Why I couldn't install XP

  Ian in Northampton 11:11 AM 22 Oct 12
Locked

Not a problem, but a solution in the event that anything equally weird happens to someone else… One of my PCs was getting slow, so I decided to reinstall XP. For reasons I couldn’t quite work out, the PC wouldn’t respond to the wireless keyboard and mouse while I was doing the install, so I fetched an old PS/2 keyboard and mouse out of the loft, and attached those. As the install was going on, I noticed a rapid clicking noise. I assumed it was the DVD drive, or perhaps even the hard drive, having a funny turn, but as everything seemed to be working fine, I left well alone. Well: every time the XP install had finished its initial file load, I got an on-screen message asking me if I wanted to install XP – to which I answered ‘yes’, and it took me back to the beginning. I repeated the process several times, and was till noticing the clicking. Suddenly, it occurred to me. The clicking wasn’t the DVD drive or the hard drive – it’s the noise you get when the keyboard input buffer overflows. It seemed like there was a good reason the keyboard was in the loft – it was faulty, and I guess that it had a key stuck down which was sending a signal to the XP install and messing it up. Fortunately, I had another keyboard lying around. I swapped it in – and hey presto, the installation proceeded as per normal. However, that wasn’t the end of my problems… The install got stuck at the dreaded 34 minute mark (Google it…) while installing devices. The fix that worked for me was the one I found on the MS web site. Just restart the reinstall: it will pick up where it left off, and will have ‘learned’ not to try to do whatever it was doing again. (It seems there can be some kind of conflict between the system and the devices XP is trying to install). I was apprehensive about this but – I seem to now have a good XP install.

  northumbria61 14:00 PM 22 Oct 12

Ian - the clicking noise is usually associated with holding down the delete key to access the BIOS - It appears you did have a stuck down key which was preventing the install as it was unable to find a drive to install to.

  finerty 18:07 PM 22 Oct 12

suggest u get new keyboard and mouse and try again

  onthelimit1 18:12 PM 22 Oct 12

finerty - he said

'I was apprehensive about this but – I seem to now have a good XP install.'

so I don't think he needs to try again!?

  Ian in Northampton 10:30 AM 23 Oct 12

otl1: LOL! Reinstalling XP is the most fun you can have with your clothes on, so I may just follow finerty's advice, just for the hell of it.

Actually, the original story is even stupider... I swapped out the 'stuck down key' keyboard for another one, which allowed the install to continue - but then found that not all the keys worked, which made putting the XP license key in a tad difficult. I swapped the original keyboard back in to do that, then swapped it out again. With some apprehension, it has to be said, given the rumour that unplugging/plugging PS/2-connected devices can be damaging to the system...

  northumbria61 11:25 AM 23 Oct 12

Ian - given the rumour that unplugging/plugging PS/2-connected devices can be damaging to the system...

Yes it can be damaging. It should always be done when PC is OFF to be on the safe side. Time to spend some cash Ian on new KB & Mouse.

  Ian in Northampton 12:53 PM 23 Oct 12

northumbria61: nah - there's plenty more in the loft. Those two are now in the bin. The keyboard I'm currently using on my test bed machine is so old, it's got an adapter on it from the old style PS/2 to the new style one... :-)

  bjh 15:41 PM 23 Oct 12

Hmm. I've done dafterer with old computing junk. I had a lovely heavy-duty steel case, and wondered if I could reuse it with newer parts. So I emptied it. There was a physical round lock & key to lock the case, and I didn't have the key any more, so I thought I'd push it out with a finger while I could loosen the nut inside the lock. One satisfying "plop ... clunk" and I had removed my lock .... but replaced it with a well-stuck finger.

I did escape... eventually.

  Ian in Northampton 09:40 AM 24 Oct 12

bjh: excellent! Perhaps PC Advisor should start a forum called "Stupid things I have done with my PC"...?

  rdave13 10:01 AM 24 Oct 12

I don't think anyone will best Nontek's post about the disappearing DVD disc in the drive!

http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/forums/1/tech-helproom/4167990/hungy-laptop-eats-disc-enigma/

  Ian in Northampton 11:49 AM 24 Oct 12

I'd missed that one. Excellent!

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