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Cannot Reinstall Windows XP on Dell Inspiron XPS 710

Posted on 2008-06-13
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Last Modified: 2008-10-21
I have a dell Inspiron XPS 710 and I recently wiped my drive to do a fresh install of Windows XP. When I try to re-install Windows XP I get a bsod. I have tried different drives and I still get the same error.

I insert the Dell Windows XP CD and after Windows finishes loading all of the drivers and tries to start up (for the install) I get the bsod.
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Question by:thewzard
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by:Wakeup
ID: 21784206
You may be getting the blue screen for a couple possible reasons.

Bad ram can cause the issue at hand.  
Overheating or overclocked CPU
Bad hard drive or corrupted hard drive
Bad optical drive or dirty CD
Bad power supply or failing power supply

you can scan your memory:
http://www.memtest86.com/

and for the overheating problem try to clean out the dust from the system, blow it out with some canned air from any office supply store or even computer store etc.  Try especially to clean out the CPU fan if you can.  
And obviously if you are over clocking return the system to normal specs.

If the drive is bad, replace it.  If it is corrupt, or damaged, try formatting the Hard drive, but do not use the quick setting.  Do the long format.  

If the CD is dirty or scratched, try your best to clean it or try a different copy of the cd.
If the system has more than one optical drive, you may try the second one to install.  

Also you may try replacing the power supply if it is indeed failing etc.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 21784213
Also are you able to see what the BSOD error message is?
If it is going by too quick, you can disable automatic restart.  
To do that hit the F8 (just like if you were to try to boot into safe mode) key during Start-Up and select option - Disable automatic restart on system failure.
LEt us know whats up!
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by:andyms56
ID: 21784366
hi m8 have you changed any of the parts inside the computer ie vid card sound card or added a usb 2 card or any other type of internal change if you have you will need to get another xp cd and use that to install as the dell one is loading the wrong drivers if you have any thing pluged in like printer scaner ect remove them befor install as well
andy
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by:nobus
ID: 21784452
is your xp install cd SP2 ?  if it is the old version -  you may have to slipstream sp2 into it
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by:torimar
torimar earned 500 total points
ID: 21784688
If your XP CD is pre-SP2, you will be required to load the SATA drivers for your HD prior to installing.
You will find those drivers on your Dell CD, or alternatively, can download them from Dell's website. Copy them to a floppy, then, when installing, wait for the message:
"Press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver"
Insert the floppy and press F6.

Unfortunately, most recent computers don't come with a floppy drive any more. In that case, it is best to proceed as suggested by nobus and slipstream SP2 into your windows install CD using nlite (http://www.nliteos.com). The website also provides a guide on how this is done.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 21785918
Well like the asker says Wiped the drive and reinstalled windows.  Sounds like it went thru to the copy process, sp1 vs sp2 issues on a blue screen not that likely.  But I suppose anything is possible, however if the dell came with sp1 to begin with he shouldnt be bsoding because he is reinstalling with sp1.  And if he's gotten to the point that the OS has copied the files, and then it BSOD'ed it's probably not a Sata driver issue.

I still think it is a hardware related problem.  Again try some of my suggestions to help troubleshoot the issues....good luck!
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by:nobus
ID: 21785934
Post the BSED and minidump please !
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by:nobus
ID: 21785935
BSOD - sorry
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by:thewzard
ID: 21787495
I'm using a regular Dell Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 OEM CD. All of the hardware inside is the same. All I did was run spinrite on the hard drives because the computer seemed sluggish. After I ran spinrite everything seemed fine so I ran killdisk to wipe the drive and start from scratch. Its not loading Windows sucessfully. Its a software issue.

When Dell replaced this same hard drive for this machine a few months back they sent me the drive already imaged. I've never seen Dell replace a drive with an image already loaded. Its obvious to me that there is a driver or something else that is missing in the Dell OEM CD that they have to load manually or slipstream into the XP install themselves.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 21787514
That doesnt make sense to me....The dell recovery Cd's should have EVERYTHING necessary, otherwise they would have had returns or recalls on those recovery cd's....ALONG time ago.

I'm in the Industry....and that just doesnt make sense.  And yes they preload the image on the drive...thats normal.

The other way you can test it is to get an OEM install disk and install windows from scratch not using the recovery disks....just the oem disk and see if it gets farther etc.

Did you try running any diagnostic tools on the system itself?  Ie: memtest or some other hardware diag tests?  Just to make sure and eliminate the possibility of being hardware?

And can you get us a snipet as to what the BSOD says?  that might narrow it down to a driver (if it is indeed software) or even a possible hard ware problem.

Also if it's not loading properly from the cd....you might double check that the CD's not scratched or dirty as well...But that does not sound like the issue at hand, but worth the shot to check it out.
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by:thewzard
ID: 21788550
I will post the error message later on today. As far as I am aware Dell doesn't have recovery CDs. I have a generic OEM Windows XP Pro installation CD that is BIOS locked to Dell PCs only. Its the same as a regular Windows XP Pro OEM CD only that it only works on Dells and already has their Volume License preloaded.

I guess I could try a regular OEM CD and see if I can get further even though I doubt it because the Dell CD is a regular OEM CD only with more stuff on it. I'll report back later.
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by:nobus
ID: 21788833
did you try another cd - maybe a wrong, or bad one
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by:torimar
ID: 21788862
So you are sure the SATA drivers aren't the problem?

It is a known fact that users trying to install Windows without preloading those drivers end up getting a BSOD.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 21789230
I work on dells all day long....Their OEM CD's are really no different than any other oem cd....it is not even locked.....or at least the several hundred Dell's I've worked with and used.  But maybe yours is different...but that's neither here nor there.  

Torimar, just curious who's saying that you get BSOD's if you dont install the sata drives using the f6 method first gets bsod's?  Usually if the Version of windows does not have the Sata drives then you can't see the hard drive to even install windows?  Just curious....never heard that before.
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by:torimar
ID: 21789314
Wakeup,

http://www.gamespot.com/pages/forums/show_msgs.php?topic_id=26135887
http://www.windowsbbs.com/showthread.php?t=72538

these are just two examples of statements referring to the problem. I haven't bothered looking further than the first page while googling "windows install BSOD" (900,000+ hits) and "windows install sata BSOD" (215,000 hits), but I'm sure lots of additional testimonials could be retrieved from there.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 21789324
Cool...will check that out...I've never seen that problem before.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 21789383
ahh....the first link ya thats strange...I've never seen that problem before.  But the second link the guy states it was his optical dvdrw drive that caused the problem (BSOD)  Once changed the optical drive he was able to get past the BSOD and get this: 'Setup did not find any hard disks installed on your computer' ....of course then you would need to reboot to the install cd and hit the f6 and load drivers etc etc.  No biggie...Just was curious never saw that problem before....

But to the asker of the question, you may be getting a BSOD also do to the same thing as the second link in torimar's post.
Just a thought.
And you may try the f6 thing and see....
let us know! :)
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by:Wakeup
ID: 21789386
Oh and I've seen the 'Setup did not find any hard disks installed on your computer'  before...just not the one in the first link sorry.
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thewzard earned 0 total points
ID: 21794557
Ok guys, I found the solution. The problem was the SATA driver. However, Dell has done a poor job of labeling this driver (or perhaps it was my negligence) on their site and thats what threw me off from the very beginning.

Apparantly this board needs to have its SATA drivers preloaded into Windows via the F6 option in order for it to recognize the drives. If you do not preload the drivers Windows will give you a BSOD and off you go.

This is what threw me off:
http://tinyurl.com/yvzwqw

Under the "SATA Drives" category there is a driver for nVidia that applies to MediaShield (what the heck is MediaShield?). Apparently this driver is for the SATA controller itself and without it Windows cannot recognize any SATA drives on the machine.

This is how I found out:
http://tinyurl.com/5nyfnh

Thanks for all of your help guys.
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