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Old 01-18-2006, 05:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help with re-formatting and re-installing XP on a laptop

Hi all

I have a laptop that has got to that stage where there is nothing left to do but re-format the hard drive. There's so much rubbish on it and any amount of clean up software makes no difference. It's at "that stage". I have taken everything I need to save and written it to CD and I have the original install discs for everything else.

So, the problem. Ordinarily I could boot from the CD drive to get to the Windows XP recovery console and go from there. However, the computer says that there is no bootable CD in the drive, even though there is and the BIOS lets me change the sequence of devices on bootup to CD first.

So i have the recovery disks for the laptop (provided by the manufacturer), which also will not boot directly. However, when I try and run these, I get an error message, headed 16 Bit MS-Dos Subsystem (or similar) saying that my "autoexec.nt" will not allow the running of the program.

How do I clear this thing down and start again?

(p.s. apologies if this is in the wrong section - mods, feel free to move it)
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Old 01-18-2006, 07:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well if you have all the discs from the manufactorer then you should have a copy of XP. That disc should be bootable. I have not heard of one that was included with a computer that wasnt.

You can call the manufactorer to request a copy of an XP disc. That might take some time and $$ to do so. You might be able to contact M$ also but again same results.

If you have your serial available you could just download a version of XP and use your serial to install it. I know this will catch flak but it is the easiest solution. You are using your legit serial. but most will say that downloading XP is illegal. In a way they are correct as it is copyrighted material but you are using it in a legit way. But to each their own.
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Old 01-18-2006, 09:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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use a windows 98 bootdisk from www.bootdisk.com and fdisk it and format it and it will install cd drivers then use your xp cd
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Old 01-19-2006, 03:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When I get to fdisk, what am i trying to do? The hard drive is not partitioned at the moment. Do i need to delete the only partition on there? If i try and create a partition it says there is not enough space (even though there is 25gb free on the c drive).

Could you just go into a bit more detail.

Many thanks for your help so far.
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Old 01-19-2006, 03:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Delete your primary partition, or both if you have your HDD split up.
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Old 01-19-2006, 07:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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press 3 then either 1 2 or 3. then make the new partition by pressing 1, then reboot and format it, then install xp
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The only option that works is "4" - delete non DOS partition. I do that and then create a new partition and then it boots XP and starts "recovering orphaned" files. I never knew I was such a bad father!!!

Man I wish I knew more about comuters.

HELP!!!!
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Old 01-21-2006, 12:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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E-Mmail me with your phone #, And I will call ya and help ya out..
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Old 01-23-2006, 03:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the offer Johnny. However, I don't know where you are based, but i'm in the UK. Don't want you calling distance.

Ok, I managed to get the fdisk thing to work. I deleted the non-dos partition and then created a new one.

I rebooted and tried to format the C: drive using "format C: /fs:ntfs" and "format C:" however I get the message "Format not supported on drive C: Format terminated.

When i boot up using the windows 98 boot disk it say that windows 98 has detected that the drive does not have a valid FAT or FAT32 partition.

THen it goes to the command prompt.

Any ideas what else i can try?
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Old 01-23-2006, 03:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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do this:

format c:

yes

formatting....


then when you insert the xp cd, it will convert the drive to ntfs
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