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Sunday, January 13, 2008

XP setup hangs on Setup is inspecting your hardware configuration screen

A few months back I had installed Fedora 7 on a laptop to see if everything I do on Windows can be done on Fedora too. I have not figured out a way to make Nortel VPN work on Fedora yet. Open Office is good but not 100% compatible. So I decided to remove Fedora and install Windows XP on this laptop. Strangely the setup did not proceed beyond the message "Setup is inspecting your hardware configuration" screen. I googled for this and found this link. It suggested that if we remove the existing partitions on the disk, the XP setup would proceed smoothly. I had assumed that XP setup would recognize the Linux partition and I could remove it during the installation. But XP setup failed to do so. The link had suggested booting through a linux CD to remove the partitions, but I decided to do it through good old DOS. So off I searched for a DOS bootable CD image which I found here. I burnt the CD and booted the laptop through the CD. I removed the existing partitions through FDISK command. Windows XP setup continued without issues when I tried to install it after removing the partitions.


Anonymous said...

You didnt actually do anything interesting.

I came across your blog by google and assumed you figured out how to get xp installed while keeping the fedora 7 install.

All you did was removed everything and start again.

Your post is a waste of time.

Vikram Das said...

Hi Anonymous,

I have clearly mentioned in my post that "So I decided to remove Fedora and install Windows XP on this laptop" I never planned to keep Fedora and Windows XP together. The post is not for creating a dual boot XP and Fedora system. It is for issues encountered after removing Fedora and trying to install XP. For dual booting XP and Fedora try this:

1. Boot from Fedora bootable DVD
2. Install Fedora normally. Installer detects Windows XP automatically, and creates a boot menu item for it. In bootloader configuration you can change the name of Windows XP menu item from "DOS" to "Windows XP".

You have the sequence wrong. You should have Windows XP installed first and then install Fedora, you are trying it the other way round.

- Vikram

Matt K said...

Hi Vikram- Thanks for the post, it probably saved me hours of trying to figure out why I couldn't get back the "Inspecting Hardware" screen.

You might want to try out andLinix ( is a complete Ubuntu Linux system running seamlessly in Windows 2000 based systems (2000, XP, 2003, Vista; 32-bit versions only).

Thanks again.

Bottlecap Napkin said...

Thanks for the information. I had exactly the same problem, but did a search before you posted this. I was just getting ready to pull out the fedora install disks when I ran across this post. Much easier with DOS, especially for someone like me who cut their teeth on it.

Darrin said...

This is awesome! Thanks for posting this. This is the exact problem I am having (expect with fedora core 6). Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

This sure saved me a bunch of time thanks! Instead of FDISK though I used Acronis director with the drive loaded into a USB external case on another machine. Thanks for sharing.

Brian Kell said...

Thank you. This was exactly my problem. You saved me a lot of frustration.

Tim said...

Your first anonymous poster apparently had his time wasted, but spent more time telling you that his time had been wasted. I think his surname must be Irony.

Although I too was looking for a Linux-first dual-boot solution, this article did give me one bit of crucial information: that it's a known problem and it's not just me that has some mutant hardware. Thanks Vikram.

OlliK said...

Now this saved me a lot of time. And i was wondering why the $%&§ the windows install always crashed. Thanks man! said...

I appreciate your finding, unlike that anon comment. I couldnt figure out why booting off the CD would stop after Inspecting hardware...
I didn't think that the Partition would cause a problem like that.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has been frying and installing multiple OS's for a long time knows that MS has an attitude problem when it comes to installing 98 XP Vista or any MS branded OS to a machine that already contains a Linux partition; regardless of the file system.

For someone attempting this for the first time, this blog is very helpful.

My first dual boot was 98/Redhat 3, and the process hasn't changed since.

1. Install fresh copy of the MS Winblows of choice.
2. Spend the next four hours downloading and installing updates and security patches.
3. Boot up on your Linux distro of choice and let it do its thing.
4. Spend as much time on the Linux OS as possible.
5. Never again pay $400 for an inferior OS.

Google announced the reality of Android yesterday. It won't be long until the efficiency and lightweight of the Linux Kernel allows your cell phone to do everything that non-recyclable Dell/HP/Compaq et al preloaded with Winblows and 284 "pay to continue using" apps is designed to do.

In the meantime if you don't have the patience or knowledge to effectively use LInux only: Buy Apple.


Sandaili said...

Also if you're going to be doing this a lot, a livecd of Gparted works wonders, pop it in, let it boot, and delete the partitions. It also does tons of other stuff.


Anonymous said...

how did you use FDISK on from dos? when i use it its trying to FDISK the A:/ drive instead of the C..

ive been looking around the internet for a solution and this is one of the only places with half and idea of what to do! any help is wonderful!

Vikram Das said...

Hi Anonymous,

When you boot from DOS with a floppy, it will show only A: or the floppy drive. That is because DOS doesn't recognize Linux partitions. However if you display the partitions on the disk it will show you the Linux partition as a non-DOS partition. Following the menu prompts you can remove all partitions from the hard disk.

In case fdisk is not recognizing your hard disk, then you should try with a windows 98 bootdisk which will have fdisk. You can download one from

If you have a windows partition, You may also try these steps given in

Boot to XP installation media, select the recovery option. This will put you
into a command prompt... Then run DiskPart.exe. This will place you at the
Diskpart prompt:

diskpart >Select disk 0 (if this is the actual first disk that the OS is on).
diskpart >Select Partition 1 (assuming that your install of original xp is
on part 1).
diskpart >Active (this sets the partition to active).
diskpart >Exit (to get out of diskpart utility).
C:\>Exit (should reboot PC).

Panic Stricken said...

Hi there. One year on and still helpful. I had problems after installing Kubuntu aside a stable xp pro. Grub seemed to get itself in a mess leaving me with a system I could only boot from a GrubSuperDis iso.

Benny said...

thanks for posting this - I want to remove FEDORA and install XP again, and I had no clue why XP setup did not continue.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. After removing the old Linux partitions, I could easily install XP.

To the Anonymous poster at the very start - YOUR post is a waste of time. If your comment is the best that you can do, you are completely lame and a loser.

Sean said...

Thanks a mill, saved me a bunch of time!

Jaime said...

Almost two years since you made this post and it's still helping people. Thank you so much. Most of the forums I visited with this problem kept trying to advise on reseating your RAM etc. But I had a Linux OS that was hindering me. I downloaded the Bootable Dos ISO and removed the partitions and my windows setup is moving along nicely. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this post! We were trying to set up an old laptop for our kids to use and had trouble with 3 different drives!! Thought there was something wrong with our XP disk. Turns out we had installed Linux on all of them at one time or another. Mystery solved!!

Mike Whitaker said...

Definitely NOT a waste of time. Saved me loads of time !