Windows XP install freezes at "Inspecting system hardwa

  • Asteri
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello everyone,

This is my first post (ever) in a tech support forum. I'm rather new to fiddling with hardware and software. I've done a bit of reading, and managed to put together a (working) system, and am leaving my old laptop at home with my dad. About a year and a half ago, he converted the laptop to a dual-boot Linux/Windows XP Pro system with a GRUB boot loader. Everything worked fine until today, when we decided to flatten the laptop so that it can be re-used by my family.

Laptop Specifications:
Dell Inspiron 5100, purchased May 2003
2.4Ghz Processor
512Mb RAM
30 GB Hard drive
ATI Radeon Mobility 5100
CD-R/RW/DVD drive (don't know what speed)
Used to run Windows XP Pro/Knoppix

We started this morning trying to boot up from the Windows XP Pro install disc that came with the system. The first disc we tried wasn't recognized by the system, so we tried an extra Windows XP Pro disc (the first disc was recognized in other machines). Upon bootup, the install proceeded to "Inspecting system hardware..." and then stopped, at a black screen, indefinitely.

A little research showed that this is apparently a known problem in systems with complex partitions, or Linux bootloaders. We followed some advice found from that search, and tried a Knoppix Boot-from-CD, but it wasn't recognized either. Another Linux Boot-from-CD was tried, and it was recognized, but we were unable to reformat with that disc.

We booted into a third Knoppix Boot-from-CD, and used QPartition (or whatever it's called, I've never really -used- the Linux part) to delete everything except the GRUB bootloader--this couldn't be deleted. We have since been trying to boot from CD's, but nothing seems to work. The Windows XP Pro boot discs freeze at "Inspecting Hardware", and Linux discs aren't recognized. I have made both Ultimate Boot CD and Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, and the discs have been checked on other systems, but it isn't recognized as a bootable disc by the laptop.

At this point, I'm wondering if something is wrong with my CD drive...I know that it had to be replaced twice by Dell, but this third drive hasn't had any problems up 'til now. I'm looking into making an Ultimate Boot CD that is bootable from my USB drive, but still not having much luck (having troubles getting the USB formatted at the moment).

Any insight on this problem would be appreciated, I really hate to have a 30-lb paperweight!

Thanks,
~Asteri
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Here are a couple of long shots to try. Go into the BIOS and reset it to the default settings but make sure that the boot sequence isn't changed from CD first.

If you still have problems, connect and external monitor to the laptop if possible. It sounds like a video driver may not be loading sometimes.

You can also download the diagnostic tools from the HD manufacturer's site and boot from that. Run a check for bad blocks and maybe format the drive from there.
  • crashdan
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Post 3+ Months Ago

see if it will attempt to install another os .. like ubuntu ( its real easy point and click) .. if not it may be your motherboard
  • dan_venable
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Had the same problem. I took the HDD from non-booting system, slaved it to another working XP system, then used Disk Management tool to delete partition, create new partition, and then format ntfs.

Once I did this, I put the HDD back into problem PC, rebooted to XP install disk and problem solved. Hope this helps.

D
  • sray_ju
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I am having a same problem. I have Inpiron 6400. Dell Mediadirect3 got corrupted somehow. Clicking on the MediaDirect button displayed a message "NTLDR Missing".. I followed the steps to reinstall MediaDirect. Inserted the MediaDirect3 CD, and allowed it to delete existing partition and repartition the hard disk (80 GB). Then the system prompted "MediaDirect operation successful...please insert the operation system CD to reinstall it..". I inserted the WIndows XP re installation CD and the system restarted. Then a message is displayed "Press any key to boot from CD" - I clicked on "Enter". Then a message is displayed "System is inspecting you hardware details...." and then the screen went blank indefinitely. I have run the diagnostic system tests with the DELL resource CD and all the hardware tests passed. I tried with installing another copy of the Operationg System reinstaller, but the same problem persisted. Cal anyone please suggest what should I do now?
  • VideoRipper
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Two things jump up into my mind:
  • Is your RAM still good?
    (Although you do say the sys-diag CD says your system is okay...)
  • Did you install an extra / other PCI-card(s) into the system, since
    you bought it?
    (Remove all PCI-cards and USB-devices and try again)
Good luck,

Peter.
  • sray_ju
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks Peter for your response.

I did the boot diagnostic by presseing Fn during boot time and did a thorogh hardware testing using the resourceCD. All the tests passed successfully and extended memory checks also OKed the RAMs. I do not have any other idea of chceking the RAMs for good health.

I have not installed any hardware component into it ever.

Any insights will be very helpful. Thanks!
  • sray_ju
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Can we trust DELL diagnosis to be assured that there is no hardware problem ???
  • VideoRipper
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Normally, tools provided by the original manufacturer should be fine,
specially the ones of the larger companies.

Your best bet at the moment (I guess) is to visit the Dell-support site
and see if you can find a solution to the problem for your system.
They do also have a forum designed for problems and they have a bussiness
hours support helpdesk.

Good luck,

Peter.

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