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Formatted but old installation of windows still there?

Last response: in Windows XP
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May 27, 2010 11:53:07 AM

I formatted a computer with NTFS (not quick) which reached 100% which had a hal.dll error on it when trying to boot. All seemed well and it let me install a new copy of XP on it.

The only thing is now when the computer is turned on it asks which install of windows I want to boot from but I already formatted it so can't understand why the old one is showing up at all - the computer is running fine now as long as when it's booting I don't pick the original install of XP which has the hal.dll error on it......

Why is it doing this?
How bad is it?
How do I get it to behave appropriately?
May 27, 2010 1:17:14 PM

It could be just a boot file issue. Try this:
start-->run-->msconfig-->boot.ini tab-->click 'check all boot paths'
If you have an invalid path, it will remove it. Then you shouldn't see the other boot option on startup.

May 27, 2010 2:00:32 PM

Ah right - thanks for the reply!

So, any ideas why it left a rogue bootfile behind, did I do something retarded? Is this common?

I've just never seen it before
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May 27, 2010 3:05:03 PM

I usually see something like that, when multiple installs were attempted.

May 27, 2010 4:57:56 PM

Probably the easiest thing is to do is reduce "time to display operating systems" value to zero.

MyCompyter >> Properties >> Advanced >> Startup and Recovery >> Settings >>
May 28, 2010 12:41:24 AM

Probly had leftover data. Delete your partitions, create new ones, then format. That should resolve your issue.
May 28, 2010 1:44:24 AM


Falcon, all that over a leftover boot file? Delete partitions, create new ones, format, lose data, reinstall windows, reinstall drivers, reinstall software... I really hate to see people jumping to "Format C:" as a cure-all, it hardly seems necessary in this case.

legoflamb: which partition did you format? If you left your C drive intact, the boot.ini file will likely still be there. So even though you may have formatted D:, and thought you destroyed everything on D:, the boot.ini file that boots D: typically resides on C:.

You can open the boot.ini in notepad, it's pretty self explanatory, should you want to edit it to prevent the old install from booting (I suggest making a backup copy). :) 

Regarding hal.dll, that error is often nothing to do with hal.dll, it's frequently an error in the boot.ini file, which causes the system to look at the wrong hal.dll on the wrong partition. Microsoft has a web page dedicated to hal.dll errors, I'm sure you can find it with a quick search. The page includes instructions for having the Recovery Console rewrite the boot.ini, should this be necessary.

Let us know how this turns out, I'm curious.
May 28, 2010 1:52:11 AM

BTW, quick versus regular Format is a very common misconception.

Regular does not do a "low level format" as you might expect, and using regular does not destroy old data. It runs chkdsk on the drive and checks the drive for errors along with formatting.

If you really need to destroy data or write zeros for security reasons, use a program like Eraser.
May 28, 2010 2:46:57 AM

AARRGGHHH said:
Falcon, all that over a leftover boot file? Delete partitions, create new ones, format, lose data, reinstall windows, reinstall drivers, reinstall software... I really hate to see people jumping to "Format C:" as a cure-all, it hardly seems necessary in this case.


Likely not, but Its simple. And it might free up a little disk space. Im assuming this is a fresh install to begin with. So we are not going to lose much. The whole process is less than 1 hour.

Now if this has data and programs on it, thats another story.
June 2, 2010 2:25:31 PM

All sorted now - there is only one partition on machine ( C: )

I must have just pressed format rather than delete partition when it gave me the option.

I didn't realise a format could leave data behind though?

Thanks for all the responses guys.
!