Updating Hardware Information Database

  MCPR82 16:19 02 Jan 2003
  MCPR82 16:19 02 Jan 2003

Since having to reformat my hard drive (after my son managed to corrupt my PC), I have not been able to install any new Hardware or Software. All that happens is that I get a message and progress bar saying " Please wait while Windows updates the Hardware Information Database ". No progress is ever made and the machine (Evesham 733) just hangs and I have to re-boot. I'm using Windows ME (it won't allow me to upgrade to XP)and wondered if anyone might have any suggestions as to a way of resolving this.

Thanks V Much !!

  Chris777 11:30 04 Jan 2003

Just wondered, since you reloaded did you install any type of Norton rubbish? I have seen the "updating hardware info database" progress bar lock up because of the 30,000 or so 0 byte files that Norton writes into the folder C:\Windows\inf - these will all have to be manually deleted or you will have to reload WinME again.

  Joe McG 11:41 04 Jan 2003

Did you fdisk the drive before formatting?.
formatting by itself, doesn't always get rid of any problems.

  MCPR82 12:47 04 Jan 2003

Thanks v much Chris & Joe.

I did fdisk before formatting and I do have a number of Norton Programmes (Anti - Virus, Clean Sweep & Utilities all 2002 versions) installed. Alas neither I (or the system search)can't find a windows\inf file or folder with anything in it ! (found a few dated today which all appear to be empty).

Can you be a bit more specific as to where and what I'm looking for please.



  Chris777 17:21 04 Jan 2003

I probably should have mentioned this, but you will have to double-click on the "c" drive and from the tools/folder options menu, you will have to make sure that windows is set to show hidden files and folders. I'm sure that c:\windows\inf is a hidden folder by default. One thing I would say though, is that manually deleting all those files will take ages, and if you try to delete too many at once it often locks the machine. Best bet is to select & delete about 1000 at a time. One other piece of advice, avoid all Norton apps like the plague, except for their anti-virus (2001 onwards anyway) - that is excellent, in my opinion, good luck !

  Joe McG 17:27 04 Jan 2003

MCPR82, does the xp upgrade disk not allow you to do a full clean installation.?

  IZZY 18:28 04 Jan 2003


I would suggest you read Article Q281967 on the Microsoft KnowlegeBase Site. It seems to cover your problem. (Computer Stop Resonding (Hangs) During Setup, Installing Updates, or Adding New Hardware.

click here;en-us;Q281967

Hope this helps,


  IZZY 18:32 04 Jan 2003


P.S. I should have added that you'll ned to type 281967 into the Search box at the top left of the screen when you get to the link.

Sorry about that..


  Keith 18:34 04 Jan 2003

I, too, haqve ME and more than once have ended up with a system with the same problem. As I say, the system has been OK and then I get this problem for some inexplicable reason. I also get to a point where I can not run Windows Updates or re-install Windows - I have to wipe the disk and start again. Yes - I have Norton AV and Utilities and have wondered if their is a conflict that has led to this. Or perhaps it's just ME.
Last time I wiped the disk, reinstalled all that I could BEFORE installing Norton and - touch wood - all has been OK for months. The 0 byte .inf files may be a bit of a red herring, but I have experienced that as well - thousands of the things! Keith

  MCPR82 10:59 05 Jan 2003

Having deleted all the Norton files in windows\inf I have been able to install software and hardware without the PC Freezing.

So thanks to everyone who helped - especially Chris !!!


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