I think I may have found an answer to this issue. I had an empty device manager on Dell 1000 Inspiron Notebook, Celeron 2.2, 512mb RAM, running Windows XP Pro SP2. Without doing any research, I assumed the device manager had become corrupt and started to do a re-install of the system, and got hung up at the 33 minute mark.
I found an answer over on the annoyances.org forum, apparently it's a spyware issue, a relatively SIMPLE matter of uninstalling an adware program:http://www.annoyance...inxp/1132874240
To get beyond this problem:
- I opened a command prompt (SHIFT-F10)
- navigated to c:\windows\system32 directory and launched the add/remove applications control panel (APPWIZ.CPL)
- removed "Context Plus" from the list of installed programs
After I did that, I rebooted, let the installer run itself (as it had done about 10,000 times). When it got to the 33 minute mark, I opened a command prompt, launched the system properties control panel (Sysdm.cpl) and all the devices were there! Some devices appeared damaged, and will need reinstalling, but I can deal with that.
The biggest thing is the installer is well on its way to completing (it's now at 2 minutes -- 'saving settings' -- and counting -- WOO HOO!!). I'll let you know if it completes.
p.s. I was just able to log into my system. I'm sure there's some damage done, and I plan to do a fresh reinstall/format, but at least I'll be able to do it on my own terms and save my data!!
I HATE SPYWARE/ADWARE!!! I think we should launch a massive DOS attack on all their servers...