I have a old dell that I'm trying to set up for a family member after it spent a bit of time in storage. I cleaned it out, made sure everything is plugged in, It's a 2ghz intel processor, 230v PSU, the xp home disc I'm trying to install has SP1 on it, and it appears to just be the installation disc, not a recovery one. I've done this a couple times on this computer, with new and old drives. The current drive is a brand new 320 gb drive that IDE diagnostics reads as fine. Bios is the latest version for the chipset. So anyways, I put the disc in, and tell it to load up via the IDE cd drive. At that point, it will go the blue screen and start loading all the processes, and then will do it's thing until I get to the "Loading windows" information bar at the bottom, at which point it goes into back to the bios. It'll go back there and restart this entire thing any time between when it first starts to load from the cd, to the f8 I agree blah blah blah. I can't think of any changes that wouldn't make this work, except for a LCD monitor that has both the blue and DVI plugins, both supported on the video card. No problems there. Could it be because I have both cords coming out of the monitor while only one connects to a computer? I seriously doubt it.
No errors, and when I try a second disc of xp for my latest computer, it gets to the starting to load up the cd and goes to bios. I've tried using both cd trays, to no effect. Checked all the wires. HDD is configred as a single at the master port of the IDE cable. And it worked fine last year when it was my main computer, and last time I installed a new HDD after the old one failed, I didn't have any problems.
I was also trying to install a adapter SATA card with two additional sata drives, with those plugged in and the floppy installation in, and when their out, I've noticed no real difference, because there's no specific, reset to bios point. At some point it just does it.
Perhaps take the IDE drive, and trying setting it up on another computer? Seems a little extreme, but it's not a invalid option.
Thanks for your help.