I can not get it to go beyond "checking hardware..."

By dennisofnewport
Jul 4, 2008
  1. I am having a problem installing xp on my laptop.

    I have the original disk (OEM) of windows XP home.

    I can not get it to go beyond “checking hardware...” on the laptop. I have a second machine and the installation runs all the way through the setup process, so I know the disk is good. I have an original of Windows 2000 so I tried that on the laptop and it installed ok, so I know the cd drive is ok. I have made backup copies of the XP disk same story. nothing beyond “checking hardware...” this is the OS that was on the laptop before I installed the new drive. (same drive configuration) not sure what I can do. Is there a bios setting I could try?

  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    only one, is set "defaults", save and exit.

    Also make sure nothing is connected externally to the laptop (ie USB keyboard)
    And reseat you Ram, underneath cover.

    When installing Xp, make sure to remove the old partition first
    Then just install Xp on the non partitioned HardDrive
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,704   +397

    Go through the BIOS and disable everything you possibly can. I recently had the same problem with a desktop computer (trying to install 2000) and it turns out it was a Promise Ultra133 IDE card that was preventing it from getting past there. I'd guess its a similar hardware issue, so I'd try and disable everything possible that can be and still allow you to boot and access your hard drive.
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    The CD may work in one PC, but not in another - tolerances you know.
  5. dennisofnewport

    dennisofnewport TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for all your help

    thank you for your help. I will try your suggestions and report back. It is good to know others have had the same issue.
  6. dennisofnewport

    dennisofnewport TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK, I did as you suggested and disabled different devices. With the hard drive disabled the installation proceeded until it needed the hard drive. Would it help to reformat the hard drive delete partions? I presently have windows 2000 installed on that drive. Thanks for your past help it has kept the laptop out of the dumpster.

  7. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    I assume you wish to install only XP, then yes, format the whole drive for XP install, unless it is over 20Gb, when I would strongly advise having two partitions, one for OS and applications, 2nd for data and to take the backup drive image which I always insist is essential. You will find all dells and probably others too, now agree with me - they come with drives C: and D: and call D: the 'backup'.
  8. charliechalk

    charliechalk TS Rookie

    Before you start formating hdd's and stuff are you sure your laptop has the spec to run XP?
  9. dennisofnewport

    dennisofnewport TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have had this copy of xp on this machine before. I am not concerned about any data at this time made back ups before all this started. 20 GB hard drive. one partition will do. Thanks I'll move forward and advise.

  10. dennisofnewport

    dennisofnewport TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your help

    I deleted all partitions and the software installed up to the point of insert key. "invalid key" so I guess a call to microsoft is next. Thanks again.

  11. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    Sounds like you are trying to use an install disc supplied by one PC manufacturer in another manufacturers device. These are, or used to be, keyed to the PC model and will not work.
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