Windows failed to start.

This is a general OS Installation question, but since I'm trying to install Win 7, I figured I would post this question here. I was working on an old Gateway laptop that had Windows XP. I wanted to upgrade to Windows 7. During the setup process, I selected to Format the partitioned hard drive and removed all previous OS and files. I then proceeded to install Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. When the Laptop began the process of constant restarts to update drives and what not, I got the Windows Boot Manager pop-up stating that the system was not compatible with 64-bit version Operating Systems:

1. Insert your Windows Installation disc and restart your computer.
2. Choose your language settings, and then click "Next."
3. Click "Repair your computer."

Obviously I am unable to repair, because the disc is 64-bit, and when I go into the Repair menu, it only has the Windows 7 listed. I tried using a USB drive boot loaded with WinXP, but it didn't seem to want to boot from USB, I tried a Windows 7 disc with 32-bit version .ISO, but it still gave me the Windows Boot Manager. It only seems to respond when I insert the Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit disc.

The BIOS is old, and does not allow me the option to disable or enable boot modes, it simply lists what is available. (USB being labeled "Removable Device"). Is there a method I could use to format the drive, or am I stuck due to formating the hard drive and removing the previous OS?

Thanks in advance.
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  1. Well without knowing exactly what the laptop is I suspect that the CPU does not support 64 bit architecture if it is very old. The BIOS wont support a USB boot so a 32 bit version of XP on a disk is probably your best bet.
  2. Best answer
    Go through the installation again and when you get to the screen where you choose the target partition for Windows, select 'Advanced' and 'Delete' all the partitions on the drive.

    Then 'Create' a new single partition and allocate all the space to it.

    Windows will automatically create a second, system partition and will format all partitions automatically too.

    When you've created the partition, proceed with the installation.

    If your system is not 64-bit compatible then the installation program should exit upon detecting that.

    Give it a blast and remember: delete the existing partitions.
  3. Thank you Wamphryi and himnextdoor for your replies. @Wamp, you are correct that I believe it is too old to really bother with repairs or attempting alternate methods. The model is a Gateway 4520GZ Very old, lol.

    @himnextdoor That seemed to do the trick. I went in and Deleted (not Format) Partition 1, and allocated all space to a New Partition 2 (100mb reserved on Partition 1) and it seems to be installing a 32-bit OS just fine.

    Thanks again!
  4. You are very welcome sir. :)
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