Is my P4C800-E toasted? I can't install Windows 2003 on it! When the setup program is booting up, it says "Setup is loading Windows...", and the HDD light flashes once every second, but nothing else happens. I let it run all weekend and it still didn't get past that point.
The system is stable under memtest86 (over 200 passes!). But just in case, I've tried underclocking everything and turning off all the RAID and SATA options, but alas to no avail.
I have a 550W Antec PSU, so power should not be an issue. Windows XP installs just fine.
Is this a bad mobo? Should I RMA it?
Thanks for your advice...
<i>GeneticWeapon says: "Your days posting here have about come to an end... I promise you that by the time I'm done making my point to you, you wont want to be here anymore...you fuucking bitch."</i>
Try taking absolutely everything out of your system and disabling everything onboard that you don't need, and see if you can at least install it. Try using the newest hard drive you have, even if it's smaller, and possibly try changing out video cards. You should also try changing out cd-rom drives, I've had certain drives that wouldn't read certain cd-s for whatever reason
It wasn't the video card after all: it was the HDD!! I could have sworn I tried that hard drive in another machine...
Anyways, to summarize:
I was getting strange install errors when installing O/S. I was also getting erratic behavior from BIOS detecting/not detecting the drive, or detecting it on the wrong chain, etc.
I changed the old PCI video card for another PCI card, and it helped, but the system still had a strange problem: Whenever it turned off, the next boot would not detect the HDD. I would have to clear the CMOS every time. After clearing the CMOS, the drive would function normal ... until the next time I powered down the system. Then I'd have to clear the CMOS again.
WHAT I THINK WAS HAPPENING:
Some malfunction in the HDD was causing it to take too long to register. After going from the 1st video card to the 2nd one, I noticed that the 2nd card had a little video BIOS boot screen before the system POST. The amount of time to display that in addition to the longer time it took the chipset to boot from a cleared CMOS state gave the faulty HDD enough time to wake up. Then when I power cycled, the CMOS was already filled in, causing the chipset to boot quicker, and therefore the faulty HDD didn't have enough time to wake up, and thus: no HDD detected!
What a bizarre problem... Anyway, I've RMA'd the drive and all is good.