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HyperHacker

XP Pro Install Stuck In Endless Loop

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I'm trying to install XP Pro SP2 on an old machine, and after it gets done with "Installing network, 30 minutes remaining", it reboots and starts the whole second stage over again (39 minutes remaining). I've tested the RAM and hard drives repeatedly, formatted and started over twice, it just never gets past this part. There's no "rebooting in 15 seconds" or whatever prompt either like in the text-mode stage. It just blanks out to a light-blue colour and reboots.

The machine is a Pentium 2 (350mhz, but I clocked it down to 233 to see if that would help), 160MB RAM, 10GB hard drive. Maybe a bit old for XP but that doesn't really explain this.

Edited by HyperHacker

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Are you sure it isn't the installation media that has a problem?

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Not necessarily. What you describe sounds like what happened when helping a friend a number of years ago who had WinME and we were installing W2000. ME went in fine, but 2K kept stopping midway through and rebooting. IT eventually turned out that the memory was faulty. It was a new machine, so my friend couldn't believe it. When I installed some good memory on it and 2K went in like butter, he was finally convinced.

The may not be what the problem is here as you mentioned you've checked the RAM, but just to be sure, I'd check it again using something like the three different programs you find on Hiren's Boot CD, memtest and Gold diagnostic. The next thing I'd try is creating a folder on the hard disk anad copying all the install files there and then running the install from the hard disk itself. For one, it is faster and two, you said the machine is older which means the CD drive is also older. I've run into to too many dodgy CD drives in customer machines to even count. I sometimes bring a new one with me when I go out on a call just because of this. It has saved me countless of times.

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Not necessarily. What you describe sounds like what happened when helping a friend a number of years ago who had WinME and we were installing W2000. ME went in fine, but 2K kept stopping midway through and rebooting. IT eventually turned out that the memory was faulty. It was a new machine, so my friend couldn't believe it. When I installed some good memory on it and 2K went in like butter, he was finally convinced.

The may not be what the problem is here as you mentioned you've checked the RAM, but just to be sure, I'd check it again using something like the three different programs you find on Hiren's Boot CD, memtest and Gold diagnostic. The next thing I'd try is creating a folder on the hard disk anad copying all the install files there and then running the install from the hard disk itself. For one, it is faster and two, you said the machine is older which means the CD drive is also older. I've run into to too many dodgy CD drives in customer machines to even count. I sometimes bring a new one with me when I go out on a call just because of this. It has saved me countless of times.

As DonDamm mentioned the problem may be bad RAM. Alternately, the RAM may be file but a related problem may exist (like slightly conductive dirt material shorting circuit).

The problem may also be a bad driver (not necessarily corrupt). If a corrupt driver is run, undesired behavior may occur. Some drivers from the Windows XP installation source do not correctly run the hardware they are meant to implement. Try removing PCI and ISA cards (except Video if it is being used), and see if the installation finishes.

Another possibility is a bad or inadequate Power Supply.

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I would look from Bart PE at setup log files and see the last lines, usually that points which component to look at- \windows\setup*.log

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Not necessarily. What you describe sounds like what happened when helping a friend a number of years ago who had WinME and we were installing W2000. ME went in fine, but 2K kept stopping midway through and rebooting. IT eventually turned out that the memory was faulty.

I had the same experience when I upgraded a umachine from XP to Vista

I also had a similar experience installing XP that thurned out

to be s driver problem. Ended up hving to disable all unnesessary MB

settings and removing all add in cards except for the graphics card.

After I was able to install xp and then enabled each iten and install

the driver. I think it ended up being a network card, but not 100% sure.

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I think there is actually something wrong with the machine. Windows 98SE installed, but freezes at startup. If I reset when it freezes, it gives me the normal/safe mode/etc menu the next time, and just choosing normal mode, it boots up fine. O_o

The DVD-ROM is brand new. I've run Memtest86 several times; this did reveal that one of the RAM slots was faulty which was preventing the installer from copying files. Once I removed that stick it copied the files just fine and Memtest86 ran for 16 hours without reporting any problems. The power supply seems to be doing fine as reported by both the voltmeters in the BIOS settings menu and a multimeter I attached to the 5V and 12V lines. The hard drive has undergone a write test and several full formats without any errors reported, and neither the Windows installers nor any of the text-mode programs I've been using (e.g. to test the RAM and disks, copy files) have acted abnormally.

Copying the XP setup files to the hard disk didn't work. When I run winnt.exe it claims it can't find a big enough (just under 600MB) hard disk, even when the setup itself is on a 10GB FAT32 partition.

The only PCI card is a network card. The board has onboard video, sound, and USB. Are there any other tests I should try that might catch some RAM or hard drive errors the others missed? Could the CPU be faulty without everything else going haywire? I can disconnect the USB, but the mouse port is also on that board.

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I would try and change the RAM..

Last week i tried installing XP. Its stopped when copying files.

With 2 different cd rom drives and cd's.

Changed the ram, and it all worked afterwards :)

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