My HDD isn't found when formatting or installing fresh OS


I want to get rid of the preinstalled vista + useless programs on my ACER laptop

So I planned to format it and install a fresh windows XP on it

Some problems occured when booting from my windows xp CD:

First, it didn't even showed the "Boot from CD" option,
I went in the (what i think is) BIOS and changed the boot order or something to the CD first

Now I boot from the cd,

This is the exact error I get (mind some translation mistakes):

Setup cannot find a harddrive station on your computer.

Make sure that the disks are activated, and connected correctly to the computer and that the hardwareconfiguration for the disks is correct. You should use a program, provided by the manufacturer for this.

Setup cannot continue. Push F3 to end the setup.

I didn't see any OS install option in the BIOS

This is what happened when typing "format c:" in the command prompt:
C:\Windows\system32\format c:
The type of filesystem is NTFS.
Insert the current name of the volume for station C: ACER

Do you want to continue formatting (J/N)? J
formatting 114372 MB
The systempartition cannot be formatted.

14 answers Last reply
More about found formatting installing fresh
  1. Which Acer laptop is this? Is it a business-oriented model that has security features designed to limit access to your hard disk? Are there any write protect options in your BIOS?
  2. XP doesn't support AHCI without the use of drivers. So set the Serial ATA transfer mode to "IDE" or "Legacy/Emulation" in the system BIOS. Or use Vista and up for AHCI. XP can use AHCI, but needs drivers by pressing F6 before setting up.
  3. If you have an option like Native SATA support in the BIOS, disable it. I've had that problem in my HP laptop migrating from vista to xp.
  4. Native SATA = AHCI

    IDE = Legacy mode for DOS & up to XP, who do not know SATA or AHCI. AHCI is required to enable NCQ and hot-plug support.
  5. Acer Aspire 5920G is the one I have

    I'm sorry but I don't seem to get a lot of you guys info and tips
    I do see that you could probably solve this in no time :p

    Imma re-read those replies till I get something, or can someone explain me a little bit more clear?

  6. There are two kinds of hard drive for PCs, IDE and SATA. Just think of IDE as old and SATA as new. The new OS, Vista, has drivers that support the new hard drive interface. The old OS, XP, does not have drivers for the new hard drive interface.

    Your new computer has the new drive interface, SATA, and the old OS, XP, does not have drivers for it.

    The proper way to handle this is not available to you. The proper way is at the beginning of the XP install, hit F6, and then later in the install when the software asks for it, insert a floppy disk with the drivers on it into you floppy drive. But your laptop doesn't have a floppy drive.

    Other things that you can do are to go into your BIOS and set your hard drive interface to IDE. That is what I did with my Dell Precision 370. It is supposed to be a little slower than SATA, but it seems to work fine. If I reinstall XP I will set the BIOS back to SATA and load the SATA drivers, but then I have a floppy drive and you don't.

    Another way to load the SATA drivers without a floppy drive is explained in

    But if I were you I wouldn't do any of these things, I would do what I did when the Vista home premium on my wife's laptop crapped out, I would install Windows 7 RC 64-bit. The price is right, it's free, and It's still available as a free download from Microsoft.
  7. So or I keep vista, or I set my HDD to IDE or I get windows 7?

    Is windows 7 faster/better then vista?

    thanks man, this made it very clear to me :p
  8. Windows 7 is much faster than Vista, it is often described as what Vista should have been.

    A factory load of Vista is going to be full of crapware, which will also slow down your laptop. A clean install of windows 7 will be much faster for that reason too.

    Be sure to get anti-virus software. Kaspersky has a free Windows 7 evaluation download. I tried to load AVG free, but it wouldn't load.
  9. You just made my mind ready for windows 7 :p

    So I get it here:
    Do I take 32 or 64 bit?
  10. for an laptop 32 bit is better I think.
    I could be wrong.
  11. I don't want to oversell the 64 bit version, there isn't much difference between 32 bit and 64 bit versions. I installed 64 bit because that's the way things are going.

    It also depends on how much memory your laptop has installed, and how much of it a 32 bit windows OS can see. My sister has 4 GB of memory installed in her Dell desktop, but windows can only see 2.5 GB of her memory. In most cases you can see more than that, but she has a video card with 1GB of onboard memory. If you have more than 3GB of memory, or plan to install more memory, you will need the 64 bit version to be able to use it all.
  12. Oh yeah, I forgot. Drivers. If you can't find hardware drivers for Windows 7 RC 64 bit, then you don't really have a choice.

    My wife's laptop is a Gateway, and after loading Windows 7 RC 64 bit, the Wi-Fi didn't work, because there was no driver for it. I took it upstairs and connected it to the ethernet port of the router, and it auto connected to Microsoft, and auto installed the Wi-Fi driver. After a restart it had Wi-Fi.
  13. Nice, I just installed windows 7 and everything is running smooth :p

    No problems with drivers (sound/internet,...) whatsoever (for now :p)

    Thanks dude!

    Now on my desktop, i'm also trying to get rid of vista, but too bad :p
    I get the
    a problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer
    blue screen error in the xp setup :S

    Whatever, I'll make another thread for that :p

  14. thanks buddy ... it works.
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