'Setup was unable to verify drive' Error Installing Windows XP

Published: 17th September 2009
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You might encounter different errors while trying to install or upgrade to Windows XP. These errors might occur due to logical or physical errors in hard disk, which cause data loss. Thus, to recover from such problems, you need to use your current backup or hard drive recovery that could recover the data.

To illustrate the same, consider that you try to install Windows XP on your computer, but fail in your attempts as Setup gives the following error message:

"Setup was unable to verify drive C:.

Your computer may not have enough memory to examine the drive, or your Windows XP CD may contain some corrupted files.

To continue, press Enter."

As suggested, when you click Enter to this error message, you might come across another error message:

"Setup cannot access the CD containing the Windows XP installation files."

Reinserting the disk and starting the Setup again gives the same errors, as above.


The above issue might root from any of the following possible reasons:

Windows XP is incompatible with your computer motherboard or BIOS. To determine if this is the cause, you can use Microsoft Windows Upgrade advisor located on Windows XP Setup disk that checks current hardware and software compatibility with Windows XP.

You are trying to install from a damaged Windows XP Setup CD

You are trying to install on a physically or logically crashed hard disk. To know the exact problem, use Windows XP Recovery Console to run chkdsk command-line tool. If this could detect and access your hard disk, the issue is file system corruption or MBR damage. However, if this could not, your hard disk is physically faulty.


Following solutions can help you recovering from such problems:

If Microsoft Windows Upgrade advisor reports that your motherboard or BIOS is incompatible with Windows XP, try replacing the problematic hardware or software

Try using a different Windows XP installation CD

Run chkdsk. If hard disk is not accessible, replace it and contact Data Recovery experts to recover data. However, if running chkdsk doesn't fix existing hard disk issues, try using fixmbr and fixboot commands or reformat the hard disk. For recovering data thus lost, use your backup or a suitable Partition Recovery product to recover it. These are powerful Data Recovery Tools designed specifically to scan a logically crashed disk and locate the missing data.

Stellar Information Systems Limited is one of the leading Data Recovery company providing industry's best disk recovery software and services. Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery is a safe and user-friendly recovery tool for Windows 7 RC1, Vista, XP, 2003 and 2000 systems. Stellar is also known for comprehensive and advanced recovery service for all types of hard drives through Class 100 Clean Rooms.

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