Blank screen after "Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration"

Posted on 2005-02-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-08-18
I've just upgraded my PC and moved the hard drive across from my old PC. When I switch the computer on, Windows does not start (not even in safe mode), it just reboots when Windows XP starts to load.

So I thought I would try reinstalling Windows on the top of the existing version, but when I boot from the Windows XP Pro setup CD, I get as far as "Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration", and then nothing,  just a blank screen.

I've tried a different CD, but I still get the same thing. And I can load and install Linux with no problem.

Any ideas?
Question by:jpneal01
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LVL 17

Accepted Solution

Eagle6990 earned 2000 total points
ID: 13424071
I have a friend with the same issue.  I'm not sure what the issue is with this yet since he didn't use any of my suggestions but I would be willing to bet that if you unplug your IDE harddrive, setup will run just fine.  I'm not sure if this is a controller issue, or a firmware with a HD issue...

I had this issue several months back on a PC at work and after we switched to new hard drives, everything was fine.  We were able to RMA the drives and all was fine.

You might also try updating the BIOS on your motherboard to see if that helps at all.

Author Comment

ID: 13427324
Yes, you're right. When I unplug the IDE hard drive, setup runs  fine.  I've als o got an IDE to Sata adapter, and I've even tried connecting the IDE drive as a Sata drive, but still it freezes.

I'll try updating the BIOS.

Another idea I had was to try a more recent Windows CD, one with SP2 already installed. Do you think this might be more compatible with recent hardware? The problem is, I don't really want to buy another copy of Windows when I have already paid for one.
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 13429889
In the two cases I've seen this it didn't matter if it was XP SP1, XP SP2, Win2K, or Win98, they all had trouble loading.  In my friend's case, he had Windows installed on it months ago, ran Linux for a couple months and then tried to go back to Windows and that is when it screwed up.

Got any HD diagnostics you can run on it?  Drive under warranty at all?

Author Comment

ID: 13457856
Thanks. I've upgraded the BIOS and it has solved the problem.
LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 24258694
I have installed hundreds of instances of XP on dozens of different configs but it was only today that I had this problem.  After four hours of swapping everything bar the motherboard and hard drive, updating motherboad BIOS and updating the firmware of the optical drives I had to hand I tripped over this post.

The most annoying thing is the hard drive and motherboard both seem to be fine except for this issue!  :)

Motherboard:  GA-8SIML-H
Hard disk:  Maxtor Fireball 3
OS:  Windows XP Pro with SP3 slipstreamed

Sadly unlike jpneal01 a BIOS update failed to resolve the issue and in the end I have simply swapped the hard drive.  (the old drive is a little meagre by todays standards in any case!)

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