WinXP install issues | New hard drive

I have a 12 year old retail-purchased PC that came with WinXP Home pre-installed on the hard drive. The hard drive squeals terribly and sounds like it's going to die. I'd like to replace it asap with a fresh NTFS formatted 250GB drive that does not contain any OS software on it.
I don't have any Recovery discs, but I do have in my possession a copy of WinXP Professional Corp Edition (with a registration key) that I inherited from an old co-worker.

I'm having issues getting this WinXP cd installed onto the new hard drive.
I took out the bad/dying drive and put in the fresh hard drive. I made sure the jumpers were set to master on this new hard drive.
I've gone into the BIOS numerous times and carefully configured boot sequence so the CD player boots first, however, I keep getting the following error message:
"Insert Boot media in selected Boot device and press a Key".
I know the cd works, because I was able to launch it when the PC was configured with the bad/dying drive running in a normal working Windows environment. I'm beginning to wonder if the cd is designed as an "Upgrade" version, rather than a "Full" version, thus requiring an earlier version of Windows to exist on the new hard drive. I honestly don't know since the disc was given to me years ago by a co-worker. I also know the boot sequence is correct because I was able to get the cd drive to launch my genuine 64 bit Win7 OS software cd that I own for a different PC. Naturally I got error messages preventing Win7 from installing, but at least the cd drive recognized the cd.

So, what am I doing wrong?

Anyway, I'm at a loss to what to do and now scouring Ebay for "full" versions of Windows XP Home for purchase (which I'm not thrilled about since you won't find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy)
Btw, I have no desire to upgrade to any other Windows OS for this PC. I just want WinXP installed on a new hard drive, so I can run music software built for the XP platform.
first, the copy you have of xp may not be a bootable copy

second, corp editions do not require a registration key, using this may have your installation blocked when you try to update it.

third, is the drive a sata drive, xp will not install on a sata drive unless you have sata controllers for your pc, either slipstreamed into the cd or on a floppy disc.

fourth, try setting the jumper settings to CS, cable select not master

fifth, what is the make, model and model number of the pc??

sixth, did you save the changes that you made in bios so the cd would boot first?

seventh, set the cmos settings to default save , then set cd to first boot device, save and exit bios
HP Pavilion A350N
Intel Pentium 4, 2.8 GHz
160 GB hard drive (on the verge of dying)
The system is all IDE and PATA and uses 40-wire ribbon cable.

A few things I tried:
I have two different Windows OS cd's and both boot fine on a different PC.

I replaced the existing "Primary IDE" cable with the ribbon cable from a known working PC.
I set the jumper on the HDD as Master and the optical drive jumper as slave.
I changed boot order in BIOS with optical drive first, HDD second. Saved changes and exited.
No change.

Using the same configuration, I unplugged the cable from "Primary IDE" and plugged into "Secondary IDE" on the mobo.
No change

For giggles, on the same ribbon cable, I changed the configuration. I reversed the jumpers and made HDD as slave and the optical drive jumper as master.
No change.

Using the silly configuration above, I then plugged the cable back into "Primary IDE" on the mobo.
No change.

I corrected the jumpers to proper settings and for more giggles, I reseated the RAM. I also tried different sticks in different slots.
No change.

I inspected the IDE pins on the mobo. They look fine. Nothing bent.
I looked at the mobo and I don't see any obvious problems.
No visible corrosion (bulging or leaking) on the capacitors.
No evidence of burn marks, broken connectors, etc.

I even took an air compressor and blew out any excessive dust inside.

I installed a new cmos battery.

Here's a glimpse at the BIOS info:

BIOS Main Page:
First Channel Master: WD HDD
First Channel Slave: HP optical drive

Installed Memory: 2048 MB/PC3200
Memory Bank 0: 512 MB/DDR SDRAM
Memory Bank 1: 512 MB/DDR SDRAM
Memory Bank 2: 512 MB/DDR SDRAM
Memory Bank 3: 512 MB/DDR SDRAM
Core version: 08.00.08
BIOS Revision: 3.14 09/04/03 {I believe the BIOS is American Megatrends - at least I see a chip on the mobo with that name, but I'm not sure if that is the BIOS chip}

BIOS Boot page:
Boot Device Priority:
1st boot device: HP optical drive
2nd boot device: WD HDD

BIOS Advanced Page:
Plug & Play OS: Yes
Primary Video Adapter: PCI
PS/2 Mouse: Auto Detect
Local BUS IDE Adapter: Both
USB Legacy mode support: Auto
Onboard LAN: Enabled
Onboard LAN Boot ROM: Disabled
Onboard Audio: Auto
Onboard 1394: Enabled

I/O Device Configuration:
- Serial Port A Address: 3F8/IRQ4
- Parallel Port Address: 378
- Parallel Port Mode: ECP
- Parallel Port IRQ: IRQ7

Hardware Monitor
- CPU Temp: 41C/105.5F
- CPU Fan speed: 2234RPM
- System Fan speed: 1247RPM
Last edited:
the optical drives should not be master or slave, those settings are for hard drives, and when you install xp there should only be one hard drive installed, and it should be at the end of the cable.

see page 117 of your user manual here


You should also have all peripheals removed except for mouse,keyboard and monitor.


let me know what happens after this.
I was so close to throwing this in the dumpster.
However, I obtained a 3rd WinXP os cd.
For whatever strange reason, the first two failed to boot.
This cd is working.
So odd...
If something goes wrong, I'll be back.