Can't install OS on HD?

For the last few weeks I've been breaking my head trying to install an OS my laptop's hard drive (it got the blue screen and I had to format it). Now I can't do anything, I connected it to a recovery desktop I have set up and the HD is registering just fine, I set it as an active primary (with partition magic) and I tried to recreate the partition...but nothing seems to work, I just keep getting the same error;

"Your computer's startup program cannot gain access to the dist containing the partition or free space you chose. Stetup cannot install Windows XP on this hard disk."

Can someone please tell me how to fix this? I've tried everything I can possibly think of.
5 answers Last reply
More about install
  1. Do you require a third party driver for the controller interface? XP did not know about things like SATA when it was released, so you have to feed it a floppy with drivers for some interfaces.

    More information on your hardware would be beneficial if you require further assistance: "laptop" and "hard drive" are nonspecific.
  2. This is the info from the gateway support doc page;

    Model: Gateway MX6955 Notebook
    Ship Date: SEP-2006

    Batteries and AC Adapters
    2-Prong Power Cord (CRU/EURP) [Part #6501011R] Support Docs
    65-Watt AC Adapter and Power Cord (CRU/EURP) [Part #2522763R] Support Docs
    Primary 6-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery (CRU/EURP) [Part #6501097] Support Docs
    Hard Drives
    100-GB 5400-RPM SATA Hard Drive Assembly (CRU/EURP) [Part #2527660R] Support Docs
    100-GB 5400-RPM SATA Hard Drive Assembly (CRU/EURP) [Part #2527659R] Support Docs
    100-GB 5400-RPM SATA Hard Drive Assembly (CRU/EURP) [Part #2527661R] Support Docs
    100-GB 5400-RPM SATA Hard Drive Assembly (CRU/EURP) [Part #2527727R] Support Docs
    Keyboards
    US Keyboard (CRU/EURP) [Part #7005731R] Support Docs
    LCD Display Panel
    15.4-inch WXGA Ultrabright TFT Active Matrix Assembly (FRU) [Part #2522890R] Support Docs
    15.4-inch WXGA Ultrabright TFT Active Matrix Assembly (FRU) [Part #2527771R] Support Docs
    15.4-inch WXGA Ultrabright TFT Active Matrix Assembly (FRU) [Part #2522889R] Support Docs
    Memory
    512 MB 533 MHz DDR2 SDRAM (CRU/EURP) [Part #2522903R] Support Docs
    512 MB 533 MHz DDR2 SDRAM (CRU/EURP) [Part #2523367R] Support Docs
    512 MB 533 MHz DDR2 SDRAM (CRU/EURP) [Part #2522904R] Support Docs
    Modems
    Modem Module (FRU) [Part #8010884R] Support Docs
    Motherboard
    Motherboard w/UMA Graphics 945GM and IEEE 1394 (FRU) [Part #4006126R] Support Docs
    Network
    Integrated 802.11a/b/g Wireless Networking (FRU) [Part #6003022R] Support Docs
    Optical Drives or DVD Decoder Cards
    8X Multi-Format Dual Layer Optical Drive Assembly (CRU/EURP) [Part #2527765R] Support Docs
    8X Multi-Format Dual Layer Optical Drive Assembly (CRU/EURP) [Part #2527731R] Support Docs
    8X Multi-Format Dual Layer Optical Drive Assembly (CRU/EURP) [Part #2527732R] Support Docs
    8X Multi-Format Dual Layer Optical Drive Assembly (CRU/EURP) [Part #2522902R] Support Docs
    Processor
    Intel Core Solo Processor T1350 (1.86 GHz 533 MHz FSB, 2MB L2) (FRU) [Part #4501289R] Support Docs
    Systems
    Gateway MX6955 Notebook [Part #1014028R] Support Docs
    Other
    15.4-inch WXGA LCD Cable Assembly (FRU) [Part #8010886R]
    A-Surface (FRU) [Part #8011002R]
    Bar NTBK Black Rubber Blade (CRU/EURP) [Part #8010382R]
    Base Rubber Foot Round (CRU/EURP) [Part #8010271R]
    Bottom Base Rubber Circle (Small) (CRU/EURP) [Part #8010896R]
    Bottom Rubber Foot (Large) (CRU/EURP) [Part #8010895R]
    B-Surface (FRU) [Part #8011000R]
    CMOS Battery (CRU/EURP) [Part #6501109R]
    C-Surface (FRU) [Part #8011014R]
    D-Surface (FRU) [Part #2522799R]
    Fan/Heatsink Assembly For Intel Video MBD (FRU) [Part #8010869R]
    HDD Cover ASSY (CRU/EURP) [Part #8010863R]
    I/O Nut (CRU/EURP) [Part #8007810R]
    Inverter Board (FRU) [Part #4001085R]
    Inverter Board (FRU) [Part #4001084R]
    Keyboard Cover (CRU/EURP) [Part #8011001R]
    LCD Bezel Screw Cover (CRU/EURP) [Part #8009840R]
    LCD Hook Spring (FDMA1001 REV3A) (FRU) [Part #8010892R]
    LCD Latch Bracket (FRU) [Part #8010385R]
    LCD Latch Button (FRU) [Part #8011013R]
    LCD Rubber Plug Raised Round (Quantity 4) (CRU/EURP) [Part #8010999R]
    Left LCD Hinge (FRU) [Part #8010871R]
    Mini PCI Door Plastics (CRU/EURP) [Part #8010419R]
    Modem Cable (FRU) [Part #8010900R]
    PCMCIA Dummy Plastics (CRU/EURP) [Part #8010902R]
    Right LCD Hinge (FRU) [Part #8010872R]
    RPL LCD 154W BKT-L MA1(FBMA1014 REV3A) (FRU) [Part #8010360R]
    RPL LCD 154W BKT-R MA1(FBMA1013 REV3A) (FRU) [Part #8010332R]
    RPL LCD Hook MA1(FBMA1010 REV3B) (FRU) [Part #8010387R]
    RPL Rubber Foot-B MA1(GAMA1002 REV3B) (CRU/EURP) [Part #8010326R]
    RPL Rubber Foot-F MA1(GAMA1001 REV3B) (CRU/EURP) [Part #8010299R]
    Screw 2 x 3mm .3x4mm (CRU) [Part #8010899R]
    Screw 2.5mm x 3.5mm (CRU/EURP) [Part #8009837R]
    Screw 2.5mm x 5mm (CRU/EURP) [Part #8006335R]
    Screw 2mm x 3mm (CRU/EURP) [Part #8006609R]
    Screw 3mm x .5+3.5mm (CRU/EURP) [Part #8005033R]
    Screw M1.6x3-I(NI)(NYLOK) (CRU/EURP) [Part #8010893R]
    Screw M2.0x2 , I, NI, NYLOK (CRU/EURP) [Part #8010889R]
    Screw M2.0x2.5-I (BNI, NYLOK) (CRU/EURP) [Part #8010809R]
    Screw M2.5 x 7 BNI (NYLOK) (CRU/EURP) [Part #8010865R]
    Screw M2.5x6.0-I(BNI)(NYLOK) (CRU/EURP) [Part #8010888R]
    Speaker Assembly (FRU) [Part #7005721R]
    SUP Bracket For 15.4-inch LCD (FRU) [Part #8010875R]
    S-Video Board (FRU) [Part #8011016R]
    S-Video/VGA Board Cable (FRU) [Part #8010901R]
    Thermal ASSY and Memory Door Cover (CRU/EURP) [Part #8010864R]
    ============
    HD specs (from the support doc link)

    Feature Description
    Manufacturer Fujitsu
    Model MHV2100BH
    Interface SATA
    Capacity (GB) 100
    Sector size (bytes) 512
    Data buffer (MB) 8
    Rotational speed (rpm) 5,400
    Latency (average ms) 5.56 milliseconds
    Maximum interface transfer rate (MB/sec) 150 MB per second Ultra ATA
    66.6 MB per second UDMA mode 4
    Seek time milliseconds (ms) Average: 12 ms Read, 14 ms Write
    Track to track: 1.5 ms
    Full stroke: 22 ms
    Error rate (non-recoverable) 1 per 1013 bits read
    Load/unload cycle 600,000 cycles
    Power requirement 5 V ±0.5%
    Startup power (maximum peak) 1.0 A maximum
    Read power (average) 1.9 W (typical)
    Write power (average) 1.9 W (typical)
    Active idle power (average) 0.85 W (typical)
    Sleep power 0.6 W (typical)
    Ambient temperature 5 to 55 degrees C (operating)
    -40 to 65 degrees C (non-operating)
    Relative humidity (non-condensing) 8 to 90% RH (non-condensing) (operating)
    5 to 95% RH (non-condensing) (non-operating)
    Maximum wet bulb (non-condensing) 29 degrees C (operating)
    40 degrees C (non-operating)
    Shock (half sine wave) 2,940 m/s2 (300 G) 2 ms (operating)
    8,820 m/s2 (900 G) 1 ms / 1,176 m/s2 (120 G) 11 ms (non-operating)
    Vibration 9.8 m/s2 (1.0 G) (5 to 500 Hz) (operating)
    49 m/s2 (5.0 G) (5 to 500 Hz) (non-operating)
    Acoustics (A-Weighted Sound Power (Bels)) Idle (typical) 34 dBA typical / 2.8 bels
    Height (mm) 9.5
    Width (mm) 70
    Depth (mm) 100
    Weight (grams) 101
    =====

    All in all, its less than 2 years old (I bought it in 12/06), my recovery pc is quite a bit older (bout 8yrs+/-). But the problem is with the HD...I get the same error regadless of what system it's connected to

    p.s. I don't have floppy drives in either laptop or desktop.

    One thing I might try doing differently is installing XP pro, so far I've been trying to install xp pro lite. But I doubt anything would change, since the setup is detecting the attachment and the drive but doesn't want to install anything onto it :(
  3. Ah ok- yeah SATA drives. XP won't know about SATA and will need to be fed drivers somehow.
  4. From Gateway's on-line support:

    If possible, create a Drivers and Applications Recovery
    disc. For more information, see “Creating Drivers
    and Applications Recovery discs” in the online User
    Guide.

    If you cannot create a Drivers and Applications
    Recovery disc, Gateway may send you a set of
    recovery discs or a replacement hard drive with
    the drivers and applications already installed.
    Contact Gateway Customer Care at the Web
    address or telephone number shown on the label
    on the bottom of your notebook.
  5. I used the recovery cd that came with my laptop, although it didn't work the first few times I guess another format and recreating the partition did the trick. It worked and even installed windows.

    But now it's doing something familiar. Just before exiting DOS and booting windows it gives me a "media test failed, check cable" error then boots windows past the "welcome" screen and to the point I can see the desktop background, then it logs me off...thus entering an infinite boot cycle...>_<
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