Computer shutting down during XP install

I just put together a new system and while Windows is trying to install my system shuts down instantly during the process. I'm not really sure why it's doing this and it's driving me crazy. :(


P4 3ghz (hyperthreading)
L4VXA2 Elitegroup motherboard
650W power supply
2GB ddr sdram
GeForce 7300GT 512mb
250GB western digital hard drive

I'm confident that my computer isn't overheating and I've even ran a desk fan into the case to be sure. I've swapped out the ram to see if it was that and the problem still persisted. All of my fans (front, cpu, and back) are running fine as well.

I don't understand why it's just shutting off with no warning. All I hear is what sounds like a switch and then the fans lose power and the computer shuts off. It always seems to happen around the time I pick the partition to install windows on (sometimes just before, sometimes on that screen, and sometimes just after).
40 answers Last reply
More about computer shutting install
  1. If it happens in the same spot it is probably heat or a bad hard drive.
  2. ^ Yep, bad hard drive. I had that problem on a laptop a while ago, found out it had been banged around while it was on.
  3. If anything I would have picked a bad hard drive for one of my last guesses. I took it out of a system I was using before and wiped it clean for new use with this system. It's actually fairly new too, I think I bought it about 6 months ago.
  4. ill agree with above. it is more logical that either heat or bad drive causing it. maybe bad ram?
  5. I think I've ruled out both heat and ram. For heat I have solid air flow through my case and have even ran a desk fan to make sure that it wasn't overheating. As for ram, I've swapped out both of my 1GB DIMMs to check and I've also just put in a 256mb one in to see. Not the RAM either.

    I'm still trying to put some sense into it being the hard drive. Would a computer just automatically shut down if there was a bad sector or something on the hard drive? I mean I just partitioned it and formatted it to install Windows. Then in Windows setup it gets to a certain point and just shuts off. It's not always the same point, but it's always around the same point if that makes sense.
  6. It seems something wrong with your PSU and not the HDD...
  7. Well, I just ruled out the hard drive. I put in a different HD, partitioned, and formatted it, then tried to install windows and the same thing happened. Same place too. I've also tried using a different windows CD, but it also does the same thing.

    What's left? Power supply, motherboard, maybe re-seat the processor? I'm making guesses now. :(
  8. Have you checked all your cable connections? It should be the first thing to make sure every thing is plugged in properly.
  9. Quote:
    I just partitioned it and formatted it to install Windows

    This may not be your issue but, generally you should bust any partitions off of your harddisk and present it to the Win install blank - ie. blank from the factory, unused, un-partitioned y'know?
    Then use the Win install process to (partition if desired and) format.
    I would double-check all BIOS settings. All kinds of different memory might not work, because the memory settings in BIOS might be wack, so it doesn't matter what you put in - it won't work if settings are bad.
    In general, build your hardware and set it up properly in BIOS. Then determine system stability, and confirm setup.
    When everything is proper and correct, only then reach for the WinXP CD...
    Refer to your ECS mobo manual; get the PDF off the web if you don't have the book.
    Re: 2GB DDR memory (probably DDR400)
    Ensure adequate memory voltage - ie. ~2.6v and investigate timings in BIOS setup. Confirm nice loose timings and good voltage.
    Checkout CPU setup; perhaps disable hyperthreading for now. Can easily re-enable later if OS installs okay.
    Check out interior case wiring carefully, then if everything checks out and cabling good, PSU could be 'going south' on you, heheh... but it looks like a stout one (650W!) and fairly new...?
    Re: WD harddisk
    You can jumper Seagate and Maxtor single drives as 'master' - but not WD.
    A WD needs no jumper (ie. 'single' drive) and, if you jumper it 'master' it will hang, looking for a slave.
    This may not apply to your problem but many folks are unaware, so just being thorough. :)
    In conclusion, crash like this may not be strictly HD related - it may be when the OS is enumerating the controller (ie. mobo chipset) that it becomes very dissatisfied and switches off.
    I suspect your answers will be found in hardware configuration and BIOS setup, before you even get to the OS...
  10. Ruled out the power supply..changed to another one and it still happens.

    Also have disabled hyperthreading and the problem persisted.

    As for checking memory voltage and BIOS settings, I'm very new to that. I wouldn't have the first clue as to what to change and what to change it to.

    My RAM is DDR 266 is that helps.

    All of my cable connections are fine..and I wish it was that simple fix hehe. :)

    Edit: Also yeah, my HD is Western Digital (so was the other one I tested it with to eliminate the HD), but it doesn't hang so I think you're right that it wouldn't be causing the problem.
  11. well, to me it sounds software related. It could be a conflict between the hardware and software installing with XP. I'm guessing that the OS "checks hardware configuration" when installing and probably is querying that very hardware throughout the install process.

    Can you tell where in the install process the systems shuts down? What is happening just before?

    It could be a mismatch of hadware like RAM/GPU/CPU for example and the installer is recognizing something critically wrong that the BIOS didn't/can't.

    Are you using a virgin copy of XP? Or is it a WinLite/Slipstream install? If so, maybe you messed something up.

    I don't know, just reaching myself. Did you try replacing the video card? Process of elimination now.

    Have you went through the BIOS and set everything correct? Maybe you have an error in there somewhere. The whole SATA/RAID stuff threw me for a loop a couple times.
  12. Ok, setup loads all of the drivers and scans my system, then it asks me what partition to install to and starts copying files for installation.

    Somewhere around the time where it asks me for the partition and during the install file copy process is when it shuts down.

    My XP copy came with my computer that I was using before this. I don't use that one anymore so I'm using it for this system. I haven't replaced the video card, but I don't really think it's related. I could try it, but I think it may be something in the BIOS. Unfortunately, I have no idea what to do with the BIOS to try and fix it.
  13. One other thought, I had a computer (kids) that would just shut down all by itself from time to time. When a game was being played it seemed to happen even more.

    It turned out to be that the power connector on the card (6600GT I believe) was not secure and it was causing the video card to be under-powered. This caused the whole computer to just turn right off.

    Is the aux power power connector plugged in?
  14. Yes it's plugged in nice and tight. I just went through all of my connections after putting in a different power supply as well to make sure nothing was loose and things were plugged in where they were supposed to be.
  15. Another thought, I believe in XP you have to install SATA drivers during setup (F6) if you're using a SATA drive. Did you do this?
  16. My hard drive is a Western Digital 250GB EIDE Drive so I didn't think I would have to install the SATA drivers.
  17. ..and make sure you are NOT overclocking anything at all. No MB jumpers overclocked and nothing in the BIOS. Maybe reset BIOS to defaults.

    I've had plenty of systems become unstable when overclocked and exhibit strange symptoms such as you are describing.
  18. It may be time to just blow the sucker up. What do you think? Make a YouTube video and post the link here ;)
  19. CPU overheat. Simple. The connection with the CPU and the HSF is not good, or the thermal paste is dry and cracked.

    If it is not the PSU, Ram, HDD, etc. have been checked, and it starts to install XP but stops at nearly the same point each time...CPU overheat.

    If it is not the CPU overheating (i.e. you try another CPU, or you put this CPU in another PC, or you clean the CPU and use new thermal paste) then it is your mobo.

    But 99/100 says it is your CPU overheating.
  20. ...and a desk fan won't help.
  21. I agree the desk fan will not help, but why would the install stop right at the same place each time during the install? That's the part that has me question the CPU heat theory. You would think it would happen at random times as it gets too hot.

    But reseating is certainly worth a try, you're running out of other ideas!
  22. i think the problem may be your CPU (P4). be sure that the headsink is properly installed and the CPU has the correct amount of thermal paste, if not it will overhead and it will turn off the pc.
  23. another thing, during the install the computer shut down at the same place right?? so i think is a good idea to try another CD, maybe that will help
  24. Is it an original XP CD or a copy? I think you tried 2 different CDs so I'm guessing they are burned copies.

    I have had CD drives have trouble with certain media, they start to read the disc and then just stop. *maybe* your CD drive is not reading the discs properly, try another disc brand or CD drive.

    And don't you love building computers? You could troubleshoot like this for a few days trying 101 things until you finally find the right problem. really, anything mentioned so far could possibly have been the problem.

    And what really really sucks is when you have two problems at once! It makes it next to impossible to find the issue since you replace one item and the problem isn't fixed, and it never is because it's really two things at once! oh the humanity...
  25. It's an original XP CD, as was the 2nd one I tried. This one is home and the other one was professional.

    I'm leaning towards the CPU/motherboard myself, but I'm still clueless with the BIOS. That could be the problem as well.

    I just don't understand how the CPU could be overheating and having it shut down only during windows installation at just about the same time, every time.

    And yeah I really hope it's not 2 problems - that would be horrible! lol

    I think I'm gonna let it sit here for today and take it to a family friend who owns a computer shop and have a second pair of eyes take a look at it. He'll know more about it than I do that's for sure.
  26. well, good luck, if he (your Friend) fix it, please tell us what was the problem. that will help in the future. thanks
  27. Are you installing windows the noob way by inserting the cd then running or setting the bios to boot from cd? Sometimes that has something to do with it.
  28. It always could be heat, but if it dies at pretty much the same spot every time after consecutive tries at installation, it's not so likely to be heat.

    I would next go into the BIOS and disable onboard sound, the onboard NIC, USB, etc. Basically disable/unplug anything you don't need for a simple Windows installation; about all you can do at this point is to use trial and error to find the problem.

  29. get hirenbootcd and eleminate all partitions in your hdd. i had problems with some builds when trying to reinstall windows in them. maybe there is some problem with hte mbr or the ntfs system. try it out before buying new stuff to counter the problem
  30. I would go with one of three things, since you've ruled out everything else:

    1) The installation disc
    2) Your optical (CD/DVD) drive
    3) The motherboard.

    in that order.
  31. Hi - good to see you are getting plenty of attention :)
    With this "bare bones" assembled, boot into the BIOS
    and poke around -- with emphasis on any "Hardware"
    tab which should report voltages and fan speeds
    e.g. CPU fan rpm is crucial.

    Yes! There is all kinds of info in there (and not just settings).
    The most reliable hardware monitoring (temps/voltage/fans) is usually found in BIOS...
    I'm still clueless with the BIOS. That could be the problem...

    What about the motherboard manual?
    You have not said - do you have it?
    Just download it, and you will feel much better :love: ie. you will feel much more 'in charge', heheh :wahoo:
    I often quickly d/l peoples' mobo manuals, just because they have an issue they are asking about on the forums!
    Note: ECS is actually okay (for an inexpensive brand) but take a close look at all the capacitors on the mobo,
    they should look like tiny little cans of soup, make sure they are all looking good. This means not swollen up (looking like they will burst) or actually leaking, typically a dark fluid weeps out the top.
    But get your book and we can go into the BIOS setup together - with no book, it will be much more challenging to help you...
  32. Ok I didn't have patience to read through the whole thread, but did you try a full format of the HDD (not the quick format)? That one checks for bad sectors on the disk. Otherwise, I've had that problem before with my sound-card plugged in. I would disable anything you don't absolutely need for the install. Also, your motherboard seems generic. I wouldn't be surprised if that was your issue. You don't need to F6 unless you're installing RAID, which doesn't seem to be the case for you and the fact that you can select your drive and at least begin the install leads me to believe that the base drivers work fine. If it's rebooting at the same place every time, it's most likely bad sectors on the HDD or a hardware conflict. Eliminate every piece of hardware you can by disabling everything you don't need such as sound, NIC, any ports (USB, Serial, printer, Firewire), etc (as mentioned before) and try again.
  33. Turned out to be the CPU after all. Wasn't an overheating problem (temp was about 40 degrees), the chip was just bad. Replaced it with a P4 2.7ghz and I'm good to go.

    Thanks for all your help and I can't believe it came down to the processor.
  34. On going through all the replies for your question regarding shutting down of windows during installation, i think only BIOS are playing the bad role here. You need to update your mother boards bios.

    first u can set the BIOS for Deafualt values, and if problem persists, then go for updation of bios.
  35. Did you assemble it on carpet? I made this big mistake once and I will never do it again! Fried my motherboard!
  36. Hey!

    Since most things have been ruled out, I offer you two possible problems.

    1. Static fried the motherboard or CPU
    2. Your CPU heatsink isn't set on properly, and the computer is overheating causing it to shut off. The computer wouldn't shut off in the bios because it isn't using as much CPU usage as the XP install.
  37. hi,

    have you ever figured out your problem with computer shutting down during xp installation? i have the same problem

  38. hi
    i also have same problems
    there is nothing problem with hardware and connections i checked it.
    i can install linux but i cant install xp
    during installation of xp screen show "a problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer "
  39. hi all.. i was searching for a solutions on my laptop while i was tinkering with my pc witch had the same problem and i solved the problem by lowering the cpu hz and ram hz ... my guess it was to high for RAM (although my rams are 400 mhz).. so yeah i lowered the frequency and am installing windows while writting this. good luck i hope these helps
  40. Fixed this problem

    So, me and a friend just ran across this problem, It'll randomly shut off during the near final installation process of Windows Xp, from Win 7 ultimate....

    Someone in a previous thread had said some *** about the battery, so we thought that over, and we Took the battery out, left it out, and plugged the laptop back in.
    tried again
    Bingo, windows xp begins to install the last processes :D

    Hope this helps someone, these threads helped me.
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