Incapable of installing an OS

  Brollah 14:26 11 Dec 2003

For a few weeks now I've been trying to install an OS ([b]any[/b] OS). A few weeks ago I was forced to totally reformat my master HDD, and now I can't install a new OS. The original Windows ME recovery disk that came with the computer extracts the files to the hard drive, then upon rebooting it just does nothing. The computer just stalls. I even tried to use an XP Recovery disk that came with this laptop, and it again gets to the point where it's extracting the files for installation, then just stalls under the "Setup is Loading Windows" message.

I've flashed the Bios to a newer version, I've tried alternative cd-rom drives, I've tried floppy boot disks for both the ME and the XP OS', I've even tried taking out various hardware to make sure it wasn't a power shortage problem, all come to the same stalling problem.

When I try to boot the system without a cd-rom or a floppy in the drives, it tries to boot up Windows ME, which I find kind of confusing because the HDD is totally blank.

Absolutely any help anybody can give me would be extremely appreciated. Thanks.

  MichelleC 16:18 11 Dec 2003

What happens when you boot from floppy bootdisc (have you tried 98 bootdisc?), or booting from xp cd (to format)?

  Brollah 16:35 11 Dec 2003

When i attempt to install an OS from a bootdisk it acts the exact same way as the cd-roms do. They just stall after it's finished extracting the files.

The HDD is 100% clean, so there's nothing to boot to, and there's nothing to interupt the computer, except for the bios itself.

  swapper 16:36 11 Dec 2003

I don't know much about these things, but I would have thought that if you had reformatted the HD, it would be clean of anything?
If that is true then you would need to start a clean install, with the O/S boot disc that was provided with the ME CD?
I would have thought that the emergency start up disk would not have been a lot of use after a reformat, is'n't that right?

  Diemmess 17:26 11 Dec 2003

If you have a simple setup floppy, boot from it, then run FDISK and see what it says about the partition and size of your HDD? ............If you get a surprise then use FDISK - delete all partitions first and then make whatever partitioning you want......

Finally Format all/any partitions,
make sure C: is set active and you should be able to install normally.

  Brollah 18:20 11 Dec 2003

The HDD is definetly, 100% clean. Floppy boot disks don't worth either. They react the exact same way the cd-rom recovery disks do.

  Diemmess 09:40 12 Dec 2003

If your BIOS is set as Floppy for the First Boot Device, and you are using a Set-up floppy, it should never reach the screen which says "Setup is loading windows".

The right floppy has its own autoexec.bat and config.sys files. Also the vital Fdisk and a windows which contains Format.

If this is the right floppy and the computer boots from this you will arrive at a DOS screen which has simply ..... A:> when loaded.

  Brollah 12:27 12 Dec 2003

Even if I can get to a command prompt using the correct floppy, I still have no way to install an OS.

Thanks for trying to help people, but I think I've probably got a hardware fault somewhere.

  Diemmess 16:30 12 Dec 2003

A suitable setup floppy will also have the necessary files to identify one CDROM....

I know this is a plodding way and there are shorter cuts, but if you can be sure of a properly formatted and partitioned HD you will have rebooted at least twice and should see the DOS menu to Start Computer with CDROM support. When ready just type the CD's drive letter and ..... setup ..... from there.

I'm sure there are either folders full of the old stuff somewhere on your HD, or that you are not using the correct disk for new installation/setup

  Brollah 16:54 12 Dec 2003

I'm 100% positive that I'm both using the correct disk, as well as knowing the HDD is completely clean.

In theory there shouldn't be anything to cause this except for the bios, which is why I flashed it the other day. To no effect.

  Diemmess 09:53 13 Dec 2003

Your original post says - "When I try to boot the system without a cd-rom or a floppy in the drives, it tries to boot up Windows ME, which I find kind of confusing because the HDD is totally blank."

OK, this seems to rule-out an unsuitable CD or floppy, but your machine must be finding traces of ME somewhere, and that can only be on your HD.

I'm assuming that you only have one physical HD in circuit, so it has to have something on it, which you cannot see when you think it is blank.

Can you find another HD from somewhere and try using it temporarily instead, so that the computer sees only the substitute HD?

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