Help Please! Windows XP will not reinstall/boot from CD! :(

By eoc
Aug 31, 2006
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  1. First of all, I would like to introduce myself as I have been asked. It is great to find a forum with so many well informed people on it.

    And perhaps one of you might just be able to save my skin on this one! I am fairly desperate at this stage! I would really appreciate it if somebody could please take the time to have a look at the problem and what I have tried below.

    Basically, my Dell Inspiron 8200 laptop will not boot up in any way. The other day, I downloaded an update for Azureus which was all very normal as I have Zonealarm, up to date McAfee etc. Soon after, my laptop crashed and it would not restart properly. It gets to the Windows XP screen where the blue line moves across for a while and then it stops and hangs.

    I have tried the following:

    1, Reboot in Safe mode. This does not work as a lot of lines of text appear on the screen(eg. Opening C:/....system32/....). After a short time, it stops moving and nothing else happens.

    2, Reboot using previous settings. Again it goes to the Windows screen and then hangs.

    3, Reinstall Windows. I inserted the Windows XP Reinstallation CD and expected to see the choice of "Press R for Repair" or "Reinstall Windows". But none of these show up. Instead it seems to try to reboot directly from the CD.

    4, Reboot from Windows XP Reinstallation CD. This appears to work as the CD starts running, a blue screen titled Windows Setup comes on and at the bottom of the screen, I can see the files it is finding on the CD. Then it stops running and it says "Setup is starting Windows". But then nothing happens. After half an hour like that, i turned it off as the Hard drive was not moving at all.

    All the Microsoft Help I see online tells me to insert Reinstall disk and work from there but I have backed up most of the HD but unfortunately there is some stuff I really need to save on it.

    Many Thanks,

    PS. My system specs are:
    Inspiron 8200
    60GB HD
    512MB RAM
    nvidia64 Video Card
    2.2GHz CPU
  2. riekmaharg2

    riekmaharg2 Newcomer, in training Posts: 272

    when you said it hangs when you try to go into safemode how long did you wait after the writing stopped. The reason for this is because on some computers going into safemode takes ages. I once had to wait at least 5 mins for it to work.
  3. eoc

    eoc Newcomer, in training Topic Starter


    Many thanks for your reply. I suppose I waited only 3-4 minutes. I will try again although now it will be next week as I have to wait for a new power cable to arrive!
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    The install CD not booting would indicate some hardware issues.

    You should test your RAM and the hard drive. www.ultimatebootcd.com has just the right thing.

    Any chance of the laptop overheating? Is it abnomrally hot? Can you run it with some of the covers off to let more air in?
  5. eoc

    eoc Newcomer, in training Topic Starter


    I am going to have a look at that. I need to figure out which one I need. Im not sure who the HD manufacturer is and I am a little reluctant to mess about inside the computer.

    Its very interesting what you say because my power supply cable burned almost right through the following morning when I was trying to boot up. The power supply used to get very hot. I was under the impression that the battery would act as a buffer to any spikes. But maybe not. I just hope the hard drive is not damaged from any such spike.

    ManyThanks for your help!
  6. Sounds like a memory issue, but could equally be the graphics card or CPU getting too hot. The Windows XP CDROM doesn't boot from the hard disk, and by the sound of it your devices drivers are loading part way then stopping at a particular device (the lines of text you described that stopped) so that may rule out the HDD. I wouldn't reinstall windows, even if you manage to do so which I doubt, because the problem will remain. If you're not experiences dismantling PC's or laptops, then you may need to get the laptop to an engineer.
  7. eoc

    eoc Newcomer, in training Topic Starter


    Many thanks caravel. I have had suspicions in the past about the Video Card and would have liked to upgrade it but didnt know if it was possible with a laptop.

    You could also be right about the device drivers as thats how it looks. As for the overheating, any ideas what could be causing that?
  8. tomrca

    tomrca Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,051

    its quite possible that some of the problems are caused with running zone alarm and mcafee, they do have compatability issues.
    look here
  9. Definitely worth a try. Mcafee and Symantec/Norton are great examples of crapware/scareware/bloatware. If you really need a personal firewall other than the Windows SP2 firewall, then Zonealarm may be an option. For anti-virus I would recommend AVG free edition.

    Still problems with the AV or firewall config still doesn't explain this:

    This is why I'm guessing it's hardware related.
  10. mreous3

    mreous3 Newcomer, in training

    1 solution - Disable Onboard LAN/USB Controllers in BIOS

    I recently had an issue with the Win XP CD hanging at "Setup is starting Windows" on the Abit N7FS that I have had since 2003. I had a virus and zeroed out the drive, since two days before I had performed the bi-annual clean install that I do every 6 months, there wasn't much to lose doing it over. Then I had it hanging on setup. I tried two different CD's and even the setup floppies, which hang up on the 6th disk. I have installed XP over 10 times on this machine without problems, except when I had a USB device hooked into the computer it would give me a BSOD. I used several boot disks, tested the memory, CPU, videocard, changed out almost all the components. I bought a new mobo cause I had noticed the chipset fan went out on the Abit board, and thought maybe the chipset was overheating. Same issue on the new board though. Nothing worked. One of my housemates who is a computer tech was also stumped after a couple hours as I did some more research. After he gave up, I took the case into my room and had an idea.

    I disabled the Onboard LAN and USB Controllers in the BIOS and in less than 10 minutes XP was installing. After the install, I enabled the Onboard Controllers, installed the drivers from the mobo CD and it has worked great! I am heading out to get a chipset fan right now to see if my Abit board is fine and will install XP.

    Also, for those of you who aren't too computer savvy, one way to back up your data without worries is use a separate hard drive, preferably an external USB/Firewire drive. You can keep your music, videos, documents, downloads, website design files, boot disk images, device driver downloads, etc on it and never lose it. I even install all the programs that I use a lot that have backup files I need to an extra drive, so that it will still have the info when I have to format the OS partition and reinstall XP. For example, Winamp and all the skins I have downloaded over the years, several website design software, games and saved data, etc. Then you can reinstall the software into the old folder and your files will still be there.

    You can get a external drive case for less than $20, or more if you need other options with it, and get a 500GB drive for $99, or find a 500GB external drive with case for the same price. I also suggest to format the drive in FAT32 so you can access the drive from DOS or older Windows versions, like 95, 98 and ME. With this recent issue, I had to use my old computer with Win 98 and didn't have access to the NTFS drive that my files were on. Rest assured I transferred them to the external FAT32 drive as soon as I got XP going. You can carry the drive anywhere and share files with your friends on their computers, MP3 players and cell phone that have USB connections. I have tens of thousands of songs, hundreds of videos and music videos, hundreds of games, thousands of downloads, website design files, several custom boot disks, thousands of pictures, ebooks, documents and backup files and it was not funny when I didn't have access to important files.

    Also here is a simple way to keep all your data safe from being hacked. Either use an external drive and unplug it when you are online, or use a second computer for the Internet and transfer files from it after you download them.
  11. datawrangler

    datawrangler Newcomer, in training

    sound card! ah ha!

    First post- I have been using this site for 2 days trying to get my sound back(with no success) (YET!) and have found the stuff here VERY helpful. Thanks VERY VERY much. Finally I have something positive to contribute.


    I had the same thing happen, hanging up at "windows is starting up". After reading the post about how it was a hardware problem, and, having been trying to get sound back for a day with no success, and having boot problems from a "not verified xp compatible driver" trying to get sound, and rolling back to last known working configuration from safe mode, (take a deep breath)

    After all that, and trying the disabling lan and usb in CMOS, and then enabling, I removed the sound card and everything is running just fine. I did not have to reinstall windows. Except no sound still. I will now try reinstalling the sound card and see what happens. So it was a hardware problem.

    Thanks again!
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