shard, wouldn't the xp if full version offer to just go ahead and format and overwrite? Go in BIOS and boot from CD. A regular xp full or upgrade does seem to start at 39 minutes. That extended time doesn't seem right at all. If ME is still working ok, start checking what you can with its features. 1. run scan disk and repair, if you can't do start>run>cmd> black screen type chkdsk /f if c is showing as what drive you are checking, enter y then reboot. Then try removing the cover and blowing off the processor/fan and general blow out to remove dust. then confirm all ram and ribbon connections being well seated. Go to www.pcpitstop.com and run "full test" to check your systems hardware, hdd,ram, see how the harddrive does, that it will complete the test, some drives are bad enough to not complete the test, yet be fuctioning. The test should only take a few minutes total. Try installing without using a wireless mouse or keyboard or KVM switch either, do everything hardwired. If using a Dell, Gateway, HP version of XP there could be other conflicts. I've tried using Dell XP on a custom built to no avail.
During the install if it's right out of the box XP upgrade from WalMart or Staples, etc and does not work after these, it is probably hanging on recognizing and dealing with a piece of hardware, as previously mentioned above by someone else, some older dial-up modems are not on XP, So unplug everything but bare essentials, just have motherboard, one harddrive, and one cd drive, no sound card, etc, preferably onboard graphics, nothing else that draws any power or needs device installed. Install other devices later. I had one hang on 'starting windows" until I tried a different processor, then it worked fine after the install and cpu switched back. On another overwrite install I chose to format the long-thorough way, which creates much heat in the harddrive, best to keep it cool as possible. If you have a 95, 98, ME, or 2000 CD you could save everything you want to keep on CD disks or online storage then format the hdd, with a free DOS boot disc on a floppy from www.bootdisk.com , then the upgrade will ask for a older version cd to prove preexisting OS and not have ME carry over any problems. I suspect hot CPU or hot harddrive/drive failing. You do have required 500MHz CPU and 256 RAM, right? Good luck and keep asking!
Edited by crunch, 02 February 2007 - 10:05 PM.