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partitions, reformatting, windows MCE, oh god

This is a discussion on partitions, reformatting, windows MCE, oh god within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. okay here's the story. i got a new PC today (it's an acer aspire, if that means anything). it comes


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Old 12-12-2006, 01:20 AM   #1
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okay here's the story. i got a new PC today (it's an acer aspire, if that means anything). it comes with MS windows XP media center edition (which is odd enough) and the HD is partitioned. 146gb NTFS, 146gb FAT32. whoever made that partition is laughing really hard right now. oh, and this cheapy little budget PC does not come with backup or installation discs. however, i did find my winXP home edition disc from my old computer, and tried to boot from that to reformat my HD and reinstall with XP home. every time i do that, however, when i get the options to repair, delete partitions, or continue, but there are no available drives to actually pick from, as soon as i press a key it gives me a BSoD with an 0x000000008E (not exact number of zeroes, but approximate) and that's only if i'm not using a USB keyboard. if i'm using a USB keyboard, the keyboard which is recognized as the system is booting up no longer works.

now, i've gone and deleted the FAT32 partition, and am reformatting it as NTFS- but here's my questions:

first of all, what was causing that BSoD?

second, how do i merge the partitions of a HD into one logical drive?

third, is it even possible to reformat at all? or if in the future if i need a complete wipe, i'm screwed?

i'm going to bed while the new partition formats so i can battle the headache i've been having for the last 5 hours. (it's just shortly after 4am now... glad i don't have classes!)
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Old 12-12-2006, 01:02 PM   #2
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in your situtation I always reccomend a wipe and erase download and run Boot n Nuke (free) from My links in my signature / then go to speciality programs

I suggest you wipe the whole drive clean ( i am assuming you dont need to recover any data on the drive)

then after the drive has been cleaned out, reinstall XP
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Old 12-13-2006, 06:55 PM   #3
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one issue you may have is with activation if the xp cd is used on another computer. ordinarily, if you had xp home on the new computer, you could use any xp home cd for the install and use the product key from the new computer - that won't work since the new computer has MCE
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Old 12-13-2006, 08:05 PM   #4
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the old computer has been retired and i no longer plan to use it.

i've determined that the problem is the motherboard blocking my being able to see any hard drives available when i run the reinstall program, which causes a crash.

i reformatted the FAT32 partition as NTFS, and have decided to just live with it until i can get a better mobo.
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:19 AM   #5
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I'm not sure I would accept that diagnosis. 0x8e errors are generally driver errors

If in fact the mobo is the issue, I would RMA it

Often times, when doing a re-install, you have to do what linderman suggested and wipe the drive first. Also, you might have to do the install with a single stick of memory if you have two sticks, disable hyperthreading, disable caching or disable speed step if any of those options are available and then re-enable after completing the install. I would try these things first before accepting things as they are.

You should be able to use a partiton manager to "merge" the partitions. There's also a dos command that may work, can't recall what it is at the moment but I'll think of it.
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Old 12-14-2006, 06:04 AM   #6
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this mobo came with the computer, and there's no way to RMA it as far as i know.

i've read the year's warranty carefully and it doesn't seem to cover this sort of thing, and we couldn't afford the 3-year warranty the store offered and the video card at the same time (this thing came without one, so we had to buy one).

i did try swapping out the RAM sticks, which did no good.

i've given up on it for now. since both partitions are NTFS i can live with that. i'm paranoid about using partition magic or other such things.
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