This story is a compilation of all the 98 and XP problems I've been having over the past week. I decided to build a new computer a couple weeks ago. My brother is visiting here and he took an A+ Microsoft Certification course last summer so I figured he could help me build it. I ordered all the parts:
Athlon XP 1800+
MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU Motherboard
2x 256 MB DDR 333 Memory
Maxtor 40 gig 7200 RPM HD
Windows XP Home Edition (full install, not an upgrade)
I had bought a Dell computer 3 years back, and I reused some parts from it like the 13 gig HD, the 56k modem, the floppy drive, and the CD-ROM drive. I had also bought a GeForce 2 GTS and Acer CD-RW over the years as well. My brother and I connected everything and it all seemed to work.
I installed Windows 98 first to see if everything would work. Once I got the Detonator drivers for my GeForce it worked perfectly, but my modem and sound card were not working. I went on the internet to get the modem drivers (keep in mind this is a 3 year old 56k modem), and I thought that I had found them. I transfered it from the computer I'm on now (my parents') to the new one, but it still would not work. Also I still don't know where to get the drivers for my sound card.
But anyway, I decided to forget all that and try to install Windows XP. When I popped in the disc while running Windows 98, I did a compatibility check and it said that Windows XP cannot upgrade from Windows 98 or some such thing. I got on the phone with a Windows XP tech support guy and he told me that I had bought the full version of XP, not an upgrade. Wonderful.
So he walked me through getting rid of 98 and doing a clean install of XP by booting from the XP CD. Unfortunately, it would hang while copying the files from the CD to the hard drive. Then he told me to copy the i386 folder from the CD to the hard drive and try to install it that way, but it would still hang. This was getting to be a very expensive long distance phone call so I had to hang up, and now I am stuck with this system that can't install Windows XP into or even recognize my modem when running 98. I am thinking about getting a tech guy out to help me, but I was wondering if anyone here would happen to know what to do for a problem like this before I shell out any more cash =)
I had a similar problem with an XP install a few months back. Here's what worked for me: It turns out I was inadvertantly overclocking the RAM. I had the CAS level set to 2 when the RAM was CAS 2.5. Once I set the CAS to 2.5 in the BIOS the install instability problems disappeared. It may not be your problem, but it's worth a shot.
<i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>