My boss bought a pair of Dell Optiplexes on eBay. Both were billed as having no OS, but came with a fully loaded drive. They were once on a University network, and without their admin password, we could not change their IP addresses to match our network. I put a larger drive into one machine, reformatted it and tried to load a new OS. The installation program could not read the boot partition and the install failed. I tried a different drive with the same result. I tried both drives in the second machine with the same result. I then tried to load the new OS on the original drives (both machines) and was told that the drives were either unformatted or damaged. (both work fine). I noticed that there was a single partition mentioned in the OS install, but two when you look in my computer. I fugured that a non microsoft partitioning program was used and that that is why I got the damaged or non-format warning, but why won't the computers accept a new clean drive? Could the BIOS be corrupt (on both machines). I am afraid to wipe the existing drives for fear of losing the boot partiton as with the fresh drives. Any ideas?
Theses are Dell Optiplex GX240, P4 1.8GHz, 512MB RAM, 20GB drive Windows XP Pro Bio A-05