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I have a Compaq Presario C500 laptop I am trying to put XP SP2 on. I believe it originally came with Vista, and I ran Linux on it for a long time without any problems.

Right after the "Press any key to boot from CD ..." part of the process, the installer briefly flashes, "Setup is now inspecting your computer's hardware configuration." and then the screen just goes blank and stays that way. No blue screen, no red graph, no further output.

Additionally, the hard drive activity LED on the outside comes on solid (yes, solid - not blinking very rapidly) and stays that way as well until reboot.

I have tried multiple installation CDs, and I have attempted to boot off an external USB CD-ROM. Most likely the issue has to do with the SATA storage controller. I have tried disabling "native SATA support" in the BIOS as various forum posts have suggested, but unfortunately with no effect.

Any suggestions would be welcome!

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

usually i suggest to slipstream the controller driver into your installation CD (e.g. with nLite), however, this is not mentioned in the forum posts, so let's assume it is possible to install XP without slipstreaming the driver (although i do find it suspicious because no version of Windows XP features native SATA support).

can you change the SATA settings to IDE (AHCI will definitely NOT work without the driver)?

if not, do you have to option to load the BIOS default settings? if so, load the default settings and then disable "native SATA support".

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There is no way to change SATA settings to IDE per se. There is just the ability to "disable native SATA mode." I do not know if that has the effect of presenting the storage interface as IDE to the OS or not. Seems unlikely. – Alex Balashov Sep 14 '09 at 2:19
if the issue is with the SATA controller then the normal occurance would be a BSOD (7B) error) When windows Setup is checking the drive for earlier versions. did you load the BIOS defaults? – Molly7244 Sep 14 '09 at 10:41

I would check and make sure there are even drivers for the motherboard for XP. If it came with Vista you're out of luck if Compaq didn't create them.

I did look at it appears this forum post is from a bunch of people who want to do the same thing you are doing. It appears they were largely successful, though they don't mention which XP service pack they were working from.

Do you have any CD without Service Pack 2?

If disabling that storage controller didn't fix anything, this forum will not help though. I would think heat could be a possible culprit, or, maybe a faulty drive or controller of some sort. I would likely bet that the computer will not work with XP. You might want to try Vista, or the Windows 7 RC, on it, to see if anything works. Though those use a different install setting, at least you would have a version of Windows.

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I don't think the hardware is the problem, as far as heat and faulty drives and such go. I still have the old Linux install on it (not overwritten with XP yet) and it boots and works just fine. I don't have any CDs that are non-SP2. And I really don't want to do Vista. – Alex Balashov Sep 14 '09 at 2:20

I have ran into the same issue with a few laptops that are running SATA trying to do a clean load of XP instead of Vista. Seems that disabling the "Native SATA Support" is often the only fix. (Tried slipstreaming the drivers. No dice.)

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I did disable Native SATA support. No go. :( – Alex Balashov Sep 14 '09 at 2:18
May want to try slipstreaming the drivers then. Had luck with it in other situations involving storage interface issues ie: Reinstalling OS over RAID setups. – TomB Sep 14 '09 at 7:50

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