At some stage during installaiton, you will be required to demonstrate your entitlement to upgrade, either by showing the original installation (which you couldn't do on a clean HDD) or the installation disk that came with it.
Ok, well, then I'm in trouble because all I have to do that are the original system restore disks that I got with my computer. I may not even have those.
Here's what I did...
1. Custom install 7 32-bit to 7 64-bit (yes, I have the appropriate system)
2. 7 64-bit wasn't of the same kind of 7 that I had been running (thought I could use any Windows 7 disc and just input MY key.
3. Purchased 7 64-bit to get one with it's OWN key, ran installation, getting nothing but blue screen with PFN_LIST_CORRUPT message. Crash, back to Windows installation.
So, if I can't just format that hard drive and start fresh what the heck CAN I do? I'm so lost.
Ok, blue crash screen not happening anymore. THis must have been caused by the new RAM I bought. Where can I find out EXACTLY what kind of RAM my system uses? Is there more than one kind of DDR2?
Yes - several different types and there's also DDR3. Take the online scan at http://www.crucial.com. The ActiveX object is safe to accept and the scan wll tell you what you have and how much you can upgrade to. You don't have to buy it form them but in my experience, they're very competitive and here in the UK, usually provide next day delivery.
Ram incompatability is pretty rare, but does happen, there are quite a few DDR2 speeds, timings, etc..., most good motherboards can work with any of them mixed together, but it's best to get the exact same speeds you have in the system now.
This will give you a bunch of info on RAM types http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDR2_SDRAM
Saga's advice on crucial is good, I use that site all the time to check systems.
Well, after all my testing for the past 2 days, it's clear that the RAM is the issue. The original Samsung chips (2 x 512, 2 x 1GB) were all PC2-5300. The new ones I bought were PC2-6400 and PNY. Obviously the original RAM runs fine, but any combination with the PNY chips or even the PNY chips by themselves caused a blue screen crash. Either the chips are incompatible with my motherboard (which is weird because crucial says PC2-6400 is fine) or the chips themselves are defective. Doubtful, cause the computer DOES recognize them but not long after it crashes.
You can try just getting 5300, the reason crucial states 6400 will work is that the motherboard and RAM will, in theory, work together to set a speed that is right for the spec, but not faster than what the motherboard can handle normally. Sometimes RAM chips don't report their speed right, or some issue between the RAM and the motherboard chipset or BIOS causes the speeds to get skewed, and you end up with RAM running faster than the motherboard can handle without crashing. This is one of those "rare" cases where RAM and motherboard don't play well together like I posted. Could be other issues between them than just the speed also, many little things to run perfect for it all to work, and a tiny glitch will get you crashes.
If you want, try a BIOS update for your system, vendors often add better RAM support in BIOS revisions. Or just return the chips and get 5300 speeds, you'll have less chance of the system crashing due to a bad BIOS flash. But I don't think I have seen any BIOS update go bad myself in 20 years of computer work that was not caused by a power outage or something similar.
Thing is, I'm running an emachines, Athlon X2 64 bit system that came with Vista 32-bit (I know, weird) which I have since upgraded to Windows 7 64-bit for the sake of utilizing more RAM for specific applications. Anyway, point is, they don't have a Windows 7 BIOS update. Only a Vista one. I talked to them yesterday to ask if there was a new one and they got weird about me using the Vista BIOS with Windows 7. 64-bit isn't even an option on their downloads page for this computer: http://support.gateway.com/us/en/emac/product/default.a...