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Windows Install Hangs at Setup when Formatting Partition

Posted on 2010-09-02
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I'm not a technical person so would appreciate answers in layman's terms..

Have a dell optiplex gx620 working just fine and i decided to reinstall cd to make it fresh and delete old files, encountering different problems. I get as far as creating a new partition and formating it and then it hangs. When I do hard drive diagnostics it also hangs. Any help wouldbe greatly appreciated!
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Question by:chargerbabe
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MiniDevo earned 63 total points
ID: 33592266
Are you running the hard drive diagnostic via the diagnostic CD from Dell? I would recommend using that as opposed to the diagnostic partition as it may hang if there are hardware issues.
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by:enzogoy
enzogoy earned 63 total points
ID: 33592287
two way I would do:

1- connect it to another machine through an USB-SATA/IDE connection and then try to format if from there.  If it still hang then time to get a new hard drive.

2- Since hard drive is so cheap lately, make it safe and stop wasting time to find out why it doesn't work, get a new hard drive.

enz
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by:chargerbabe
ID: 33592538
Thanks for the replies.How can I run the diagnostic CD from dell if windows won't even start?
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by:Greg Hejl
Greg Hejl earned 62 total points
ID: 33592613
dell diag disk boots/runs linux off cd

i'm with enz - buy a new drive
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Author Comment

by:chargerbabe
ID: 33592910
okay but i just to make me feel better what could i have done wrong in a matter of minutes to turn a perfectly working machine into one with a bad hard drive? all i was doing was reinstalling. I reinstalled xp successfully and the problem started when I tried to download and install the drivers, I started getting error messages and thats when I did the reinstall again which failed.
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by:Greg Hejl
ID: 33592956
gx620 has been around awhile - ide drives are good for about 4 years then start dropping like flies.  learned that the hard way after reusing a drive out of a gx and putting 10 years of scanned family pics on it, just for it to fail a year later - ughh!
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by:chargerbabe
ID: 33593646
I was able to run diagnostics bia dell resource cd, the extended one checked EVERYTHING and it says everything passed. Still a hard drive problem?
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by:BitsBytesandMore
ID: 33593673
Go into the BIOS and search for the option to restore the default BIOS settings. Try installing Windows XP. If it fails again, try with a different CD disc. Another option is to try with a different CD Drive.
Dell's Hard Drive Diagnostics are very good and allthough the advice provided above is very accurate and the drive will probably die soon, if it passed the Dell's Advanced Extended diagnostics, the problem should not be the HDD at this moment.
Bits ...
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by:BitsBytesandMore
ID: 33593677
Since you mention you are a layman... to get into the BIOS you need to press on F2 when the Dell Logo appears on your screen.
Bits ...
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by:Lukasz Chmielewski
ID: 33593884
I'd try running also HDD regenerator
http://www.dposoft.net/
There is a trial version of the application, you can download and run it. It lets you create a boot device which allows you to check your hdd for problems. The trial version fixes only one bad sector of the HDD (if any), but when it finds something, you'll just know it's the hard drive.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 62 total points
ID: 33594402
Always use the HD manufacturer's diagnostic utilities, and not the Dell ones to test your HD. You'll find most of them on the UBCD. There are usually short and long tests, use the long test. Also, since you are wanting to install from scratch and there is nothing you need to keep on the HD, I suggest you again use that diagnostic tool to Zero Fill, Erase or Low-Level Format the Disk (the tools use different names for this). That should marks bad sectors so they aren't used anymore. Of course this should only be done if the diagnostic tool passes and doesn't say you should have the disk replaced.

http://ultimatebootcd.com

Follow the instructions on the site above to burn the CD.

After that, if your HD is larger than 130 GB, and if the XP CD you are installing doesn't have SP2 or later included, you should create a partition on your HD during installation which is smaller than 130 GB (usually for XP 20 GB or 30 GB is more than enough). XP original doesn't support partitions that are larger.
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by:noxcho
ID: 33595020
Rindi is correct here. Dell diag tools are weak when compared with HDD vendor made tools. First of all find out the model of your HDD. You can do it by opening the box or looking in BIOS.
Also, did you check that machine is not overheating? Is there dust in it?
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Author Comment

by:chargerbabe
ID: 33598938
thank you for all your replies. after two long days of doing things again and again and expecting different results, dusting the parts, downloading seatools and even that hanging, i finally bought a 35$ hard drive. Im sure my 2 days is worth more than that but im sure most of you can understand sometimes its not the price sometimes you just dont want to give up until youve figured it out....i surrender...
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by:noxcho
ID: 33599871
Yes, exactly. Even after buying new drive you make attempts to find out the cause of the problem as this is human nature =))
So with new drive it worked, am I right?
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Author Comment

by:chargerbabe
ID: 33600618
dont have the drive yet ordered online..
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by:noxcho
ID: 33600669
Ah, ok I see. As you will have to open the box in any case, open it and clean up the dust using vacuum cleaner.
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Expert Comment

by:bright12
ID: 33618266
If you have warranty on the drive you can send it to the vendor for replacement. My guess is that when you use the new hard drive you will be able to install windows.

Don't forget to install the drivers from the driver cd, if there is any supplied by the PC.
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