2014 - 07:37 AM

Download, burn and boot with GParted http://gparted.org/

You can use it to format your drive to FAT32 (maybe NTFS) allowing your windows disk to reformat to NTFS and carry on with the installation.

#4 hamluis



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Posted 16 June 2014 - 09:40 AM

Disks...can simply be tested on other systems. If they work on other systems...they are not blameworthy.

The optical drive would be my first suspect.

I suggest that cease trying to do illegal installs for Windows versions which you don't have valid licenses.

Finally...since it's a Dell system, the recovery-restore disks and/or built-in restore-to-factory-defaults option may be available.


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