Windows XP Installation Hang on Pentium 3 PC

Real World Scenario

02 February 2009

Today, A Pentium III PC come to our office for Windows installation. However, the person already knew that how to install Windows XP but he was unable to do so because the installation was not gettting successful. PC configuration was as below:

Pentium III Processor - 733MHz with Intel 810 Motherboard
256MB RAM - 2 Modules of 128MB
20GB IDE Hard Disk Drive

When I tried to install, everything was going fine until the Windows XP installation freeze on last 4 minutes. It was a little bit strange because it never happen with me before. The procedure was as follows that I used to  resolve the problem:

First, I though that it might be happening because the user have changed some BIOS settings. So, I change the BIOS to default settings and restart the setup but the problem was still persist. Secondly, I uninstall both RAM modules and replace them with my own working 256MB SDRAM but that too didn't help either. I skip the Hard Disk Drive test become it seems to be working fine (being detected properly, was formatted properly and was not making any extra noices).

I thought to give a try to the Processor. However, the heat sincker and fan was working fine. But I still replace the Processor with an another Celeron 833Mhz processor and surprizingly it resolve the problem.

I always tell my students that there are only 1% chance when processor may cause this kind of problem and this was that 1%.