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WinXP Setup infinite loop


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#1
lukeprog

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I decided to do a fresh install of Windows XP Home. So, I put in the WinXP Install CD and set the BIOS to boot to CD. I deleted the partition (only one on my 60GB hard disk), created a new one, and formatted it NTFS - all by following directions in the Windows XP Setup program on the CD. Then I chose to setup WinXP on that formatted partition. The CD copies a bunch of files over, then tells me to remove disks and restart the computer. So, I do. I boots to the hard drive and gives me the "Windows XP Home Edition" screen with the moving green bar at the bottom while it's loading. Then it quickly goes to a rather blank screen that says "Setup is being restarted," strange moving lines cover the screen, and the computer restarts. It then does the same thing over, and over, and over again. I've tried repartitioning and restarting the setup process several times, trying every available option but after Windows Setup restarts the first time, it gets into that infinite loop of never proceeding to the next step of setup.

So, I tried the recovery console, but it prompts for an administrator password which I was not yet allowed to assign, so I can't get in (pressing ENTER restarts the PC).

Help! How do I install Windows XP and get access to my PC again?
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#2
-=jonnyrotten=-

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That sounds kind of strange to me. Everytime I have installed XP I have never had to remove the disk until the installation is fully complete. Is it asking you to remove it afer the installation process has completed? Probably about an hour after you started it.

-=jonnyrotten=- biggrin.gif
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#3
admin

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Might want to check the jumpers on your hard drive to ensure they're correct. Use Cable Select if your system supports it.
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#4
lukeprog

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If I leave the CD in, it just goes to the first steps in setting up Windows XP (have to repartition and reformat the HD, start setup all over again), without recognizing that it's already half-way done.

Yeah, I actually spent a couple hours getting the jumper settings right, and they are correct. Cable Select doesn't seem to work if I also want to have my other data-only 250GB hard drive plugged in at some time (don't know why, but it only recognizes both of them at the same time if my 60GB is jumpered as master and 250GB is jumpered as slave, which is what I want anyway).

Why would that make a difference on setting up Windows XP?
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#5
lukeprog

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I just thought of something: might it be that my Windows XP was from an OEM? It doesn't say OEM on the install CD, so I figured it was a regular Windows XP install CD, but maybe it's not. I also figured that it would TELL me that was the problem instead of pretending to work and then not working. But, who knows? I don't really feel like buying a whole new Windows XP CD if this ISN'T the problem. But, I tried installing it with that CD on a totally different hard drive now, with the same 'infininite loop' problem.
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#6
Spank_Me

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Hi Lukeprog

When running the install for XP again, did you get to the same spot as the first install....

QUOTE
then tells me to remove disks and restart the computer


What setup is asking you to do is to remove any floppy disks from the cp, it still needs to copy additional files from the CD after restarting. When it starts to reboot, you will see that just after your BIOS startup screens, there should be a "Press any key to boot from CD...." Just ignore that, and the cp should then boot from the harddrive and complete the XP installation, usually after that point.......Time remaining 45 min upset.gif
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#7
lukeprog

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Yeah, that's what it SUPPOSED to happen.

The message says just to remove floppy discs, so that's what I did the first time. I let it reboot with the CD in and let it boot to the hard disk by ignoring the 'boot to CD' message. But then it just goes immediately to 'setup is being restarted' and goes into the infinite loop thing where setup never progresses any further.
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#8
admin

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QUOTE
250GB

It sounds like your BIOS isn't able to recognize the 250GB drive. Anything over 137GB causes trouble unless you have a fairly recent motherboard, or expansion PCI IDE card.

Try disconnecting your 250 drive, and see what happens.
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#9
lukeprog

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It's an extremely new motherboard/BIOS that recognizes that drive as 250GB when it's plugged it, but I haven't had it plugged in for the past couple days of trying to sort this out - working only with the drive I want to install XP on: the 60GB HD.
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#10
Spank_Me

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What I would do is download and boot off of the XP install floppy disks, yes I know that there is 6 of them upset.gif , start running the setup program again off of the floppies instead of the cd, do a full format, and try the reinstall again.

If you are still looping, I would then try to format the 60 gig hd with a 98 boot disk, fdisk to delete and recreate the partitions, complete a full format with that and try again.
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#11
lukeprog

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Ah! What's this! I let it sit on the 'random lines' screen for half an hour and the next setup screen suddenly showed up! So, setup completed and ALL IS WELL! Thanks for your help everyone!

Okay, well, not ALL is well.

Now, the device manager says my 250GB HD of critical data is working properly, but doesn't show up under 'My Computer' - also, it appears as 'Unpartitioned Space' in Disk Management. Now, I haven't performed any actions on the drive since I plugged it in - just changed the jumper settings, that's all. I haven't partitioned or formatted or written to the drive at all, so I don't know why it thinks it's unpartitioned (it's NTFS).

Is anyone aware of some data recovery techniques, software, or services that might be able to recover my precious data?

Thanks again. Hope I haven't annoyed everyone by wracking your capable brains and then having dumb luck ultimately be the answer to my last problem.
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#12
Spank_Me

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Hi Lukeprog

Did the HD come with a CD that allows you to install software to support the larger HD, Windows XP has great difficulty with any thing over 120GB. Found out the hard way with a 160 GB. :tazz: Most times you will have to have SP1 installed in order to run the support software.

Now, I haven't performed any actions on the drive since I plugged it in - just changed the jumper settings, that's all. I haven't partitioned or formatted or written to the drive at all, so I don't know why it thinks it's unpartitioned (it's NTFS).


If you have not done any partitioning or formatted the drive why are you looking for recovery software? Was this drive from another cp? You will have to boot from the CD that should have come with the HD, set up your partitions with the software, and then format the partitions with NTFS.

DO NOT use Windows Disk Management to set the partitions on the large drive, I set mine up with 4 40GB partitions, turned the cp on one day, XP gave a hiccup and the drive was gone.
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