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Computer fails halfway through Windows XP installation

RNEMESiS42RNEMESiS42 Registered User
edited January 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I'm trying to get an old computer useful again because my room mate needs a computer.

I tried installing Windows. Everything runs smoothly until the part where the computer has to restart, and then proceed with the GUI that shows how much time you have left and tells you how great Windows XP is. When it gets to this screen, after about two minutes, my monitor turns itself off. When I turn it back on, it's just a blank screen with the default settings menu for the monitor. I restarted the computer and got the same thing after a few minutes of that installation screen.

At first I thought it was the GPU, so I replaced that with a spare. Same problem. Then I took the HDD out and hooked it up to another computer to check for errors. No errors were found, but I replaced it with another known working HDD anyway, and still got the same problem. Then I tried checking the memory, and ran MEMTEST for about an hour and a half, and didn't get a single error.

I even thought that it might be the XP disc, so I tried using a friends CD, but it didn't make a difference. THEN I thought maybe it was the CD/DVD drive, so I replaced it with another known working drive; same problem.

I'm guessing my PSU, mobo, or CPU is blowing up, but I really don't have any other symptoms other than Windows failing to install.

Computer stats:
Mobo: Soyo KT8800 Dragon 2
CPU: AMD Athlon 2800+
PSU: Antec SL400
GPU: Radeon 9800
RAM: Random, can check if needed.

RNEMESiS42 on
my apartment looks upside down from there
water spirals the wrong way out the sink

Posts

  • L*2*G*XL*2*G*X Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Hardware issues should show much earlier into the install.. Does the install hang before the blackout, with repetitive cd drive noise?

  • RNEMESiS42RNEMESiS42 Registered User
    edited January 2009
    Nope, the drive is fine, and the screen just cuts out.

    So, out of crazy desperation, I tried to install my Windows 7 beta DVD that I downloaded from MS...and...it installed flawlessly? Why?? I just did this 30 minutes ago...and it has no problems at all. This computer once had XP on it...did it just decide to stop liking XP?

    my apartment looks upside down from there
    water spirals the wrong way out the sink
  • Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    My best guess would be a corrupted boot loader.

    In which case, all you need to do in order to install xp (which I assume you're still trying to do) is look up instructions on how to remove the newer (windows 7) boot loader from the machine, then re-install xp as if it were the first time and your now loader-less device will cleanly reinstall it.

    twitterforweb.Stuckens.1,1,500,f4f4f4,0,c4c4c4,000000.png
  • RNEMESiS42RNEMESiS42 Registered User
    edited January 2009
    The HDD has been formatted a few times in the past few days I've been trying this, so I would think that boot.ini would have been erased and reinstalled a few times. Is the boot loader stored in the CMOS/BIOS? Can I just flash the CMOS jumper and clear it? Wouldn't writing zeroes on the drive clear any trace of a boot loader? That's what I did when I tested it out on another computer with WD Diagnostic Tool. I could try that again and try the XP installation again.

    This is the weirdest computer experience I've had, and I've ripped apart/built many PC's and installed Windows 98/2000/ME/XP a million times.

    my apartment looks upside down from there
    water spirals the wrong way out the sink
  • FristleFristle Registered User
    edited January 2009
    After the XP install fails, you can maybe go to these log files for a clue as to why (by booting to a CD that can give you a command shell so you can poke around the filesystem):

    "setupact.log-This log file contains a list of actions in chronological order that occurred during the graphical installation phase, such as file copies and registry changes. The OS also stores setup error log entries in this file. XP writes the setupact.log file to the %systemroot% folder (e.g., c:\windows).

    setuperr.log-This log file contains a list of errors that occurred during installation and their severity (this log file should be 0 bytes in size if no errors occurred during installation). XP writes the setuperr.log file to the %systemroot% folder."

    Fristle.jpg
  • RNEMESiS42RNEMESiS42 Registered User
    edited January 2009
    Hm, I'm convinced it's a hardware issue somewhere. I left the computer on all night, and then today tried to put some video drivers and programs on it. This required a restart. When I restarted, the screen turned off, and just stayed there. When I turned the screen back on, it was at the default monitor settings menu (like before). I turned off the computer again, and turned it back on. Same thing. After two more of those, it finally booted and went to the Windows 7 log on screen.

    my apartment looks upside down from there
    water spirals the wrong way out the sink
  • EskimoDaveEskimoDave Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Could it be the fact you're using a operating system that is only in the beta stages?

  • RNEMESiS42RNEMESiS42 Registered User
    edited January 2009
    No, the beta is the one that's worked the best so far.

    I've been trying to install good 'ol Windows XP for the past few days prior to trying Windows 7.

    my apartment looks upside down from there
    water spirals the wrong way out the sink
  • ZyreZyre Registered User
    edited January 2009
    Power switch may be faulty, may need a new case. When you press the power button to power the Mobo the connector that sends the signal down the cable to the motherboard might be damaged. This would also explain why you have restart failures when trying to install XP.

    The only other option would be the power connection on the motherboard itself, or the cord between the switch and the mobo, or as you suggested yourself, a damaged power supply. I would try a different power supply before getting a new case or motherboard.

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