XP repair in endless reboot / restart loop at 9 minutes remaining - 'configuring components'
Posted on 2011-10-14
I was running XP home with SP3. I had a motherboard failure while the PC was in use. I was unable to get another identical one but I have at least been given another motherboard. My goal is to repair my current installation with the new motherboard. I have a lot of programs I use, and it took a long time to get them all configured and so on. I really, really, really do not want to reinstall windows from scratch and have to reinstall all those programs so being able to repair my current installation is a high priority.
Luckily I have some spare hard drives to play with. I had lost my original XP disc and product key some years ago, and it was an upgrade version anyway. I bought a new Dell OEM XP home disc with SP2. On one of my hard drives that has an XP pro installation I used Nlite to slipstream a CD with SP3 and created an 'attended' installation.
On an old, smaller, hard drive that had the same original XP installation that had previously been used on an even older motherboard (I had progressively upgraded to larger hard drives and faster motherboards) I tested the Nlite XP disc and it repaired the installation perfectly. Using it on my current hard drive it got all the way to 'configuring components' with the progress bar right up to the right hand side, and said '9 minutes remaining'. Then the screen went dark for about 15 seconds while there was still quite a bit of disc activity going on, and then rebooted, with 'setup is restarting'. It has done this endlessly.
I've tried three different graphics cards: the latest one that does very occasionally crash with an 'ATI2DVAG..something' error, the previous one that never crashed and for which the drivers were still installed, and the onboard VGA graphics. With the onboard graphics, once windows is passed the windows logo with the running green bar when it's starting up my LCD monitor says 'out of range' and goes black, so I can't see what the hell is going on. This may be because my previous installation had a higher resolution than the onboard VGA graphics card may be able to cope with, so I've been forced to use an external graphics card. but with both graphics cards it does the same thing. When doing the repair installation on the very old hard drive, I had previously had a lower resolution screen configuration and it was able to use the onboard VGA without problem.
installing the hard drive as a secondary drive, I looked at NTBTLOG.txt and it just gave a list of drivers it had installed or not installed. Maybe I stopped the boot at the wrong place and it was giving the results of the reboot before I stopped it rather than the one that failed, I'll check that out.
Can anyone shed light on this kind of behaviour though?