Dell Vostro Can't install Windows XP

Beth - Apr 6, 2013 at 08:46 PM
 Dustin - Dec 30, 2013 at 04:11 PM
I have a Dell Vostro 220s. My computer got a "disk read error , Press control alt delete" of which i tried to fix. After that now i have a problem with installing the OS. My computer cannot read my hard disk now when i'm trying to download the OS (windows XP) causing it to make me restart. I set it to ATA mode which i read is pretty much like IDE and yet it's not reading it. I tried setting it up to AHCI mode but then it just gets blue screened which i also read is normal. Help Plz

1 reply

Sounds suspiciously like a crashed hard disk.

FIRST backup everything you can from the hard disk!
If it is a crashed disk, it will very rapidly get much worse!

Other possibilities, roughly in order of likelyhood, are:
1) a software crash did a random write to the disk, try running 'scandisk';

2) bad memory (or maybe loose in their socket);

3) a disk cable that has worked loose or not making good contact;

4) disk may be mostly full (many versions of Windows, through XP at least, will silently and mysteriously fail when they run out of disk space, or they may give a meaningless error message);

5) power supply gone bad (they do that after several years);

6) or a problem on the motherboard.

7) Oh, and the one that's often overlooked; dust-bunnies. After backing-up, open the case and aim a fan towards the innards. That will cool things down some and if it helps, start with a good, but careful, cleaning.

BTW, AHCI must be configured during XP installation, different drivers are installed to support AHCI. As you discovered, if AHCI is switched on or off after installation, it doesn't work anymore.

Good Luck,
Is incredible but some Dell Vostro 220s are being knocked out lately. Vostros 220S comes with Sata Western digital 160 Gb Disks.
When I tried to replace the same model can't be found on the market now and I have bad times trying to install a SATA (also WD) of 500 GB.
I discover that in Dell's web you can fint the last CMOS (bios) version as 1.3.0 but these machines have 1.4.0 so an upgrade to bios sounds ridiculous (downgrade is bad over bios)
Another problem is Bios configuration, Dell is not giving clues or solution about on how to setup bios.
If the disk is being detected intermittently, Do you think motherboard is broken?
Intermittent disk detection is usually, but not always, caused by the drive. At power-up, the drive will respond to commands AFTER it has come up to speed. At end-of-life the bearings wear out and lubricants dry out; either the disk doesn't reach full speed, speed sensing fails, or the disk platters wobble so much that they can't be read.

The other common cause is a failing power supply. Drives use more power starting up than running. If the power supply is failing, the extra drain may cause the voltage to drop to the drive or to the rest of the computer, or both. In either case things may not initialize properly or the drive may take longer to come up to speed.

Although rare, a bad cable to the drive is another possibility; either power or data cable with the power cable being more likely.

Historical note: Early disk drives often had an optical speed sensor mounted on the drive casting underneath the ckt board. When dust blocked the sensor the drive just didn't respond to commands and therefore didn't exist. A blast of compressed air was a quick and effective fix. The speed sensors are no longer accessible on modern drives.
Steps that you must perform before Windows XP will Install: Below is a narration.

Switch Hard Drive Controller from AHCI to ATA:

F2 at BIOS Screen
Standard CMOS Features
SATA Mode: Change from AHCI to ATA

Make sure your Windows XP CD is Slipstreamed to SP2 or 3 since some hardwares supports only sp2 or sp3. Good luck with that.
Ewiase is correct. His solution worked for me perfectly. Thanks.