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Can't install XP, from any disk, to any disk

LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
edited April 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Strangest installation problem I've ever had. Needs solving.

I wanted to install XP Pro to an 80GB HDD I've got. It's got heaps of free space. Also a lot of other data. I do this fairly often, it has never been a problem up to now.

So, I boot from the disc, tell it where to install to, it copies all the files just fine. Reboots, goes into the GUI phase of the installation. At 22 minutes, I think, it comes up with this error.
An error occuried while copying file amipro.sa_
Cannot copy file to destination directory
Click Retry to retry the operation or click Cancel to

I retry a few times, nothing doing, so I go to cancel. It asks me if I wish to attempt to continue the install. Fuck it, I say yes.

An error occuried while copying file excel.xl_
Cannot copy file to destination directory
Click Retry to retry the operation or click Cancel to

Same again.
An error occuried while copying file excel4.xl_
Cannot copy file to destination directory
Click Retry to retry the operation or click Cancel to

It does this for the following files, none of which look at all crucial.
lotus.wk_
powerpnt.pp_
presenta.sh_
quattro.wb_
sndrec.wa_
winword.do_
winword2.do_
wordpfct.wpd
wordpfct.wpg


Then it goes ahead and continues the install, and when it's done, it boots, only it takes forever saying "Applying computer settings" or something close to that. When it finishes that, it gives me some error about not being able to find my user profile, so it gives me a default one. When I get in, nothing's quite right, the backgrounds of windows are the wrong colour, there's nothing in the start menu, programs menu isn't there, and no settings will be saved, for instance ClearType won't turn on.

Naturally, I figure the CD's got messed up somehow in the two weeks I haven't used it. So I get another one. I know this one works. I try installing with it. It gives me the same thing.

Naturally, I figure it's the hard disk's fault. So I install to another one. Both CDs, same problem. I installed to one of these HDDs from one of these CDs about a month ago no problem. I know all the hardware and the CDs are in perfect working order.

All I've been able to work out is that in a successful installation these are all files that end up in
C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Templates

Help a brother out, anybody?

LaCabra on

Posts

  • JaninJanin Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Have you tried it in a completely different system? My guess is that the CD-ROM drive or IDE cables are damaged and giving you read errors.

    Janin on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I haven't got another system to try it in. But I'll go ahead and try replacing the DVD-ROM drive and IDE cables, I have spares.

    LaCabra on
  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Forgot to mention - if I go to Cancel rather than Retry, I don't get anymore errors during install but the end result is the same.

    LaCabra on
  • BeazleBeazle Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Check your RAM if you have two sticks try an install with just one.

    Beazle on
  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Neither suggestion has helped.

    LaCabra on
  • Geek LordGeek Lord Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    It could still be RAM, if you have multiple sticks that are all defective.

    This happened to me in 4 different partitions I tried to install to. I had 2 sticks of 128MB and 1 stick of 256MB. Turned out that the 256 stick and one of the 128 died. It installed fine with the last good 128 stick.

    Geek Lord on
  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    But my RAM all works perfectly. Two 256mb sticks.

    LaCabra on
  • whuppinswhuppins Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I had a similar problem on a failed build a few years back. I was going for an uber-budget build and basically picked out the cheapest of everything (wow, what are the odds that I would have a problem with it?).

    Anyway, the HDD checked out fine, even when plugged into my other, working machine. In the new system, it worked OK until about halfway through the XP install, when it started throwing errors one would usually associate with bad media or HDD sectors. I got more and more desperate until I tried putting on Win 98 on a lark. 98 went on fine. Shrugged and started installing software. Whoops, at a certain point into the (I think) WoW installation, began to get more of the same write failures. Got REALLY pissed off, did a TON of hardware swapping, and eventually determined the problem as best I could: The motherboard couldn't read past a certain point on the hard drive. Probably an IDE bus issue, but I didn't investigate further at the time because I was so sick of how much time I'd spent on a supposedly quick and easy build.

    Long story short, shitty/broken mobos can fail to read certain areas of their component drives, generating errors that initially appear to be related to bad sectors. In my case, my HDD, though healthy, was limited to only a couple gigs of useable space before the mobo would start being a bitch. That's why I could get the (much smaller) Win 98 installation on, but not XP.

    I know mobos are not nearly as quick and easy to swap out and work on as other parts, but you can at least try re-flashing your BIOS and checking your I/O settings. If you have the patience and resources to swap in a mobo that is known to be working, that might give you a much better idea of where the problem's coming from.

    Edit: A couple things I forgot to mention after re-reading your post:

    - I know your hardware was working not too long ago but what can you say? Hardware breaks; it's working one day and it's broken the next. Just because it worked in the past doesn't mean it's working right now. I'd test everything, swap it all in and out of different systems as much as you can.

    - I think the fact that all the files it fails at are going to a certain directory just means it's failing at the same point each time, since most files are installed in the order of their location. I'm not sure there's some inherent evil quality of C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Templates\. On the other hand, it could be another indication of the above I/O errors, if that directory just happens to fall within the area that is (for whatever reason) unreadable.

    whuppins on
  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Man, thanks a heap for the post.

    The HDDs, I've done everything I can to test them, it seems unlikely to me that they'd both be having the exact same issue, like you say. Possibly it's something with the mainboard, I guess - I think I'm just going to leave it, since I'm getting a new board and CPU in a week or so, and I'll see if it installs on the same disk with that setup. Then I plan on setting this thing up as a media center or somethin'. Or I could give it to my ma.

    LaCabra on
  • meekermeeker Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Just to check, but are these OEM discs or purchased copies of XP? OEM discs, say from Sony or Dell will often only work on the PC model that it is intended for as they are basically a hardware image rather than an install disc.

    Did you try to reformat the drives?

    meeker on
  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    One of 'em's OEM, one not.

    And no, I have data I can't lose and have nowhere to put.

    LaCabra on
  • blincolnblincoln Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Have you run a memory test? That would be worth doing if you haven't. It may or may not indicate a problem with the actual RAM - on my old laptop, populating both DIMM slots with good DIMMs causes memory errors because of a motherboard problem.

    blincoln on
    Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds
    http://www.thelostworlds.net/
  • embrikembrik Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Are these slipstreamed XP discs? I've had this exact problem (with a different file, but same install error). There was a problem with the slipstream process and it messed up copying one of the files. If possible, install with a no service pack disc (or at least one that's not slipstreamed). If that's not the case, and you're working with stamped media (i.e. not burned), then it would most likely be a hardware issue.

    Edit: So, wait, are you not doing a clean install? Are you attempting to install on a drive with existing data / an existing Windows install? If you are, a new HD to do the install to is a lot cheaper than a new board & processor. You're almost guaranteed to run into some strange/unpleasant stuff trying to do a repair install, etc.

    embrik on
    "Damn you and your Daily Doubles, you brigand!"

    I don't believe it - I'm on my THIRD PS3, and my FIRST XBOX360. What the heck?
  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    They aren't slipstreamed discs, and neither drive has an existing Windows install. Then again, I've often installed on drives that have, with no problems.

    And I'm upgrading the mainboard and CPU anyway, so I reckon I'll just wait.

    LaCabra on
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