A neighbor askes me to try & install windows XP onto an older PC. He is having trouble booting from the xp install cd.
A quick check of the bios reveals that the the boot order is to blame… to install xp, you need to have the boot priority be: cd first, then the hard drive.
So I setup windows xp, run autopatcher to get XP all up-to-date (and add a few tweaks as well).
A few days later, I get a call asking for help: the new owner had tried to install a dvd burner, & now it dives an error message, even after the cd & dvd are not conected to the system… hmmm, very odd. I go out & check, & sure enough, it won’t boot & give a strange error message. I try safe mode & I get a different error. I try BARTPE, & I get a 3rd error at load time… wow…
This is looking like a hardware problem, but I didn’t have any problem like this during my setup. What could it be?
I start getting suspicious about the bios: there are 2 hard drives & the bios setting have the HDD cylinders, landing zone & other parameters all hardcoded… this should be in auto mode, but I didn’t change it while I was setting up the PC (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it).
So I change all the drive settings to auto (after writing down the old settings)… shazzam, it all works now. I check the bios again, & the hdd settings have reverted back to the prior settings… but at least the PC is starting now.
I put it down to a corrupt bios, I remove the old cd drive (the dvd writer should be enough), I re-assemble everything, then I do a final restart & everything goes well.