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Zero fill the hard drive with the hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic utilities. All the major hard drive manufacturers have them available on their websites in the form of bootable isos. After a zero fill, you should be able to partition and format the drive with the windows installation cd.
You can download and burn a copy of Parted Magic or GPartedLiveCd and use it to partition for XP. I sounds like you have less than a full installation CD for XP. If you have some kind of an XP restoration CD, it may expect to find a partition already prepared for it.
You could of course try some version of linux other than Fedora 9, Fedora 10, Ubuntu, openSUSE 11.1; there are many. Good Luck
Why can't you format with the Windows installer? You should boot the Windows installation CD, and when it gets to the part where you choose the partition to install on - select the Linux partition and delete is (I think you press "D" to delete). After you have free space - create an NTFS partition on it (I think you press "C" to create a new partition).
Let us know where you get stuck with that. There should be no problem to format an NTFS partition with the Windows CD. If you say you can't format then I'm sure you did something wrong, but there should be no need for GParted or other tools (Windows should contain everything you need to install it from A to Z).
It happens not infrequently that when you partition with linux partitioning utilities, a windows installation cd will subsequently refuse to partition or format the hard drive. I've personally had this happen several times. A zero fill is the only solution that I found that works when this occurs. You can try using gparted or Parted Magic, but I don't think windows will format or install on the partitions created with those tools. You generally need to use native windows partitioning utilities when installing windows.
You need to determine the company that manufactured your hard drive and go to their website, download the iso for the hard drive diagnostic utilities and burn it as an image to a cd-r - just like you do for a linux installation cd. You then boot with the cd and run the diagnostic zero fill utility on the hard drive. That wipes the hard drive by writing zeros to every sector of the drive leaving it in the same condition as when it left the factory.
First: See to it that your xp install cd is in good condition.
Second: Remember, microsoft installers often don't see other partitions but only dos, fats and ntfs. Chances are, if you have not yet deleted the former linux partitions they become invisible when presented to microsoft installer. So you have to delete it first using other partition handlers like gParted or any. That, granted you can reach the point of partitioning along the microsoft installer. Or, if your installer is a "retail" not an oem clone, there is a trick with press "r" that drops you into the recovery console --dos prompt-- there you can issue fdisk and wipe the entire hardrive. But.....
Third, it seems you have a driver problem since you've said the screen goes out somewhere after loading the drivers at install-boot-up. I have been there before and I assure you microsoft is really really poor at that. What I did was to recreate my own xp installer so that it loads the driver version of my hardware at boot up but this entails some technical digging for you, which, personally, I advise you not to waste your time learning Redmond petty tricks. Time is better spent in learning opensource software.
If you are not comfortable with Fedora you can try Linux Mint. This distro is very easy to use, aside from being elegant in looks. If still mint wont do, you can download the latest Absolute Linux, this installs and runs even on a junk pc, very light and fast.
But never ever go back to xp: if you have not yet developed that bad habit try not to. I was there since msdos version 2 and have used almost every release until server 2003 and I am full of regrets why oh why didn't I take the red pill of Linux soon.