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Switching From Windows XP to Windows 7 Problem

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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February 17, 2014 7:23:36 PM

Ok, here is my dilemma. My girlfriend has an older EMachines computer, about 8 years old. She has no installation disk. Below are the particulars on her computer:
EMachines T6522
Windows XP Media Center Edition
3500+ AMD Athlon 64 processor
2.2 ghz
512 kb L2 cache
2000 MHz fsb
200 gb hard drive
1 gb ram
ATI Radeon xpress 200 video card

Lately, she has been having problems whereas the computer doesn't want to boot properly. I have tried in the past to do a reinstall of XP that she has on the hard drive but while doing so, it asks for the installation disk, which she doesn't have. The other night, she wanted to upload some pictures from her TracFone but, when she tried, the computer would lock up. Then, last night, the computer would not even start. There just seems to be too much corruption within the system somewhere. Today, I tried several times to get the computer to boot up, but to no avail. We then decided that maybe we could wipe the hard drive clean and install a fresh copy of windows 7. I did a little research and, besides having to download an updated driver for the video card, it seemed that I could do that, barely. The first problem I ran into was trying to get the Killdisk cd to run. I kept having to unplug the computer and restarting it. The optical drive would start, then stop. The other thing was the keyboard would shut down also. Eventually, I was able to get Killdisk to work and was able to get the hard drive wiped clean. I then restarted the computer with the Windows 7 cd in the drive. The hard drive would run fast but nothing would happen. After unplugging and restarting the computer many times, The Windows 7 disk started to copy the files. When that was finished, the screen would go black except for the words "starting windows". Then the computer would freeze. It would just stop doing anything. I tried several more times and was able to get the files copied again a couple more times but would always stop at "starting windows". It just won't go any further.

Now, I don't know if this is a hard drive issue or maybe a motherboard issue or maybe something else. I don't want to spend the money on a new hard drive only to find out it's something else. If it's some sort of corruption within the motherboard or a major bios issue, then we'll just scrap the computer. My girlfriend only uses her computer for small things like Facebook and checking her email so, unless this is a major repair issue, we cannot justify spending several hundreds of dollars on a new computer and would rather fix this one. Any help would be appreciated.
a b $ Windows 7
February 17, 2014 7:43:19 PM

First, a thorough cleaning is due. Remove the memory from the board, clean it, and reinstall it. Check and clean all electrical connections, all of them. Make sure to blow all the dust out of the case, heatsinks, fans etc. Make sure all the fans are running smoothly and dust free, a PC this old is very likely to have fans with bad bearings and bushings, that may not even be running at all. Do your house cleaning, inspecting, and try again. If you still have problems, I would look first to the PSU and hard drive. But, as you have already stated, this machine is not worth spending any money on.
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February 18, 2014 4:39:13 PM

Thank you jitpublisher for your reply. I gave the inside a cleaning last night but when you mentioned the psu, I opened the computer up again and checked it and saw lots of dust caked in the vents of the psu so I cleaned that out. I removed the ram and vacuumed around the sockets and replaced the ram. Everything else was clean. I started the computer up and immediately put the Windows 7 disk in the cd drive. The computer started to load the windows files (like last night) and, again, stopped at the "starting windows" screen. I unplugged the computer and restarted it but this time the keyboard didn't activate. Then, I pushed the on/off button in for an extended time (to shut down the computer), but instead of shutting down, it would turn off and immediately turn back on. It would do this whether I kept the button pushed in or released it. I had to unplug it from the back in order to keep the computer off. I tried restarting it several times, sometimes the keyboard would come on and sometimes it would not.

With respect to your suggestion checking the psu, what would I be looking for? I just assumed if the computer turned on, the psu was doing its job. Probably a wrong assumption, though.

I just tried one last time and the same thing happened. I did do an F10 this time around and picked the cd drive to boot from in case that might be the issue but no luck. It gets to the "starting windows" screen, then the cd drive stops and everything freezes. Could it be that the motherboard just won't accept a windows 7 install?
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a b $ Windows 7
February 18, 2014 5:22:48 PM

Hi, sorry to tell you this, but you are in the wrong forum, this forum is for Laptops & Notebooks not desktops. Anyway, I have a question about your problem, your Windows 7, is it legit? Or you take a pirate version of Windows 7 and try to install it on the computer.
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February 18, 2014 7:06:05 PM

Hi jarotech, thanks for responding. Sorry, I'm new to Tom's Hardware and I thought I was in a general forum under systems. As far as I know it is legitimate. I bought it from Amazon from an organization that had some sealed oem sets that include the 32 bit and 64 bit versions intended for distribution with a refurbished pc. Since I was going to wipe the hard drive clean, I thought that would qualify the computer as a refurbished unit. It does have a product key. The only thing at this point I can think of as to why it may not be working (outside of the possibility of it being a pirated version) is the fact that it is 32 bit. I did some research of the Athlon 64 processor and it may be possible that I need to install the 64 bit version. The computer had xp but not sure if it was 32 bit or 64 bit. The computer was so old that I just assumed it was 32 bit. Is there a way to tell if the program disk is pirated?
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a b $ Windows 7
February 18, 2014 7:33:54 PM

I don't know why you were moved here (yes I know) but let's try to solve your problem. I believe you, you bought the Windows disc from amazon, you can install the 32bit version and also the 64bit version. The Athlon 64 is a 64bit processor. So, you have a key for Windows 7, what you can try, is to install Windows 7 from a USB key. I don't know, right now, if your system could boot from a USB key. I will search for the informations, and let you know if it's possible.
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