I'm writing this for my dad (his username is 'wumply') as he cannot contact you.
Details of the problem: These 3 attempts were made using the retail version of the disc that was used by the dealer from whom my dad bought his computer. This route of repair was chosen because my dad was getting cofnstant error messages. On the first try, XP did install but NAV screwed though a 2nd. install worked. Eudora installed OK. ICQ install resulted in several error messages and he was unable to delete it and start over. It also would not send messages. Constantly, at this point, he got "Windows Explorer has encountered an error and must close." Well, he made 3 more identical attempts, reformatting each time. Each time the old partition deleted successfully and the new partition came off just fine. Each time Setup would start. BUT each time when there were 9 minutes left to go in Setup, things would hang. I waited 10 minutes here each time; the HD showed no activity; only the blurbs extolling XP kept recycling.
What can my dad try now? I will phone him with your response.