My Harddisk Disallows XP reinstallation

December 6, 2010 at 07:08:20
Specs: Windows XP, P4 3Ghz 1GB
On a fine day I was copying a DVD into my PC and suddenly a blue screen appeared with strange numeric design. I restarted my System and Oh My GOD it failed to boot. I tried for 2-3 times but no use. Then I decided to install Fresh Copy of OS but I was shocked when I came to know that the Boot Manager has detected Partitions but is not allowing the OS to Install. I tried on another partition but the same error was displayed. Then I thought to Delete one of the Partition and at this time also it displayed the same error. Please Guide me through the Recovery of My Data from the Hard Disk. Are there any ways to recover the Data......

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#1
December 6, 2010 at 09:32:45
"has detected Partitions but is not allowing the OS to Install."

Could you provide the EXACT message?

Web search data recovery for software to do data recovery.

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
How to properly post a question:


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#2
December 6, 2010 at 11:16:11
On second thought, do the procedures in the last part of this post first - if you're experiencing memory errors or if your hard drive is failing, you need to fix the ram problem or install another hard drive first.
You may or may not be able to copy your personal data you don't want to lose to elsewhere from a failing hard drive, if you boot the computer from something such as a bootable Linux CD.
........

Usually you DO NOT need to install Windows from scratch when you have a problem with Windows loading normally. See below.
.........

Boot Manager ?
Are you using a third party boot manager program on this computer, e.g. to dual boot with, or is this something built into the brand name computer's bios and you see that option when you boot the computer before Windows loads?
Some brand name computers will prompt you while booting to press a key if you want to select a boot device to boot with, but that has nothing to do with re-installing Windows directly - you either choose to boot from a CD drive or similar, or if your bios Setup Boot Order settings are already set correctly, you can ignore that message and you will see "Press any key to boot from CD" or similar while booting early in the boot sequence when the bios detects a bootable disk is in an optical drive - if you press the stated key while that message is on the screen, the computer will boot from the XP CD.

By the way, once the Windows CD loads the first time and has loaded files and reboots at the end of the first stage of Setup, DO NOT press that key while booting after that - Setup will auto reboot until it is finished.
If you DO press that key while booting after the Windows CD has loaded files and has rebooted the first time, loading files from the CD will start over again from the beginning.

If your computer has a SATA hard drive, the files the CD loads will NOT detect any SATA drives, and therefore NOT detect any existing partitions files or Windows installation on a SATA hard drive , unless the bios Setup for the mboard has the SATA drive controllers in an IDE compatible mode of some sort.
If you have a laptop, or if you don't have a legacy (internal) floppy drive on a laptop or desktop computer, setting that setting in the bios to an IDE compatible mode is by far the easiest way to fix that problem.

You must boot the computer from the XP CD in order to install Windows from scratch.
You can't install XP on the partition XP has already been installed on unless you delete the partition first.

The first (or only) Recovery disk that comes with most brand name computers that originally had XP on them is most often an XP Re-installtion CD. It can be used the same way as a regular XP CD, however, a few of the *.OEM files on the brand name supplied CD have been modified to suit the group of models the CD is for.

Because of those modified *.OEM files on the brand name supplied CD, you often can't install Windows from an XP re-installation CD that came with a different brand name computer model.
The CD must also be for the same version - Home or Pro - as the version on your harddrive.

(If your computer has any XP MCE version, that's a more difficult situation. XP MCE versions come on two CDs, or could come on a DVD but I've never seen or heard of it being on a DVD. If you DO have the two CDs to install it, both CDs must be inserted into the SAME drive, and it's Setup has bugs - when it asks for the second CD, the name of it is WRONG - just insert the second CD; when it asks for the first CD, the name of it is also WRONG - insert the first CD at that point. You can't complete Setup when you run a Repair installation of Windows procedure - when it asks for the second CD it will never be recognized as the right one because of another bug - if you quit Setup at that point, if whatever problem it was didn't need anything from the second CD, Windows will probably work fine if using the first CD fixed your problem. You also can't make a "slipstreamed" CD that has SP updates the CD doesn't have built in integrated into the contents of Windows for the MCE versions.)
......

Usually you DO NOT need to install Windows from scratch when you have a problem with Windows loading normally. Installing Windows from scratch will delete ALL the personal stuff and settings and updates that you have added to the C partition.
Usually running a Repair installation of Windows will fix your problems

How to do an XP Repair installation of Windows, step by step:
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/win...

The XP CD you use MUST be for the same version of XP - Home or Pro - otherwise the second Repair choice will NOT appear !

You will need a Windows CD of the same version as the one of your Windows installation, and the Product Key, preferably the one that was used to install it, but it can be one for the same version as the one of your Windows installation.
In most cases you get the Product Key from the official Microsoft sticker on your computer case, or from the official Microsoft sticker that came with your Windows CD if it has not been stuck to the case, or if you can't find that or don't have that, you can use a program to find the Product Key your Windows installation is presently using, BEFORE you run the Repair installation - e.g. search for: keyfinder, by Jelly Bean whatever.

The Product Key on the label on a brand name computer is always an OEM Product Key. The XP CD you use must be either the (OEM) XP Re-installation CD that came with your model, or a regular Microsoft OEM XP CD that has " For Distribution with a new PC only." printed on it, otherwise the Product Key on the label will NOT be accepted by Setup.

Running the XP Repair installation only takes a little less time to run than when you install Windows from scratch, and it WILL NOT delete the personal stuff and updates and software you have added to the C partition.

If running the XP Repair installation doesn't fix your problem, then you could try installing Windows from scratch
.......

If you can't run the Repair installation of Windows or install Windows from scratch because of problems after the CD has started to load files...

1. test your ram

This one is pretty good - Microsoft's
Windows Memory Diagnostic:
http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag...
Windows Memory Diagnostic is limited to testing only the first 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM.
It can be toggled (press T) to do a standard or a more comprehensive set of tests - use the default 6 test one first - if it passes one pass of that, use the latter one. A few of the tests in the latter set are intentionally slower.
If you don't have a floppy drive, see the Quick Start Information at that Microsoft link for how to make a bootable CD of the Windows Memory Diagnostic (you need Windiag.iso - you don't necessarily need to use the program they mention to add it to the CD).

If you have more than 4gb of ram installed, download and make the bootable disk for memtest86 v.3.4 or lower, or the latest version of memtest86+ - disable USB Legacy devices in the bios before you run the latter, or you may get false errors.

If you get memory errors, try removing the ram, wiping off it's contacts, re-seating the ram, making sure it is installed in the right direction such that the notch in the bottom of the module lines up with the bump in the bottom of the ram slot, and that's it's all the way down or into in the ram slots, then try the ram tests again.

If you still get memory errors, tell us about that - there are other things that can be wrong - you probably DO NOT have "bad" ram.

memtest86 (not memtest86+) has bugs that can cause false errors if you have an AMD cpu and certain AMD compatible main chipsets - if you do have an AMD cpu, if you get ram errors, use Windows Memory Diagnostics if your have 4gb of ram or less installed, or memtest86+.

2. If the ram tests pass, test your hard drive that Windows is installed on.

Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:
http://www.computing.net/windows95/...

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, on another computer if you need to.

E.g.
Seagate's Seatools will test any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.
http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.j...

If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.
......

If your hard drive itself does NOT pass the tests....
you need to install another hard drive.

You may or may not be able to copy your personal data you don't want to lose to elsewhere from a failing hard drive, if you boot the computer from something such as a bootable Linux CD.



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#3
December 6, 2010 at 21:49:46
I want to convey that My BIOS at the time of Installing OS displays the partitions of the Hard Disk but when I opt to Format the Partition or Delete it denies that operation.
So my question is can I recover my data from such HDD....
And if yes what are the methods.
Also I want to say that I have replaced the RAM, Installed New HDD with OS which was previously Vista Loaded. I also connected my original HDD parallel with the New HDD but I can't see the partitions of that HDD...
Please suggest me what should I do to recover data.
Thankx

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#4
December 6, 2010 at 22:49:17
What is the make and model of your computer ?

You can't see the partitions on the hard drive in the computer's bios in any bios I've ever seen, but you CAN see them when you boot the computer from the Windows XP CD or the XP Re-installation CD

I can't think of any reason you would have the problems you're having, if you're describing them properly, unless you have a laptop and the hard drive is passworded, or was passworded, and you don't know the password.

If you have a brand name computer, and it's a laptop, if the hard drive is password protected,
- you can't do anything to the hard drive unless you know the password to access the drive.
- if you replace the hard drive with one that isn't password protected, you can't do anything to it until you provide the password for the previous passworded hard drive on the same computer.
- when a hard drive has a password on a laptop, the password info is stored both in an inaccessible data area on the hard drive, and on a soldered in chip on the mboard that is not the bios chip that cannot have the user contents if it erased or deleted by removing the power to it.
Replacing the hard drive with one that has no password when that chip still has the password info, or having the chip replaced on the mboard or replacing the mboard with one that has no hard drive password when a passworded drive is present, still won't allow you to access the hard drive.


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#5
December 7, 2010 at 00:26:50
Sir...
I've a SATA HDD of 500GB RAM 1GB & Processor Intel P4 3GHZ on Asrock 775Dual 915GL MBD. I use a Desktop.
Yes u r correct that we can't see partition in BIOS. I rectify my error.
I can see the partitions while booting from XP CD as u mentioned in your post. But the problem is that I'm unable to install XP on any of the seen/detected partitions. Neither the partition gets deleted nor formatted. I haven't password protected my HDD.
So its my genuine request to please show me the way to solve this problem.
Thanx

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#6
December 7, 2010 at 13:07:22
The first thing you should try is to test your ram.
If the ram doesn't pass the tests, remove the ram, clean off it's contacts, then install it again, then test the ram again. That may be all that is wrong. See the last part of response 2 for more details.
By the way, installing ram that was NOT installed in the same mboard before can cause you problems - not all ram is compatible with using it in your mboard. If you know which ram modules are the ones that were in it before, install ONLY those modules. There's probably absolutely nothing wrong with them !

Then try to boot your computer normally. It may then work fine.

If it still won't boot normally......

Then you test the hard drive - see the last part of response 2.

If your hard drive passes the tests, then your problem can probably be fixed, probably WITHOUT you having to installing Windows from scratch !

There is more info about that in response 2.
.........

You said

".... has detected Partitions but is not allowing the OS to Install."

"....when I opt to Format the Partition or Delete it denies that operation."

"Neither the partition gets deleted nor formatted."

wanderer said:

"Could you provide the EXACT message?"

Do that !

Provide as many details as you can come up with !

It is NOT clear what you mean.

If you are getting a message such as "Access Denied" or similar, that is NOT a normal message you would get when you boot from the XP CD, unless the hard drive has a drive access password on it, or the computer's bios or third party software is otherwise protecting the hard drive ! !

What is the make and model of your computer ?

It you have a computer intended for a business, it may have built in protection against doing anything as drastic as deleting the partitions or formatting a partition on hard drives.

Or - the hard drive may be protected by third party software that was installed on it.
.........

If you are NOT getting a message such as "Access Denied" or similar, that's a completely different situation.

The first (or only) Recovery disk that comes with most brand name computers that originally had XP on them is most often an XP Re-installtion CD. It can be used the same way as a regular XP CD, however, a few of the *.OEM files on the brand name supplied CD have been modified to suit the group of models the CD is for.

Because of those modified *.OEM files on the brand name supplied CD, you often can't install Windows from an XP re-installation CD that came with a different brand name computer model.
The CD must also be for the same version - Home or Pro - as the version on your hard drive.



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