I have an older PC: Dell Optiplex 170L with 2x 256 RAM sticks, 2.8gh processor, pretty sure came with XP SP3 Professional. At some point it became bogged down with malware and garbage files, I simply decided to wipe and reinstall with a smaller OS that was still XP based. I found the .ISO for the OS I wanted and used my .ISO burning software to burn it to a USB to boot at BIOS. I ran into a plethora of issues that have mostly been troubleshot and bypassed, but I cannot figure out how to get it to not BSOD as soon as the installer tries to boot.
Between: 2 different 8gb USB Lexar Thumbdrives, 3 different OS .ISO files (Rev9, Rev11, Windows XP SP3) that have been redownloaded multiple times on 2 separate PCs, 3 different mounting software (Rufus, PEtoUSB, UltraISO), Upgrade to 1x 1gb ram stick, Tweaking BIOS settings
I cannot get it to actually initiate the install. It will blue screen with "Windows Setup" and unpack everything for the install, but will BSOD as soon as it gets to the "Starting up Windows" which, I assume, will start the actual hard install of the OS onto my HDD, that has since been completely wiped and overwritten (7 passes) with random values.
Extensive internet searches have brought me to 3 solutions which either don't work, are not applicable, or I don't want to use (will elaborate).
Option 1: re-download and re-mount .ISO as files may be corrupted (tried it a dozen times through various means)
Option 2: enter BIOS settings via F2, change option in "Integrated Devices" from SATA to ACPI or IDI or something to that extent (there are no such options in my BIOS setup)
Option 3: faulty hardware (If this is my problem then I'd rather not even bleep around replacing parts on a 12 year old PC, but I also find it a little hard to believe that a PC, whose hardware was perfectly fine a week ago, suddenly is malfunctioning because of the install of a new OS)
There was also a mention of BIOS virus, but I used 4 different anti-malware programs (CCleaner, Avast, Malwarebytes, Windows Defender) to scan for malware system wide and fully wiped the HDD (which I know wouldn't affect the BIOS) so there should be zero malware.
I just want ANY OS back on my PC
PS: there is no disk drive, USB is my only option.