Laptop XP Installation Hang
September 29, 2005 7:15 AM   Subscribe

Windows XP reinstall troubles. I'm fixing a laptop for a friend of mine, but in the middle of Windows XP Pro reinstall, the installer stops at 35 minutes remaining, while 'Installing Devices'.

The installer stops at 35 minutes, though the 'XP Notes' text still cycles through its bits, and the green progress squares flash in their silly little squence. But even after a fe hours, nothing budges. No disc activity. Nowt.

I've tried several different XP CDs - some genuine, some less so. I've tried heading into the BIOS and turning off every component I can. Needless to say, all external devices are already disconnect. One site I found (via Google) alluded to an L2 Cache problem, but there's no means of disabling the L2 Cache in the BIOS (Even after upgrading to the latest firmware). It's a Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook C1020, 1700MHz P4/256mb RAM.

And I'm stumped.
posted by armoured-ant to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Did you try uninstalling things like sound cards, etc, like this guy?
posted by iconomy at 7:36 AM on September 29, 2005

Best answer: How many ram chips? Do you have spare ram to swap? (just to test if the ram is faulty).

What version of XP are you installing? Pre SP1, SP1 or SP2?

If it's anything pre-SP2, I recommend grabbing nlite, downloading the SP2 network install and using nlite to slipstream SP2 so you have an SP2 install cd. Nlite also lets you tweak startup services, etc.

Oh..I just had a thought - does your friend have the cds that came w/ the laptop? If not, grab all of the relevant drivers from Fujitsu's site and incorporate them into the boot cd (using's has an easy to use wizard)
posted by zerokey at 7:39 AM on September 29, 2005

Did you wipe the drive first, or are you installing over a previous version of XP?
posted by starscream at 8:56 AM on September 29, 2005

When you get to the point where it stops progressing, hit Shift-F10, which will open a command prompt. Run "taskmgr". That'll get you to the Task Manager. Randomly kill stuff that looks frozen until it continues again.
posted by yeoz at 9:16 AM on September 29, 2005

Response by poster: There's one RAM chip, 256mb. I don't have another (compatible) one to swap it out for. Another page I found in Google suggested that it may be a problem with XP installing on a machine with 256mb RAM. Bugger.

I've tried a Pre SP1 disc, and I think the disks I've used since have been SP1. I'm excited about that nlite app that zerokey just mentioned.

I've tried a repair and installing over the top. I'm not too keen about doing a clean format, since (a) It's not my laptop, and I don't know/am too lazy to find out where the owner's documents are. (b) It strikes me as exactly the kind of problem that would behave the same way, anyway.
posted by armoured-ant at 9:18 AM on September 29, 2005

At work we occasionally have japanese students' laptops to fix (fujitsu models), and when we have to re-install XP Pro JP or EN version it is common to freeze halfway (around the 35-39min mark). Usually we ask for the "restore" CDs if this happens and just refresh the OS from the OEM software, rather than their student XP Pro CDs.

We have had to replace RAM on occasion, but that is not really a huge problem for most students.
posted by vkxmai at 9:53 AM on September 29, 2005

I had this problem when recently doing a fresh install of XP Pro, and it was the RAM. It wasn't bad RAM, but I had two different DIMMs and they were in the wrong combination of slots for the motherboard/bios. Sounds like this is not your problem, but when I was searching for help online for this, I came across advice similar to what iconomy and yeoz recommended.

I also found some articles in the Microsoft help database that addressed this very issue, and the different possibilities for resolving it. Try searching there.
posted by pitchblende at 12:59 PM on September 29, 2005

Here's one of the Microsoft articles. Here's the master article for this problem.
posted by pitchblende at 1:03 PM on September 29, 2005

Response by poster: For anyone still looking at this thead, here's how I finally overcame it.

1) Created a bootable XP environment on CD, using BartPE.

2) Booted the laptop up into BartPE, connected it to my LAN, copied the entire contents of the hard disk to another computer.

3) Burned a copy of the hard disk contents to DVD for safekeeping.

4) Created an XP install CD using nLite, containing XP Pro, SP2, all the drivers for the laptop from the Fujitsu web site, and some essential software I wanted on the laptop (AVG Antivirus, Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool, etc.)

5) Booted up from the nLite XP install CD, did a clean format and reinstall.

6) Was relieved.

Hope this helps any Googlers out there!
posted by armoured-ant at 5:08 AM on October 6, 2005

« Older Tranquil sounds or incessant tinkering?   |   Beatles-sounding songs? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.