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It seems that you are selecting the quick format option when installing Windows XP. Try running the XP setup again and choose the option to format the hard drive with the NTFS option, but use the standard option & NOT the "quick" option. Let me know if this solves the problem.
Make sure you cd with OS is clean and not damaged since this will some times cause issues.This error usually means you computer is not seeing hard drive for some reason.. the partition is not getting on it probably because of bad sectors. i rare situations it will be because of mother board since i have had the same problem. first make sure your hard drive is set as master under pin selection. most times cable select is ok but it might not work always even that it was not changed. make sure ide or sata cable is firmly in or better just remove it and put it back in snug. when you do format do a regular and not quick even that you have done it already since this will attempt to fix bad HD sectors. if this does not work try another hard drive or try this one on another machine if you have one. Hope this helps.
In that case it affects the file system of your hard drive that's why it fails the windows vista installation. In order to fix it you need to delete the partition of your hard drive and create a new one using a partition manager software. If you can connect your hard drive into another computer you can perform a disk partition using the Disk Management (In Windows XP: Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Storage > Disk Management)
To help you with the procedure on "How to use Disk Management."
Using Disk Management, after creating a partition in your drive, proceed to formatting.
Use ontrack disk manager
select advance installation
make partitions own do you want
after the completion process
now install operating system that you like
even 98 or XP.
It will work 100% guaranteed.
You might need to use the "Floppy" version of the Driver upon install (if you know what the chipsets are. Most likely it's Intel and you can slip stream the driver files into a new XP CD.
However if a partition is formated from Vista and you attempt to install XP over it without formatting it, crash is almost certain - XP and Vista have different versions of NTFS.
If you want both XP and Vista on the same machine, ALWAYS install the older one first! i.e. XP first. And create only 1 partition in XP where you intend to install on.
Then install Vista afterwards with Vista created partition.
I'm not you people.
(Please keep track of the user who you ask a question too).
When you installed windows 2000, (If you formatted the entire drive during install), you might have taken out the small partition that holds data for a system restore. No version of windows likes
you going backwards. In order for you're system restore CD's to work you'll need to format the hard disk drive. Windows will not install if Windows 2000 is found on the drive. The fastest way to get Windows 2000 off the drive without deleting any other partitions Compaq installed would be to go to the hard disk drives manufacture's site & download their setup tools/utilities. You'll be able to creat a bootable floppy disk that will function in a dos-like mode out side of windows. You'll be able to format the Windows 2000 partition. Once that is done you will be able to incert the restore CD (s) & install Compaqs windows XP.
You may need to pull the drive in order to see who made the drive. EX; Seagate, Smsung, Maxtor ect. Here is the link for Seagate. http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seatools Every manufacture has similar bootable floppy software. Read the instruction provided by the manufacture on how to create the floppy disk & how to run it.
I am assuming you got this error while trying to install Windows XP. If so, The solution to this problem will result in the LOSS OF ALL DATA ON YOUR HARD DRIVE. This is a two part process.
1) Check to make sure hard drive is seated in laptop well. Enter BIOS and ensure that your hard drive is detected. If not, try the auto detect feature that most BIOS' have and see if this detects your hard drive. If not, try restoring the BIOS defaults and see if that works. If not, hard drive may be bad. Continue to part 2.
2) Insert your Windows XP CD and boot computer from the CD and wait for setup to load.
At the Setup Notification screen, press Enter to continue.
At the "Welcome to Setup" screen, hit Enter to continue.
Read the Windows XP Licensing Agreement and press F8 to agree.
On the Xp Setup screen, you'll create an installation
partition, but first some housekeeping. If you have any existing partitions you must delete all of them before proceeding. After deleting all partitions, select "Unpartitioned space" and pressing
Enter. And then press Enter again to confirm the partition size as is (it should already be set to the maximum size).
Next, select "Format the partition using the NTFS file system" and
press Enter. Xp will now install.
If the same error appears then the hard drive is probably bad.
you need to format the whole hard drive as it's the hidden restore partition that is giving you problems, but you may not be able to format it using the XP cd or restore disk.
You may have to use the old FDISK as this may be the only way to restore the hidden partition.
You will need a boot disk, see below link for win98 as this is what you will need to fdisk, then follow instructions on bottom link, as it's too long to type in here.