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Windows XP Fatal error when reinstalling

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Please help! I have been battling with this all day already!
I am trying to format and reinstall Windows XP onto one of my laptops.
I insert the CD into the drive and then it gives me: PRESS ANY KEY TO BOOT FROM CD
The next message is: SETUP IS BEING RESTARTED ....
A blue box opens up with WINDOWS XP in the top left hand corner and in the box on the left hand side I have COLLECTING INFORMATION (checked), DYNAMIC UPDATE (checked), PREPARING INSTALLATION (checked) and then INSTALLING WINDOWS (highlighted in red and unchecked).
This runs for a while and then I receive a message which says: FATAL ERROR - An error has been encountered that prevents Setup from continuing. Setup failed to install the product catalogs. This is a fatal error. The setup log files should contain more information. Press OK to view the Setup log file.

I press the OK icon and then get the following:
Warning: Setup failed to remove the product catalog SP2.CAT.
Warning: Setup failed to remove the product catalog SP3.CAT.
Error: The signature for Windows XP Professional Upgrade is invalid. The error code is fffffdda.
They system cannot find message text for message number Oxfffffdda in the message file for syssetup.dll
At the bottom of this message box there is an icon: CLOSE
When I press this the computer starts up again and the same process is repeated over and over.

Please - is there a way in which I can get passed this error?
I cannot even get to the Windows home page or go any further with regards to the setup.
Can I do anything from the BIOS setup if I press F2 right in the beginning of start up?

I would REALLY appreciate your help in this regard as I am totally stumped!
Thanks so much.
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Sounds like you are probably trying to install Windows on to a drive that already has data on it from a previous installation.
The drive must be clean & empty to avoid that happening (if that is indeed the cause of the problem).

Boot up from the xp cd again but this time 'delete' the existing target partition first (ie the partition where you want to install Windows).
Now select the newly created "Unallocated Space" and choose "Install Windows XP Here" (or similar wording, can't remember exactly, but I've done that myself loads of times).

XP Setup will automatically create a new partition there, then it will format it, then it will install XP on it.

Never try to install Windows to a partition that already contains data, especially data from a previous OS installation.

Edited by phillipcorcoran, 21 November 2010 - 09:46 AM.

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