Windows XP Install Freezes or Restarts at “Installing Devices”

Windows setup freezes or restarts the computer at the point when it is “Installing Devices”.

This usually happens when there is a problem with one or more drivers already installed on the previous XP installation. The solution is to rename the drivers folder.

Note: Some people in the comments section have said that performing these steps is dangerous. Be aware that results may vary and use this tutorial at your own risk. As for me, doing these steps worked for me and didn’t cause any issues.

1. Use a boot disk to boot into DOS. If you don’t have one, you can get one from

2. Rename the Drivers folder at %SystemRoot%\System32\Drivers

3. Restart the computer and continue installing Windows.


  1. Paddy says

    Please remove this dangerous advice!

    As the second comment show, the advice in this article is disastrous!

    Terrible that you haven’t responded already.

  2. Joe S. says

    First, off, I was asking for a problem, because I took a Hard Drive from a Customer’s PC & cloned it over to a new system, and tried to reconfigure the old install to the new PC, and reboot away I got when I tried to get it going.

    Well, I managed to get through this, with both the help of Mitch and Kinga. Mitch was right how the problem is related to the drivers, but if you can’t simply leave the system high & dry without a Folder to work with (as Kinga said).

    Here’s what I did.
    1.)I had an extra Hard Drive, so I performed a clean install on that (Call this Drive 2).
    2.) Put Drive 2 aside for a bit.
    3.) After, I took my troublesome OS Drive (Drive 1) & renamed “C:\windows\inf” to “C:\windows\inf.bak” and.. “C:\windows\system32\drivers” to “C:\windows\system32\drivers.bak”
    4.) Now copy the inf & Driver folders from drive 2 to the perspective locations on drive 1.
    5.) go & perform your repair install again and you should make some headway.

    P.S. My problem happened from switching PCs, but I knew the Hard Drive was good. If you were not doing that, you may want to look into if your problem is being caused by bad hardware corrupting your OS.

  3. Kinga says

    Definitely DO NOT rename your Drivers folder, if you do so, the install/repair process will not recognise your Windows as a legitimate installation and will prevent you doing a repair and deny access to any folder bar the root at C:\ (Access Denied) This prevents you renaming the Drivers file back again. The only option the process gives you is full reinstall of Windows

    I followed this advice (do rename Drivers) and had to get a third party boot disk (from Active @) to get me back into DOS with rights to rename. Once I renamed the Drivers folder back again, I was back where I started but still with the same Restart problem at 34 minutes.

  4. Sam says

    this problem is somewhat common. i tried fixmbr and fixboot (bad idea for this problem). it preaty much messed up the windows install setup prosses. now im just missing files when it tries to boot.
    im preaty sure there no turning back now im gonna need to do a reinstall. this is not good in my case as i was looking for a lighter solution for the custemer. now reinstalling all the programs will be a pain.
    but i guess a freash install of xp never hurt anyone.

    i wish windows repair install had an undo at anytime option.


  5. Sergio Marques says

    I had the same problem, and I got carzy that nobody was able to give me a reasonable feedback. Some said to change … the font !!! The only thing you have to do is just go into drivers directory (via console) and delete the *.INF (only the one’s that is causing trouble) and start it again. Good luck !!!

  6. uhhhh says

    when that happens, you might want to check out %windir%\setupapi.log for a hint as to what causes the lock up.

  7. Ernest Burnett says

    Also had a framedyn.dll error, did a google said regcure would fix. Had a copy I put on the shelf growing dust so figured I’d try. Made problem worse. Had nothing but bad experiences with regcure.

  8. Ernest Burnett says

    Same here, access denied. Would be interested to know what would it would ask for next if able to continue on.

  9. Daniel says

    Done so, and now I cannot resume the installation, as it says the file ntfs.sys could not be found. Entering repair console I can’t even rename the Driver folder again, cause I get a “access denied” message.

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