Solved: HDD Format Hell

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egg64

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Somebody please help me,






I had some problems with my C: drive, and a friend who knew a lot about CPU's helped me a bit, here's what he did. He came over with a restore disk from his CPU, (even though we have different cpus) and it had Norton Ghost on it....when it booted up, it acted like a normal boot disk, and asked if I wanted to restore Windows XP, right along with Formatting my disk, we clicked yes and the Ghost program started. Only, it got done with about 16% of the format, the CD itself looked like crap, with a bunch of scratches on it...nothing really serious, but serious enough to stop the format. I tried cleaning it off the best I could, but to no avail. So thinking that the format failed, we could try something else, but the drive C: was already formatted, and when I tried to start it, this is what it said, "NTLDR is missing, press control+alt+delete to reboot. That's as far as it goes. My friend tried burning Windows XP OS onto a CD to possibly reformat and install, but it won't act as a boot disk, and even when we tried to use the setup.exe file through DOS, it says that the program cannot run in DOS mode. What am I to do?

Hopefully not screwed.........
 

egg64

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oh, and when I tried CD/win....it denied me access.....is there still any hope
 

egg64

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Ok, tried the i386\winnt.exe command and I got this..


An internal Setup error has occured, could not find a place for a swap file, Setup cannot continue, press Enter to Exit.


Now, here's where I'm screwed..

I'm using my mother's cpu now to post threads, it's a piece of crap, and I can't access the net through my PC.

My cpu doesn't have a 3.5 floppy drive, only a CD-DVD drive...(yea, I know it's backwards)

I can't use MadBoot.com I don't have a floppy drive...what do you suggest?
 
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Where was DOS for you to try the setup if you couldn't boot from the floppy?

Do you have a CD burner on the machine you are on now? If not, or even if you do and choose not to use it, download and run this standalone ISO burner to burn an image of the Win98SE boot disk to CD and boot from it:

ftp://terabyteunlimited.com/burncdcc.zip

Win98SE CD image---> http://www.allbootdisks.com/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=42&func=download&filecatid=1869

Run fdisk and remove all partitions. This will clear the drive of everything. Use it to create a new partition (or more if you want).

What happens when you try to boot from the XP CD?
 
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PS> How amny CD-ROM's on your machine? I'm making a Madboot ISO for you, and I think it creates a RAMdrive, but not sure.

EDIT:
OK Here's an iso image to make a bootable CD of Madboot. Burn the iso with your burner as an image or use this standalone ISO burner:

http://users.adelphia.net/~abraxas/dl/B-f.zip

Boot from it. Delete/create your partitions using gdisk or fdisk, then switch to the RAMdrive (I:, I think), remove the CD and put in the XP CD. Then start the setup through i386\winnt.exe on the CD.
 

egg64

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No....no CD burner on this machine, only a drive and 3.5 floppy drive, and the XP CD was a burn.....the original XP CD was horribly scratched. When I try and boot from CD, it switches to a modified DOS program that was already programmed on the PC, for all I know. It's funny because a lot of other programs...(Norton Antivirus), and others will boot directly from the startup, but the burned XP CD wont. That was why I tried the Setup.exe option, cuz I didn't know what else to do. Until I can get to a PC with burning capabilties, I may be stumped for now. But any other suggestions would be appreciated...Thanx dog.......or judging from you avatar...Thanx duck.
 

egg64

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Oh...I only have one CD Drive on my machine....
 
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You'll need to remove everything from that drive before running setup. Is the BIOS set to boot from CD before HD on your machine?

If you can get somebody to burn that Madboot image for you, you'll be all set. Even if you decide not to use the GUI and exit the program, you would be in DOS and able to delete and create partitions on that other drive.

It looks like the only possibility is to boot from CD and you have nothing bootable now except the XP CD. If it isn't the BIOS that is not allowing the boot, it must be something else. Have you booted from that CD before? If not, check the BIOS boot order. That may be the whole problem.
 
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Just FYI:

I booted from my Madboot CD last night and it does in fact load to a RAMdrive (I:), so that after loading, you can remove the CD and put in the XP CD. Your CD-ROM will be designated as X:.
 

egg64

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Good to know Elvan....you've been there for me...but now I got another problem, I maybe being a bit hasty, but I tried the fdisk command that you suggested, I made a partition and, tried to boot up XP from the CD under the i386/winnt.exe command....it told me that I didn't have SmartDrive on my CPU, whatever that is, so I bypassed it and now it's copying files on my HD. The problem is that it's been about an hour and a half and my HD activity light is lit up like Christmas Eve...is this a problem or should I wait it out for now?
 
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How'd you get the installation started?

Smartdrive is a disk-caching utility that speeds the DOS portion of setup. Without it, the installation slows considerably. But if you got this far, you may as well keep going. When you get a message that the DOS portion of the installation is over, things will then start to go normally.

Smartdriv.exe is on the Madboot CD. Did you use the GUI to start the installation?
 

egg64

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Elvan...


More problems....This is what happened....There's a program that I assume is on the bios that somewhat emulates dos....It's called Caldera DR-DOS, when I tried the I386\winnt.exe command, it went to the blue screen of Windows XP on dos and says that Setup ran out of memory,and could not continue. So then I tried this, I still had my friend's restore disk, and there's an option to either restore windows XP, or to go to the command prompt from the CD, so I went to the command prompt from the Cd and tried the same I386 command...it worked....but when the files were copied, it prompted me to hit enter because the MS-DOS part of setup was over...I have no idea what to do now....any ideas? There are still temporary files on my C: drive, that I'm assuming will stay until I can start windows...what now? Tried to start from the HD but it can't find an OS, so nothing there...... :eek:
 
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Caldera has to be somewhere. It's not part of BIOS, so if it appears without anything in the CD bay, it has to be on the hard drive. That is why we need to fdisk and format the hard drive---to remove all the junk that is on there.

You're still going to need to run something from a CD so that you can clear the hd. Anything running from the hd cannot, obviously, erase itself.
 
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What type of "restore" disk are you using here? Is this a Microsoft XP CD?

And is your computer a common vendor model: Dell, HP, Compaq, or something custom built? What kind of restoration media originally came with it?

I don't think we can really offer much help on "burned" copies of the Microsoft Operating system as this is a copyright issue. Many OEM vendor systems have proprietary BIOS and partition configurations and will not permit an install from other than the original media or a Microsoft CD itself.
 
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