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sounds like you need to install chipset / Sata / IDE drivers.
I have found that if your system locks up when tring to configure devices (and it makes it so you cannot use CD drive) booting into safe mode using f8 on boot and deleting the IDE drivers in device manager will force the system load some basic drivers for the next boot, and will allow you to temorarily use the CD drive, however you need to find the correct IDE / SATA drivers for this problem to be completely resolved as this is only a temporary workaround
after formating, your pc/laptop need to be install with "driver". Driver is a software in a cd which come along when you buy the computer. iif you have the cd insert the cd and install all the application given. normally when you insert the cd the application will automatically start and you will see it appear on your screen. click the application and it will install automatically.
if you already done that, right click anywhere on your screen and select properties, a panel will open. on the top you will see desktop,theme,appearance, screen saver and setting. select setting and you will notice a drop down menu and select 32 bit.
if it still didnt work your computer might have "graphic card". it also will have its own cd when you purchase it. same method, insert the cd and follow the instruction. if you have no cd please identify your pc/notebook model and post it here.
your motherboard has a packaged CD containing all the drivers needed. after installation of OS (operating system), put the driver CD in your CDROM/DVDROM device. The CD should autorun itself, if not then explore the CD then find "Setup". double click it. if prompted with menus, select best one relating to "Audio"...restart computer after installation and play sound file formats.
P.S. I assume you have Windows Operating system...
Basically yes. You need to remove the HD from the PC without any bootable devices and install it as a slave to a second PC preferably also Win98. You can then proceed to format the HD (as FAT32) of the 1st PC on the 2nd PC. Sys that HD to transfer system files and make it active. To facilitate installation of the OS, create a folder on that HD and copy the Win98SE installer files into it. Remove that HD from the 2nd PC and reinstall on the 1st PC. Power and it will boot into Dos. Go inside the folder where the OS installers are and run "setup".
Alternately, you can just clone the HD of the 2nd PC to the corrupt HD of the 1st PC after format /s. Just make sure that you still have the Win98SE installers copied to the corrupt HD.
Hope this be of some help/idea. Post back how things went or should you need additional information.
Your motherboard could be the problem! But it could also be your memory, hard drive or the file system that resides on the hard drive!
I don't think you would've gotten that far if you were having memory problems, but its still possible, however, we'll focus on it being the hard drive/filesystem!
Boot to the XP CD, When your given the option to assign hard drive, select the hard drive you want to install to, and delete all the partitions! Then recreate partition(s)! (When you recreate partitions through XP install the first created is always a primary partition, subsequent partitions will be extended!! That means if a partition is already there a newly created partition will be in an extended partition)
Now that the partition is created format it(don't quick format do a full format)!
If that ends up with an error or the same problem its probably your hard drive or motherboard!(If you go a spare hard drive you can try that to see if it goes beyond the reboot!!)
try this first and see how it works out, get back to me if any questions.