Okay, I will tell you upfront I have taken very few formal classes in terms of computer hard ware and bios settings and the like. That being said, I'm a problem solver. I love being able to tackle a problem and wrestle it down with understanding and finally beat it into submission with a solution. So if you give me a response and I ask for clarification, more often then not it's because I know a term by something other then what you are referring to it has.
So here’s the situation. I am building a computer to act as a print server and file server for my home network. I’ve stripped out the parts to do so from a series of 4 other computers that I know were working previously. I’ve assembled the system and I went to load windows.
One my first attempt windows XP finished loading it’s pre-installation check list but stopped at “Setup is starting windows”. Suspecting a bad disk, I used a different disk for my second attempt to load the OS. My second attempt was the same as the first.
Now suspecting my problem to be hard ware related, I first swapped out the optical drive and repeated my attempt. Same result. Replaced the Hard drive. Same result. Replaced the IDE cable for the hard drive. Same result. Replaced the IDE cable for the Optical drive. Same result.
Now I began to try different options. I put together a second computer and moved what, I am planning, to be the primary hard drive for the server to that computer and attempted to load windows through that system. Once again I was presented with the system failing to load in the same fashion has had been shown previously.
At this point I took the first hard drive ( 40gb ATA) and attached to my main system via an external USB enclosure. The drive come up in windows just fine, I formatted it, and re-partitioned it with out issue. I repeated this process with the other 2 hard drives (One is another 40gb ATA, the other is a 160 gb ATA).
With 3 confirmed functional hard drives, I returned to the two computers that I had built and connected the 40s. Once again I was presented with the same result. I swapped the first 40 for the 160 and once more tried. Again, the installation stopped at “Setup is Starting Windows”.
With this latest set of failures I took 4 optical drives (2 DVD drive, 1 CD, 1 DVD-RW) and in sequence connected each of them to an external enclosure, and accessed them from windows, to confirm that they were functional. All 4 functioned with out issue.
So I have
1) MoBo with 1.5 Gb of Ram and and AMD Sempron
2) MoBo with 768 Mgb of Ram and a AMD K7 processor
3) 2 40gb ATA hard drives ATA Connection
4) 1 160gb ATA Hard drive ATA Connection
5) 2 DVD ATA Drive ATA connection
6) 1 DVD-RW SATA drive
7) 1 CD Drive ATA connection
And it seems as if no matter what combination of hard ware I try, I am presented with the same result, the installation stops at “Setup is starting windows”. And when I say the installation stops, I mean it just stops. It doesn't freeze, it just stops. The hard drive spins down, the optical drive slows and then stops.
Frankly, I'm stumped. Anyone have any advice on how I can remedy this?