Will a new BIOS let me install SP2?

  MarkSk 15:48 29 Dec 2006

My PC has never let me install XP Pro SP2, it point blank refuses to operate so it has to be uninstalled. I've been told that a BIOS upgrade may possibly solve this but is it worth the risk vs. the benefits of SP2?

  Gongoozler 15:57 29 Dec 2006

Hi MarkSk. I can't think of any reason for a reasonably modern PC not to let you install SP2. I've installed Windows XP with SP2 on a fairly old machine with no problem, although some components within the computer can cause trouble. In particular I once had a CD drive that caused the installation not to complete. If your PC has a compatible BIOS upgrade available, then that may be worth installing but it depends on what issues the upgrade was designed to overcome.
That all aside, flashing BIOS is usually quite simple, and the risk of failure is low. The problem is that in the small number of cases where the BIOS flash fails, the result can be disastrous.
Tell us more about your computer and what motherboard it has and we might be able to give more specific advice. Also tell us what happens and what error messages you get when you try to install SP2. Is the problem in installing the total XP with SP2 package, or updating an existing XP installation to SP2.

  MarkSk 16:45 29 Dec 2006

Well Gongoozler I've tried installing SP2 from the web and a CD. I've tried installing it after a clean install of XP Pro but I get a black screen that says "Microsoft appologises..." and I get the option to try again or go into safe mode an uninstall SP2, leaving the HD pretty fragmented. I've listed the PC's spec below but even Armari, who built the thing, can't see why it doesn't work!

*PC Built Nov 2001

*Windows Windows XP5.1 (Build 2600) Service Pack 1

*Internet Explorer 6.0.2800.1106

*Memory (RAM) 1280 MB

*CPU Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 1700MHz

*CPU Speed 1694.5 MHz

*Sound card SB Live! Wave Device

*Display Adapters NVIDIA GeForce2 MX/MX 400 | NetMeeting driver | RDPDD Chained DD

*Screen Resolution 1024 X 768 - 32 bit

*Network Adapters Intel(R) PRO/100 S Desktop Adapter - Packet Scheduler Miniport


*COM Ports COM4 | COM1

*LPT Ports LPT1

*Mouse MS 5 Button Wheel Mouse

*Hard Disks C: 76.7GB

*USB Controllers 2 host controllers.

*BIOS Info ATAT COMPATIBLE 100201 D850GB 20011002

*Motherboard Intel Corporation D850GB

*Modem SupraExpress 56i #2

  Gongoozler 16:59 29 Dec 2006

I can't see any problem with that spec. What is the full "Microsoft apologizes" message?

  MarkSk 17:03 29 Dec 2006

Unfortunately without running through the whole process I couldn't tell you exactly what it says but essentially it [Microsoft] appologises that in the present configuration Windows will not operate. And offers no choices other than to try again or uninstall!

  Gongoozler 17:20 29 Dec 2006

The error seems to be very non-specific, and so, like many Microsoft error messages, is of very little help. I suggest that you try again with much less memory and any non essential modules disconnected from the motherboard. My theory is that a little used memory location might be borderline and corrupting the installation. Alternatively a component on the motherboard could be giving a problem, so by running a minimum setup you might be able to get SP2 installed, and then add the additional memory and components to see if you can get it all to work together.

  Stuartli 18:00 29 Dec 2006

That specification is very much more than sufficient for XP and SP2 (SP1 is included in SP2).

  Stuartli 18:02 29 Dec 2006

My best mate's business system is based around an AMD 900MHz Duron, the Bios dates back to 2000 and it runs very happily on XP Pro + SP2.

  MarkSk 18:05 29 Dec 2006

That's what makes my situ so perplexing. There's no reason why SP2 shouldn't go on and the page that comes up telling me it ain't gonna work gives no explanation as to why not.

  Ray5776 18:30 29 Dec 2006

Is your XP pro verified as genuine? if not you may have problems with SP2.
Whether it is verified or not you should be able to slipstream it into XP pro and this should work.

  MarkSk 18:38 29 Dec 2006

Slipstream being a technical term Ray5776? That's how knowledgeable I am!

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