I wanted to upgrade my PC, so I've:

  • bought and installed a new hard drive, and copied all the partitions from the old drive to the new one (using the old system)
  • bought and installed a new motherboard ASUS A88X-PRO together with the new hard drive (the old one has been removed)
  • moved all the logical partitions on the new drive to the right to reserve space for Ubuntu (I want a dual boot system) using the new system and Ubuntu Live CD
  • found a Windows XP iso-file with SATA drivers embedded and installed it on the first primary partition (I needed that because my old Windows XP distribution doesn't have SATA drivers)
  • tried to reboot the system to Windows XP and here I got stuck.

The system shows a normal Windows XP start screen for a second, then it shows the BSOD for a fraction of second, then tries to reboot again. I can't read the BSOD because it disappears too quickly. I even tried to make a video with my camera in accelerated video mode - no way, the text is unreadable, it's too blurry.

I tried to test the system with the Ubuntu Boot Repair Disk, and it didn't find any significant problems (the report is here). I've copied the mbr.bin from this disk to the /dev/sda - it didn't help. I've checked partitions alignment using the Western Digital Align Disk - it said that all partitions alignment was OK.

The Windows XP setup F2 function is useless for me because it immediately asks me to insert something in the a: drive, and I don't have one.

What else should I try to resolve the problem? Are there any ways to read the BSOD text without actually looking at the screen?

UPDATE #1: I know about UEFI and Secure Boot - both features have been disabled in the BIOS. Also I've updated the motherboard BIOS to the most recent version (2001) today.

As for the Automatic Restart on System Failure feature disabling - I've just found a very funny page. How can I access the Windows Control Panel without system booting? It reminded me a problem with some old BIOS - if keyboard isn't attached it'd output a message "The keyboard is not attached. Press F1 to continue".

UPDATE #2: I didn't mention before what particular Windows XP iso-file I used for installation. This file is available on many sites (for example, here), and it has the following name and length (in bytes):

 Windows_XP_Professional_SP3_Nov_2013_Incl_SATA_Drivers.iso 647823360

It looks like this Windows XP iso-file is a main problem, at least for the hardware configuration I have. This version can be installed, but it refuses to boot. However, I could install my old version of Windows XP (without SATA drivers) after I've switched SATA support in the BIOS to the IDE emulation mode (thanks to Bharat G for the idea), and the system boots without problems after that.

So, two my main questions can be now rephrased like this:

  • What's wrong with this Windows_XP_Professional_SP3_Nov_2013_Incl_SATA_Drivers.iso version?
  • How to break the Windows XP reboot loop and get some information about the reason of failure (F8 never worked for me)?

You replaced your motherboard, so that means SATA drivers need to be installed. Given that your motherboard is fairly new, it is very likely that your iso with collection of SATA drivers simply is missing the right sata driver. In fact, it is possible it tries to access the drives with an old (and thus obsolete) SATA driver.

It actually happened to me too. Wanted to be lazy and got myself a windows XP iso with embedded SATA drivers, and even though I did had the disk with SATA drivers, that particular ISO with embedded sata drivers just was not working in any situation.

So you need to either not use SATA (switch to IDE) or download the proper SATA drivers and either slipstream them into a clean windows xp iso or create a driverdisk if you want this to work.

That said, installing windows xp is something I would definitely not do. Install windows 8.1 or windows 10, x32 bit version (if you have less than 4gb of ram) because it actually outperforms windows xp (is faster). And also, windows XP is end of life and is a big security risk. Unless of course you don't mind getting infected with spyware and virusses often of course.

  • You are right about Windows XP - it's old and unsupported etc. The Windows OS line for me is what I'm trying to get rid of completely - but I want to do that gradually. As for the SATA driver - I have the mobo support disk, and it looks like it contains this driver. I'll just need to find a way to install it in the already functioning Windows XP. – HEKTO Sep 5 '15 at 22:48

In your new motherboard, there should be a setting called sata mode. The options will be IDE mode and AHCI mode. U need to set this to IDE mode for windows xp.

U may need to reinstall windows after setting this.

And secure boot and uefi options in motherboard will also need to be disabled. Seems u already done that.

SATA drives: What is the difference b/w IDE mode and AHCI?

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    I tried that - it didn't help. My Windows XP has SATA drivers, so it can see all my drives even in AHCI mode... Why should I switch to the IDE mode? – HEKTO Aug 24 '15 at 2:28
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    Not sure about the iso file's originality? I too had previously installed winxp iso-with-sata-drivers and ahci enabled, but it never worked for me. Maybe the drivers specific to my system aren't available in that iso. Which is why i suggested to check ide mode. If that doesn't work maybe its not related to sata mode. – Bharat G Aug 24 '15 at 2:37
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    I tried my old Windows XP installation disk in BIOS IDE mode - and it worked for me, I could install the OS and boot the system. Thank you for the idea! – HEKTO Aug 24 '15 at 14:50
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    You r welcome. So it could be that the iso with sata drivers doesnt have ur board specific ones. And the issue continues with newer and newer boards. Glad that u sorted it. – Bharat G Aug 24 '15 at 18:22

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