Solved How to reinstall XP on Netbook total after a HDD wipe?

Hewlett-packard Hp pavilion desktop pc p...
March 8, 2015 at 13:02:52
Specs: Windows XP, 2GB Ram
I used DBan to do a total wipe of my Acer Aspire One Netbook HDD. I originally came with Windows XP, but a few months ago I overwrote the HDD with a clean install of Zorin OS9, which is a Linux distro. I wanted to donate the Netbook, which is why I wiped the drive, hoping to re-install Windows XP. After the wipe, I put my XP disk in a connected external DVD drive. The splash screen appears, but then what follows is a string of text that says the computer is trying to find a HDD or the partitions, since they seem to be missing. That wasn't unexpected, but I mistakenly thought that the Windows installation disk would see the blank drive and create partitions. It didn't. The text on the screen tells me to put a disk in the drive and press any key. It just repeats this over and over, but goes no further. It would seem that DBan did a great job of wiping everything including the MBR. What I need to know from anyone who is familiar with this problem, is whether or not there's a fix that would allow me to reinstall a recognizable MBR so that I can install XP on the drive again? Or has the DBan wipe rendered the HDD totally useless? I don't want to spend money on a new HDD since I simply want to donate it, but obviously in useable condition. Any advice that anyone could offer would be very helpful. I've looked online in several places, but can't get the right fix anywhere I've looked. Thanks!!

message edited by casper06067


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✔ Best Answer
March 8, 2015 at 15:58:01
If your BIOS 'sees' your hard drive then it will be as #6 and you will be able to install it that way.
Your trying to Install W7 , if it did not recognize the HD then it might not be the problem.
If your BIOS does not see the HD then your wipe was intended for throwing away the hard drive and wiped also the drive's basic instruction set so it may not be able to be saved.
What you should have done was a factory restore which would have reloaded the entire OS as it was shipped. Still, after linux was on the drive you should have been able to boot to the install disk in SATA Legacy mode, delete any existing partitions (Custom>Partition/Format), create a new partition and format it. If you chose a Full Format you may have had to wait hours to complete, but it would have overwrote all bits with 1's, thereby erasing everything from the drive and setting it up to be usable for the install.
Now, if the BIOS does not see the drive and the install disk does not see the drive even in PATA legacy mode, you will have to give up on the idea or replace the drive if it is economically feasible.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.



#1
March 8, 2015 at 13:17:59
Does the external drive show in BIOS, and if so is it ahead of the HD?

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#2
March 8, 2015 at 13:45:09
Derek, thanks for replying so soon.

The Boot Manager reads as follows:

1) USB 0: WDC: WD1600BEVR22ZCT0

2) USB CDROM: SAN DISK CRUZER

3) NETBOOK BOOT: ATHEROS BOOT AGENT

4) USB HDD: TOSHIBA MK802GAX

5) USB HDD: SANDISK CRUZER

First position, I believe is the HDD. Second is a Flash drive that I couldn't access. 3rd position is the Atheros Boot Agent. 4th position is the external DVD drive.

When I finished the wipe and rebooted, it was the Boot Agent that started running. It always concluded with: PXE-M0E: Exiting Intel PXE Rom. No bootable device - insert boot disk and press any key.

It was then that I inserted the XP installation disk, but that simply repeats the PXE narrative over again. I once made a system recovery disk for this computer, but I just can't locate it. If the Boot Agent is referring to some particular boot disk, I think I'm our of luck. The only boot disks I have are for Vista and Win 7. Have tried Win 7 and it seems to start installing, but then recognizes that the netbook can't run Win 7 and stops. I was just trying to find a way to open a command window and hoped I could get there from the Win 7 disk, but NO!!

The thing is that since I erased Windows XP totally when I installed Zorin, the information that a Windows OS disk needs in order to install isn't there anymore, and if it was DBan took care of that by erasing it. I need to re-establish NTFS formatting to the HDD and repair the MBR and then my XP dish might work. At least, that's what I think I need to do.

Do you think this is hopeless?


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#3
March 8, 2015 at 14:02:19
Just to clarify re' your XP disk. Is it a proper actual XP setup disk rather than some variant or other; possibly even a "recovery disk"?

A google trawl re' the Atheros boot agent does suggest it's real PAI at times... and likely that's what is actually controlling the system at present.

Incidentally my impression is that you may need a bootable usb/flash drive rather than an external (usb connected) cd/dvdrom to achieve an installation of XP (again).


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Related Solutions

#4
March 8, 2015 at 14:09:35
I'm a tad confused as to why all but "Network Boot" seem to show as USB drives.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#5
March 8, 2015 at 14:21:19
At the back of my mind is the "flag" re' an add-in boot utility... Typically these items take charge of/overwrite the mbr... One has to rewrite the mbr to disable them..

This post may offers a possible way to do that. They suggest a bootable setup windows disk; but often that means an internal one. As you don't have an internal cd/dvdrom you will likely have to use a bootable usb/flash drive to the same end.

The last post gives the actual "what to do"

http://tinyurl.com/pdgm3v8

In the days of '9x it was not uncommon to have boot-manger/utils in use - for multi boot systems. They made it (allegedly ) easier for many to have say '9x/dos and NT installed without going down the (slightly more) complicated setup route without such utils. To remove them it was simply a matter of fixmbr and possibly fixboot (but not always - depending on the situation) from a dos boot disk or a'98 boot disk. A windows setup disk would allow similar via recovery console?

http://commandwindows.com/recovery.htm

discusses getting using recovery console via the setup disk boot up. But again I feel you have to use a usb/flash drive to this end - not a cd/dvdrom... I don't think netbooks like cd/dvdrom at boot time; but are usually OK with a flash drive (bootable).


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#6
March 8, 2015 at 15:02:34
If it's a SATA HDD, XP won't recognize it. You'll have to either load the SATA drivers by pressing F6, or create a new XP disc with the SATA drivers slipstreamed into it, or change the HDD setting in the BIOS from AHCI to IDE, then load the SATA drivers after XP is installed, then change the setting back to AHCI again.

And since Windows doesn't recognize Linux partitions, the existing partitions will have to be deleted & new ones created & formatted as part of the install process.


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#7
March 8, 2015 at 15:58:01
✔ Best Answer
If your BIOS 'sees' your hard drive then it will be as #6 and you will be able to install it that way.
Your trying to Install W7 , if it did not recognize the HD then it might not be the problem.
If your BIOS does not see the HD then your wipe was intended for throwing away the hard drive and wiped also the drive's basic instruction set so it may not be able to be saved.
What you should have done was a factory restore which would have reloaded the entire OS as it was shipped. Still, after linux was on the drive you should have been able to boot to the install disk in SATA Legacy mode, delete any existing partitions (Custom>Partition/Format), create a new partition and format it. If you chose a Full Format you may have had to wait hours to complete, but it would have overwrote all bits with 1's, thereby erasing everything from the drive and setting it up to be usable for the install.
Now, if the BIOS does not see the drive and the install disk does not see the drive even in PATA legacy mode, you will have to give up on the idea or replace the drive if it is economically feasible.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#8
March 8, 2015 at 15:59:37
Agree with riider' re' linux and also the SATA issue.

However I think what is the real problem is that boot-manager util; which has taken over the mbr etc... As I mentioned above that was a not infrequent problem for many using fudge software (OnTrack Disk Manager?) to get around bios limitations with larger drives in the days of dos/'9x/NT; and also those trying the "easy" way (with add-in boot-managers) to make a dual/multi-boot. Until one can get beyond that and that's likely via as usb/flash drive boot up, rather than an external cd/dvdrom...

I'm not sure if those notebook support cd/dvdrom boots; but will support flash drives (worth a try with a flash drive boot at least)?

message edited by trvlr


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#9
March 8, 2015 at 16:03:22
Hello,

It seems to me that when I wiped the HDD with DBan, which it did three times, it wiped the partitions as well. The scant info that I am reading when I boot the computer now indicates that there are no partitions. I know there are programs that can partition a HDD, but if the computer will not let them boot up or install, then they don't seem to be an option right now.


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#10
March 8, 2015 at 16:05:12
Try making a bootable usb/flash drive for XP setup. Then rewrite the mbr etc if necessary. I don't think you are actually accessing the external drive just now; and even if you are.. that boot-manager is in the way of XP setup.

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#11
March 8, 2015 at 16:23:11
Thanks, Fingers,

I'm inclined to agree with you there. I did want to donate the computer, but didn't want to leave a trail of personal data on the HDD. That was why I used DBan (Darik's Boot And Nuke). I was hoping that there might be a program out there somewhere that someone knew about that would essentially be a sort of Emergency Boot Disk. My goal here was to attempt to rebuild an XP Bootloader. When I had installed ZORIN 9 OS (which is a Linux distro) on the Netbook, I wasn't expecting to ever reinstall Windows XP on the computer. I think ZORIN pretty much wiped everything Windows-oriented from the computer. Still, I thought that there might be a way to undo the damage. Thanks for your help.


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#12
March 8, 2015 at 16:28:28
Hi trvlr,

Yes, I have a retail XP disk and a valid product key. I thought about the possibility of creating a bootable Flash drive, but hadn't done that. The computer still seems to be aware of the presence of the external DVD drive, so I only tried it that way. I haven't given up on this as yet, so I will try the bootable Flash drive idea. It can't hurt to give it a try.

Thanks for your input.


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#13
March 8, 2015 at 16:47:13
I have recollections that some "older" kit wouldn't recognize an external cd/dvdrom as bootable; even though it may show it as present. But might allow a usb/flash drive boot. So worth a try at least...

If that doesn't work, post back for more thoughts/ideas from the assembled multitudes here...


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#14
March 8, 2015 at 18:06:29
I want to thank every one of you who offered your advice and wisdom. You all provided sound and sensible advice, and I appreciate it very much. I've spent the better part of today trying to find a solution to the problem. I've am not a qualified technician, but my 30 years of using Windows operating systems, a Mac here and there and even giving Linux distros a try have taught me that, first of all, there are a great many good people out there who know so much more than I know about computers and that a wise person will always seek out others, like each of you, when you need to solve a computer problem. You've all given me a great deal to go on and I have tried out some of the suggestions, especially the one about trying a bootable Flash drive. Sadly, each thing I have tried has simply reinforced the reality that the drive is deader than dead. It won't permit a CD to launch or a Flash drive and I consistently see messages saying that no bootable partition is present. I still want to donate this Netbook so I am going to bite the bullet on this one. I've been quite successful over the years when it comes to fixing issues on PCs, but I think the only sensible thing to do now is to replace the HDD. I just found one on eBay for $35, which was factory refurbished, so I ordered it. It's the same HDD that came with the Netbook, so it ought to do just fine. This will be my first attempt to replace a HDD in a Netbook, so I may well be back to ask your advice on this once it arrives. I've replaced a HDD on one of my desktop PCs and that was easy to do, so I have some idea of what needs to be done. Of course, I'm always willing to accept your advice.
Thank you again for all of your help today. Even though I couldn't resurrect the HDD in my Netbook, I still learned a great deal from each of you.

message edited by casper06067


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#15
March 8, 2015 at 19:35:43
IMO, DBAN was an unecessary step. I know a lot of people use it but it seems to cause a fair amount of problems. Is the HDD seen in the BIOS? Is it set to AHCI or IDE mode?

See if this helps: http://www.windowsreinstall.com/win...


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