XP keeps rebooting -> can't reinstall...

Hello all,

I was hoping someone would bear with me while I explained my problem and offer me some help... Here goes:

Father's pc (running up to date xp) suddendly crashes and constantly reboots itself as it can't get past the welcome screen. Tried in every boot mode (safe, debug, etc.) to no avail. It either reboots or gives me a BSOD.
I run HDD and RAM diagnostic tools on boot discs and everything's fine.
By then I'm thinking XP's screwed. I take the HDD home and save all the data on another pc. I then format it and thouroughly check it. All good.
I then proceed to reinstall XP from the recovery partition. Several attempts give me errors while extracting files. I re-chkdsk both partitions and retry. After a few attempts, I get to the point where it reboots and finalizes the install on the HDD. But then, around the time it registers components, bam, BSOD again.

Alright, then. I format again and try another XP disc. The same error (BSOD) happens around at the same install step (towards the end). I try yet another XP disc (don't ask), no luck. One of the XP dics I tried actually made it through the install, but then at the first XP start, it gives me the infernal reboot loop again...

By then I'm suspecting a hardware issue.
I remove the RAM sticks one by one and check, no joy.
I get another clean HDD and try to install on that one, no joy.
I disconnect the DVD drive, floppy, all PCI cards, no joy.
I replace the CMOS battery, no joy.

I've run several boot discs and they all seem to function well, including Knoppix.
I'm starting to run out of ideas and knowledge...
I'm suspecting a Mobo or CPU issue, maybe the power unit?
Something might cause a fatal crash when the OS accesses a driver or integrated component (LAN, IDE, USB, etc.)?

The machine is getting old, it spent most of it's life turned on. The data is safe. It's not worth much and kind of needs to be replaced anyway, but I'd still like to get to the bottom of this!

Has anybody got any suggestions on what to do next? Is there anything I can do or use to test the MoBo integrated hardware?

Anyway, thanks for reading through this and for any help!
4 answers Last reply
More about rebooting reinstall
  1. Try googleing the codes on bsod, it may help narrow it down. Just for kicks look at the mobo and see if there are any capacitors with swollen tops.
  2. Hi ktownmike,

    Thanks for your answer. I've taken a look at the caps and they all look mint. As for the bsod codes, I haven't noted the adresses, but the few ones I got where the system didn't reboot immediately concerned files like win32k.sys or ntfs.sys...

    That's why I'm guessing it could come from a hardware issue (those are generic driver files I think).
  3. You could try running a live linux disk and see if it will boot and run off of it. If it is a hardware issue it would have problems on the live linux disk too.
  4. Thought I'd tie this thread up just in case anyone's still looking after all this time...

    It was a bad RAM stick... The diagnostic tool didn't pick it up even after several passes.
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