Hi all I was given a Compaq presario 2500 laptop which needed a new HDD which I purchased and installed. I then tried to install xp with the original cd which I was also given, everything was going fine until it got to the second boot and it said a disk error has occoured press ctrl/alt/del to restart which i did but it just goes back to the same error.
I checked the cd and it has no scratches and I blew out the optical drive and tried again, press any key to boot from cd came up and as soon as i hit a key it just went to a black screen and nothing.
Have been reading many threads but am very confused about what to try.
Not sure what other info to include here.

Try to boot off of a linux live CD like knoppix to eliminate the CD drive as a possible error. If you do boot off of the CD it should have some menu items that let you explore the drive partitioning -- or drive filesystem if it has been partitioned. This should give you an indicator as to what is wrong.

Hi and thanks for your help, I have the spotmau powersuite professional cd which i thought may help and it loads perfectly fine but am unsure what exactly i should be doing with it to fix my problem. is the knoppix cd different to the spotmau cd ? I will purchase it anyway as it looks like a handy cd to have.

Knoppix is free!
no disk will be of use to us if we don't know how to use them!

on this site is doesn't look to hard to use the one you have ,you would concern yourself with the "Partition, Format and Clean up Your Hard Drive" section
http://www.spotmau.com/products/package/full.htm

true, i just thought you may have known a bit about the spotmau cd and could guide me a bit.
Have fixed the problem.

Have fixed the problem.

do share the fix, in case someone else comes to this thread with the same problem ,thanks ,jack

Sorry... got a bit excited that i mananged to fix it .
I used the spotmua cd and created another partition and then reformatted C drive. The windows xp cd then loaded and installed without a problem.
Thanks for heading me in the right direction with this .