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Thread: XP Pro install, continuous rebooting

  1. #1
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    I bought a second hand IBM pentium 3 with 256 mb and 40 gb HD for my son. When I switched it on it booted from the HD to just the win98 command prompt. (I assume that the disk had just been formatted to wipe it) I am attempting to put XP on it, formatted the drive NTFS, started the install but cannot get past the stage where it reboots and transfers operation from the install cd to the PC.

    It starts to reboot, accesses the HD and then reboots again....and again....and again.

    Any ideas?

    More info.....just found an old win 98 disk and that loads up OK as far as the Product Key screen (which I cant find )

    Does this mean that the PC is not capable of running XP??

  2. #2
    Security Intelligence TZ Veteran cash_site's Avatar
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    Hmm.. i think the P3 should be just be able to run XP... make sure you are disconnected from the network and/or internet...

    Are you able to boot directly from the XP CD? The problem could be caused from trying to boot to a DOS prompt using the WIN98 floppy.

    Also, check all the cables from CD and HD to motherboard. Finally, check BIOS settings, and revert to fail-safe if need be.

    --- 0wN3D by 3gG ---

  3. #3
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    Flashed the BIOS, checked all cables etc. Downloaded the IBM diagnostic CD which is currently running (takes hours?)
    Description from IBM site............

    "Original description: Intel Coppermine Pentium III 933MHz (256KB), 128MB, 20GB IDE HDD, Desktop (4x4), Intel 810e, WinME"

    Does this mean perhaps that it will only run ME

    I found the key for the win 98 disk but again this will not fully load. It gets to the stage where you put in the Time Zone, runs the setup for a few more seconds, then reboots again and again.....

  4. #4
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    Ran all the tests, all passed. PC seems stable but will not install XP or Win98. Time for a trip down to the tip I think

  5. #5
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    Go Here and download WIPE OUT, the instructions are in the 'ReadMe'. Wipe the HD clean.

    Download Memtest86 v3.2 ISO image (zip) Here and burn to CD, boot the CD and check your memory.

    Disable everything in the bios (onboard peripherals) thats not being used.

    Dose the PC have a video card or onboard video ? either way try another video card.

    Make sure you're using a good keyboard and mouse.

    HD might be bad ????

    The PC should run XP.

  6. #6
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Agreed. Should run XP with ABSOLUTELY no problems. I've run it on much lower specs that that.

  7. #7
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    Tried another HDD, checked memory and all other funtions with IBM Utility disk, disabled everything possible in the BIOS, only thing left is the graphics card. It is running on the on-board graphics so when I get my hands on another card I'll give it a go again.

    Really puzzled

  8. #8
    Security Intelligence TZ Veteran cash_site's Avatar
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    check that the CPU Heatsink and fan is correctly fitted, even add new thermo paste, and ensure the power for the fan is connected to the right power point header! ... could be an over-heat glitch...

    --- 0wN3D by 3gG ---

  9. #9
    Triple Platinum Member Curio's Avatar
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    Are you booting from the XP CD to start the install?
    At what exact point does it go into a reboot loop? Is it the stage when it has copied the first set of files to start the install and then it reboots to the hard disk. If so try and see exactly what stage it reboots at and make sure the boot sector protection in the BIOS is set to disabled/off or whatever they have.
    I'm using Windows 7 - you got a problem with that?

  10. #10
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    Tried a known good graphics card, still the same

    Boot from XP CD,
    Drive formats OK
    "Setup is copying files etc."

    PC will now reboot (timer)

    At this point the PC reboots and reboots and reboots

    and make sure the boot sector protection in the BIOS is set to disabled/off or whatever they have.
    Couldn't find anything in the BIOS like this.

  11. #11
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    Try this

    Bare Bones Troubleshooting Installation
    Remove everything that is installed or connected to your computer so the only things remaining in the case are:
    Motherboard, processor, and cooling fan
    Graphics card
    One stick of RAM
    One hard drive
    One CD ROM drive

    That's it. No sound card, no network interface card, no modem, no extra hard drives or CD ROM drives. Especially important is not to have more than one memory stick, and it should be a minimum of 128MB. Connect up the monitor, the keyboard and the mouse and power up the machine. Go into the BIOS settings and look for a setting for the basic BIOS default configuration. Select it, then make sure that if you're booting from a CD ROM that the CD drive is the first boot device.
    Reboot and let the installation process begin. I haven't kept track of numbers, but in the vast majority of cases the installation was completed with no problem. Once you have the basic operating system in place it's a simple matter to start adding back in the extra memory, drives, and devices that were stripped out initially.

    http://www.theeldergeek.com/bare_bon...stallation.htm
    http://kadaitcha.cx/cannot_install.html

  12. #12
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    Re.
    Bare Bones Troubleshooting Installation
    I have already tried that, but thanks anyway. I'll give it one more go then strip it for parts I think.

    As the thing almost works and passes all tests I just get the feeling that it has to be something in the BIOS but I can't see what.

    Yours frustratedly

    Roadster

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    try to use a live knoppix CD to see if it's just the OS.. if so, then you got yourself a killer box with Linux.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Booger
    try to use a live knoppix CD to see if it's just the OS.. if so, then you got yourself a killer box with Linux.
    Nope..........

    knoppix loads the first screen

    press return

    "You passed an undefined mode number. Press return to see video modes available"

    it then lists various video modes but whichever you put in the pc then either hangs or reboots. (I have tried another graphics card btw)

    Excellent idea though. I had never heard of the knoppix cd before. I shall keep it in my arsenal of fault finding tools.

    Cheers

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    I doubt this is the problem... but it is worth trying...

    Does the motherboard have a CMOS battery? If so, check it... you can usually pick them up for less than 10-15 US dollars..



    But I highly doubt that it is the cause.

    I would check to see if you could try a new motherboard BIOS update or something like that.

    Also if you have another PIII CPU you could try in the machine would certainly rule out another possible problem.

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