Had a e-machine brought to me, was told it was garbage. Installed a floppy drive, booted to 98 startup disk, fdisk(fat 32), formatted drive and started with win 95. ran setup, said it was rebooting , then it hung during "starting windows for first time", Sigh, so I finally found a 98 setup disk, reformatted, clean install, and it too hangs after rebooting to start windows for first time. I'm stumped. Please if anyone could help.

AMD Sempron™ 3100+ processor
(1.8GHz, 1600MHz system bus, 256KB L2 cache)
Operating System: Genuine Microsoft® Windows® XP Home (SP2)

Chipset: NVIDIA® GeForce® 6100
Memory: 512MB DDR (1 × 512MB), 400MHz (PC3200)
Expandable to 2GB
Hard Drive: 100GB (7200rpm, 2MB cache)
Optical Drive: 48x CD-RW/DVD combo drive
Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® 6100 GPU
Up to 128MB of shared video memory
PCI Express (PCIe x16) slot available
Sound: 6-channel (5.1) AC'97 audio
Network: 10/100Mbps integrated Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port)
Modem: 56K ITU V.92-ready fax/modem (RJ-11 port)
Peripherals: Standard multifunction keyboard, 2-button wheel mouse, amplified stereo speakers
Ports/Other: 6 USB 2.0 (2 in front, 4 in back), VGA external connector, serial port, parallel port, 2 PS/2 ports (keyboard and mouse), 5 audio ports (2 in front, 3 in back)
Dimensions: 14.25" H x 7.25" W x 16" D
Weight: 22.5 lbs

I'm not sure that GeForce 6 series video cards are compatible with win98.
you may have to downgrade your card to set up on Win98.
However, your system info says that the os is XP ?

formatted drive and started with win 95. ran setup, said it was rebooting , then it hung during "starting windows for first time", Sigh, so I finally found a 98 setup disk, reformatted, clean install, and it too hangs after rebooting to start windows for first time. I'm stumped. Please if anyone could help.

This is the classic sign of a hardware conflict.
For instance -if you have a graphics card installed in a pci slot, and the onboard graphics is not disabled , then a conflict can occur.
The same could apply to a sound card.
In such a case disable onboard controllers by jumper or through the CMOS setup.

Hi
Thi machine is compatible to run XP. Try installing XP. Due to HW these conflicts might happen.
Cheers
sittas