Solved: Computer will not install windows xp. hangs on "setup is starting windows".

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food7

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Nov 1, 2005
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Well, I am trying to install xp on this good friend of mine's machine that took a dive last week. We replaced the motherboard, cpu, and memory. And afterwords for about 3 days, it seemed to function ok. Then it just quit booting. I told him we would need to reinstall windows. I was kind of shocked we did not have to in the first place. Anyways, So now I am trying to reinstall windows:

I can get it to boot from the windows cd, it goes through the standard list of drivers, and at the end says, "setup is starting windows"... Then it just hangs there indefinately. Typically after this, you get to the screen that asks you if you want to install windows, then you hit f8 to agree to there stuff, then you get to partition ect. I mention these things so you will know what part I am talking about.

I have tried a diferent disk, I have tried a windows home disk instead of pro, I have taken the drive out and tried a diferent drive, all with the same results... Any advice on what I can do from here, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

food7

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Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
60
Well, it passed the memory test just fine. Pretty much all new parts-memory, mobo, and cpu... though I know a lot of times nowadays, stuff is bad on arrival. Any other ideas are totally welcome...
 
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Mar 5, 2004
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I had exactly the same problem and found that I had not set the bios to boot from CD first. As soon as I did this it worked 1st time. Hope this helps
 

food7

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
60
I have it set to boot from the cd, and it boots from the cd just fine... The problem occurs after the cd loads all of the drivers needed to install windows, and you see the white words on the bottom of the blue screen, "Setup is starting windows". Here is what I found on microsoft's website:

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=217073

Apparently, one of the pieces of hardware is not supported on the windows xp cd, and it is hanging cuz it does not know what to do with it. After, I took out all the cards, and everything connected to the mobo, cept the hard drive, cd-rom, and memory... I rebooted, only I accidentally did not hit the button to boot from the cd... The machine booted into windows just fine, though it made me do an activation of windows first. The machine seems slow for the specs to me, but my friend needs it to do his work, so I said take it, and we may want to do a reinstallation of windows at a later time. I am wondering if I had tried to install windows, with everything unplugged if it would have worked... I did not get a chance to check, but I am posting this here in case someone else experiences this problem some day. Thanks.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
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I recently had the same problem 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.
 
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