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Windows XP Setup unable to read disk

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I am helping a friend as her computer refuses to load Windows.

The first thing I did was check that her files were in tact - I used a Acronis Rescue disk and was delighted to see that the files are all there, so I helped her to back them up to an external hard drive (as she hadn't done that recently).

I then did a disk scan using Linux Mint and it said it found 3 bad sectors and then said the disk had "Failed" the read test, so I told her the hard drive was faulty and would need to be replaced as soon as possible and then Windows reinstalled.

Despite the disk error, which seemed minor as it only mentioned 3 bad sectors, I thought I could re-load Windows XP for the time being so she could use it for a little while, until she could afford the repair or to replace the computer.

However, for some reason Windows setup can see the hard drive with the correct size, but says it's "unknown" and says that all the space is free (ie there are no files on it !)

But this is clearly wrong as both Acronis recovery disk and Linux Mint could both see the entire contents of the drive.

How comes Windows XP Setup says the drive is unformatted and empty ... when the other 2 programs say the file structure is perfectly in tact ??

I do hope you can help me.

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Boot the XP Install disc again and enter R at the first opportunity to go to the Recovery Console.
Can you see files on the C: drive?

Type chkdsk /r and press Enter.
Let it run to completion.

Not sure if this does the same as Mint's scan disc, but it will fix any file system errors and detect any more bad sectors.
Worth a try. If it doesn't help then replace the hard drive (probably the best route to go in any case).
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