Boyd thanks for your help. I have given up. First of all I couldn't get a floppy to work, then I noticed two pins missing on the FDD interface and thought this was unusual so I rang Dell. 3/4 of a hour later they decide to send an engineer out the next day, promising me they would ring between 9and 11 to arrange a time. At 9:10am the engineer turns up out of the blue with a replacement m/b only for it to turn out that the fdd interface is supposed to have two pins missing. Tech support are an Indian JOKE.
Anyway got the floppy working by enabling it in the bios, got XP loaded only for it to start blue screening ,looping and occasionly loading the desktop for a second or two.
All this could be sorted if Dell had the decency to send me a resources and drivers cd for xp but when I asked they told me more or less to get lost.
they have succeeded in loosing another customer because If this is the after sales service the provide they can take a run and jump. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER DELL PC!
Anyway got the floppy working by enabling it in the bios, got XP loaded only for it to start blue screening, looping and occasionly loading the desktop for a second or two.
I understand your frustration. There has to be something else going on here. Did you use an original copy of XP and not a download or slipstreamed version? Were you able to actually get XP to load and get to the desktop? If you are not experiencing some hardware issue, XP should install with the floppy F6 procedure normally. You then should be able to update all the other drivers. Have you checked your memory because this acts just like a classic memory issue? You can download Memtest and put it on a floppy disk and boot to it and it will check the memory for errors. Don't rely on Dell's memory test. I never give up. I have been working on computers nearly 30 years now and have never had one I could not get to work as it should and so can you. Dealing with Dell though, is another matter. Dell has never helped me with an issue other than sending me parts that were needed under warranty and usually they were the wrong ones. I recall working on one system for 48 straight hours before I was successful, but in the end I prevailed and you can too. Try the Memtest and at least confirm the memory to be without errors or confirm it to be faulty. Keep us posted.
Right heres the latest. I have ruled out a faulty disk as I used my older XP Home sp1 and it installed ok to the same point, although Amazon are replacing it anyway now.
I insert the OS disk press F6 load up Nvidia Raid controller and Sata Controller and have no problems installing XP. The trouble starts when I try to install other necessary drivers Like NIC and the time before this Chipset drivers. After doing this I get the BSOD and looping. Here is the BSOD from this time.
DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL ( This is a generic message which could cover a load of things)
STOP: 0x000000D1 (0x000001AC,0x00000006,0x00000001,0xF74A84C0
nvgts.sys Address F74A84C0 base at F7496000,datestamp 472236eb
I am installing the correct(according to Dell) drivers for XP. the previous time I completely wiped the HDD before trying to install XP and this time I did an overnight Long format before trying to install XP.
I am wondering if my system might be incompatable with ATI 3870 HD cards running XP and maybe should have GT 8800 instead as "nvgts.sys" seems to be croping up regularly.
By the way I have installed any drivers from the Dell Drivers disk which it turns out has XP drivers as well. I did this to rule out faulty online drivers or corrupted downloaded drivers.
I am pretty much at a dead end now as there does not appear to be a solution and Dell wont help.
This appears that you have some issues with the video card drivers. Since you can now get Windows to install, I would download these ATI drivers afrom ATI and not Dell. Dell seems to lag behind others when it comes to drivers. These are tha latest for your card from ATI. Give these a try and see if you have any success.
No, once it starts blue screening and looping nothing can be done bar reinstall and start the game all over again. I had a good reply on the XP forum from the Dell liason guy with what drivers to install and in what order but guess what, the same old story. He starts of with Mediashield floppy at F6. I'm wondering if its possible to get these drivers already packaged for a floppy as it could be the drivers that I use on my floppy at F6 that are wrong and causing the problem the minute I try installing anything. Today I followed his instructions
1/ Floppy with sata and raid controllers
2/ Dell Desktop software and it failed from here
next I tried this
1/Floppy with sata and raid controllers
2/SP2 upgrade as I was using my older SP1 XP disk It failed from here
If I just install windows and nothing else I think its ok but to be fair I haven't tried restarting with just that configuration.
God hates me