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Can't figure out this windows install problem

Last response: in Systems
September 2, 2006 12:21:15 AM

Does anyone have any ideas on this one?

I have a homebuilt system. I had 2 hitachi 80GB SATA drives striped in a raid 0 array using the mobos raid controller. I had a winsows 2000 Pro partiton and I had a beta version of windows XP64 on a second partion that I rarely boot up. One day windows refused to start. I just hung on the boot up screen for both OS's. the BIOS still sees both drives and reports no errors. I tried to use the recovery console to fix it and that didn't work so I tried to reinstall windows. but it refused to install on any partition.
I figured the drive was bad so I got a new Seagate 320 GB SATA drive witch I installed on a SIIG SATA controller. (I was hoping to get windows up and see if I could save the info on the striped drives) Windows would hang any time I tried to install with the raid drives attached so I disconnected them and plugged only the new drive into the MOBO and installed 2000pro slipstreamed with SP4. Everything went well. the OS installed I booted up, installed all my drivers AVG antivirus, lavasoft adware and zonealarm. The next day windows refused to boot. I tried everything to fix it but it hands on the start screen. Finally I completely reformated the drive and the everytime I tried to install windows it said another OS was on the drive that needed to be made innactive. when I said yes I would get a blue screen. and thats it. I even tried to use partition commander to wipe the drive clean and reformat.
So at a stand still I saw an ad for a 10GB seagate IDE drive at frys for $14. I bought it hoping to install windows, then scan the drives and figure out what was going on. I again installed windows, then started updating my drivers. The next day I booted the computer and I get windows to boot and then it locks up. Sometimes I can get task manager open before it locks but that is it. sometime not even that.

What is going on? Is it possible to have a BIOS virus? I can't understand why 3 seperate HD's keep failing right after a fresh install. This windows disk is the same one I have used for years so I don't think thats an issue. Any Gurus out there with a suggestion?

MSI K8N FSR 7030 mobo
AMD 64 3200
2 sticks corsair 512M DS DDR ram
Thermalake 600W PSU
eVGA 6800GT
HP DVD burner
DVD rom drive
Windows 2000 Pro
pluegged into the ethernet port of a Belkin wireless router
September 2, 2006 1:09:57 AM

It doesn't seem to be the drives or the controllers since you've used several different configurations. My first concern would usually be the power supply but it's plenty beefy and from a good name, so I think I'd suspect the memory first.

Try removing one of the sticks and see if you still get the same problem. If you do, try the other stick. Then run Memtest86 against them for a couple hours (if you have another machine you can create the CD on).
September 2, 2006 1:11:58 AM

Bad RAM is the most likely cause of such problems. Follow the advice of the other poster and run memtest86.
September 4, 2006 2:54:48 AM

Thats what I was thinking earlier, so I switched out the sticks and ran one at a time. That didn't help. But I figured what the heck, I ran Memtest86 overnight without findinf a single problem. I reinstalled on the 10GB disk. got everything up again. It looked good so I copied everything to the 320 GB disk. it started. I loaded my firewall and virus. the next day it refused to boot again. I switched back to only the small disk and it would boot go into windows for 15 seconds and lock up again... I really don't know what it could be.

I'm about ready to throw out all my computers and go to an abicus. ... but I hear video sucks on those things.