I have a Acer E2200. It had Vista on it and one day got stuck on the OS loading screeen (the hard drive clicks and then it just goes silent) I know how buggy Vista is so I decided to just do an XP install. I tried to boot from the CD and it would get to the point RIGHT before it says hit F8 to accept terms..etc. and would BSOD. I thought maybe it was a hardware issue so I popped out the RAM on stick at a time and tried it with no change. I have also removed any option cards and unplugged any USB connected with no change. I thought it was the HD (SATA).. So I tried another HD and when I put the new HD in it won't even give me a "Press any key to boot from CD). Just a blinking cursor after I pick the boot menu. The CD drive spins for a second and then stops and it hangs on the cursor. I Thought that it was maybe bad Sata port or CD drive, so I tried a IDE DVD drive with no change. If I hook up the OLD hard drive it will pop up the "Press any key to boot from CD" but then when i press a key the CD spins for a sec and then the drive shuts down. Any advice?
First off, the hard drive clicks indicate damage.. it may not be definite damage but enough to make the BIOS prevent booting from it. You can disable the S.M.A.R.T. BIOS setting that prevents the damaged Hard drive from booting. If you formatted the Vista drive, you obviously deleted the SATA drivers so you have to enable the BIOS IDE mode (also known as IDE Native, or IDE Legacy), or provide the SATA drivers with the F6 key during the Windows XP installation.
If this doesn't help, try resetting the BIOS removing the cell battery for 15 minutes, then put it back on, start the computer, access the BIOS and again disable S.M.A.R.T and enable IDE Mode.. and also set the DVD drive as the first boot device or during the BIOS post, press the Pause key to read which key you can use to bring up the screen where you can select the drive to boot from.
If none of that works, repeat all with the new hard drive installed and enable IDE Mode to install Windows XP with no SATA drivers, or provide the SATA drivers with the F6 key.
The BSOD before F8 (EULA terms) if you formatted the Vista drive may have been due to no SATA drivers installed... If you don't have the SATA drivers to provide them during the Windows XP installation, IDE mode substitutes the need for SATA drivers till you can install them from Windows XP... after installing the SATA drivers, revert the BIOS to SATA Mode (IDE Mode disabled).