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Windows XP Pro - Setup crashes/hangs after "Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration"

Posted on 2005-03-05
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Okay, I'm baffled....

System:
Asus P4S8X Motherboard (latest BIOS Installed)
P4 2.53Ghz
1GB DDR 3200
ATI 9800 Pro All-In-Wonder 128Mb
SB Audigy (Removed at present)
Belkin 54G Wireless PCI Card
Crappy 56k Moden (Removed at present - may not go back!)
LG DVDRAM (On IDE PRI Master)
LG DVDROM (On IDA SEC Master)
160GB Maxtor IDE on Promise FastTrak 376 RAID controller
160GB Seagate Barracuda SATA (Removed at present - New drive with no data on it)

History:
I used to have a GeForce Ti4200 video card and recently upgraded to the ATI. The plan was to also replace the noisy Maxtor with the Seagate. I also bought a new case (because the airflow in my old one was awful) and I've transferred everything across.

Problem:
If I boot up from the original Maxtor (Windows XP Pro SP2) everything works fine... no problems, no crashes. But ideally I want to install the Seagate drive and install Windows XP on it. So I installed the drive, removed the Maxtor and inserted my Windows XP Pro CD into the DVDRAM drive, it picks up the CD and starts to boot. The problem is that after seeing the "Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration" message, the screen goes blank and the PC hangs (completely, no Ctrl-Alt-Del, Keyboard clock.. anything). I took out the Segate and put the Maxtor back in and the same thing happens.

I've now reverted pretty much all the system config back to the way it was (although I've taken out the soundcard and modem), but I've replaced the ATI with the old GF4 Ti4200. Funny enough I've now also put the FDD back in the system (I didn't bother initially transferring it over as the days of the FDD are over as far as I'm concered!), and now Windows XP setup gets about 1 sec further (I get the blue setup screen with "Windows Setup" but nothing else... it hangs like before.

I've created a bootable CD and ran MemTest86 and it passed with no errors, I've reset the BIOS to defaults but it made no difference, I've reset the array config in the Promise 376 Setup, but no difference. I've looked up several articles on the Internet and can't find anything that exactly matches this.

I can't see it being a H/W problem, as like I said before... I'm actually running Windows XP on the system right now, with no errors... I just can't reinstall it from the CD (Incidentally, I've tried 2 difference Windows XP CD's, of which both are orignials and known to be good).

If there's anything else I can tell you, please ask! Thanks for looking.

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Question by:mitchet
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by:andymsmith18
ID: 13466409
when the computer starts with the cd do you load the drivers for the sata hard drive during the first part of the boot watch the screen for a masage about loading drivers you need to have them on a flopy disk so windows setup can find the hard drive
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by:mitchet
ID: 13466556
Hi andymsmith18, Thanks for posting your comment. Unfortunately setup doesn't get that far. I've got the drivers for the Promise Controller but it crashes before it gets the F6 for additional drivers screen. I've since tried disconnecting all HDD's in the PC and run setup (expecting it to tell me there's no drives!), but it still crashes right at the start of setup.

I've now put all the new H/W back in the PC and it's still the same. If this was happening to anyone else, I'd say it definately sounds like a hardware issue... but I can't accept that as the system works fine when booting up from the Maxtor drive. Also worth mentioning is that I've installed Windows XP on this system loads of times before (using the same CD's), in fact I think it was only reinstalled about 2-3 months ago!
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andymsmith18 earned 1500 total points
ID: 13467375
ok next try swaping the dvd rom and ram drives make the rom the master and boot from that all so remove all but one of the ram chips and all pci cards and any usb ports during setup
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by:mitchet
ID: 13471941
Thanks for your comments Andy. I've eventually sorted the issue now... and in all my years in IT, I've never come across this one!
The BIOS version was 1005, dated the 23/10/2003... which is also the latest version available. Since the PC worked fine apart from installed Windows XP (and it crased right at the begining, during NTDetect) it looked (to me) like hardware wasn't an issue. So, since I tried everything else, I decided to re-flash the BIOS with the same ver 1005 and for some unknown reason, it's thankfully fixed the problem and I'm currently installing XP at the moment. Very odd since I also tried clearing the BIOS previous to this and it made no difference!
Presumably somewhere along the lines, the BIOS must have been ever so slightly corrupted I guess. I can't think of anything other than that?
Thanks for your help in suggesting things so promptly, as such I've given you the points on that basis.

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by:andymsmith18
ID: 13472261
thanks for the points i am glad you got it fixed yep it may have bean a damaged bios as the flash fixed it its the most likley cause
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