Win xp unable to format hard disk and install

Recently my system has got error about system hive error
"C:\windows\system32\config\sysem file missing"

So when I tried to reinstall the system the winxp setup says
unable to format my hard drive after I choose C Drive to Quick Format(NTFS) and install option,this note appears

"setup was unable to format drive c:the hard disk may be damaged

make sure the disk is on and properly connected to the computer .If the disk is a SCSI disk,make sure your SCSI devices are properly terminated.See your computer or SCSI adapter documentation for more info"

Thinking that the hard disk(Seagate Barracuda 160GB SATA) might have corrupted I used Seagate seatools to check for error and the test failed. So I replaced the hard disk with brand new WD 160GB SATA hard disk and started installing the winxp. Again I'm facing the same problem. Even I checked with the new connection port.

I'm using AMD Sempron Processor. MSI K9MM-V Motherboard. dynet 512MB RAM.
As the problem is existing even with the new hard disk I think there is no problem with the hard disk or cable. the problem must be something else.
Please help me find the problem and rectify it.


(My hard disk is SATA and No-RAID, No-SCSI, BIOS detects my hard disk and I'm able to create partitions but unable to format and install WinXP)
6 answers Last reply
More about unable format hard disk install
  1. have you tried the full format option instead of quick?
  2. Yes, I tried both Quick and full options. It's a new hard disk
  3. You have to create a partition on a new drive before you can format it.
  4. I've created partitions successfully. Only after that it's giving error unable to format. This kind of error is quite new to me. (I've installed Windows for almost thousand machines, some thousand times - never encountered such issue)
  5. I don't think there is any problem with Hard disk or SATA. Because If I put the same hard disk and same installation CD on an other system It installs without any hassles. I think the problem must be in Mother board. Any suggestions?
  6. http://www.seagate.com/support/kb/disc/howto/ata_fdisk_format_sys.html.07.09.02.10:46

    ^ might come in useful, if you cant do it with the xp disc, try it with dos first.
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