BSOD on XP Home reinstall
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Thread: BSOD on XP Home reinstall

  1. #1
    Agony Aunty-Online Moira's Avatar
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    Question BSOD on XP Home reinstall

    My Dad is preparing to give his old PC away so he can set up his new imac. He reckons a full format, then reinstall of Windows will be enough security since it's only going to another member of the family. It's a Dell Dimension 9100, with 160GB hard drive and 512MB RAM. His problem is that when he reboots after the install, he doesn't get as far as Windows before it blue screens.

    Normally I'd say memory, except it seems very coincidental to happen right now. I remember once having blue screens myself and everyone said "memory" before I system restored it to before some windows updates. I just knew that it had only started on a reboot after updates.

    I can take across 1GB DDR RAM from here to test that theory out tomorrow when I go over, or does anyone have oher ideas? The disc must have been the full OS, though there was also a hidden recovery partition plus recovery discs (which seems very strange, why do both?)

    I was thinking of taking my XP disc in case it's the actual disc itself, maybe got scratched or whatever. If anyone can add to this I'd be grateful.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hmmmm,

    1. Does it actually complete the Windows reinstall?
    2. Is the hidden partition still there?
    3. Is it the same version of Windows............I thought the 9100 was supposed to ship with XP Pro?
    4. Any BIOS beeps?

    EDIT:

    5. Can you get into BIOS setup?
    6. Do you get the F2 (BIOS Setup) and F12 (Boot menu) when it is starting to boot. These will be white on a black screen?

    Actually I think that he might getting to the start of the Windows load to get a blue screen. Are there any messages?

    Look in BIOS and see if you can turn of the restart on error option. That might get you a message.

    Also see what options the boot menu gives you.
    Last edited by nihil; November 28th, 2007 at 07:17 PM.

  3. #3
    Agony Aunty-Online Moira's Avatar
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    Well, I haven't physically seen this machine and the problem, but as far as I can tell it does complete the install, I assume formatting the one drive inside would get rid of the hidden partition (asked a hardware expert who said he'd never seen a Dell PC where you couldn't just delete the hidden partition by reinstalling XP), yes it's the same version of Windows, could be Pro, I just assumed Home, but either way it's the same disc.

    BIOS beeps I couldn't say until I see it, but I think it can get into the BIOS OK.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    O.K. Moira, I have a couple of pretty simple beasts to build tomorrow from some old parts (cheapskate has nicked them from the spares cupboard I reckon)

    Make sure that you take:

    1. My telephone number
    2. XP CDs
    3. The DBAN CD and floppy I sent you
    4. A laptop (So you can check your Dad's disks for drivers)

    We should be able to sort it with those?

    Just give me a call if you hit any problems...............

  5. #5
    Gonzo District BOFH westin's Avatar
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    The disc must have been the full OS, though there was also a hidden recovery partition plus recovery discs (which seems very strange, why do both?)
    did he reinstall with the actual XP cd? or with the recovery CDs? if he used the recovery cds, it is likely that the partition was recreated. I am doing support for Thinkpads right now, and when we reinstall with our rec cds, it sets the system up exactly as it was when it was shipped. Still has the recovery partition [aka the F11 partition as I have heard some agents call it.]

    as far as shipping the Rec CDs and having a recovery partition, you got me there... the only way our customers can have both is either if their recovery partition fails to boot [unless of course the removal of the partition was intentional... ie: installing an alternate OS etc.] or if they pay $45 for the CDs.

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why M$ decided to have the system auto-reboot after a BSOD... if it blue screens on boot, there is no way to disable it, and you would have to have a photographic memory, or maybe a good camcorder to catch the error. alright, I better quit before this post gets out of hand...
    Last edited by westin; November 28th, 2007 at 11:59 PM.
    \"Those of us that had been up all night were in no mood for coffee and donuts, we wanted strong drink.\"

    -HST

  6. #6
    Agony Aunty-Online Moira's Avatar
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    Out of hand? Extremely useful! You're actually making me wonder whether he thinks he has a proper copy but just has recovery discs ..... anyway, I'll find out tomorrow. Yes, I always disable the default "reboot on error", it's irritating and often doesn't give you long enough to catch the error. 99% of the time there must be no problem whatsoever with the system carrying on!

    nihil, I have all those things, and many thanks indeed I hope it doesn't get so complicated I need to ring anyone though! Dad has a laptop, but I can't for the life of me think why we'd use it when we could download drivers on his imac - the files could be transferred by a usb key couldn't they? Dad as I was saying elsewhere, doesn't feel the need to do such a grim overwrite - DBAN is really what I want for myself when I part with this AMD dual core. Tomorrow, we'll just give the drive a full format after deleting both partitions hopefully.

    As for turning off restart, I don't think this is a particular problem in itself, more that every time he attempts a reboot, it blue screens.
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  7. #7
    Gonzo District BOFH westin's Avatar
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    Moira - Really, even if he installs with the recovery discs, it should give him a working copy of the OS the system shipped with. All it does [at least with our systems] is create an image on the HDD, which is the same image that is on the system when it ships. So if it had XP pro, bundled with symantec, AOL, Earthlink, etc. [all of the crap that is free at first, but then bugs the hell out of you to subscribe/buy] that is exactly what you will get with a re-imaging from the CDs. So I don't know that using the cds would be the cause of the problem, unless the cds were defective, or caused some errors while installing... but I would go ahead and try your cds just to be absolutely sure...
    \"Those of us that had been up all night were in no mood for coffee and donuts, we wanted strong drink.\"

    -HST

  8. #8
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hi westin,

    You might like to check out this free app:

    http://www.nliteos.com/download.html

    It will create bootable installation CDs from those "recovery disks" without all the crapware that you mention.

  9. #9
    Gonzo District BOFH westin's Avatar
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    Thank you very much nihil. That will definitely come in handy.
    \"Those of us that had been up all night were in no mood for coffee and donuts, we wanted strong drink.\"

    -HST

  10. #10
    Agony Aunty-Online Moira's Avatar
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    Yeah, PC Answers magazine had a tutorial on how to do that once. Just to update you, they were simple recovery disks, and it was blue screening, just as he said. I wasted time wondering why the extra memory wouldn't go in before discovering his RAM was DDR2 (I'd brought DDR).

    I had no way of swapping or changing memory so decided to go ahead with the DBAN disc. I started it, then noticed how long it was going to take, and remembering that he wasn't that bothered about a secure overwrite, cancelled it and began to install XP. It got as far as loading files etc, then couldn't find a hard disk to install to!

    Literally, I got a black screen telling me there was no hard drive to put the OS onto. So I rang John, who advised running DBAN .... and I've left it going there. I'm going across tomorrow to keep trying (we're also battling with the new imac which is totally unfamiliar to both of us). I'll check email before I leave, so if anyone can suggest something useful, it would be much appreciated.

    I'm sure I didn't loosen any cables during my RAM fitting period, of course I'll check, but I also ran some of his recovery utilities, and the disk was seen by them, every test coming out perfect.
    Last edited by Moira; November 30th, 2007 at 03:23 AM.
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