Used to be you could easily reinstall Windows or format a hard drive. I'm having system issues on two computers, and I just want to reformat and reinstall XP on the desktop. I get the error that the version I have on disc is older than the installed system, so I can't move forward with the install process. Okay, so I'd like to just reformat the drive and reinstall XP. Is there an easy way to do it? I've looked at the slipstreaming methods and I don't know if I'm up to that task, my skills are becoming vintage. Could I just pull the drive out, install it as a slave in another computer and reformat that way? Any other ideas? Very frustrated in wasting an evening that I had hoped to just reformat/reinstall and accomplished not a thing. I don't believe that I can even do a repair install due to the error. I uninstalled SP3, but that had no effect on the error message. Thanks for any help.
That's what I was hoping to do, but when I stick in xp, I start the process of installing Windows but get the error message 'the version you are attempting to install is older than the current version installed' and I can't proceed any further. I uninstalled SP3 in order to dial it back, but I still get the same message - hence my frustration. I own two copies of XP and can't use either one!! I think the easiest thing might be to take out the drive and install it as a slave elsewhere and just simply format it...not sure if this would even work. Any way around this or a better solution?
There may be another route to force this that you can do with a Windows Install disk. BUT this depends on the Partition structure. What I propose is that, at the very beginning of the Windows Install process, there should be a screen right after you specify what disk to install on. It will warn you that the disk has data in Partitions on the disk and ask if you want to proceed to DESTROY all that? Now, IF you know there is only the one Partition on this disk and you really don't want anything on it, you can have Windows Delete all exiting Partitions on the disk and start from scratch. Then it can establish a new Primary Partition, Format that, and do the Install for you.
Like I said, this only can work if there is NOTHING you want on the disk, anywhere. You really cannot Delete a Primary Partition while leaving other Extended Partitions on the disk.
You also should be aware of disk size tricks. First, check your two different XP Install disks. If either of them includes SP1 or higher, you can use it and forget the rest that follows here. IF you are trying to install Windows XP in its original version (that is, without any of the Service Packs included in the Install Disk) or any earlier version of Windows, it will NOT be able to make any Partition over 128 GB. So if you are doing it this way on a larger disk, you will end up with Windows installed on a 128 GB Partition (you can choose to make this smaller, even) and the rest of the space will be Unallocated. After updating to a current version of the OS you will be able to use that Unallocated Space to create another partition to use as another separate drive, but you will not be able to add this space to your boot C: drive without resorting to third-part software. HOWEVER, as long as you have XP with any Service Pack installed on your Windows Install Disk, or a more recent version of Windows, this is NOT an issue at all, so forget this paragraph!.
when I stick in xp, I start the process of installing Windows but get the error message 'the version you are attempting to install is older than the current version installed' and I can't proceed any further.
It sounds to me like you are inserting the CD while the old system is up and running. Shut down the old system, insert the CD, and boot from it. You should have the choice to overwrite the old OS.
Thank you all...I changed the boot order in the BIOS and it's working...I've lost hair over this simple problem. I really appreciate the help. Once this is done, I'm going to do the same thing to an old laptop that's hosed - thanks so much!!