Windows XP will not install onto machine


Somewhat eXPerienced
24 Dec 2001
I have recently taken in a computer from a friend. He had a bad virus. I gave him my thumb drive to be able to back up some of his files so that I can reformat and restore Windows, as there was no way to remove this virus... however when he put the thumb drive in, the virus destroyed a system32 file and Windows wouldn't startup anymore.

Since then I've tried installing Windows XP onto his machine... but everytime during the system setup phase where it copies the system files to the hard drive, I get random messages about "Cannot copy file..." and it gives me options to contiue without copying file, cancel setup, or retry the file... again, this is on the blue screen portion of setup, and all the messages that give you those options take up the whole screen.

I contacted Dell for technical support, ultimately after spending maybe... 3 hours on the phone with them, the technician wanted me to go to and get a bootable iso (really couldn't find one), and he said we would use the "debug" command with like 7 steps to remove everything from the hard drive.

Downloaded a utility from Seagate to do a low level format. After doing the quick format, I was able to install windows, but windows update failed twice while it was running, and then after it updated I got a BSOD and had to reformat again... the long 6 hour low level format that writes all 0's to the drive didn't work either, windows xp failed to install... also tried my disk, as well as his, and both would fail at different parts copying files.

Also, dell's diagnostics failed on the memory ONCE but I could not re-create it... sorry for the rant, just wanted to give you all the details.

Any ideas?
Zombie, you were absolutely correct in the memtest error. This is what bothers me, that was my initial instict was that it was a memory error... I've been through this before! But despite my instincts, I spent so much wasted time with Dell it was scary... they don't even listen to what you already did, everytime you call back they want you to do a full format and try to reinstall.

Ran Memtest (Now it's great to have a bootable CD!), got hundreds of thousands of errors... took out one of the sticks, the errors stopped. Replaced the stick I took out with the other one, they all came back! Fortunately I called Dell back and said here is the problem, I'm not doing anything else, send me more memory.

The question!!!

Is it possible for a virus to be so bad that it can literally destroy sticks of memory?
i have had this problem before, and it was actually the CD. it was scratched. Burned a new copy from an ISO and it worked fine.

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Also Hi EP and people. I found this place again while looking through a oooollllllldddd backup. I have filled over 10TB and was looking at my collection of antiques. Any bids on the 500Mhz Win 95 fix?
Any of the SP crew still out there?
Xie wrote on Electronic Punk's profile.
Impressed you have kept this alive this long EP! So many sites have come and gone. :(

Just did some crude math and I apparently joined almost 18yrs ago, how is that possible???
hello peeps... is been some time since i last came here.
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Rest in peace my friend, been trying to find you and finally did in the worst way imaginable.

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