Not enough Virtual Memory (paging file) XP install error

4millie
4millie used Ask the Experts™
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I am attempting to reinstall XP on a Dell system.  The first part of the install seems to go fine (reformat hdd, create NTFS partition, install files)... and then the system reboots and attempts to load Windows (Windows logo appears), but then I get a quick GUI that shows me an error window stating there is not enough Virtual Memory.  It quickly reboots my machine and continues in this loop.  Just to cover all bases, I even tried installing a new hdd to ensure this isn't a hardware problem.  Same problem occurs.

I have never seen this before.  Any suggestions?
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Commented:
Is the new hard drive SATA?
If you run the XP setup program again to the point where it displays the partition information, you can check that the partition sizes are what you expect.

If they are, then try a different XP CD if you have one. You could also run a memory tester to make sure that all is well with the RAM.

Author

Commented:
Both drives (original and new) are SATA drives.  I used a slipstreamed DVD with SATA driver included.  This same DVD was used on other systems successfully.
Can you get the computer into safe mode?

Author

Commented:
No.  Once the Windows logo shows up... and I hit f8 for safe mode, I am given the open to choose my mode (i.e. Windows Safe Mode with Command Prompt, etc.), but none of the options work.
Is the size of the partition that XP is installed on what you expected?

Author

Commented:
Yes.
Is there a setuperr.log file in the Windows directory that you can access to see what's gone wrong?

Author

Commented:
How do I access the files on this computer?  How do I get to a command prompt?

Author

Commented:
Btw:  Maxtor Serial ATA HD (500GB) controlled by AHCI BIOS
Boot the computer from the XP setup disc and choose the Recovery option.

This should take you to a command prompt, though it will be a very limited one. Typing Help at the prompt will give you a list of what's available, and Microsoft has a handy list of them here:

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/recovery_console_cmds.mspx?mfr=true

that also gives the function of each one.

If the computer has a floppy disk drive, you can copy the setuperr.log to a floppy disk and read the disk in another computer so equipped.

The fact that setup got as far as it did indicates that it can see the disk.

Author

Commented:
I agree.  It sees the drive and seems to copy the Windows files successfully.  I could not get Windows to enter Recovery mode.  Maybe I'm doing something wrong...?

I choose the option to BOOT FROM CD ROM... and then it enters 'WINDOWS SETUP,' I press R to start Recovery Console, but I get the blue screen of death (STOP: 0x0000007b).  Remember, even after switching to a new hdd and completing the exact same steps, I still get the exact same errors.
Well, if my brain had been installed when I wrote the last post I would have realised that the recovery console wouldn't have been able to see the hard disk because the mass storage drivers wouldn't have loaded... (sigh).

Are you able to slave the drive to another computer and access the setuperr.log that way?
My brain is further away than I thought... ignore the first part of my last post (duh).

Have you tried to install XP on this Dell in IDE mode and not AHCI? If it was running XP originally it probably won't make a lot of difference to its performance if it's in legacy mode, and you'd likely have a working computer...
Was it a Dell XP install disk that you used to create your slipstreamed disk?

Author

Commented:
I do not have the ability to install XP in IDE mode with this system.  This Dell Precision T3400 was originally purchased with Windows XP.  I did not use a 'Dell Windows XP' installation CD.  Instead I used our volume license install disk which was slipstreamed with SP3 and Windows Updates (since this system is isolated and has no internet access).

I did try, however, to install Windows using a Dell installation CD (without SP3 and updates)... and got the exact same problem.
Is it not possible to change the storage controller AHCI setting to IDE (or legacy) in the Dell BIOS? Are you using a RAID controller?

Author

Commented:
The choices I have are:
   RAID Autodetect / AHCI
   RAID Autodetect / ATA
   RAID On

Author

Commented:
The strange thing is, Windows XP was working just fine with the original setting (RAID Autodetect / AHCI, which is the Dell default setting).  I don't understand why 'now' it won't accept this setting (???).

Author

Commented:
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP!  Your advice pointed me in the right direction.  I have now learned that Windows XP won't install in AHCI mode!  After switching to ATA mode, the install is now working.  I also found this link (http://www.sharkyforums.com/showthread.php?t=305264) that shows you how to switch back into AHCI mode after installing XP, if you really need to).  Thanks again for taking the time to help me out!  =)
Try using RAID Autodetect/ATA.

I don't understand what's changed either, but making this change may get the computer operational again. I know that, if it works, it's only a workaround that doesn't cure the problem, but it would be a start...
Our posts crossed, obviously.

Glad it's working for you.

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