I have previously formatted and installed Windows 98,2000, XP and vista on many,many hard drives. I have never had this problem.
A high spec machine with 2gb ram and 250 sata 2 seagate HD.
The machine runs beautifully except that I suspect a virus infection because the security service is shut down on every reboot and I cannot use any form of antivirus. I then attempted to do a clean install of XP Pro SP 2 using a legit windows disc. I set the bios to boot to the cd and I reach the black screen which says "inspecting etc, then the message disappears and then the black blank screen.
No blue windows setup screen. Waited for 30 mins on one occasion. I have tried 5 different windows discs with no success. Yet when I boot to the HD, no problem except no antivirus. I have done a chkdisk and found no errors. I have done a system restore. No change. Has anyone got any ideas?

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Once you've booted from the HDD, what happens when you run setup off the CD ? Maybe the problem is your CD drive hardware ?

sounds like your cd drive might be busted, the cables bad/loose, or possibly if you're burning the CD from an image, the drive you're using doesn't like that brand of blank CDs. I've had that happen on several occasions and once I used a different brand of blank CD, all was good.

I forgot to include the fact that two dvd/rw drives are installed and I have checked they are both working ok. They both play and read anything and everything including the windows setup disks I tried.
I need to do a clean install because of the virus infection I previously mentioned.
I have just tried again and after the post I don't get the message "start booting to CD" or "boot to cd. press any key to continue"
The first thing I get is the message "setup is inspecting your computers h/w and config" This is flashed for a second or less and then the screen goes blank. No blue windows setup screen. The computer hangs (I have waited for 30mins).
The strange thing is when I reset the bios to boot to the hhd, it powers up beautifully, but security service is shut down and I can't install any av programs (ZA, NOD32, Kapersky or AVG Free). Do you think virus infection? I would appreciate any ideas. Thanks.

hi, i remember got a thread around here cannot install xp also, they claim that it's a RAM problem... so better try it out. try another RAM..
i encountered a problem before but it was win 98 i was unable to install windows...only to find out that the processor was the culprit..

Hi Cguan,
I can't hit this problem for 24 hrs, but I will try our your advice and install 1 new 1gig ddr2 stick of ram and try again. I'll let you know. Thanks.

Further to the above. I have now solved the problem. In my previous posts I omitted to mention that the drive was partitioned. I tried installing new ram as sugested by Cugan_77 but had no luck. I found a post here http://ejoneclicks.com/2006/12/21/windows-xp-setup-hangs-at-setup-is-inspecting-your-computers-hardware-configuration/
which discussed problems formatting partitioned discs.
I then removed the partition using Partition Magic and the install then went without a hitch.
I have previously never had a problem doing a clean install on a partition, but I suppose there is always a first time.
Anyway I learned a valuable lesson, and many thanks for taking the time to help me.

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