XP Home Cannot Find Drivers

Hi All,

Never seen this before. XP Home notebook.
Cannot install drivers for ANY new hardware installed, add new hardware wizard just fails.
It wont even pick up drivers off the internet.
I have replaced the drivers.cab file.
It wont recognise external USB CD (internal one broken)
It wont recognise USB Key
It wont recognise Externall USB Hdd.

Any suggestions? I would do a repair install but until i can get it so recognise the external CD then i cant.

Thanks
Sparky
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sparky1977Asked:
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sparky1977Connect With a Mentor Author Commented:
Ok i managed to fix it!!
The physical hardware of the CD Rom drive was faulty so repair installs etc were not an option.
The actual problem was that the path to the inf folder in the registry read...

SYSTEMROOT%\system32\inf

spot the issue... with the missing % which should make it %SYSTEMROOT%\system32\inf windows was unable to find the file path, the only way i figured this was pointing the hardware wizard to the inf folder!
Why this would change i have no idea.

Thanks for all your help though!
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NeuromCommented:
Have you tried a System Restore?
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evilsiCommented:
Hi,

1. Check the bios for a setting 'pnp operating system installed'
2. check in device manager when new devices are plugged in (device manager should pop up a notification) if not check pnp service running in services.msc
3. if 1 and 2 dont work, do a bios reset let xp boot at least twice aferwards to detect any changes.
Hope this helps..
si.
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hunartCommented:
1) Do you have XP SP3 installed in your system?  If you don't, that is the first thing I would suggest that you do.  Please read this article from Microsoft http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822603.  There were issues with the USB from the initial release of XP.

2) Does your system hardware support both USB 1 and USB 2?  If your system does not support USB 2, plugging an USB 2 devices might not always function properly, especially when you don't have the latest Service Packs from Microsoft.

3) When was the last time you managed to plug in an USB device that is working with your system?  Have you made any changes lately?  Adding new software program or other devices other than USB?

Please get back to us and we will try to help you.
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rindiCommented:
A repair installation is done by booting your PC from the XP CD. From your explanation it looks like Windows can't see the USB CD Drive, that doesn't mean that your PC won't. Have you gone into your BIOS settings and made sure you have set the boot order to boot first from your USB CD Drive? Or doesn't your PC have an option to boot from USB? If there is no such option, and your PC has a floppy drive, then you can boot with a PLoP bootmanager floppy, which whill then show you the USB Drive from which you can continue booting. Make sure you have connectet the CD drive to the PC's internal USB ports, as those of a PCMCIA USB card won't work. If it uses USB 1, then be prepared for long waits, as that is a slow interface.

http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager.html#download
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tsreeCommented:
I think your drivers are corrupted. XP have a fail safe mechanism. All drivers are placed in driver folder. In addition to this there is a reserve file for all this driver files. If any of driver get corrupted XP will replace it from its reserve pool. Every file on XP have some signature. If any of its essential file is replaced it may affect  overall. I suggest you repair your XP installation because you have multiple problems with drivers and hardware. Place XP cd in drive reboot. Select repair when prompted. Don't worry, in repair your program files an personal settings won't be erased. XP will check corrupt files and replace only them. If you have panky further question please contact me. Thanks.
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David WallCommented:
If system repair which I think someone has mentioned doesnt work.
I would sugest doing a repair install, as detailed here http://michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

This is lightly different to what tsree suggests above.

Good luck.

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David WallCommented:
Ignore my comment I missed the last line of your question apologies.
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Reece DoddsCommented:
Boot into Safe-Mode (pressing F8 after BIOS splash screen) and then use device manager to uninstall ALL usb devices.  You know you have done this correct when USB Devices disappears from the list.
Restart the computer and let it boot into normal mode.
The system will now reinstall all the USB devices.  Make sure you have your WinXP install disc handy in case the system needs to look for drivers for standard usb controllers (found in the i386 directory).
I have had to do this on 3 HP notebooks recently where the built0in USB webcam causes the PnP and Driver Install to go bananas.  The above fix worked each time.
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