Acer notebook won't allow Win XP to run on C: when partition is FAT32?


Aug 14, 2010
Not sure if I'm asking in the correct place here but I'll give it a go...

I have an Acer rebranded netbook and have wiped the existing partition on the hard disk.

It was NTFS with Windows XP Home, and I have deleted it and recreated as 2 partitions both as FAT32.

The netbook still has a hidden partition at the beginning of the disk called PQSERVICE which contains the restore data for everything.

So I ran this to test it, and it restored everything back to default, BUT the restoration process automatically changed the first partition back to NTFS. It didn't effect the 2nd partition which remained as FAT32.

I had considered using something like Partition Magic to convert the filesystem of this first partition back to FAT32, but am worried in case later down the line I would end up with data corruption due to this - can anyone confirm?

So scratch those ideas for now, not what I wanted. Deleted the partition again and recreated it as FAT32.

Reinstalled my own Windows XP Professional onto the FAT32 partition.

Everything was setup and installed etc. but on first reboot, I don't even get to the Windows XP logo screen - all I get is a black screen which flashing white cursor in the top left.

My thoughts:

(a) The netbook doesn't like the first partition being FAT32?
(b) The hidden PQSERVICE partition maybe has its own Master Boot Record which is over-riding the MBR on the Windows XP partition and for some reason it won't allow it to be FAT32?
(c) I have tried switching between both IDE and AHCI in BIOS as thought this may make a difference, but seems to have no effect on this?
(d) The netbook doesn't like me installing my own Win XP. This doesn't hold up though because if I install Windows 7 first, I can install XP as a Dual-Boot (on D: drive) and it works fine.

Never encountered this problem before so wondering if its something unique to Acer netbooks/laptops because of the PQSERVICE partition?

Anyone got any solutions that would allow me to use drive C: as FAT32?


Feb 6, 2012
you can use fat32 how ever if you have a high gig hard drive that's where your having trouble, fat32 cannot support high gig drives if your hard drive uses a sata connetion it needs to be in ntfs. those hard drives are almost always used in latops, net books and newer pc towers. the old hard drives can run xp with fat32 i still run fat32 on my pc tower i have 2 40 gig hard drives in there one for xp and one for extra space. but i use a external book drive for all my big file stuff
how ever my net book uses ntfs it is a sata 160 gig drive. im not sure if it 100 gig and over or less then that, but around that size you need to start using large support ntfs