Windows XP stuck in Setup/Restarting Loop

Discussion in 'Windows XP Installation and Setup' started by Keith Gilbertson, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. Keith Gilbertson

    Keith Gilbertson

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    Running XP Home SP2 on my Dell desktop of 10+ yrs. Had to reboot my computer for a program update. While rebooting windows came up with an error "corrupted or missing config file". So like I have done when errors like this come up, I put in Windows Install CD and tried to reinstall. While installing the files, it came to my video driver which was installed couple years ago. It was not Windows certified, although working fine. I got a user prompt window asking me if I wanted to install anyway. However I could not respond because my keyboard and mouse inputs were disabled so install was locked up. All I could do was cycle power but now the computer automatically restarts SETUP and goes to Setup CD and the cycle repeats. I can get to the recovery console but don't know if I can install new or change my video driver so install can complete. OR how can I get the SETUP loop aborted. I think I can repair my config file in the recovery console. Thanks for the help.
     
    Keith Gilbertson, Jun 23, 2018
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  2. Keith Gilbertson

    Elizabeth23

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    While installing the files, it came to my video driver which was installed couple years ago.

    if you were reinstalling xp, your video driver should not be in there unless you slipstreamed your drivers onto your install cd, did you?

    take the cd out of the drive, turn off pc, (power off if you have to) unplug the power cord, hold power button for approx 5 sec, then pull the cmos battery for 5 minutes, this will set your bios to default so if you had changed anything then you will have to go back and put the settings you want back, then replace cmos, replace plug, set to boot from hard drive in bios and what happens??

    if it does not find a operating system, then have bios boot to a cd first and put your install cd in and see if the install will complete. by the way you do not have a sata drive do you?
     
    Elizabeth23, Jun 24, 2018
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  3. Keith Gilbertson

    Keith Gilbertson

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    Thanks for response Elizabeth.
    I'm doing a re-install so it apparently finds what drivers I had installed and tries to re-install them during the process.
    I did get past my original hang-up where I could not tell the install to go ahead and load the un-verified drivers, by plugging in a non-usb keyboard to the back of my computer. so got past that step.

    Now a new bottle neck. It is "Saving Settings" and gets down to where time left indicated is 2 min. and stays there for hours. Appears to be running as far as I can tell. strobe indicator on bottom right of screen is running and my USB port is activated so I can move my mouse pointer but the green bar indicator isn't moving at all.

    I thought maybe it may have run out of disk space. I had 14.5G of free space before I started the upgrade. After approx. 3 hrs. of no progress I shut down and logged into the Repair Console and deleted some temp files I had access to with old dates and brought up to 15.5G. Still locking up at same place.

    Any ideas??
     
    Keith Gilbertson, Jun 24, 2018
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  4. Keith Gilbertson

    Keith Gilbertson

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    BTW forgot to mention, that the other thing I did was to run chkdsk /r from the repair console to make sure I cleaned out any bad sectors that may have been causing a problem during install.
    To your other questions No I did not slipstream any drivers on install CD. If I remember correctly last time I reinstalled it copied over my upgraded drivers that were not part of install CD as well.
    I have not reset my bios. I can get into setup and change settings but I don't think any of those settings are wrong. haven't ever changed them.

    Still wondering if there is a way to abort the setup loop and see if it will boot up.
     
    Keith Gilbertson, Jun 24, 2018
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  5. Keith Gilbertson

    Elizabeth23

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    since you can get to the recovery console, run fixboot and fixmbr, answer Y for yes to the questions it asks then exit and see if it will reboot.

    EDIT: also disconnect all peripherals except for monitor, keyboard and mouse.
     
    Elizabeth23, Jun 24, 2018
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  6. Keith Gilbertson

    Keith Gilbertson

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    I really don't think there is a problem with the computer booting, or at least not now as it continues to boot back up in the Setup. It does this because the setup is never completed.
    I did look at the SETUPERR.LOG file and the last entry was;

    "SETUP ENCOUNTERED AN ERROR WHILE TRYING TO SET SYSTEM SECURITY."
    "AN EXTENDED ERROR HAS OCCURRED."

    This would appear to be why setup is stalled and won't continue, which requires me to cycle power to restart and then it goes back into the setup process unless I hit F8 to get into the Repair console.

    This is only of the last thing to do as the ext. on setup completion is 2 min.

    I think I need to find a way to get the setup to complete and then hopefully it will then boot up.

    Will running the fixboot or fixmbr hurt anything if they are OK?
     
    Keith Gilbertson, Jun 25, 2018
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  7. Keith Gilbertson

    Elizabeth23

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    no it will not hurt anything

    go HERE and read through several threads about this issue and see if one of the solutions will help you, :)
     
    Elizabeth23, Jun 25, 2018
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  8. Keith Gilbertson

    Keith Gilbertson

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    OK, I might try the fixboot and fixmbr commands but I really don't think they are at fault.
    I did read through the threads where other folks were getting locked up in the repair install same as me and noticed the same error in the SETUPERR.LOG file that I did. In one thread someone thought it might be to an error loading a NVidia video driver. During repair install I was notified that the NVidia driver was not Windows Certified and asked if I should go ahead and load anyway. I responded Yes, because the driver was working fine (in service 2 years). Also asked the same thing for the NVidia audio drivers, which I responded YES to. Most of the other reported similar problems got locked up during the Installing Devices phase. I'm getting locked up in the Saving Settings which is the next step and only showing 2 min. left.
    ?? There are about 3 or 4 "setup" log files created.
    Do you know if windows starts a NEW file with each Install restart? or if it just appends the file?

    Every time it gets locked up, I power down, and then it restarts from the beginning and goes through all the checking and copying devices.

    Should I delete the files created (with current date) and then get fresh files and look for errors? I'm not sure what I'd be looking for though. My only clue is it might have to do with the Non-Windows Certified drivers. Is there any way I can get it to install the standard or default VGA driver?
    Do you know what would happen if I answer NO when prompted to load the existing drivers? Will it let me choose another driver?

    Really appreciate you help and suggestions. None of the threads I looked had resolved the issue, or didn't report it.
     
    Keith Gilbertson, Jun 26, 2018
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  9. Keith Gilbertson

    Keith Gilbertson

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    Update - I booted computer and as expected it restarted the install. Went through and this time I answered NO when prompted to load the non-certified video and audio drivers. Not sure what drivers were used, but I guess I could search through the logs. Regardless it hung at the same place during saving settings with 2 min remaining.

    So, I think the answer might be in all those logs that are created, but which ones is the question. Some were new or changed today (6/25). Other logs were changed or created on 6/23 when I did my first attempt at the re-install.

    So many files and where to start.
     
    Keith Gilbertson, Jun 26, 2018
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  10. Keith Gilbertson

    Keith Gilbertson

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    I did run the FIXMBR command, just the command with no device after. I ran this from the C:/ root drive. I got a warning stating that the computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid Master Boot Record and running FIXMBR could damage the disk and make all partitions to be inaccessible. So I did not proceed. My hard drive currently has 3 partitions. 1)FAT16 (no drive assigned) 39MB; 2):NTSF Drive C:149G; 3)FAT32 Drive F:3.3G. Think Drive F is probably the original OS. ?? installed by DELL.
     
    Keith Gilbertson, Jun 26, 2018
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  11. Keith Gilbertson

    Elizabeth23

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    boot into the recovery console to repair boot.ini file which we clearly destroyed in step 2.


    Insert the Microsoft Windows XP CD (you can also use a Server 2003 CD) into the computer

    Reboot the computer with the CD in when prompted to press any key to boot from the CD

    Wait for the files to load, Once you are in the Microsoft Setup menu press R to open the recovery console.

    Select the operating system you wish to use; Windows XP installed so choose XP


    Once prompted for the admin password enter the Admin password (local) and press enter.

    Once at the command prompt type bootcfg /rebuild to start the rebuild process.

    bootcfg /rebuild command scans the hard disks of the computer for Windows XP installations, and then displays the results.

    You can add the detected Windows installations.
    You will receive a message that is similar to the following message:

    Total Identified Windows Installs: 1


    [1] C:\Windows
    Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All): Y


    Enter Load Identifier: Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition


    Enter Operating System Load Options /fastdetect



    Type exit to reboot the computer and everything will be back to normal.

    above from HERE, should work to clear the boot process

    THIS explains the bootcfg commands
     
    Elizabeth23, Jun 26, 2018
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  12. Keith Gilbertson

    Elizabeth23

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    reply 2: have you gone into the bios to change the boot order to hard drive first??

    do this before attempting bootcfg
     
    Elizabeth23, Jun 26, 2018
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  13. Keith Gilbertson

    Keith Gilbertson

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    My system is booting from the Hard Drive. (I don't have my Windows disk in the CD Drive). I get the normal windows screen and then a blue screen with just text saying Windows Setup is restarting. Then I get the Windows Installation screen and prompt to put my Windows CD in the disk drive.
    Why do you think there is something wrong with the BOOT.INI file. While in the Repair console, I viewed the current BOOT.INI file which has a date of the last installation try (which was today). I do have a BOOT.BAK file which was created in 2011 and both BOOT files match exactly. The fact that the BOOT.INI file has been updated with the installation trial, indicates something is working right.

    Do you know a way I can try to abort out of the setup process. There must be a file or something in a file that indicates the installation was not completed. I would like to try to abort the setup process and see if what was broken before is fixed now. I would think that is doable, but not sure what is going on. Other option is to figure out what is going amuck during the "copying files" near the end of the installation. One thing I did notice was during the "copying Files" step the CD was accessed to fetch files I guess. When it got to the lock-up point (2 min to go), the CD light quit flashing so has to be a problem writing a file. I ran chkdsk after one of the install attempts from the repair console. maybe I will run it again as it may not have cleaned up the hard disk from all bad sectors.

    I may end up just pulling the hard disk and putting in another machine to pull all the files off. I think that is what most folks with this problem have done as I have never seen a solution. Lots of suggestions and tries, but now fixes.
    This is wearing me out.
     
    Keith Gilbertson, Jun 27, 2018
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  14. Keith Gilbertson

    Elizabeth23

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    fixing the boot.ini is one of the fixes that I have seen in my research for this issue.

    you probably have to remove a "setup" entry that is in the boot.ini file

    above has been listed in almost all the threads I have researched, but you say your boot.ini has only the listing for your single os, then the boot.ini is not the problem.
    the bios cannot boot to a cd if the cd is not in the drive, even if you have cd to boot first, if there is no bootable media, it should go to boot to the next device which is your hard drive.

    one other thing is that the cd you are using is scratched and thus not enabling the complete install. You should just go ahaead and pull the drive to get your data, and then wipe the drive with DBAN , instructions here.
     
    Elizabeth23, Jun 27, 2018
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