Troubleshoot failed installations.
Microsoft provides so many methods to install Windows XP Professional, so there is not a set method of troubleshooting failed installations. However, certain log files and data provides clues as to where the failure occurred and reviewing these logs can help troubleshoot failed installations of Windows XP Pro.
Troubleshooting Using the Setup Logs
As we mentioned, there are several log files, most of which are saved in the %WINDIR% (commonly C:\Windows) directory:
Setuplog.txt: Information saved by setup during XP installation.
Setupapi.log: Information about hardware detection during installation, frequently used to troubleshoot driver issues.
PNPLog.txt: Plug’n’Play device discovery and installation log.
You can review the logs of a failed Windows XP installation by booting with a MS-DOS boot disk, copy the files to the floppy, then review them in a text editor (e.g. Notepad) on a functioning computer.
Many times failures are caused on computer upgrades with hardware which had drivers in the old OS, but the updated drivers Microsoft has does not work with a particular hardware chipset. For example, many video card manufacturers alter the drivers to meet their own specifications, but Windows XP setup installs a default chipset driver, such as for an ATI card, but crashes with that particular video card.
For hardware failures, it makes sense to have your drivers as up to date as possible prior to installing Windows XP via the upgrade installation method.