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cant reformat corrupted laptop HDD

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Neon Zeon

I certainly under stand wanting to breath new life into an older viable laptop, ( recently put windows 7 on an IBM R51 Thinkpad). Assunimg yo have only one HHD and one DVD/CD and that bthey are recognized properly in the BIOS I'm at a loss to know why you have the drive letter assifgnment issues. Check in BIOS to confirm status, obvious any discrepancy there will lead to other issues cropping up in the install. If there is one HHD with a single partition, and one DVD Windows should correctly identify and assign drive letter in a normal manner, typically HHD = C, DVD = D, with Windows installed to C. If I had a machine with this list of issues I'd start over, I wouldn't want a PC to begin a new life with that manyu fixes and registry edits that soon. As to the age of the media. Any other install disk of the appropriate OS is OK to use, as long as you have the correct Windows key, (ie the one that came with and was used in the original install). If you have another copy from another PC or can borrow one, use it. I've done this many times. I have even used newer install disks which have one or more of the service packs included, even using my own slipstreamed disks so as to avoid having to add them later. Go through install with other media (less headaches ), and then use the correct Windows key when appropriate. Good Luck.