Can't install XP ... or 98se ... or 2000 ... or ...

By jamieg18 ·

Usually i'm able to figure things out, but this has me stumped.

I backed all my data up and wiped my HDD for a clean install. I got my XP disk out, put it in and it just "skips" to the recovery console. It'll load all the drivers etc. but never goto where you can press enter to install, it always just goes to the recovery console.

The same happens with windows 2000.

When trying to install windows 98se, it gets to the plug&play config then hangs and BSOD's with a "disk write error" on C. I've tried installing from HDD, changing RAM (from 1024 to 256) and countless others. None work. I was going to install windows 98 so i could upgrade install XP onto it.

I can install windows 7 fine (originally why i wiped), however it doesn't support my graphics card so i want to go back to XP.

Anyone got any ideas?

My setup:

Motherboard; PCCHIPS P23g (V3.0)
Graphics; ATI radeon x1050
Memory; 1024mb DDR pc3200
HDD; Maxtor SATA 300gb.

Thanks for any help.

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All Answers

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BIOS Boot device priority

by LarryD4 In reply to Can't install XP ... or 9 ...

My guess is your PC boot process is as follows,


Switch it so it checks CD-ROM first.

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Already Tried This =[

by jamieg18 In reply to BIOS Boot device priority

The boot order already is floppy-cd-hdd. Both set in bios and manually selected at startup.

I've tried 2 HDD's in my system. same thing happens. I've tried my HDD in a different system, and it works, which leads me to believe it's a motherboard error (already removed graphics, ethernet etc. to ensure it's not a hardware issue with them).

I've also upgraded the BIOs, found no change so downgraded it and also reset the CMOS.

Also changed the CD drive to ensure it wasn't that, but that made no difference either.

These are in addition to those stated in my original post.

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It might be time to tidy up the drive

by Jacky Howe In reply to Can't install XP ... or 9 ...

Darik's Boot and Nuke.

Autonuke should do it by running it at least 3 times.

It will take awhile to run through but you will have a clean disk to install to.

Let us know how you get on.

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Did you install W7 to both drives?

by Jacky Howe In reply to It might be time to tidy ...

IF you did, the major hurdle that you have is that the MBR is still setup for Windows 7. It isn't compatible with XP. Running bootsect with a /nt52 parameter will set the MBR for XP, so that you can install XP. Having said that, you have had a few Operating Systems on this drive, that have left their rubbish behind. A Format won't remove the rubbish, that is why I suggested to use DBAN. Or killdisk as OH Smeg has suggested (must try to remember that). It really does, give the drive, a new lease on life.

But if you want to try it another way that will leave the rubbish:

Boot from your W7 DVD and on the first screen click Next, click Repair your computer, click Next and select Command Prompt.

Type in bootsect.exe /nt52 ALL /force

Type exit

Restart the System and swap the DVD for the XP CD. Your Operating System will have to make room for the rubbish that was left on there.

There is a third alternative that I would consider a lot better than running the bootsect command and that is to use DiskPart. Not as good as DBAN or KillDisk but preferable.

I like to work in multiples of 4096 so multiply that by 6 or 8 and you have a Primary Partition of 24576 or 32768 depending on what you intend to install on the Primary Partition. The smaller Partition the better as the read and write heads don't have to travel so far.

This is an example using DiskPart with a hard drive, assuming that you are working on a single drive. You would be at the recovery console:

using DiskPart. For example, from a command prompt, type in these commands and press Enter after each one.

select disk 0
create partition primary size=32768


diskpart = runs the DiskPart program.
select disk 0 = selects the first Hard drive. If you are working on a second hard drive it would become disk 1.
clean = erases the drive.
create partition primary size=32768 = only use this if you want more than one Partition. You can create more Partitions using Disk Manager. Otherwise it is just
create partition primary
active = marks the Primary Partition as the Active Partition, this in turn makes the drive Bootable.

A Description of the Diskpart Command-Line Utility

Keep us posted.

Edit: clarify a point

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What do you mean by wiped my HDD

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Can't install XP ... or 9 ...

What did you use to wipe the HDD with?

Ideally if this is a IDE Drive which you didn't mention you can use Boot & Nuke to wipe the HDD

Or if it is a SATA Drive you may find it easier to use Kill Disc

Both of these utilities write Zeros to every sector of the HDD and delete any existing files on it. With 7 it's necessary to do things like this to install any older versions of Windows.

My personal Preference is for Boot & Nuke but when it comes to some M'Board SATA Drive Combinations it's just easier to use Kill Disc. It just depends if you need a SATA Driver so you can install Windows or not.

The other thing is that from Past Experience PC Chips Hardware isn't the best available and I have had quite a lot of them fail unexpectedly and without warning.


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Which OS was the start point ? ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Can't install XP ... or 9 ...

OK - you're having problems installing all the OS's you've listed but which one was on the HDD when you wiped it?

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