Might seem crazy to some of you, but I've had problems completing XP installs when booting from CD. I found using the XP boot disks which may be found on the XP homepage for download fixed the problem. It's been a while though, so I'm not absalutely sure what the problems I was having were. They may have been the same, though it's a vague reccolection and I may be wrong. It can't hurt to give it a shot. You'll need a floppy drive for it though. LiquidLen, not wishing to cause offence, but I fail to see how necessitating restore disks to install a functioning OS on a laptop can in any way benefit a company, save in two cases: 1. Said restore disks must be purchased back from the company if they're lost, or if the end user bought their machine from some unscrupulous high-street chain store (PC World - Why in the world). 2. Said company has an agreement with Microsoft to make it nigh on impossible to install a non-windows OS like Linux. This is HP we're talking about, not Fujitsu, or some other bargain basement camera manufacturer who's got a few chips from Intel and stuck them in nice packaging. They may (like all large businesses) be less than scrupulous, but they have a large number of business and pro customers who might not take to kindly to such practices and would find themselves competing with apple. Also, just one more thing. As I have experienced trouble booting with USB drives (bar floppy drives that is) I can sympathise, but the symptoms KateyLou describes don't suggest that.