Formatting C:\ is it possible

  dangerusone 20:04 07 Feb 2012

I have an old PC which is acting up eg. not firing up and showing BSOD error 0800 ----- I didn't get all of it. I want to pass this PC to a friend, I've tried starting in Safe mode thinking when started I could format the Hard Drive and reinstall XP,it said I couldn't do that I've tried inserting the XP disc and trying to boot from disc with no luck, I think there may be a file missing when the error number on the BSOD appears. What I'd like to know ,can I connect this PC to the new one and could it cause any damage to it if I booted from there, would I see the old PC as just another Hard Drive and could I format from there,and then install the XP from the disc.

  ICF 20:10 07 Feb 2012

You would need to plug it in to another PC or use the XP,W7 installation disc to format it.

  ICF 20:13 07 Feb 2012

Sorry I didn't make myself clear take out the harddrive and plug it into another pc directly or use an enclousure and attach via USB

  lotvic 20:18 07 Feb 2012

"I've tried inserting the XP disc and trying to boot from disc with no luck"

You need to be able to boot from disc or you won't be able to install XP. In the bios you set the CD as 1st boot device and then at the end of post on the black screen you get a 3 second prompt to 'Press Any Key to Boot from CD'. If you miss it you have to start all over again.

Go to and follow the guide it has screenshots.

Make sure you have the Product Key written down ready for the install or you won't be able to Activate XP

  dangerusone 20:24 07 Feb 2012

I'd have a bit of trouble taking out the harddrive as I don't have much use in my right arm/side. I thought I could connect with a Pc cable. If it recognizes the harddrive as just a storage device can't I just format it without going through the rigmarole of the discs. I usually take my PC to my local repair shop/man who is very good but I wanted to try this myself as it's an old unused PC.

  robin_x 20:52 07 Feb 2012

You need to boot your old machine from the XP CD as lotvic says. No need to remove the drive.

Have you tried that as a first step?

You can't just connect two PCs together for this.

If it is not booting from CD, post back with your make and model for further advice.

Alternative How To Install Windows XP link

  lotvic 22:30 07 Feb 2012

No you can't connect two pc's together 'just like that'. you need special stuff.

Here are the options

Take special note of Option 3: USB Direct.

Important - Never connect a regular USB to USB cable between two computers, the result may be one or two fried Motherboard.

Get a USB Direct Connect Module, it is a USB cable that has a special Network module installed on it. This Module act as a "NUll" connection and isolates the 5Volts lines between the two computers.

  dangerusone 10:02 08 Feb 2012

robinofloxley. The make of the PC was originally Dell but had an Acronix/Apronix? motherboard fitted at some time.

Lotvic. I have tried booting from CD but get the message "Cannot Boot from CD = error code 5. I'm at a loss what to try next. Thanks for the tip about not connecting USB cables, might save some future grief.

  robin_x 10:55 08 Feb 2012

Hmm could be getting tricky. That shows the reason perhaps. But maybe not suitable in your case.

Can be done with floppies. But does your broken machine have a floppy drive, and how to make them on a newer machine.

General link

I am going out now. I am sure it is solvable.

  sharpamat 14:52 08 Feb 2012

Reading your post I feel it may well be the replacement Acronix/Apronix motherboard laying at the bottom of the failour to accept yor XP disc. Your disc may well be an OEM version.preinstalled by Dell, as such it may not work with a different motherboard.

If this is the case ( and hopefully others will add to this )you may well need to obtain a full copy of XP along with a new licence.

  lotvic 16:58 08 Feb 2012

robinofloxley, How about Ultimate Boot CD?

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