Unable to install Windows 10 on HP Compaq Pentium 4 - it just reboots


  1. Posts : 33
    OpenBSD
       #1

    Unable to install Windows 10 on HP Compaq Pentium 4 - it just reboots


    I have this old HP Compaq Pentium 4 whose Windows XP installation recently got hit by malware, so I'm trying to install Windows 10 on it:

    HP Support document - HP Support Center (BIOS: 786C1 v01.05)

    However, nothing happens when I try to boot the installation USB. The USB, made with Rufus, works perfectly on other computers. Instead, all I see is the Microsoft logo for about 10 minutes until the computer reboots without saying a word.

    Anybody know what to do?

    Thanks!
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 13,548
    Windows10
       #2

    Does your cpu have NX capabililty?

    Not all pentium 4s are capable of running windows 10.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 33
    OpenBSD
    Thread Starter
       #3

    I'm not sure. Can't find anything about it in the URL above or in the BIOS. All I know is that it's a Pentium 4 3,2GHz with Hyper Threading technology.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 13,548
    Windows10
       #4

    download and run coreinfo
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 33
    OpenBSD
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Unfortunately seeing as how my current Windows installation is messed up there's no way for me to actually run that tool.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 33
    OpenBSD
    Thread Starter
       #6

    I've tried a few different Windows XP ISOs now and they all won't boot, unlike the Windows 10 ISO which did boot but unfortunately crashed along the way. Very odd.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 1,983
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       #7

    It's probably not the processor that is causing the difficulty - if it's a Pentium 4, 3.20 GHz with hyperthreading on a 755 socket, it can only be a 540, 540j or a 541 Prescott ( 2,3 and 4 on the list here: Products (Formerly Prescott) ) Only the oldest processor, the 540, did not support NX - the motherboard supports more recent processors, so it's unlikely that HP Compaq would have chosen the oldest, deprecated, least well specified processor in the family. 540j is 32-bit, 541 is 64-bit.

    Also, Windows Setup would have checked for NX at the beginning of setup and would not proceed if there was processor incompatibility. That said, HP Compaq, like other manufacturing giants, sometimes make machines which are difficult to upgrade to Windows 10 due to some OEM modification of BIOS, lack of updated drivers etc.

    These Pentium 4 chips also run notoriously hot (~84 Watts power dissipation) during normal service, and Windows 10 setup exercises the CPU to the limit. That's just short of having a 100W lightbulb in the case!

    The first thing I would do (having successfully run Windows 10 well on a Pentium 4 - see my specs), if I were you, is to remove the cooling fan and heat exchange block from the processor, clean everything thoroughly with a bristle paintbrush, and on reinstallation, replace the thermal paste, and make sure that the fan bearings are lubricated, and that you use extra cooling like a external fan. You will be able to note any identification information on the chip as you carefully clean off the old thermal paste.

    There are several other problems here, one of which is there is no upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 10 - really you need to be running Windows 7 at least in order to activate 10.

    It seems that you are running OpenBSD - is this on the HP Compaq now? Can you copy the XP ISO contents to a NTFS partition on the HD using BSD?

    Can you download this?: Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk - Windows 10 Forums
    Will it boot from DVD in the optical drive or from USB?

    There is a way to avoid setup, and that is to apply the Windows 10 Image from the ISO\sources\Install.WIM directly to the disk partition or to a VHD, or try this: Windows 10 virtual machines now available on Microsoft Edge Dev - Page 2 - Windows 10 Forums - see the link to Kari's Eightforums tutorial.
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 33
    OpenBSD
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Thanks for all your insight and advice. Unfortunately going balls deep into the internals of the PC is too much for me to handle right now, so I'm either going to have to install Ubuntu or simply just buy a new PC.

    > These Pentium 4 chips also run notoriously hot (~84 Watts power dissipation) during normal service, and Windows 10 setup exercises the CPU to the limit. That's just short of having a 100W lightbulb in the case!

    True indeed, sometimes the fan runs so fast it feels like everything is about to blow up!

    > It seems that you are running OpenBSD - is this on the HP Compaq now? Can you copy the XP ISO contents to a NTFS partition on the HD using BSD?

    Unfortunately no, that's on another machine.

    I could probably install Ubuntu and then burn the Windows XP Pro ISO with my HP Compaq's DVD drive though.

    Anyway thanks again!
      My Computer


 

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