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While I typically stick with Windows, every once in a while I'll try a new flavor of Linux. While recently installing Sabayon I accidentally erased my XP partition. No biggie, I back up my documents to an external HD (connected to my Mac that I access over my home network), so reinstalling Windows isn't a problem, just a big waste of time. So I try Sabayon, decide I don't like it and go to reinstall XP. I pop in the CD and reboot. Per usual, it tells me to press any key to boot from the CD. I do. Then it tells me it's checking the hardware configuration. It does this for about two seconds, then the screen goes blank and nothing else happens. The drive doesn't spin up anymore, nothing else is displayed on the screen, nothing. I tried switching boot drives from my DVD drive to my DVD+R drive - no luck. Granted, this is the first time I've attempted this particular operation on this computer, which I just recently got from my father after he decided it wasn't powerful enough for Vista (whatever), but I've done it dozens of times on other computers. Anyone have any ideas what might have happened?
 

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This also happened to me after trying MEPIS, it seems that Windows XP setup doesn't like the way partitions are laid out when using a linux-based partition manager (eg: qtparted, gparted and cfdisk), Boot from a MS-DOS based floppy, wipe all partitions (delete the partition table - back up data first) and then boot with the XP.

In my case, my C: was a FAT32 drive, so I booted a MS-DOS floppy, did fdisk /mbr to remove GRUB and setup worked. But if you don't have any valuable data on the hard drive, the easiest way is to destroy the partition table (or write 0s to the beginning of the drive) and it will work again. Then partition from Windows XP setup or DOS FDISK.

You can a bootdisk for MS-DOS from BootDisk.com
 

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I had same problem, my soloution to it went as follows.
find out what MFR hard drive you have, go to their site and download their utility software. In my case it is Seagate, so I downloaded the Disk Wizard utility, burned it to a CD, and booted the machine from it. Selected Utilities, then zero-filled the first 2% of my drive. this completely wipes out the MBR and partition tables. Then restart computer with the XP install CD and bingo! NO MORE BLACK SCREEN!. It would appear a corruption in the MBR or maybe partition table, including over writing it with say Linux lilo or grub. Seems XP doesn't like that and complains with darkness!
 
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