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Thread: formatting a compaq laptop?

  1. #1

    formatting a compaq laptop?

    well i just bought a compaq laptop today. i brought it home and booted it up and OMG it is infested with crap i dont need. i want to reformat the laptop but when i stick in my windows xp cd and right when i agree with the license, i get a "Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer." what kind of joke is this? does compaq not want people formatting their laptops? how do you format these things?
    i thought about taking out the hard drive and hooking it up to one of my computers to format the drive but it would be bad if it still couldnt detect the hard drive when i put it back in the laptop to install windows. then i wont even be able to use the laptop anymore. any ideas?

    i have the Presario C301NR

  2. #2
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    If you want to install a fresh retail/OEM copy of Windows, you'll have to zero-fill the hard drive. Most Compaq's & HP's come with a built-in restore partition on the hard drive, allowing you to restore the system without the disks. However, this restore partition interferes with a fresh install of Windows since the drive does not appear correctly. In short, the restore partition messes up the appearance of the file system structure through the BIOS.

    Zero-fill the drive and your standard Windows CD should work fine.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by saphalline View Post
    If you want to install a fresh retail/OEM copy of Windows, you'll have to zero-fill the hard drive. Most Compaq's & HP's come with a built-in restore partition on the hard drive, allowing you to restore the system without the disks. However, this restore partition interferes with a fresh install of Windows since the drive does not appear correctly. In short, the restore partition messes up the appearance of the file system structure through the BIOS.

    Zero-fill the drive and your standard Windows CD should work fine.
    Thank you,

    I've tried this method. but, it did not work!! any advice?

  4. #4
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    Can you provide specs for the machine...it is sounding like it has a SATA drive and the XP CD will need extra drivers to see/use the hard drive.
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  5. #5
    Hi,

    It's presario V6000 with 120GB SATA HDD and windows vista installed. I want to install a fresh Windows XP to the laptop. I've tried to zero fill the HDD as advised above. But, after runing the setup I've got the famous message "Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer"

  6. #6
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    The problem you are having has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that your machine is a Compaq...it has everything to do with the fact that XP was out long before SATA became the standard for hard drives. You need to either slipstream an XP install CD with the SATA drivers or using a floppy (which your laptop probably doesn't have) hit F6 during the install to install the additional drivers...but before that, you need to find them. the HP/Compaq site may have all the XP drivers for your model, so check...if they don't have XP drivers available, you would be better off putting Vista back on and removing the HP/Compaq crapware.
    AV, Anti-Trojan List;Browser and Email client List;Popup Killer List;Portable Apps
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  7. #7
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    I cant see any SATA drivers for either WinXP or Vista from this page but perhaps I don't have the correct model.

    Using a recovery CD or DVD would be the normal way to reinstall a compaq to its WinXP factory condition or use F11 during startup for Vista to utilise any recovery partition - assuming you havent zeroed it. I don't agree with the advice about zeroing the drive in order to make it "seeable".

    Compaqs are and have always had very proprietary ways of doing things. If you want XP installed then you may have to try and obtain a WinXP recovery CD/DVD from HP/Compaq. A long shot is to see if the BIOS allows you to configure the SATA HDD with IDE emulation. On "normal" modern mobos this option is usually available but this may not be the case with a proprietary compaq. If you can use IDE emulation then you would have no need for SATA drivers in order for setup to have a visible hard drive.
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  8. #8
    thanks for help

    I will check the BIOS. But, I didn't get the point about the IDE emulation.

  9. #9
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    Legacy hardware and operating systems are so familiar with the IDE/ATA/ATAPI interace that (large drive thresholds aside) cross compatibility is really never a problem.

    SATA is a new interface and motherboard design and their BIOS have had to be changed to accommodate it. There are commonly more than one way of setting-up such SATA slots in modern PC BIOS setups. On some there may be an option to add them to a RAID/SCSI interface or to be "standalone". If as standalone then on most modern BIOS the full advantages of SATA can be obtained if they are configured as SATA (but the NT-based Operating Systems etc will need to supply specific drivers). If they can be configured as IDE/IDE_emulation then no special drivers will ever be necessary since the IDE interface is so standard. One misses out on things like NCQ and a small hit on data transfer but gains on cross-compatibility and visibility by most OSes.
    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
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  10. #10
    I didn't get the exact point but still i will ask my technician about your problem but i m just confused how can it is possible that there is no option of format.

  11. #11
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    but i m just confused how can it is possible that there is no option of format
    Unless one can "see" the physical hard drive there can be no options to do anything with its partitions and that includes formatting them. The first step is to get the hard drive visible to setup and from Win2K onwards that means that the correct SATA/RAID drivers must be available or the drive can be made visible if the BIOS will allow it to emulate the older type of IDE hard drives.

    There would be nothing to stop one taking the drive to another machine, adding it as a second drive and to then partition and format it there but when you bring it back to the "problem" machine it should still be invisible without the drivers or without being in an IDE emulation mode.
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  12. #12
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    Smile about compaq notebook formatting

    it's really simple actually. U just need a window XP installation CD/DVD which have a sata driver inside it. For example windows Xp sp2 with OEM. I've use this for lots of time. If u can't find the CD/DVD, try to slipstream your own window CD/DVD with a SATA driver. That is your last choice.

  13. #13
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    You are welcome here trendynelson but it's not always so "really simple" with SATA drivers and also slipstreaming drivers isn't always straightforward either. It's six months since the last reply to this thread so that is also worth bearing in mind when replying to posts.

    The V6000 compaq does have a SATA hard drive and the compaq way of restoring the system (if you no longer have an ability to restore from a special partition) is to order the restore disks from compaq. If one wants to use a Vista installation DVD or an XP installation CD then the easiest approach is to enter the BIOS setup using F10 during boot up and then by disabling the Enhanced SATA mode in the System Configuration sectiton of the BIOS. In such a mode the laptop will only require the native IDE drivers to see the hard drive from the installation media.

    Since this thread has been bumped (and thus re-read in whole by me) it is also worth saying that it is not necessary to wipe a drive in order to install an OS to it. Deleting partitions is quite sufficient.
    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
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  14. #14
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    Exclamation Compaq presario CQ40 problem and need help

    i have 2 friends that ask for my help formatting their Compaq presario CQ40 notebook. When i already boot using the boot disk, the windows start to load all the necessary files and driver. then finally when the setup is about to finished, the blue screen of death(BSOD) suddenly appear. I tried severall time but the blue screen keep appearing. If someone know what is the exact problem with this error, please tell me ASAP.Thanks.

  15. #15
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    Which OS and which bootdisk (compaq restore disk or compaq windows installation disk or retail windows installation disk or pirated installation disk)?
    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
    Help to start using BiNG. Some stuff about Boot CDs & Data Recovery Basics & Back-up using Knoppix.

  16. #16
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    windows XP SP2 with OEM(pirated edition). I have do formatting for almost hundreds time, on diferent kind of PC & notebook.but never experience this type of problem. It seems that problem only occur in this version of compaq notebook. Need Help please.

  17. #17
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    windows XP SP2 with OEM(pirated edition). I have do formatting for almost hundreds time, on diferent kind of PC & notebook.but never experience this type of problem. It seems that problem only occur in this version of compaq notebook. Need Help please.

  18. #18
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    Do not expect any help from these forums if you are using pirated software, which could well be the cause of your problem.
    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
    Help to start using BiNG. Some stuff about Boot CDs & Data Recovery Basics & Back-up using Knoppix.

  19. #19

    I wish to reformat a compaq laptop.

    I have absolutely -no- experience doing this.

    It seems as if all of my "system disks" are located on another partition, and the jerks from the place I bought the laptop refused to tell me how to reformat it myself.

    What a scam.

    I don't even know if my other partition will contain the operating system I'm currently running or whether it's part of their scam to not give you an actual licensed copy in your backup partition.

    Anyhow, I would really like to know how to do this.

    I'm running windows vista, currently, and as-mentioned. I'm not sure if vista is included in the system restore partition.

    I don't even know how to access it.

    Info/help would be immensely appreciated.

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