XP install fails

Dell / Dimension 8300
February 8, 2009 at 14:42:03
Specs: Windows XP MCE 2003, Pentium 4, 1GB, 2.8GHz
Here's my problem:

I have a Dell Dimension desktop on which Windows began to encounter constant glitches of one sort or another. Not long before these issues began, I had created a drive image using Paragon Drive Backup.
When the issues really got out of hand (XP locking up suddenly with no way to fix except hard reboot, etc.), I could find little help online specific to my problems, so I decided that since I have that backup, I'd just do a clean re-install of XP (MCE 2003 - full, not upgrade) and then restore from the backup.

However, every time that I run the XP installation from the CD at start-up, it gets through the point where it copies files to the hard drive and reboots, but when it restarts, nothing else happens. The screen just goes black and stays that way until I start over again.
Now, the issue has advanced because the drive's been reformatted and the only way that I have to regain all of my files and programs is via the backup (on external drive)... but no XP, no backup.

I went into the BIOS and confirmed that the boot sequence has the HDD as first priority, and I've even tried removing the CD before it restarts. Nothing so far has worked.
Just for laughs, I decided to see if my copy of Vista would go through the entire install, and there were no issues at all, except that a couple of devices on this machine are not Vista-compatible. I tried with Ubuntu, as well, and also had no problems.
I've tried full and quick formats, and run CHKDSK (when Vista was installed). There are no driver issues; the sound and graphics cards are the only hardware requiring additional drivers.

As it currently stands, my PC has been re-formatted once again and has no OS on it. The XP install has again made it through the first reboot, and the machine just sits there taunting me with its blank screen and occasionally flashing LED.

So... what's my next step?


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#1
February 8, 2009 at 15:14:45
"I went into the BIOS and confirmed that the boot sequence has the HDD as first priority"
You don't want tyhat-you want to set the CD Drive as the first boot device, or at least to boot BEFORE the HDD.

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#2
February 8, 2009 at 16:07:00
Insert the CD and reboot. When the Dell screen comes up, you should have the option of entering setup, or pressing F12 to bring up the boot menu. Arrow down to the CD drive and press Enter. Then, you will be prompted to press any key to boot from CD. That should work.

Just out of curiosity, did you wipe out the hidden recovery partition on the drive?

"So won’t you give this man his wings
What a shame
To have to beg you to see
We’re not all the same
What a shame" - Shinedown


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#3
February 8, 2009 at 17:16:33
The first several times that I tried, CD was the 1st choice for the boot sequence. I changed it later as one suggestion from another forum.
Another suggested that it could be a graphics driver problem and that I should try to boot in safe mode. When I attempt to access the OS options at start-up, I get this message:
"A disk read error occurred. Insert a system diskette and restart the system." So, I'm not able to boot in safe mode.

I'm confused by the suggestion to boot from CD. I can do that, but it just comes to the XP install menu. I've been through those steps about a dozen times. Is there another choice that I should make?

"Just out of curiosity, did you wipe out the hidden recovery partition on the drive?"
--I wouldn't know. I didn't intend to do this. I have re-formatted the drive several times - full and quick.

I've also tried to repair from the install menu, but it eventually gets to a prompt for a password and I don't have one (never assigned one). Leaving it blank does not work.


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Related Solutions

#4
February 9, 2009 at 06:19:42
Read this:

http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore...

"So won’t you give this man his wings
What a shame
To have to beg you to see
We’re not all the same
What a shame" - Shinedown


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#5
February 9, 2009 at 16:42:45
Anyone able to find ptedit? Links that I find appear to be dead.

I think I'm on the right track toward a solution...

**EDIT**
Found it. Finally.

But I cannot run it. I start DOS, switch disks to one with ptedit, run ptedit, wait several moments, and then back to blank screen.


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#6
February 10, 2009 at 16:14:57
Did you check the link I suggested? Also, there is no DOS in Windows XP.

"So won’t you give this man his wings
What a shame
To have to beg you to see
We’re not all the same
What a shame" - Shinedown


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#7
February 10, 2009 at 16:27:42
My last reply was to you regarding that link. I thought it had put me in the right direction, however everything that I try just brings me back to the blank screen.

I created a DOS boot disk, as suggested in the link you sent, and followed those instructions accordingly. That's what I meant.

The dsrfix will not work because of the "fatal" issues.


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