I got the laptop from my brother.\As part of the deal I wiped the hard drive.
I have downloaded drivers & utilities from the Compaq Web site, because I have no 'official' discs.
One of them makes a floppy disc containing a list of drivers for the HDD controller.
At the install of XP I select F6 "Install...." The install process asks me to specify one of several drivers.
I think that this is where my problem lies.
There are two drivers that the install routine says are on the Windows disc if I select them.
So far I have tried a re-install 3 times but the end result it that I get the POST screem and a brief flash of the XP logo and it goes to the black screen safe mode.
If I leave the laptop alone it cycles endlessly.
I have booted the laptop from a Ubuntu Linux CD and am typing this on said laptop. I think we can rule out the fact the RAM chips were disturbed. I can even install Ubuntu on the HDD, but the wirless function is not supported and I need a cable connection to my router, which defetas the virtues of a laptop.
Sorry if I am rambling a bit. I was up to 00:30 hrs with this creature last night.