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I decided to re-install Windows XP x86 on my wife's computer. The install had proceeded to the point of me deleting the previous partitions and creating a new partition. Then, of all times, the computer shuts down due to a high operating temperature. So, I try to re-boot, and the computer displays a "error loading operating system." I can't do anything. It's a complete paperweight. Is there anything I can do without buying a new hard drive? And, will buying a new hard drive even work?

Note: I don't believe the inability to boot from the HD has anything to do with the operating temperature message. This computer has shutdown from high temps many times. Also, we must recognize that the computer will shutdown from a high temp at least a while before the temp gets high enough to damage anything. It's a failsafe. If Windows allowed the temp to go high enough to damage something, and only then shutdown, well, it would be a pointless mechanism.

Anyway, I know for a fact that the inability to boot is caused by an interrupted install. Right after one deletes the partition, Windows gives a message saying that the computer will not be able to boot until the disc has finished the install. Obviously, this is because the boot files are deleted from the previous partition and must be installed from the disc in order for the computer to boot. But, it just so happened that the install was interrupted just after I deleted that partition. So, I'm screwed, or so I think.

The temperature message is really inconsequential. More like smoke. The real problem is the interrupted install prevented Windows from installing the boot files. Am I wrong?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

First figure out why it overheated, is the cpu fan working?

Is the case and CPU heatsink full of dust bunnies?

Once you get that remedied,

Reinstall it over from scratch.

Boot from the XP CD and after setup loads, delete the C partition, then install XP on the unallocated partition that was created by deletion, perform a quick format

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It won't let me boot, period. Nada. No going into BIOS. Nothing. –  H3br3wHamm3r81 Apr 18 '11 at 5:04
    
I was wrong. It does let me go into BIOS and set-up. But, those don't really help. It won't run the install. –  H3br3wHamm3r81 Apr 19 '11 at 14:08
    
I was able to get into BIOS (F8?) and boot from CD. After that, I installed the OS like normal. Thanks for the help. –  H3br3wHamm3r81 May 1 '11 at 18:57

This can easily be fixed by sticking your current hard drive in another PC without taking out the other one – like running two hard drives. Now put in a Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 disk. Format the HDD and drag and drop the files onto your HDD.

Boot from the hard drive on the screwed hard drive after you put everything back in. Plug it up, turn it on and you should be loading Windows files.

This is the only way I have ever installed Windows numerous times.

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Will the computer boot off the Windows XP CD? If not, it's not a hard drive issue. I doubt that the hard drive would be affected by CPU temperature issues (the hard drive could be damaged by high temperature too, but it doesn't really seem likely in this case).

The first thing I would do is to make sure all your BIOS settings are correct, and that the CD-ROM drive is set to the highest boot priority. If you can get the Windows installer to start, try repartitioning the drive. If it fails at that point, then you might have a drive issue.

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The first thing I would do is to make sure all your BIOS settings are correct, and that the CD-ROM drive is set to the highest boot priority." >>> Yes, they were all set properly.<<< If you can get the Windows installer to start, try repartitioning the drive. If it fails at that point, then you might have a drive issue. >>> Windows CD is ineffective. I can't get anywhere. I think the computer is missing those files necessary to boot (boot.ini? I don't knnow). <<< –  H3br3wHamm3r81 Apr 18 '11 at 5:04

If you can boot into another cd - you SHOULD be able to, unless your DVD drive isn't the first device or its somehow not being detected (and i'd suggest trying it with a known good linux livecd - if nothing else, for data recovery), you can and should probably try wiping the disk - either with the shred command on linux, or with darik's boot and nuke. Then try installing as per normal - some windows installs get borked in a unique way when bad things happen.

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