XP installation hangs "press any key to boot from disk...." forever

By kmr296
Sep 15, 2009
Topic Status:
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  1. recently installed windows 7 on an old Gateway 510 x. Wanted to put XP Pro back on it so went ahead booted from disk, formatted, the computer restarted as usual to complete installation but never made it past "press any key to boot from disk...". I let it sit for like an hour (even though I knew time wouldn't help). What could be the problem? I read somewhere about pressing F6 when the XP cd first loads to install SATA/RAID drivers but my drives are IDE. Also if I do try to "press any key" after the formatting has finished and the computer restarts nothing happens. The only fix i've found is to put in the windows 7 dvd I have and reformat with it - then reboot with xp disk. Then when I push "any key" to boot from disk the usual XP setup dialog blue screen comes up. Anyone have any ideas? I've googled my brains out trying to get an answer so this is my last resort.
  2. gguerra

    gguerra TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 559

    The only thing I can think of is a bad XP Install disk although it will boot when you first install which is the only time you should "press any key".. Other than that it could be something with your keyboard not being sensed at that time, try a different keyboard. Problems like this are sometimes only solved by process of elimination.
  3. kmr296

    kmr296 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Bad disk was the first thing I thought of so I took the same disk and tried it out on a junk laptop i have and XP installed fine. Also installed vista and 7 fine after having this error on the Gateway so i dont think its a hardware issue. Could I be missing some driver in the bios or something? I'm stumped - usually I can figure anything out
  4. gguerra

    gguerra TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 559

    If it is a USB keyboard it could be that you need to turn legacy support ON in the BIOS.
  5. kmr296

    kmr296 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Ok i'll give that a shot. But when the setup does boot to the format screen the keyboard does work.. ie F8 to agree to terms and conditions, up down to select drive/unpartitioned space, etc. If legacy support was off the keyboard wouldn't work then either right?
  6. gguerra

    gguerra TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 559

    Logic tells you that should not be the problem. But when a problem defies logic you will try anything. The F8 key works on terms and conditions but does not work prior to that when you get "press any key" after the initial format and install. I dont know just something else to try. If legacy support was not enabled it would make a difference if the Windows setup program loads drivers for your keyboard only the first time.
  7. kmr296

    kmr296 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    True. i will give this a shot when I get home from work. thanks for your help. I'll post back ASAP if it doesn't work
  8. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Re-verify that your Gateway 510 meets the minimum requirements of Windows 7... As shipped, it does not... but it can be modified to do so... and since it is now several years old, you might want to upgrade the hard drive and memory before you push ahead.
  9. kmr296

    kmr296 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Windows 7 was no problem - i'm trying to put XP back on it.
  10. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Booting to a Windows XP disk will not give you an opportunity to format the drive?
    Please tell us more.
  11. kmr296

    kmr296 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    recently installed windows 7 on an old Gateway 510 x. Wanted to put XP Pro back on it so went ahead booted from disk, formatted, the computer restarted as usual to complete installation but never made it past "press any key to boot from disk...". I let it sit for like an hour (even though I knew time wouldn't help). What could be the problem? I read somewhere about pressing F6 when the XP cd first loads to install SATA/RAID drivers but my drives are IDE. Also if I do try to "press any key" after the formatting has finished and the computer restarts nothing happens. The only fix i've found is to put in the windows 7 dvd I have and reformat with it - then reboot with xp disk. Then when I push "any key" to boot from disk the usual XP setup dialog blue screen comes up. Anyone have any ideas? I've googled my brains out trying to get an answer so this is my last resort.


    so yes it originally booted the nice blue xp setup screens, I deleted old partitions and reformatted no problem. I happened to be sitting there when the red bar came up that says "windows will restart in 15 seconds or press enter to restart". I pressed enter. Computer restarts, dialog comes up saying "press any key to boot from disk..." I did not and waited for the rest of the windows setup to appear and finish installing. This never happened. The press any key to boot from disk never went away.
  12. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    What is the configuration of your Gateway 510?
  13. kmr296

    kmr296 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Ok legacy is on and still hung up at the same point. Raybay what do you mean configuration? It's got a ide hard drive, ide cd drivem floppy drive - standard from gateway, thats about it.
     
  14. wefixpcsny

    wefixpcsny Newcomer, in training

    Just have in mind that you box came with an ata(IDE) and sata controller on board and depending on the way your bios is configured you o/s even with the legacy support enabled at bios level may not see the "IDE" ATA drive upon rebooting to complete the o/s install. If the bios was changed and when the boot loader starts up the drive will not be visable as a bootable option and thus default to the CD rom again for the bootable device, Basically most mobos with both interfaces will often give you and option to turn on or off the sata feature or default to enhance ide mode for the sata controller, The o/s basically is hung in limbo waiting for something to load, once you have formatted the drive and created the partition and installed "copied files to hard drive" and at the time of reboot the bios selects the "boot" device at which time if loaded correctly the boot loader on the hard drive will begin and o/s loads. Something is hung up on this install. Not certain if you win xp media is good or drive optics might be unable to read your disc properly during install no file errors upon loading from the xp disc? Just a thought though. Hope this helps.

    wefixpcsnyc :)
  15. kmr296

    kmr296 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Ok hard drive is set at bootable option 2nd (after dvd drive). IDE/SATA is enabled on the bios setup screen. The XP disk is definitely good. I reinstalled on a spare laptop I have last night just to make sure and it went perfectly. When installing on the gateway there are no errors during the setup. When the XP setup screen first loads at the bottom it says something about pushing F6 to load drivers for something. Could this be something I need to do? Any help would be great.
  16. wefixpcsny

    wefixpcsny Newcomer, in training

    The F6 to load drivers is the prompt for you to load some older legacy IDE raid controllers if not seen by the XP without service packs it can also be for loading a drive that is not seen on a SATA controller not in the XP sp1 or sp1a, but highly unlikely as your bios should be written in a way to allow your "bare" drive to be seen by the os as a enhance ide while on the sata connector, but in your case you already told us it is on your ide controller. When in doubt boot and format again not a quick format but the slow and painful way. Make certain to delete any prior partitions on the drive. Oh yes one more question the version of XP you are using is an oem or factory re-installation disc and your system oem sticker is it for xp media center? Please let us know....

    wefixpcsnyc :)
  17. kmr296

    kmr296 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Ok sticker on machine is xp home edition. My disk is a pro version. Formatted the slow way again and same issue.
  18. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Defective hard drive, or defective install CD drive is my guess
  19. superty12

    superty12 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 432

    Eject disc

    When your computer restarts [COLOR= "Red"]take out the disc![/COLOR] Post back if you still get the message.
  20. wefixpcsny

    wefixpcsny Newcomer, in training

    I concur with raybay, you either have a defective h/d or c/d. Keep in mind your xp CD may load correctly in another system just fine because the optical drive may be more forgiving of that small blemish or scratch on the xp install disk, but on your desktop this may not be the case example when system reboots to load data cab files you installation seems to hang, not reporting any errors like io errors or cyclical redundancy error it just hangs... If the xp loaded entirely when you installed win7 from DVD it would have seen the previous o/s and reported it to you, no mention of this just that you were able to format from win7. Try another copy of xp o/s cd if still hangs try another hard drive if still hangs swap out drive process of elimination is key in this process. Good luck :)
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