So I picked up this 7-year old second hand computer, and I want to install Windows XP Home on it. It came with a version of Windows XP Pro with hundreds of user accounts that I did not have access to. Naturally, my first inclination was to do a fresh install of XP Home. I attempted to install XP Home, but some files did not transfer properly, and the OS would not boot after installation was complete. All of a sudden, NONE of my bootable disks are being recognized. My Ubuntu disk, XP Home disc, and XP Pro disc all throw the same error when inserted into the CD Drive upon boot: "Bootable Disc Does Not Exist", even though I have installed OSs from those EXACT same discs before...... No BIOS settings will help me
Since you don't really want any of the old info on the HDD, I suggest you make sure at the very start of the XP install that it deletes absolutely every previous Partition, then creates a new Primary bootable Partition to install on. However, I realize you're not there yet if you can't even boot from a CD.
I agree with resetting the BIOS to default settings. Then immediately reboot and go into the BIOS Setup to change things the way you want. Under Boot Priority (or something similar), I'd set it to boot from the CDROM first, then the only hard drive, and no other option. IF the machine has a floppy drive, I'd actually put that one first in a three-level sequence. Then reboot and try the Windows XP Home install disk. If it boots, clean out the old Partition(s) as above and start fresh.
I'm hoping the problem may be as simple as that the Boot Priority is set to use the HDD and it has an incomplete installation it can't use. Maybe the error message you get, "Bootable Disc Does Not Exist", actually refers to the hard drive with an un-bootable set of files.
Maybe you should consider removing data from older disk with FDISK from DOS and reFdisking and formating from DOS,I would never trust windoze in that regard,recommended boot order floppy,dvd/cd,hdd,under normal circumstances there is not usually media in either the floppy or the dvd/cd,so system will go directly to hdd,but if there is need for either floppy or dvd/cd then all you have to do is to provide same..