XP Pro over XP Pro



Hi Guys,

Ive picked an old computer and I want to load XP Pro straight over the existing XP Pro.

I dont want to save any of the existing data, indeed I want a completely clean system.

I ve tried to reformat C: drive with no success.

Any ideas guys.

Thanks And Regards,


Welcome to the forums Norm.

Look in the bios of the computer and make sure that the boot order is set to use an optical drive as the first option for booting, and the hard drive is second. How you get into the bios differs from one type of computer to another, but with many you hit the Del key repeatedly as you are starting the computer up until you enter the bios. If its a Dell or HP, it might be one of the function keys instead of the Del key. When you have the boot order set correctly, make sure to save and exit the bios. Exiting the bios will restart the machine, so have the XP install disc in the optical drive and you’ll be set to go.

Once you have the machine set up to look for the optical drive first, it will boot straight into the install disc for XP. It will load files and eventually show you the existing hard drives that are available, and the partitions on them. Select the partition that has the existing XP installation and do a quick format on it. When that is done, you can install XP in that same partition.


Hi Kerry,

You are a genius, went like a dream…!!! Thank you so much.

Now of course, I need drivers, but this particular computer is not connected to the net.

How do I go about getting the right drivers, burnt on to a disk…?

Thanks again Mate,



You’ll likely need a floppy drive, by the way, IF the hard-drives are SATA.

If you’ve only got IDE hard-drives, then no, you should be able to load XP.

There can be four important driver-sets to get OTHER than the SATA Drivers.

  1. The Motherboard Chipset
  2. The Video Drivers (if the motherboard has built-in video, then these will probably be part of the “Motherboard Chipset” drivers)
  3. The LAN - network adapter - Drivers (these also may be part of the motherboard’s chipset driver collection)
  4. The Audio Drivers (and again, might be part of the motherboard’s chipset drivers)

Obviously, from the computer you wrote these messages on, you have another computer with internet access, so you should be able to find those drivers because of the Computer’s Brand Name, or the Motherboard Maker-Model Number, Video Card specs, etc.

Generally, “Motherboard Chipset Drivers” cover the CPU, the IDE Storage, and PCI-PCIx handling, and memory.

They may offer separately-installed drivers for Video, but often will have separate drivers for LAN and Audio.

I’ll be interested to hear how this worked out.


Just google all the hardware id’s you don’t have installed yet.

My advice: Get the LAN to work and do most of it via Windows Update.


Sata drivers from the floppy aren’t needed for an XP installation if you are running the sata controller in IDE emulation mode (no AHCI). And you can always slipstream the sata drivers into your installation disc. Nlite used to be very popular for this. I did this for my installation disc and SP3 a long time back, so I never think about the limitations of XP and sata.

Christine and Mr. B should have you covered on drivers. If this computer isn’t an OEM build, with a specific model number, look on the motherboard for a make and model number silkscreened onto the board. That should be enough of a starting point to track down the drivers using a Google search.