I have a 2005 Dell Model 8400 that WILL not reinstall Windows XP Pro from the factory disk. This machine was sent by a friend to a local NON Dell repair shop after a Windows crash. The friend did not know how to reimage. The repair shop gave it back not finding the problem and not fixing anything. It was given back without a bootable OS.

I have used the recover disk that came with the machine AND an enterprize edition of Windows XP Pro and BOTH have the exact same symptoms.
Ironically I can load and run ubuntu/Linux without any issues.
I have run a RAM check program from a bootable CD with no errors.
I have during the distress loaded optimum defaults for the BIOS but ended up having to change the boot orders and Sata configs to get my DVD and see the Hard Drive. This is a SATA config with a RAID option. Linux seems to not have any problems.

Ok, What happens is, BOTH Windows CD proceeds through all of the installing and finishing of the install. The 38 Minute Process. Before that I deleted the partition and created a new one. When the machine reboots for the first initializing of Windows after all the files are copied the Windows XP with the rolling bars comes up. At the point after that the next screen that says starting Windows comes up and a few seconds later a light blue (BLANK) screen appears and the machine is gone forever. The only thing on the screen is the mouse pointer and the mouse works except that it is delayed like the processor is really working. Again, this is a blank LIGHT bluish Screen. When left in this condition I am assuming the processor is doing nothing as the heat sink becomes cool.
Is this enough information for anyone? I am tired of trying something different in BIOS and having to wait 40 more minutes while Windows Loads again..........
Stuck in Oklahoma.........

8 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by gbach

Let me add to my post. If you read all the first post I feel I need to clarify of few things during the process of trying to install.
1. I let the Windows CD's partition and format the Hard drive each time.
2. When the machine locks up as described I am required to hold the power button down for 5 seconds to cause a MB shutdown.
3. I used a known Enterprize version of Windows XP Pro that I have tested on many computers. I DELETE or reformat after testing as to not comprimise the license my company has with Microsoft.
4. The factory recovery disk does the same thing as the Enterprize disk.

Ubuntu/Linus is obviously not concerned about something hardware/software wise that Windows is at initilization.

The big question for me is: After a full install of Windows XP the Windows Logo screen appears normal with the rolling bars. After that Windows goes into the first "Please wait while Windows starts" or something to that affect. A few seconds after that is when the blank screen appears and all locks up.

Does anyone know exactly what Windows is doing or looking for at that point? i.e. Checking hardware config, etc. ??
I have installed Windows many times in my employment on blank machines and have never had this occur.

Why does Ubuntu seem unaffected? I can play games, seach files and change preferences using Ubuntu as the ONLY OS installed.
My Apologies for a long email but I have usually been able to hack through stuff.
Maybe someone at Microsoft knows what procedures Windows is calling to give me somewhat of a clue to where to look.
Many Thanks,


Bet you have an 8400 with no Floppy Drive...
It's been awhile but here is the process

1) Find an old floppy drive.
2) Download the Dell SATA device drivers
3) During the Install process XP will ask for other drivers (I think you need to press the F6 key at certain point during the install)
4) If I recall the XP install script can only see the Floppy drive (You know the one that didn't come with your computer)
5) Select the driver and your good to go

If you don't have a floppy drive you could try to burn a copy of the install CD with the SATA drivers on it.

Good luck


I have a Dell 8400 purchassed in 2004, with XP home on it. I was told that my OS was not working when it started locking up. I did a complete reformat using the CD that camp with the computer , Now it locks up at the windows xp screen.

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