Jake Alexander said:
Just tried to reinstall the os multiple times with different cds/OSs and it freezes halfway through everytime. Thoughts?
Can you specify which OS's you tried to install?
If desired, you could start with the "Basic System POST Debug Preparation" I point to at the bottom of this post, but keep needed hardware to deal with your OS installation issue (e.g. HDD and CD/DVD drives, keyboard, and mouse). It's up to you. But what follows is what I'd look at in your situation.
I was assuming
you are NOT using a SATA card and SATA HDD since the Dimension 2400 is IDE only desktop, right? You should also make sure whether you've got at LEAST
WinXP SP1 and I'd recommend SP2 to avoid problems that can pop-up due to HDD size and other installation issues.
It would also be interesting to see how well the system operates using a "live" distro of Ubuntu, Knoppix, etc. Or...one can try an actual installation of a non-Windows OS. This is something that would take about an hour or so (download and all), but is minimally invasive to the current hardware configuration.
If you didn't try any non-Windows OS (Ubuntu, Knoppix, etc), it would be interesting to see how things go trying to install a non-Windows OS...mainly because Windows installation can be so arbitrary sometimes and what SHOULD be minor issues can cause unpredictable results. This would take more time than trying the live distro.
It's also possible some malware has become resident on your HDD and is surviving multiple install attempts. Again, a non-Windows OS install could be informative here as Windows-specific malware likely wouldn't survive a Linux install and shouldn't impact operations. But then again, a virgin (or re-virgined) HDD on the WinXP install attempt would also be instructive. Basically do whatever you have to do to ensure you aren't trying to install to an infected HDD (or with infected install media. If the install software was downloaded or the install media were created on an infected system, they too could be infected).
From a hardware perspective:
At any rate, in your situation the most significant run-time difference between the UBCD testing and OS installation appears to be the HDD. That now would be my initial hardware suspect, and easy enough to isolate if you have another HDD.
I'd also re-try the OS install with ONLY 1 RAM module
in the system. I've read that people have problems installing and running a system for the first time when more than one module is installed. It was an initial configuration problem involving hardware and firmware. AFAIK the problem was OS independent, but it wouldn't hurt to try it.
And, if you have the HDD and the CD/DVD drive connected to the same cable...use two cables so they are running off separate IDE ports.
Of course, it could also be something in the HDD subsystem circuitry on the motherboard.
A pretty much standard system debug, which is covered in other threads on HWA
One of my posts talking to this in general is http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/77662/#591769
which contains a link to my more detailed procedures post at http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/77356/#589051
(I recommend reading my general discussion post first then click to the detailed post)
edit to add:
Something I'm going to add to my "basic" debug procedure is if you have used a BIOS setting to "unlock" additional CPU cores, then "re-lock" them and go back to the default CPU configuration for the basic debugging and/or installation attempt. Same thing for OC settings of ALL hardware (e.g. CPU, RAM, Video, Southbridge, PCI, etc.). Take them ALL back to default values.