I have an HP Pavilion a1250n that I have been working on for a friend. It was originally having problems and wouldnt boot, so I tried to do a destructive factory restore and it says it was successful but wouldnt boot still.
I ended up trying to install several other operating systems and on several different Hard drives with no luck. I finally deleted all the partitions on the Hard drive and installed Windows 7 and it installed fine and has been running all month. This PC was designed for Windows Media Center 64bit edition. It runs OK but with only 1GB of DDR RAM it bogs down easily. I'm trying to now install Windows Media Center 64 bit or Windows XP Pro 32Bit and neither will load on any Hard Drives that I have. It boots from the CD and loads everything, but when Its time to install Windows it just hangs there where it says "Preparing to install Windows" at the blue screen and it never continues on any drive on any operating system except Windows 7. Not sure about Vista. The original HDD is SATA and it will not accept the older operating systems and none of my IDE drives will take them either. It hangs in the same place every time I try it. I have removed the battery to reset the BIOS and i'll see if this fixes anything. Any ideas? Ive never had this event in any of my many, many builds, formats, restores, etc.
HP Pavilion a1250n
HP Media Center PC
AMD Athlon X2 3800+
1GB DDR PC 3200 RAM
250GB SATA HDD
Integrated Radeon Xpress 200
There's one thing I would look at, open the bios settings before starting windows.
Look in the hard drive bios settings. Is there an option to change the hard drive file system?
On some bios versions, there is a setting to change the hard drive to NTFS. If available, you should try to set that before installing XP. Save change and exit.
On other bios versions, there is no option.