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Main Hard Drive Broken

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Hello. The other day my PC started making a "ding-ding-ding" noise inside and then it froze and produced the blue screen. On resarting I noticed that the main Hard drive wasn't being shown at start up. I switched to using the 2nd Hard drive as the main one which I just used for storing films but it asks for a boot up disk which I do not have (or a cd of Windows XP).

What I would like to know is if I just buy a copy of Windows XP and install that onto the 2nd hard drive (instead of having to buy a new PC.) How do I format the hard drive to remove the films on there?

Thank you very much for the help.
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I think I have found the answer. I can just buy 2ND hand copy of windows xp and then it will prompt me to format the hard drive. Is that correct?

EDIT: Yes this is my other user name. As I have not been here for a long while I requested password information using both my emails and logged in with both as I prefer this username.

Edited by alienbreed, 10 June 2011 - 05:50 AM.

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    Grumpy Ol' MSgt (Ret.)

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Yes, you can buy a second hand XP, but it must be a "retail" version, not an OEM or Upgrade version, and there must not be another computer out there with XP installed from that disk. OEM versions are licensed to the hardware it was purchased for, and Upgrades are tied to the original license, which must be on hand.

That said, I am not sure your hard drive is toast - yet. If you can put it in another computer as a secondary (not boot) drive, or attached via an enclosure, you can run chkdsk /r on it, or run the Hard Drive Diagnostics provided by the drive's maker. You may also be able to copy off any data you don't want to lose.
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    Tech Moderator

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If your hard drive makes noises like these and you are still able to access your files - backup immediately.

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