PC loads and runs W98 but fails format under XP

  rosko999 14:08 13 Apr 2006

I acquired a PC that needed a new power supply and hard disk drive, both of which I have installed.

The PC is a Pentium 3 (733) processor and has 256mb RAM mounted on a Chaintech mainboard 6ATA2 VIA Pro 133 motherboard. The HDD is a Seagate Baracuda 7200.7 (model number ST340016A) Ultra ATA-100 7200RPM 40GB

I deleted all partitions on the drive under DOS using fdisk, formatted the drive and successfully loaded Windows 98, which worked fine.

However I wish to run Windows XP on this machine, but when I try to load XP the load fails on completion of the disk formatting stating “Setup was unable to format the partition. The disk may be damaged.”

As far as I can tell there is nothing wrong with the HDD and I have tried loading XP several times with the same result.

Why is it that I can load Windows 98 but not XP?
Any help appreciated

  remind 15:13 13 Apr 2006

have you used seatools to thoroughly check the drive click here

  baldiedave 23:03 13 Apr 2006

Try running a memory tester like memtest.I had this problem win 98 loaded fine xp no way.Using memtest i found ram was faulty but win 98 still loaded.Win xp is very fussy about addressing ram.
Sorted with a new stick of Crucial ram.

  woodchip 23:09 13 Apr 2006

Use FDISK on the 98 boot disc to remove all partitions then try starting with the XP CD

  rosko999 14:08 14 Apr 2006

Thanks for your replies.

Have now run seatools which tells me I have 9 bad sectors on the hard drive - is this enough to stop XP loading?

Seatools also provides system diagnostics (which includes a memory test) and all passed OK.

I have run FDISK from the win98 startup disk and deleted the partition and then tried loading XP again - same result I'm afraid, “Setup was unable to format the partition. The disk may be damaged.”

Any more suggestions would be welcome, thanks.

  remind 14:18 14 Apr 2006

If the manufacturers product finds damaged sectors then its an indication the drive is starting to fail

  Smiler 15:09 14 Apr 2006

I was going to suggest a new hard drive but as your computer is about 7 years old it would probably need a bios update to cope with large hdd.
Would it not be best to either stick with 98 or go for a completely new system.

  rosko999 15:29 14 Apr 2006

The hard drive is new to this PC (purchased off ebay) as this PC had no drive when I acquired it.

Are you saying that the bios for this system needs udating for this drive - how do I go about doing that?

I could stick with W98, but I'd prefer to put XP on if at all possible.

First of all identify what the manufacturer of the drive is, Seagate, Maxtor etc, download the software for that drive, eg Powermax for Maxtor drives. Run the tests for the drive using the respective test software.

If it passes, let that software format the drive.

If it fails, you have bought a dud drive, return it or buy brand new from a reputable dealer. Problem gone.

  woodchip 18:11 14 Apr 2006

With the Win98se Boot Disc from A:\> type Scandisk C: Like This then try the XP Disc

A:\>Scandisk C: press enter Do a full check and fix

  Smiler 18:21 14 Apr 2006

So the hard drive you bought is defective :-(

No I'm not saying you need an updated bios for this hard drive I said if you get a new drive which presumably would be larger then you might need an updated bios.
Also window 98 was not designed for hdd larger than 64GB click here but can be worked around.

Have you tried running scandisk from the 98 bootdisk and opting to repair the bad sectors?

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