Hi all, a friend of mine had some problems with her laptop and she asked me to look at it. I have formatted the hard drive and I am in the process of reinstall windows xp on it - I don't know the specs of the laptop because I dont' have it here with me at the moment, but it is more a decent notebook really. Anyway, I have formatted many computers so far and the whole process takes no longer than a couple of hours. Well, with this, I formatted the hard drive ok but copying the windows files on the machine is taking forever. It has been running for over 30 hours and it is still at 80%. I mean it's not stuck or anything, just terribily slow. It obvious that something's wrong here, and I was wondering if anybody has an idea at all. I think it is probably the hard drive that has some issues. Ah, also, being a notebook I am installing windows from a flash usb, but again, I have done this before and never had any problems or massive slow-downs

I suggest you run a disk diagnostic to see if the drive is failing. If you have around $90 to spare (the last time I checked) I highly recommend getting a copy of SpinRite. There is nothing that can touch it for diagnosing disk problems and doing maintenance/repair/recovery.

Thanks, but I have to wait till all the formatting process is finished unfortunately...I hope it won't be long! In fairness, when I started the formatting something odd had happened. The formatting screen came up with a W drive which I think was a FAT partition. I tried to format that but I had a message saying that the partition was corrupted. I didn't realize that wasn't the main partition. Then I eventually I started to format the C partition

I think it is probably the hard drive that has some issues. Ah, also, being a notebook I am installing windows from a flash usb, but again, I have done this before and never had any problems or massive slow-downs

There could be a problem with the drive as you suspect and with regard to the USB port, if the USB is being set to USB 1.0, that would explain the additional slowness you are experiencing.

Uhm, I assumed it was usb 2 because it isn't really an old machine. Is there any way I can check at glance?

I'm not necessarily saying that its not running v2.0. I just mention it because for 2.0 to work, the port and device both need to support v2, otherwise it will negotiate on 1.0.

Check the specs for the laptop and the usb device...

ok thanks, I will have a look, however this morning after about 48 hours trying to install the windows files I found this message on the screen: "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware. Please check the windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information". Now, I am trying to do the same thing again but when I rebooted I was asked which operating system I wanted to run:
Windows xp or
Windows xp
which makes me thingk that it has been installed in 2 places. There is a FAT partition W in there that the system doesn't let me format because it says that there are system files in etc, so I formatted and installed windows on partition C. Could this be the problem? Is that because it has to go on partition W? How do I get that formatted?

During the install process, you should have been able to wipe all existing partitions, assuming you performed a clean install by booting up on the windows a CD.

Regardless, sounds like there is a problem with the drive.

the laptop doestn' have a cd drive so everything is done via usb. Anyway, yes you're right, I should have been able to wipe all the partition, but this W partition (FAT) can't be deleted or formatted. If I attempt to delete it it says that there are system files and I can't delete it. If I try to format it it says that it is corrupted. I am thinking to remove the HD, put it on the docking station and try to format it from there. Then put it back and attempt to reinstall windows

You can try that. I've never had a situation where I wasn't able to format a drive (outside of the Windows OS where the OS prevented it), assuming a functional drive.

Neither have I :-)! If even that fails then we know for sure it's the HD. Still, i thought that if one partition fails, the other one (the good one) shouldn't be affected by it

Uhm, this is getting really interesting now. I have taken the HD out and used a docking station to format it (and it is a 160GB HD and came up as 150GB). It all went ok. Then I put the HD back into the laptop and started the windows installation process again, and guess what? that W FAT partition is still there, and I still can't format it or delete it!! What is going on?! IS that some sort of reserved inaccessible partition that nobody can touch?! Screenshot attached c06072f4c126c3b687d5557da4d3fddf

I have restarted the installation agian, trying to install the operating system on the C partition though, and again it is taking absolutely ages to copy the files. I checked the specs, it says usb 2.0 http://www.uktsupport.co.uk/advent/laptop/4213.htm so I really don't know what is going on...

That W drive appears to be your 16GB USB stick...

and it normal for a 160 gig drive to show as 150+gig ,160 is just to make it look good and uncomplicated to the custome

oops...I feel a bit silly now...It didn't occur to me that the usb would show up there. Well, at the moment it's at 65% of copying the windows files, so it will be another 20 hours at least based on the previous attempt, so I will see what happens when it finish and post back. Sorry for the confusion...

I recently installed a new hard drive in my old dell 1545 laptop - no problems except nerves as I am a NAG (not a geek) - just used the same discs as it came with.

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