That is a strange one indeed. I've done XP installs dozens of times with none of the symptoms you describe.
What mode(s) are your hard & optical disk drive(s) set to? Change to DMA if PIO (or vice-versa), then reboot to see if it has made a difference. Instructions at click here.
Please don't be offended by my next few questions.
If the above made no difference, did you use a legitimate WinXP CD to install? In other words, is it a genuine, hologrammed Microsoft WinXP disc? G