Reformatting Vista to Win 7 Problems

Hey folks, I got a friend that I'm trying to fix/update his Acer Laptop that keeps hanging up in Vista(go figure). well he said he wanted me to reformat it, I said is XP Pro Ok, he said yes. I tried ( and I do have a Volume license that I've put on several rigs with no trouble but this laptop froze up at 3% twice, so I used my Win 7 disk (that I have a Volume license for) and it went thru the Windows setup and then quit, with some dumb stuff about enabling a controller in the BIOS, so I went back in and switched it from SATA to IDE and it was loading again but stopped and says the installation was cancelled, "can't install required files", "no changes were made to your computer", but I have already wiped the drive. So even thou it was running but freezing up with Vista, theres nothing to go back to.

What is wrong with my reformat procedure ? I've put this Win 7 disk on 2 Rigs already with no problems. I'm running it right now on this rig, and the XP Pro on 2 other ones, I do have a Win XP Pro V license disk also (thats always worked)but I tried it with no luck.
NOTE: this laptop was running, but all wierd like. maybe a virus or trojan, but I figured with a fresh install that would all be gone.

What am I doing Wrong ?

grateful for some help

Charlotte, NC
43 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Ok well hell I just tried another XP Pro disk in this lappy and it got to Windows setup and froze again. Now it says it can't find a hard drive ?? I've set the SATA drive to back to IDE because Win couldn't find the SATA drive...

    Please some one tell me what i'm doing wrong. I've rebuilt/built probably 30 rigs and nevr had this kind of problem.


  2. ok now it says
    Boot BGR is missing
    press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

    which this does nothing but bring me right back
  3. Hey Brian,

    Your formatting issues aside, I think you have a RAM problem on that laptop. If the install is crapping out 3% into the process.... a hardware fault is very likely.

    Grab a copy of MemTest86+ and let it run a complete pass. Let us know if there are any errors shown.
  4. hey thanks for the reply, but I can't run nothing on this lappy because I've already reformatted it and wiped the HD and I did save all the files that were relevant but it keeps hanging up on the reformat. like right now I did it again and its stuck at 0% for like the last 2 hours.
    anything i can do ?

    oh yeah I did get pass the boot problem, but it still won't let me put an OS on it
  5. MemTest86+ is not something you run from within Windows. Download it from the link I provided above and burn it to a cd. Turn your laptop on a boot from the MemTest disk. Let it test your ram and see if there are any errors detected.

    Edit: Oh, and please see your other thread on this same topic (that I will be deleting shortly after you have read it).
  6. Hey "The_Prophecy", I'm sorry about the other post bad I was just getting a little frustrated, oh and I did burn "memtest" like you advised but just now I saw the progress bar go up to 1%.... woohoo... do you really think this Acer Aspire 5325-2698 is really that slow ? I mean I know its only got a 2.13 Celeron in it, but it did show 1.5 GB of DDR2, would it really take that long to reformat a 120GB drive ?

    please forgive my dumb stuff before and know that I really do appreciate everybodies here's help.

  7. reformatting a drive should be almost instantaneous (full formats are not necessary). If it's only just hit 1% of 1.5GB of ram, you definitely have a problem. Even if Memtest is not displaying any errors, the first test should only take a few (no more than about 10) seconds to complete. Test number 2 should only take about 15 seconds (max of 30 on slower systems).

    Do you have another ram stick you can pop into the machine?

    Edit: Are you looking at the Test progress bar? Or the Pass progress bar? There is a difference. Each pass consists of, if memory serves, 7 tests which are not of equal length. The first 2 tests in the pass should go as described above. The next 5 tests take considerably longer.
  8. No I didn't run memtest after I downloded it on my other machine, this one, because the progress bar on the reformatting started moving, well it got up to 14% so I was like kool its going to work....but now it stoppped and says "the insallation was cancelled" "Windows cannot install required files. The file does not exist. make sure all files required for installation are available, and restart the installation. error code : 0x80070002."
    now I don't know what to do...

    I've used this same disk with no problems on this computer and one other. what could be going on wrong ?
  9. Forget about trying to format the drive and install Windows on that system. If there is a RAM (or other hardware) problem with the machine, it's not going to work anyway. Run MemTest and see if it shows any errors. Replace the ram if there are any.
  10. Ok, I'll give that a shot and holler back in a few minutes then, I don't have any extra RAM for it thou, ..if it was a Desktop, it would have been fixed long ago because I have 4 other HD I could have put in, 2 already have fresh copies of Win 7 on them and the other 2 have XP pro. dang lappy.
    but ok I'll go and run memtest and see what it finds.
    Thanks for the help so far, will you be here for a little bit lnger so I can come back and tell you what I find out ?
  11. Yup... i'll be on for awhile.
  12. ok I stopped the reformat with XP Pro and memtest86 is running and so far no errors.
    its on Test # 6
    system says slot 0: 512 MB DDR2-333, slot 1 : 1024 MB DDR2-333
  13. wow test 7 was a trip the numbers flew by....
    settings RAM : 266mhz (DDR532) / CAS : 4-4-4-12 / Dual Channel
  14. ok hey Prophecy, it wen thru all the test I think (thru #8) because now its back to Test # 4 and it says Pass=1, errors= 0.
    Pass complete, no erroors, press Esc to exit.

    now what do I do ?
  15. Ok... next most likely candidate is the hard drive. Got a spare you can pop in and try?
  16. not for a lappy
  17. oh and soon as I pulled the disk out it came up with a message BOOTMGR is missing Press ctrl+Alt+del to restart
  18. Ok... download and burn a copy of the Ultimate Boot CD. On it are several good hard drive diagnostic tools. They are specific to certain hard drive manufacturer's though, so for best results, check who your hard drive was made by first, then run the appropriate tool. The UBCD can be found at
  19. ok I 've got that CD already, so what about the BOOTMGR being missing, how'd that happen ?
  20. stopping the format mid-process would do it, but like I said earlier, you don't need to do a full format on hard drives. I haven't done one in about 6 years.
  21. alright I just ran thru all the diagonistic stuff and it found no errors, what should I do next try to load my Windows disk again ? should I do a quick format instead of a full format of my harddrive
  22. I don't see how those ran properly in 30 minutes, but try installing again, and yes, do a quick format this time.
  23. I have a suggestion.
    Try burning your XP or 7 disc again at the lowset speed your drive will burn at.
    When i was runnning the Windows 7 RC I burnt a disc on one machine, installed fine with no hitches yet when i tried the same DVD in my laptop there was no end of issues. After burning the CD at a low speed it all turned out fine for my laptop too.
  24. Good morning and thanks for the reply, I actually tried tio install XP Pro again over nite and it keeps getting hung up part way.

    This morning it just got stuck at 17% :
    " Setup cannot copy the file:"
    To retry press ENTER
    and yes my XP Pro CD is in the Drive

    I hit Enter and it runs for a few seconds and then its rigt back to this page again,

    This is my Volume License disk of XP Pro that I've had for several years and I have never had any problem installing it on my other computers. Do you think because the Laptop's drive runs at a slower speed then my Desktop HD drive, it would make it miss files ? or just because the disk was burned at a faster speed orginally the lappy is missing them ?
  25. Wow I just removed the disk and put it back in and the setup ran all the way to 89% and then it stopped again, there has got to be something wrong with either this Hard drive or the DVD/CD drive in this thing.
    I did do a CHKDSK and it didn't find any bad sectors but it still gets stuck and when it stops, it starts making a funky "CLIACKK, CLACK< CLACK sound.
    and now when I hit enter to retry it doesn't do anything.
  26. the file it got stuck at is : netnm.inf
    the page asked me if I wantd to skip the file. I was wondering if I did skip it and it loaded up, could I just go back and install the file later once I'm online again ? or because it got stuck here that it might try and get stuck on all of the 11% of files left ?
  27. Do as VampyrByte suggested and re-burn your install disk at a lower speed.
  28. Ok I did like you guys said and burned a copy at 8X and installed it and now it stopped at 80% again. and when it does it, retry doesn't do anything.

    anybody know anything else I can try ?
  29. Perhaps it's the ISO image itself that's the problem? Can you re-download the iso file, then burn at the same 8x speed you just burned at?
  30. yes I can, I have it saved on my External drive, do you think that might help ?

    right now I'm trying a Format from a Command prompt and its at 1% after 20 minutes. so I'm waiting on it again in slow motion.
    Oh hey I did a CHKDSK and it said it was good but I was looking at replacing the Master boot record and it warned me about doing that because it said it might make my drive unaccessible ?? any reason why ?

    I can certainly burn the ISO again and try it if you think it might make a difference to try it that way, but I just used this disk a week ago to reformat an older desktop with XP Pro and it worked flawlessly. I got some time and plenty of disk to use so if you think it might be worth a try I got no problem burning another copy form the ISO.
  31. No, I mean go download a completely fresh copy of the ISO file. You said earlier you have a volume license for XP and 7. I'm assuming you got it though something like Technet or MSDN? Where ever you got the VL from, go back and download a completely fresh copy of the iso, do not use the one from your backup drive. In fact, if you can re-download the iso, delete the one on your backup drive altogether.

    The warning you got from replacing the MBR was a generic warning. If the operation fails (which I have never seen happen) it can make getting data from the drive a real pain in the a$$. But since you've probably formatted this drive 20 times over already, you can ignore that message.

    Oh and stop with the full formats. As I already said, they aren't necessary.
  32. I got it from MSDN like 2 years ago, and I just went and dnld a fresh copy and now I've burned the ISO to disk @ 8X.
    Ok and I'll do a quick format, I tried last nite and it stopped at 89%, but hey I'll try again with this disk.
    Trust me I appreciate your help because this lappy is killing me.

    Ok its loading files, .....tks for the tip about the MBR, I just have never had to worry about it since all my Clean installs or reformats have gone smoothly for the last 6 or 8 years. I did have some trouble one time with putting ME on a 98SE Emachine back in 2001. (please no comment about WIN ME.... ) lol
    Ok its at Setup is starting Windows...
    Delete old, make new, Create Part..., Setup is copyng files...

    I'll let you know how it goes this time.
  33. ahhhhhhhh ratpeepe, it hung at 80% again. I'm startin to lose it, this is frustrating. and now while its sitting there stuck, I can hear the drive, click, click.

    Do you think this thing was partitioned off to 2 50GB (only one of the 50 was accesible inside Windows) of the 120GB and then the other 20GB was dead and thats what I'm hitting ?
    retry doesn't work and it stopped clickin finally.

    now what ?
  34. brainpup said:
    I can hear the drive, click, click.

    your HD is bad..
  35. pat said:
    your HD is bad..

    I agree. If it's clicking, you have an irreparable problem. Time for a new drive.
  36. Well thats what I've been thinking for the last 2 days, but it was working for like 6 months on the 50GB that was accessible. It was Accessible Monday when I downloaded all the photos off of it. Now that I've been trying to reformat it I'm dead in the water @ 80%.
    Can I find the bad sectors and just reformat what ever part of the 120GB drive is still good ?
  37. Best answer
    Nope. Clicking drives mean a mechanical problem, which means it's going to die soon. Get a new drive.
  38. Best answer selected by brainpup.
  39. Yeah well I figured as much, because never in my life have I ever had this much of a problem reformatting a drive.

    so whats the going rate for a HDD for an 2 or 3 year old Acer ?

    I do appreciate all your efforts to help "The Prophecy"...
  40. Glad I could be of assistance. If it's an IDE drive, you're probably going to have a harder time finding one, but 2.5" IDE drives are still being sold. If it's a SATA drive, a decent 7200RPM, 320GB drive can be had for between $60 and $80. Smaller drives (160GB and 250GB) are also available for slightly less if you don't need that much space, or don't want to spend that much money.
  41. Yeah thanks dude appreciate the help and effort,

    I was just checking Directron, Mwave and for some cheap replacements.

    The real bitch of it all is that its not my laptop and my friend who brought it over here Monday and it was still working a little bit for him, I mean he could get online at least ....Now its dead...
  42. I've been at this for 9 years now and have been in the exact same spot on more than one occasion. It sucks, but it is what it is. Make sure your friend is aware (if he/she doesn't realize this already) that the drive was probably going to die anyway, regardless of who the laptop was with.
  43. Hey thats exactly what I did, matter of fact I just got off the phone with him and told him the bad news, Hard drive is dead, which he understood because he said he has heard it clicking before, and also why he couldn't access the other 70GB of the 120GB. Heck it made that noise Monday night when he brought it over. Then I told him the good news, that yes I can get it replaced cheap. I've already found some 40 & 60 GB HDD for $25 or $30 online. Since he only had access to 50GB he said that would be fine.
    I also have a couple of computer places here in Charlotte, NC that sell used and new parts cheap.
    So its just going to take another day or so.
    At least now after I replace the drive and Windows he will have full ownership of it (as an Administrator) which he didn't before, like for the last 6 months he's owned it. He had to Login as a Guest.
    Like he said, thats what I get for buying a used laptop.
    I did save all of his 2000+ photos for him of his kids and a ton of other stuff, so he's happy about that.
    Hey I do really appreciate your efforts on this project. I also clicked that you gave me the best answer, even thou it still isn't fixed, but hey, we gave it good try. I think as much as could be done to save it. And after the second install failure and hearing noises from the HDD I was starting to think it was a Hardware thing, like you said about the RAM.
    I do have tomorrow off from work (because I have to work on Saturday's) so I'll be out and about finding him a replacement HDD.
    9 years is a good bit of time working and being a Techie, I built my first computer from some parts I got from a Merchandise Mart Computer Fest (kinda like a flea market for Geeks) here in Charlotte back in 1998. I came home with 13 bags of goodies and a beige box, spent a day putting it together and then borrowed a 15" monitor from a friend for 2 weeks till I could afford one of my own. It was a little P2 MX350 CPU on an Intel mobo, with a 8GB HD and 32mb of RAM and dialup. Yippee, the next day I was online and playing Spades in Yahoo with some those were the days...Actually my first computer was a Trash 80 back in 1984.
    But now, besides my two running Desktops (plus 2 more sitting on the floor of my Closet) I've got a Phenom II 3.1 Calisto CPU & a Gigabyte 790 mobo plus 4GB of DDR3 I'm currently getting ready to put in a new Rig as soon as my NZXT Nemesis Elite case gets here. boy how times have changed huh!

    Well hey I'm going to run, thanks again for your help and I'll get back to you and let you know how it works out tomorrow.
    Have a good night.
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