Installing XP on a DELL PowerEdge SC430 can't get past the SETUP is inspecting your computers hardware configuration screen

Installing XP on a DELL PowerEdge SC430 can't get past the SETUP is inspecting your computers hardware configuration screen, I first get the black screen and the "Press any Key to boot from CD..." message at which time I press any key then I get "Setup is inspecting your computer's configuration, please wait..." on a black screen, then I hear the CD Rom spinning and the hard drive light is on for awhile then everything quiets down and nothing else happens, if I press ENTER or any other key on the keyboard I get a single BEEP?  Help?  I need to get something on this so I can sell it and I can't get past the OS that is on it's USER NAME Authentication.  It is running Fedora which I think is a Linux system.  This is URGENT because I need to advertise and sell these desktops ASAP.  The guy who owns them just shut down his business and he doesn't know these USER NAMES because he fired his employees and they either did this in spite before leaving or to hide something.
reyeuroAsked:
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
I found some pages referencing your problem for other versions of Windows; they may be of help:

WinNT:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q156530/
Setup Stops When Inspecting Computer Hardware Configuration

Win2000:
http://www.smartcomputing.com/editorial/article.asp?article=articles/archive/r0803/16r03/16r03.asp

Error Message: The computer hangs while Setup is inspecting the hardware configuration.

Translation: During a Win2000 installation the computer may stop responding when it displays the following message: "Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration."

Solution: This problem can happen if a disk controller is configured to support removable media (such as Zip disks) as fixed drives. To fix the problem, turn off any feature that treats removable disks as fixed disks in the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). How? It differs from machine to machine. On some computers, you access the BIOS by pressing a certain key combination as the machine boots up. Look for this information on the screen during startup, or consult your computer's documentation for details.

Note that some controllers have a Boot Device Only option. Choosing this option often solves the problem and still lets the computer boot from a CD-ROM or other removable media.

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reyeuroAuthor Commented:
Well I was excited to get your response but for some reason once inside the BIOS I could not find anything resembling the disk controller you speak of, this is a DELL PowerEdge SC430.  I did try using a Windows 2000 disk, now it runs fine until you need to ACCEPT the user agreement and press f8 this is where it hangs up now.  I am really bewildered.
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BillDLCommented:
Depending on how you get on with LeeTutor's links, I would be inclined to get rid of the Linux Partition/Filing System in case this is contributing to the problem.

You don't say whether the laptop(s) have floppy drive(s).
The way I usually do this is to boot to a Win98se boot floppy and run the FDISK /MBR  command.
(program file to create a Win98se boot floppy: http://www.mbhs.edu/~jaosborn/boot98se.exe)
DOS won't recognise a Linux partition (or an NTFS one for that matter) but will report it as a non-DOS partition, so you can then use the FDISK option to "delete non-DOS partition".  Windows XP setup (from the bootable CD) should create a new windows-compatible Partition and allow you to choose between FAT32 or NTFS (recommended).

The DOS FDISK doesn't always work, so an alternative is to boot to a Knoppix CD and use the Linux version of FDISK.

References:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314458/en
http://www.debianhelp.co.uk/uninstall.htm
http://linuxgazette.net/issue55/tag/20.html
http://www.shockfamily.net/cedric/knoppix/
http://www.faqs.org/docs/Linux-mini/Install-Strategies.html#AEN412
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reyeuroAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your comments, I am still stuck at the f8 ACCEPT screen, there may be some misunderstanding though not extremely relavent but this is a DELL PowerEdge SC430 which is a desktop but has no floppy at all.  Any other suggestions; as I do not have any linux disks at all either.
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reyeuroAuthor Commented:
I believe the file system is the problem I am encountering here, will XP install on a Server?  The only problem I am having is not being able to format the hard drive, and install the os !
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scrathcyboyCommented:
XP will work fine on a server, you can also copy just the i386 directory to your own hard disk and install it from there, run C:\i386\winnt.exe to install.  Make sure all power management, BIOS antivirus detect, and anything else running in the BIOS is disabled during the install.  You might also have to reformat the disk, if it did not format correct the first time (unless an OS is already installed on it).  Did you know you can upgrade another windows with the same (retail) CD?
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jamietonerCommented:
Make sure usb emulation is enabled in the bios, and get something like the ultimate boot cd (http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/) to wipe the hdd clean then try installing xp, also if your going to sell this server with xp on it make sure to inform the customer your selling it to that neither microsoft or dell will support xp on that system.
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MereteCommented:
Hi reyeuro  as BillDL  has suggested you have to remove the Linux first, the partition created by Linux can only be removed by a Linux cd
 Before you follow the steps in this article, verify that you have a bootable disk or bootable CD-ROM for the Linux operating system, because this process completely removes the Linux operating system installed on your computer
 Also, you must have a full release version of the Windows operating system you want to install.

How to Remove Linux and Install Windows on Your Computer
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=247804

If you cannot use a Linux cd or floppy then you will have to consider slaving the hdd.
You should be able to re-format it using windowsxp computer management disc management while its slaved.
http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page
http://www.sysresccd.org/Screenshots

http://yolinux.com/TUTORIALS/LinuxTutorialRecoveryAndBootDisk.html
Knoppix gives bootable, one-disk Linux
http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-knopp.html
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venom96737Commented:
You could do all that or you could use the ultimate boot disk found here http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ do a low level format and the install will continue past the point you are stuck in now and you have a great tool for later use.
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venom96737Commented:
sorry jaime just read your post that stated to use the ultimate boot disk my bad.
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reyeuroAuthor Commented:
Okay now I have downloaded the ultimate boot cd but it doesn't boot did I do something wrong?  I downloaded it and burned it to a cd and when I put it in, it will not go to the "press any key to boot from CD" message it just goes right to GRUB
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jamietonerCommented:
did you just burn the iso file to a cd or did you use a burning program to write the image?
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reyeuroAuthor Commented:
after downloading there was two things in the download file one was a cd creator which I used to burn the cd
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jamietonerCommented:
when you browse the cd what files do you see on it?
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reyeuroAuthor Commented:
ubcd34-basic
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jamietonerCommented:
is it the .iso?
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jamietonerCommented:
if your using xp or server 2003 install this and have windows burn the iso image to a cd
http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm
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reyeuroAuthor Commented:
I downloaded this and it will not run, I am using my  laptop running xp pro sp2
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jamietonerCommented:
you did download the one for 2003 and xp sp2 because there is one for a pre sp2 machine that will not run on a sp2 machines heres a direct download link, my d810 with xp pro sp2 installed it fine
http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/download/ISORecorderV2RC1.msi
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reyeuroAuthor Commented:
Okay thank you for the ISO device, that worked and now I have the DELL booted to the ultimate boot cd with a blue/red color text screen and I don't have the slightest idea what to do next?
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jamietonerCommented:
using the hdd tools you should be able to delete the current partions that fedora was installed on, once the hdd is blank boot to the xp cd and see if you can get the setup started. also in the bios make sure the sata operation is set to auto/ata or combination.
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MereteCommented:
reyeuro maybe I was not letting you understand how linux is installed,
to remove Linux, you must manually delete the partitions used by the Linux operating system. The Windows-compatible partition can be created automatically during the installation of the Windows operating system.

IMPORTANT: Before you follow the steps in this article, verify that you have a bootable disk or bootable CD-ROM for the Linux operating system, because this process completely removes the Linux operating system installed on your computer.
Linux file systems use a "superblock" at the beginning of a disk partition to identify the basic size, shape, and condition of the file system.

The Linux operating system is generally installed on partition type 83 (Linux native) or 82 (Linux swap). The Linux boot manager (LILO) can be configured to start from: • The hard disk Master Boot Record (MBR).
• The root folder of the Linux partition.
The Fdisk tool included with Linux can be used to delete the partitions. (There are other utilities that work just as well, such as Fdisk from MS-DOS 5.0 and later, or you can delete the partitions during the installation process.) To remove Linux from your computer and install Windows:
 1. Remove native, swap, and boot partitions used by Linux:
a.  Start your computer with the Linux setup floppy disk, type fdisk at the command prompt, and then press ENTER.

NOTE: For help using the Fdisk tool, type m at the command prompt, and then press ENTER.
b.  Type p at the command prompt, and then press ENTER to display partition information. The first item listed is hard disk 1, partition 1 information, and the second item listed is hard disk 1, partition 2 information.
c.  Type d at the command prompt, and then press ENTER. You are then prompted for the partition number you want to delete. Type 1, and then press ENTER to delete partition number 1. Repeat this step until all the partitions have been deleted.
d.  Type w, and then press ENTER to write this information to the partition table. Some error messages may be generated as information is written to the partition table, but they should not be significant at this point because the next step is to restart the computer and then install the new operating system.
e.  Type q at the command prompt, and then press ENTER to quit the Fdisk tool.
f.  Insert either a bootable floppy disk or a bootable CD-ROM for the Windows operating system on your computer, and then press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to restart your computer.
 
2. Install Windows. Follow the installation instructions for the Windows operating system you want to install on your computer. The installation process assists you with creating the appropriate partitions on your computer.  

 Back to the top

Examples of Linux Partition Tables
Single SCSI drive
Device    Boot Start End Blocks  Id System
/dev/sda1  *    1    500 4016218 83 Linux native (SCSI hard drive 1, partition 1)
/dev/sda2       501  522 176715  82 Linux swap   (SCSI hard drive 1, partition 2)

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=247804
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reyeuroAuthor Commented:
Sorry about the late response I was laid up in the hospital for a little while.  So the Ultimate Boot CD did the trick, and it runs XP Pro without a hitch and DELL does support XP Pro on this desktop.  Thanks everyone.
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