Can't reinstall Windows XP after Kubuntu 7.04 install - CD/DVD-ROM not working

Posted on 2007-07-30
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I had WinXP installed on my laptop (Sony Vaio PCG-R505EL) for a while and it ran very well.  I was curious so I installed Kubuntu 7.04, Feisty Fawn over it.  Unfortunately Kubuntu does not run well at all on this system (it's pretty old) so I wanted to go back to WinXP.

For some reason my laptop will no longer boot from the CD/DVD-ROM drive.  In the BIOS I attempted to change the BIOS but it will not recognize the CD/DVD-ROM either whether I select the IDE as Auto or not.  However, when I boot up into Kubuntu I can browse anything in the CD/DVD-ROM drive including the WinXP installation disc.

Any ideas what this could be?  I know it seems like a BIOS issue but I've installed different OS'es on this machine multiple times with no problems.

Thanks in advance!
Question by:chefelf
LVL 17

Accepted Solution

RDAdams earned 200 total points
ID: 19594183
delete the partition on the hard drive then reboot with xp.  I use a win98 boot CD with delpart.exe to do this.

Author Comment

ID: 19596742
Thanks.  I managed to get delpart.exe to fun and deleted the partition.  I still can't get the computer to book the WinXP CD.  I can browse the WinXP CD in DOS (but it doesn't allow to run setup.exe from DOS).

When I try to boot the WinXP CD it still doesn't load.  It tries to initialize GRUB and says:

GRUB Loading stage1.5.

GRUB loading, please wait...
Error 22
LVL 11

Assisted Solution

asian_niceguy earned 200 total points
ID: 19598195
do you have an external cd/dvd drive to test or a spare one to use?

perhaps your windows xp cd itself it not being recognized. can it recognize other cd's?

you may want to try fdisk /mbr
but its a last resort solution

in the case you fluke your cd-rom to work and get into repair mode to run the fixmbr commands to remove GRUB:

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Assisted Solution

arkoak earned 600 total points
ID: 19598337
Well goto bios, disable HDD from the boot menu list. (disable will help only, moving it to lower priority / position may not be useful). Once you are done having CDROm as the primary boot drive, use XP cd.
if it still does not work, it means there is a problem with the cd itself. You can use another CD with the same CD key of your laptop for XP professional.

Author Comment

ID: 19605270
Thanks for the replies!

Okay, I don't have a spare drive to use but I managed to boot DOS on the CD/DVD and ran fdisk/mbr.  It didn't fix anything.

GRUB seems to be gone but it's giving me a "non system disk" error when I try to boot the Windows XP disc.

When I get into DOS, it can read the WinXP CD just fine, of course I can't run setup in DOS.

Thanks again for everyone's help so far.  I feel like I'm making *some* progress.  :)

Assisted Solution

arkoak earned 600 total points
ID: 19607398
the XP cd you have is not bootable
its boot sector is corrupt.

Either get some other CD which is bootable
use XP bootsector to recreate a bootable cd (if you have a cd writer): http://old.bink.nu/xpbootcd/ 

(A CD which is readable in dos, does not guarantee it to be bootable. For example if you simply copy a bootable disk, it will not be bootable anymore)

Author Comment

ID: 19613646
I have used this exact WinXP CD to install on the same laptop in the past.  I will try using that xpbootcd link and see if that changes anything.

Thank you so much for your help!  :)

Author Comment

ID: 19613706
Well, I followed those instructions and I get this now added to the invalid system disk error:

CDBOOT: Cannot boot from CD - Code: 5

Invalid system disk
Replace the disk, and then press any key

I think I may have to accept the fact that I have a doorstop pretty soon.  :)

Assisted Solution

arkoak earned 600 total points
ID: 19614756

To check if your CD is bootable, goto another computer and try to boot it from it (dont run the install and just remove the disk & reboot).It seems the CD you have burned have some issue with being bootable but your original one may not have a problem.

There maybe a problem that prevents you from booting from CD. Remove the HDD and boot using the Xp CD, if its ok, shutdown, add the HDD, reboot , check the bios settings for boot sequence again to prefer cd, and try if it works now.

Next you need to check your HDD. If you have a win98 cd,run scandisk from 98 cd, this can find some errors which XP utility cannot (pretty strange really)then try installing 98 (or any other windows, don't need to finish the install, only the first 5 minutes to re-write the MBR). Then try xp after this, maybe that can help the HDD recover from a bad mbr.

Completely wiping the HDD is the option if above methods do not work: you can either connect it to another computer using a usb HDD case (if you don't have, it s quite handy & cheap now: http://www.google.com/products?q=usb+external+laptop+case)
or you can use fdisk to delete the partitions and reformat the disk from beginning (if you have no data to worry about).

Replacing the HDD is the option if you find too many errors in disk scanning.


Author Comment

ID: 19649325
Thanks, everybody!  Everyone really helped me get to the right solution which was a number of issues.  Firstly it was uninstalling GRUB and formatting that helped me as well as a faulty disc (which is odd since it worked fine when I used it a few months back).

Anyway, thanks to everyone.  I awarded 50 points per answer!  :)

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