1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Trouble formatting W2K hard drive - HELP!

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by marbled, Sep 29, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. marbled

    marbled Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Messages:
    66
    One of my students was trying to upgrade from W2k to XP Pro (using legal, new, licensed software that he had just purchased). Half way through the upgrade, he was informed that he needed to uninstall McAfee and the upgrade was terminated. He brought me the laptop in the hopes that I could uninstall McAfee and finish the upgrade - no big deal, right? I couldn't boot to an OS (even in safe mode) to do this! Both the W2K and the XP OSs were incomplete or inoperable due to the partial install. We agreed that it would be okay to format the drive and build it up from scratch, and it was after I did this that I realized that I only had the XP Pro upgrade disk. I had to reinstall an OS that we could upgrade from. I had a personal licensed copy of W2K, so I installed it, since it was going to be temporary anyway, but it froze with a catalog error about 2/3 of the way through and now it won't boot either. I have tried every way I know to get to a DOS prompt, fdisk, reinstall, restore disks... all to no avail. I can't even reformat and install Windows 98 and then upgrade.

    The poor kid is in a pickle. He has this great Dell Latitude that won't boot up. It also doesn't have a floppy disk, by the way. Only an external CD drive. ANY HELP YOU CAN OFFER IS GREATLY APPRECIATED - AS ALWAYS!!
     
  2. marbled

    marbled Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Messages:
    66
    One other thing... he isn't sure where his restore CD is. I have sent him to look for it and I am keeping my fingers crossed... meanwhile... any ideas at all?
     
  3. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    37,969
    A common problem with installing either win2k or xp is ram problems. Download and run a ram tester, here is a link. http://simmtester.com./
    Note you run the file and it makes a bootable floppy; the tester runs from there. There is no need for an os to be installed. If the memory checks out ok, then continue.

    As for your install, you can do a clean install with an upgrade disk. During the install it will ask for a qualifying product; you insert your win2k / win9x cd and setup checks it and continues.

    Some things to do when presented with a “problem install”
    Enter the bios and load fail safe defaults [this relaxes memory timing]
    Boot with the xp cd and delete all partitions on the disk. Now create one or more partitions and have xp format as ntfs.

    If xp installs ok, then install drivers in this order.
    After os is installed;
    Install service pack 1
    Install chipset / mb drivers
    Install drivers for nic, sound, etc.
    Install video driver last.
     
  4. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    37,969
    One thing a "Restore CD" does not work as a qualifying product. It must be a MS CD.
     
  5. marbled

    marbled Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Messages:
    66
    I appreciate your suggestions, but I cannot stop the machine from booting straight into W2K. I cannot get to a DOS prompt or have it boot to a CD. It will not attempt to reinstall when I try to boot to the Upgrade disk. It bypasses everything, resumes the W2K setup and freezes at the "nt5inf.dat" file with a catalog failure.

    It could be a RAM problem, but it seems like this is more software related... I will run the test nonetheless. Once I had this issue with W2K and I used partition magic and GDisk to wipe the drive clean again. This time I have neither of these utilities nor do I have a floppy drive. Please still help me!
     
  6. marbled

    marbled Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Messages:
    66
    This is what I was referring to, crjdriver. Sorry. I can't get the laptop to boot to a CD now for some reason. I would format the sucker in a heartbeat if I could!

    Thanks again!
     
  7. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    37,969
    I am assuming you have entered the bios and set the boot order to boot from cd as first boot device. If not, then do so. Restart with the xp cd in the drive and setup should start. Note you may see a message "press any key to boot from cd"
     
  8. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    37,969
    Just saw that you do not have a floppy; I do not know of a ram tester that runs from a cd. They all run from a floppy.
     
  9. marbled

    marbled Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Messages:
    66
    Any other ideas about the software?
     
  10. marbled

    marbled Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Messages:
    66
    By the way, I have gone into BIOS and set the boot order. It doesn't ask if I want to boot to CD, which I find very strange...
     
  11. marbled

    marbled Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Messages:
    66
    In BIOS, boot order is CD, removable device, hard drive, LAN. When I said in the original post that I had tried all of those CDs (restore disk, upgrade, full version, etc) I meant that I had tried to boot to them all, but it ignores them and goes right into W2K. Once it is booted up, it does read a CD drive, but none of them have this nt5inf.cat file, apparently.

    I have also burned this nt5inf.cat file from my W2K server onto a CD and attempted to install it when it asks for it, but the laptop won't recognize it as a legitimate catalog, apparently.

    Thanks again!
     
  12. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    37,969
    Ok, I misunderstood in regard to the bios settings. If it is booting into win2k, are you able to run the install from the cd in win2k? If so choose new install from the menu and then choose to install to the partition you have win2k installed in now. Setup should give you the option to delete the partition; I would do so. Then have it create a partition and format.

    I find is strange that you set the boot order to cd as first boot device and it will not boot from the cd.

    I do not work on many laptops so there may be something I am missing here. Have you looked at Dell’s site for FAQ regarding boot issues?
     
  13. marbled

    marbled Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Messages:
    66
    No, because I have experienced this with clone desktops that were running W2K also. It's like, once W2K is on the machine, it won't allow you to do anything else! I had to use a floppy with partition magic to remove it before, but I have neither a floppy nor partition magic now and I am feeling a little ill!

    By the way, even when I put the W2K CD in and attempt to boot to it, it will not attempt a fresh install. It bypasses everything and goes straight into resuming the unfinished install, then stops when it cannot get the nt5inf.cat file. I have also researched Microsoft's knowledge base about this file with no good leads.
     
  14. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    37,969
    About the only other thing I can think of is one of those removable floppy drives. Using the hd mgf’s utility to write zeros to the drive. That will wipe out everything one the disk and should let you do a clean install. The problem here is no floppy drive. Sorry that is the only thing that comes to mind. Perhaps someone else has an idea.
     
  15. marbled

    marbled Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Messages:
    66
    I appreciate your attempts very much crjdriver!! Thanks for toughing it out with me!

    ANYONE ELSE? I still need help with this issue. Thanks!
     
  16. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Similar Threads - Trouble formatting hard
  1. ehbowen
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    308
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/168418

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice