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When Installing Windows Setup Hangs

Posted on 2013-06-07
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I am having a problem with a Dell Precision 390 Workstation that i am looking at. I am trying to install Windows XP on it and every time try to install it freezes at "setup is loading files (windows executive)" I have tried to run numerous diagnostic tools on this machine, including, Memtest86, Ultimate Boot CD, Ubuntu, and other tools, they all freeze during execution. The only task i was able to perform i believe was in the Ultimate Boot CD wiping out my hard disk. I don't know what to do, i tried swiping the sata drive out for another one and my power supply revved like a race car and i got no graphics, i have no other drive to exchange, but i am willing to buy a refurbished one. Can somebody please help me, thanks!

Specs

General Desktop type: Budget desktop system

Processor / Chipset: Type Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 / 1.8 GHz

RAM: Installed Size 1.0 GB Technology DDR2 SDRAM

Hard Drive: Hitachi Deskstar Capacity 80.0 GB

Optical Storage: Type DVD-ROM Read Speed 16X

Graphics Controller: Graphics Processor / Vendor NVIDIA Quadro NVS 285

Operating System / Software OS Provided Microsoft Windows Vista Business 64-bit, with Media
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Question by:Vast41
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by:John Hurst
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The computer has a SATA hard drive and XP does not come with SATA drivers.

Go into the computer BIOS and see if you can set AHCI to Compatibility Mode. That should work.

Otherwise you need to see if you can get the SATA drivers from DELL and supply them during installation.

Why XP when XP is dead?  Install Windows 7 Pro and get XP Mode from Microsoft (Free).

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:Vast41
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Go into the computer BIOS and see if you can set AHCI to Compatibility Mode. That should work.

Otherwise you need to see if you can get the SATA drivers from DELL and supply them during installation.

Why XP when XP is dead?  Install Windows 7 Pro and get XP Mode from Microsoft (Free

What will drivers do when i any kind or utility or or software i try to run freezes, why does everything freeze?
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by:John Hurst
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You need if you can get SATA drivers that you can integrate with the XP DVD (means making a new DVD). I have never done this, but others have.

The computers I use for me and clients are generally commercial grade and come with either (1) BIOS you can change or (2) earlier OS recovery disks.

Did you launch BIOS to see if you could change it?

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:Vast41
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Did you launch BIOS to see if you could change it?

I wont be able to try till later for which i will send a screen shot of the BIOS if i have a problem please keep monitoring this thread. Why does the ultimate boot CD freeze? You don't need XP drivers for that to run. All i have is windows xp i did not purchase the machine it was given to me, but the default O/S is Vista which i don't have not sure what to do!
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John Hurst earned 350 total points
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Why does the ultimate boot CD freeze?

I re-read your initial post. I was focused on your issue with XP to begin with.

If Memtest won't run, you could have a memory problem.
If Live CD's (UBCD, Ubuntu) also will not run, you could have a motherboard problem.

It is not likely to be a hard drive problem because boot CD's do not need a hard drive. That does not mean the hard drive is good, merely that it is not part of the live CD problem.

The machine is older, consumer budget model, tiny hard drive and has problems. It may be time to replace the machine if that is in the cards at all.

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:Vast41
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If Memtest won't run, you could have a memory problem.
If Live CD's (UBCD, Ubuntu) also will not run, you could have a motherboard problem.

It is not likely to be a hard drive problem because boot CD's do not need a hard drive. That does not mean the hard drive is good, merely that it is not part of the live CD problem.

The machine is older, consumer budget model, tiny hard drive and has problems. It may be time to replace the machine if that is in the cards at all.

 thinkpads_user i must fix this at all cost, should i start with the HDD? How should i proceed?
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by:John Hurst
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As I noted, live CD's not requiring a hard drive still freeze. If you can get an inexpensive refurbished HD to test, it might be worth trying. But I do not think that is your problem.

If there is more than one memory module, take them both out, try one, then try the other. Does changing memory do anything?

I am still concerned that there may be a motherboard problem.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:Vast41
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If there is more than one memory module, take them both out, try one, then try the other. Does changing memory do anything?
There are two RAM sticks I have not tried removing them I will try tonight when I get home, please keep monitoring thanks!
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by:MrWid
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HI, I had an IBM machine with similar issues. I solved it by resetting the BIOS and connecting the hard drive in another SATA socket on the motherboard. The problem went away. I suspect due to a buggy SATA channel causing errors.
There is a chance this may help.

Is the CD drive reading properly? It may be causing cumulative errors causing all installing software to fail.
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by:nobus
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i suggest  to use the minimum setup, to eliminate as much devices as you can
see details in my article : http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Components/Motherboards/A_1945.html                  (Short-overview-of-how-to-troubleshoot-bad-hardware-when-a-pc-does-not-post)

in case the disk has problems, use this one for troubleshooting :
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/A_3000-The-bad-hard-disk-problem.html
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by:Vast41
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Go into the computer BIOS and see if you can set AHCI to Compatibility Mode. That should work.
Not sure where to do that
bios
If there is more than one memory module, take them both out, try one, then try the other. Does changing memory do anything?
Unseated the ram, tried one stick got no display
HI, I had an IBM machine with similar issues. I solved it by resetting the BIOS and connecting the hard drive in another SATA socket on the motherboard. The problem went away. I suspect due to a buggy SATA channel causing errors.
There is a chance this may help.

Is the CD drive reading properly? It may be causing cumulative errors causing all installing software to fail.
Thanks MrWid i tried exactly that took out the battery for 20 minutes connected the cable in another socket still no help
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by:nobus
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try my simple setup ... will lead you quickly to the bad components
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by:John Hurst
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Unseated the ram, tried one stick got no display

It may be that the motherboard in the computer is failing.

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:Vast41
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Is the CD drive reading properly? It may be causing cumulative errors causing all installing software to fail.
Its reading i don't know about properly but you may be on to something!
try my simple setup ... will lead you quickly to the bad components
Will try but cant do anything without an optical drive
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by:nobus
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did you try troubleshooting as i suggested?  just follow the steps in the article
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by:Vast41
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,
did you try troubleshooting as i suggested?  just follow the steps in the article
Can't when the CD, DVD Drive could be part of the problem
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by:nobus
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what do you mean?  i don't understand
the process is simple : if you disconnect a device, and the problem still exists - then that device is not the cause - and you reconnect it
repeating this will quickly show your problem

you also posted "i tried swiping the sata drive out for another one and my power supply revved like a race car "  - you meant swap the drive, yes? and are you sure it was the PS you heard, and NOT the CPU fan?
i have helped with thousands problems, and never had a PS fan do that
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by:Vast41
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Is the CD drive reading properly? It may be causing cumulative errors causing all installing software to fail.
I swapped out a DVD Drive problem still exist's
if you disconnect a device, and the problem still exists - then that device is not the cause - and you reconnect it
repeating this will quickly show your problem
Not sure if you completly read my problem, but i need the DVD Drive in and the graphics card in. I tried firing it up with one RAM stick to no avail, i don't think i can start the machine with no RAM installed. Mobo battery was removed, HDD, removed, tried one Ram stick at a time, swapped out the DVD drive, what else do i attempt??
are you sure it was the PS you heard, and NOT the CPU fan?
Not sure
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by:nobus
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1-i did not post that - address the huy who did plse
2-then the dvd was swapped  - and still you have the problem, that is not the cause
3-there are other devices to remove; disconenct or disable for testing
>>  but i need the DVD Drive in and the graphics card in  <<  i know that is included in my minimum setup : cpu ,1 ram stick, video card keyboard + mouse - NOTHING else

i assume it was the cpu fan..

plse follow my directions  from the article -  did you try another disk?

what happens if you disconnect the disk, and run from a live cd ? :
http://www.ubcd4win.com/                              ubcd  Win
ftp://mirrors.kernel.org/knoppix-dvd/KNOPPIX_V7.0.5DVD-2012-12-21-EN.iso      Knoppix
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by:MrWid
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I am not convinced it is a motherboard problem if the machine was working OK with Vista and only issues turned up when trying to install XP

Does each of the programs you have tried via the CD drive freeze at the same point every time or is it quite random?

Does the restore partition still exist on the hard drive? If it does, it may be worth trying this to get the machine to some form of functionality. Try tapping repeatedly F11 or Ctrl+F11 when the machine is starting up to access this.

Is your CD drive SATA or PATA? if it is SATA, can you create or have a linux or dos USB boot stick/disc and try getting that to load without freezing? (To eliminate the SATA chips on the Motherboard from the issue.)

Can you tun RAID off in the BIOS? If you only have one hard drive, there is no need for it. XP and RAID are not best buddies. (Although this shouldn't stop the ultimate-boot-cd, but it's another thing to eliminate.)

Turn off all unnecessary On-board Devices and address/interrupt allocations in in the BIOS like Parallel, serial port, USB, audio etc.. Set the video to the minimum speed/memory aperture too.

Check the processor is firmly seated (it is petty hard for it not to be in these machines) and that the heat-sink fan on top is spinning. (Nobus covered this in his link checklist but the fan is an easy one to miss.)

Does the graphics card have a cooling fan and is that spinning too?

These are all shot-in-the-dark options, as you have already tried all the common procedures, but any one could ID the issue. I am asking about fans as overheating can cause a system to freeze a few minutes after turn-on.
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by:Vast41
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1-i did not post that - address the huy who did plse
I was addressed to the guy that posted it that was not for you

plse follow my directions  from the article -  did you try another disk?
I did, and the same thing occured freeze's at (windows executive)

what happens if you disconnect the disk, and run from a live cd ? :
Same result every CD/DVD freezes/hangs

I am not convinced it is a motherboard problem if the machine was working OK with Vista and only issues turned up when trying to install XP
I apologize, the machine came with Windows XP NOT Vista sorry for the misunderstanding

Does each of the programs you have tried via the CD drive freeze at the same point every time or is it quite random?
Same location

Does the restore partition still exist on the hard drive?
I don't know for sure can see anything

Is your CD drive SATA or PATA? if it is SATA, can you create or have a linux or dos USB boot stick/disc and try getting that to load without freezing? (To eliminate the SATA chips on the Motherboard from the issue.)
Pata no everything freezes

Can you tun RAID off in the BIOS?
No the options are in the diagram above (2013-06-08 at 04:47:50ID: 39231259)

Turn off all unnecessary On-board Devices and address/interrupt allocations in in the BIOS like Parallel, serial port, USB, audio etc.. Set the video to the minimum speed/memory aperture too.

Check the processor is firmly seated (it is petty hard for it not to be in these machines) and that the heat-sink fan on top is spinning. (Nobus covered this in his link checklist but the fan is an easy one to miss.)
Will do

Does the graphics card have a cooling fan and is that spinning too?
No it doesn't
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by:MrWid
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Thanks for your replies.

From the diagram (2013-06-08 at 04:47:50ID: 39231259) there are 3 options on the top of the screen (raid auto-detect etc.). When one is highlighted, is it possible to use the left/right cursors to move to the "raid on" option and alter this?

If the hidden partition on the hard drive exists, then it may be accessed by F11 or Ctrl+F11 as mentioned in last post. Worth a try...

Was this computer working OK before you tried to re-install XP? (By OK I mean functional as XP can get very glitched.)

Sorry about the bombardment of questions.. I am chipping away at possibilities in hope of a happy solution.
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by:Vast41
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From the diagram (2013-06-08 at 04:47:50ID: 39231259) there are 3 options on the top of the screen (raid auto-detect etc.). When one is highlighted, is it possible to use the left/right cursors to move to the "raid on" option and alter this?
Yes i can go to either one
Was this computer working OK before you tried to re-install XP? (By OK I mean functional as XP can get very glitched.)
It was working fine till the individual using it it claims she tried to change the computers name (don't ask me how cause she does not even know) then things went bad
Sorry about the bombardment of questions.. I am chipping away at possibilities in hope of a happy solution.
No please it's ok ask as many questions as you like i will answer all, i am grateful for your assistance.

UPDATE;
I was able to put the sata drive in another machine, one which i tried before and failed, and i am now able to install windows on this drive, not sure what will happen when i place it back in the original machine but it's progress nonetheless!
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by:nobus
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it will probably reboot a couple of times, and  load all drivers
so try that disk in your pc
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by:Vast41
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it will probably reboot a couple of times, and  load all drivers
so try that disk in your pc
I don't think it will load it's own drivers it's windows xp remember, but it would be nice
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by:nobus
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that's correct; (i was thinking about W7) you need first to run a repair on it, from cd :
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm            Repair install  XP
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by:Vast41
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Still wont boot to windows i get two quick beeps then this screen.

2 Beeps then this screen
I then press F-1 and i get this screen
After pressing F1I then press start windows normally and it goes back to the top image
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by:nobus
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>>  Still wont boot to windows i get two quick beeps then this screen.   <<   from WHAT are you trying to boot?

it says : disk 0,2,3,5 not found - look in the bios how you r OS disk is identiffied
also - what pata disk do you have
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by:Vast41
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it says : disk 0,2,3,5 not found - look in the bios how you r OS disk is identiffied
also - what pata disk do you have
It is identified, it's disk 1...Its a sata not pata sorry for confusion a Hitachi Deskstar
HDS728080PLA380

Disk is perfect works fine in other machine
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by:nobus
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the second screen shows it sees your disk (disk 1)  and is booting from it

that's NOT what you should do - you should run a repair from the XP install CD
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by:Vast41
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that's NOT what you should do - you should run a repair from the XP install CD
In the first screen where it says strike the F-1 key to continue, that is supposed to boot from the cd but it does not it goes to the second screen. This is not going well at all...listen the culprit obviously is hardware i need hardware diagnostic tools which i don't have, software will not help right now, any suggestions??
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by:nobus
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NO - you have to go in the bios, and set the CD drive as first boot device
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by:MrWid
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Don't lose heart Vast41, at least you've got something running with out freezing. It is still worth trying XP repair. As Nobus suggests, change the "boot Sequence" in the BIOS to CD drive first and ensure that your hard drive (HDS728080~) is in the list. Restart and when it Boots from the CD, follow the instructions, to repair and hope it doesn't freeze again.
Good luck.
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by:Vast41
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Don't lose heart Vast41, at least you've got something running with out freezing. It is still worth trying XP repair. As Nobus suggests, change the "boot Sequence" in the BIOS to CD drive first and ensure that your hard drive (HDS728080~) is in the list. Restart and when it Boots from the CD, follow the instructions, to repair and hope it doesn't freeze again.
Good luck.
The first boot device has been set at the CD Drive all along, i been doing nothing but trying to run bootable disks for a week now!

NO - you have to go in the bios, and set the CD drive as first boot device
No what? I need tools to diagnose this hardware!!
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by:nobus
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it is very odd that you can boot from numerous bootable cd's  - but not from this one
this tells me  that the cd itself is bad (scratched?) - since drive and cables do work for others
is it a burned cd?  try copying  it on another PC, and test again; or try booting fram that cd on another PC (that will show if the cd is bad)
you can also clean the cd lens
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by:Vast41
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it is very odd that you can boot from numerous bootable cd's
I said  i "set the CD drive as first boot device" all along i never said i was successful at booting up!
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by:nobus
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yes you did
you posted   "I have tried to run numerous diagnostic tools on this machine, including, Memtest86, Ultimate Boot CD, Ubuntu, and other tools, they all freeze during execution. The only task i was able to perform i believe was in the Ultimate Boot CD wiping out my hard disk."

this means you could boot from the cd's
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by:Vast41
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this means you could boot from the cd's
that's not successful booting  to me not being able to run it...nonetheless this does not help me
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by:nobus
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you should understand that booting from a device is different than running a program from it.
for diagnosing, it leads to different conclusions
>>  nonetheless this does not help me  <<  yes it does, by pointing to other causes

anyhow - can you answer the questions i asked?
1-this tells me  that the cd itself is bad (scratched?) - since drive and cables do work for others
2-is it a burned cd?  try copying  it on another PC, and test again; or try booting fram that cd on another PC (that will show if the cd is bad)
you can also clean the cd lens  - did you?
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by:Vast41
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it was a bad capacitor on the motherboard
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@Vast41 - Thanks for the update.  ... Thinkpads_User
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