How do I start from scratch with a new drive?
November 1, 2006 5:58 AM   Subscribe

I've bought a new hard drive for my PC (running XP Home). First I formatted it, then I hooked it up as the master drive. I put in my XP install disk and it started to go through the setup process, but came up with a weird error message, something like "A previous version of Windows was not detected. Your system is not eligible for upgrading" when what I want is a fresh install! "Insert the proper CD and hit return." I hit return and just get the same message. What gives?

I must be doing something wrong, but can't figure it out. I've tried Norton Ghost but didn't have any luck with complicate matters, recently my CD burner is on the fritz, so I can't make any boot disks (though I've always got my USB drive, tho I'm guessing that wouldn't work). Any ideas?
posted by zardoz to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Best answer: You have the upgrade version of Windows XP. The installer needs proof that you also own a previous full version of Windows before it will install. Normally this is done simply by installing over a previously installed old version, but if this isn't possible you are asked to insert the install CD for the previous version before being allowed to continue.
posted by Mwongozi at 6:04 AM on November 1, 2006

Best answer: You likely have an 'upgrade only' version of Windows XP Home. It costs less than the 'Full' version. Here's a chart listing the various XP variations.

From that page:
One of the biggest questions I've received about the Upgrade versions of XP is whether they can be used to perform a clean install, where the hard drive of an existing PC is wiped out, and XP is installed from scratch. Yes, you can do this. However, at some point during Setup, XP will ask you to insert a qualifying media to ensure that you qualify to use the upgrade in this manner. This must be a retail Windows 98, 98 SE, Millennium Edition (Me), NT 4.0, or 2000 CD-ROM, Upgrade or Full version. It cannot be a rescue CD that you got from a PC maker. As long as you have this, you can perform a full install with an Upgrade version. And if you do qualify for the upgrade, but want to do this, be sure to save $100 and get the Upgrade, rather than Full version. And don't toss out that old Windows CD-ROM; you never know when you might need it.

I've always heard that when you try to install the upgrade on a blank drive it'll give you the opportunity to insert the installation disk for the previous Windows version, but that doesn't seem to be the behavior you're experiencing.
posted by owenkun at 6:05 AM on November 1, 2006

Great minds, Mwongozi. ^_^
posted by owenkun at 6:07 AM on November 1, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, fellas (ladies)? I didn't know about the upgrade version. On to phase 2!
posted by zardoz at 6:13 AM on November 1, 2006

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