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New PC Built, Unable to Install OS

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May 14, 2008 1:05:53 PM

Here are my specs:

PC Case:
AeroCool AeroEngine II
(+2 AeroCool AeroFlow 120mm Fans on side)
Motherboard:
Asus P5K
Processor:
Intel E6750 Core 2 Duo 2.66ghz Conroe
(Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler)
Hard-Drives:
Primary: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB SATA 3.0gb/s
Slave: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 750GB SATA 3.0gb/s
Memory:
8gb (2gb x 4) A-Data DDR2 800 SDRAM PC2 6400
Graphics Card:
EVGA superclocked 512mb 256-bit GDDR3 GeForce 8800GT 1900MHz
Sound Card:
Bluegears B-Enspirer 7.1 channel PCI sound card
Power Supply:
OCZ GameXStreme 700W ATX12V


My problem is most likely simply to you guys but for me it is a headache. I am trying to install Windows XP Pro x64 from a cd but the cd wont start. Everything listed above seems to be functioning just fine and is connected fine as per the BIOS. Even the "Press any key to continue" message comes up after it recognizes a disc in the DVD drive on the PC, but after that.. it flashes to the bios image and then back to black indefinately... When I put in Linux.. it gives me a Linus version or number and does the same thing.. just hangs there on the black screen continuously.

So my basic problem is.. I don't know how the heck I am supposed to install this operating system onto the PC. some people are telling me I need a boot disc, but I don't have a floppy drive and was under the impression that I didn't need one. Others are telling me I need to make the DVD drive the boot drive (which I have already done), but that didn't work.

I have no idea what to do. I just want to install Windows XP 64bit on this PC already.

Thanks in advance for the help.

More about : built unable install

May 14, 2008 1:13:31 PM

What I would try, is pulling out all but one memory module in your PC and try to install it again. If that doesn't work pull out everything that isn't needed, leave in the one system drive and your video card, everything else comes out.
May 14, 2008 1:37:47 PM

I dont see how that would help, but I will try that if nothing else works.

Right now I am on the phone with ASUS tech support and they are telling me that it's strange because the P5k mobo doesn't require a floppy for OS installation since it tricks the OS into believing the SATA HDD's are IDE's.

I'm still on the phone and he is trying to get some more information..

Related resources
May 14, 2008 1:42:01 PM

Definitely try what the previous poster said about the memory. I spent 4 days trying to install either Windows and Ubuntu. It would get to approx 45% on the install and give some erroneous error message. Turns out 2 sticks of the 4gig of memory were bad.
May 14, 2008 1:59:37 PM

not sure if this would apply to 64-bit XP, however when I was installing a mates 64-Vista I had to reduce the ram below 3GB in order for the installation to work. RAM was fine, and still is... Just needed to take it out for the installation.
May 14, 2008 2:06:41 PM

Has the boot hard drive had an OS before?

Do you get a message "press any key to boot from CD"?

Is your SATA controller set to IDE in bios?

May 14, 2008 2:11:14 PM

do you have it set to boot from your CD or DVD in your bios?
May 14, 2008 2:25:22 PM

Tech support guy just told me to update the bios to 1006 and that my mobo P5K doesn't need a floppy to install an os.

I'm going to give that a try and hopefully that fixes the prob otherwise I'm at the same crossroad again.
May 14, 2008 2:29:40 PM

asauka said:
not sure if this would apply to 64-bit XP, however when I was installing a mates 64-Vista I had to reduce the ram below 3GB in order for the installation to work. RAM was fine, and still is... Just needed to take it out for the installation.


I'll try it but my bios is recognizing all 8gb so I don't think my ram is bad or the problem.

May 14, 2008 2:31:02 PM

No you dont need a floppy to install if you have the controller set to IDE.

If you get stuck again come back and answer the above questions.
May 14, 2008 2:35:26 PM

Where can I set the controller to IDE?

I'm at work right now so everything is being recalled from memory.

May 14, 2008 2:37:15 PM

rozar said:
Has the boot hard drive had an OS before?

Do you get a message "press any key to boot from CD"?

Is your SATA controller set to IDE in bios?



No, there has never been any os or anything else on either of the two drives on this new pc build.

I do get a message that says press any key to boot from cd. when I hit enter or any key.. it goes to a black screen indefinitely.


I am not sure if the sata controller is set to IDE in my bios. I will check on that when I get home from work.
May 14, 2008 2:55:32 PM

Also Stans question. Make sure the Optical drive is in the boot order first. Although it should boot to it anyway if the Harddrive has never had an OS.

If all this checks out the next thing would be to make sure the media you are installing from is good.
May 14, 2008 3:01:06 PM

The DVD drive is the first in the boot order, I know that for a fact.

The media I am using is a genuine windows xp pro x64 disc with original product key.

I've also tried inserting a copy of my old windows xp 32 bit and it does the same thing.. just the black screen after you hit any key.


What you said about the sata controller being set to ide is probably what's going on here. I dont remember changing it in my bios or even seeing it for that matter.

So what i'm doing right now is downloading the mobo user manual from asus's website and looking at it through there and trying to remember if I ran across that setting in the bios or not.

May 14, 2008 3:22:05 PM

You should take out all but one stick and try. May be a faulty module.
May 14, 2008 3:33:49 PM

I had the same thing with my build had to update the bios for the motherboard to support the E6750. Try that first.
May 14, 2008 3:34:48 PM

I read through a ton of pages and finally found this...

So I called my g/f and she checked and it is already set to IDE mode.




So it's already set to IDE, what gives? What else could it be?
May 14, 2008 3:41:54 PM

I'm hoping an update of the bios will work, but as of right now the current bios doesn't see the updated bios 1006 that I recorded onto a dvd.

Am I supposed to burn the zipped bios to an empty cd or the unzipped contents?

I burned the unzipped contents.
May 14, 2008 3:53:12 PM

I did not see mention of your optical drive in your config. Is it IDE or SATA? If it is IDE, what do you have it jumpered to, Master, Slave or Cable Select? If it is set to Master, try cable select or vice versa and then slave as a last resort. Failing that, do you have access to a SATA optical drive? I've had issues on a couple of systems that have only the single IDE controller with only a single IDE cd/dvd rom drive installed.... jumper settings have helped, slaving a second drive to the controller has helped and then I just gave up and went completely sata and have not had the problem since....
May 14, 2008 3:54:20 PM

I dont know if this has been addressed but I had the same problem with one of my builds and it ended up being a bad sata power connector to the optical drive. double check to see that it is pushed in all of the way and if it is try a different sat power connector from you psu. hope this helps

Jason
May 14, 2008 4:11:56 PM

Let's review here


1. Your computer posts fine
2. Your computer DOES try to boot from the cd, as it says "press any key to start install" from the os install disc right?
3. Once you do push any key, instead of starting the os install program, you know the blue screen we all know and love. It simply goes black and hangs? Requiring a restart where it repeats?

4. You have done this with linux and windows?


Ok first of all, have you tried a different cd rom? I don't remember even seeing what brand/model you have currently. What is the interface?

This sounds like something simple and almost silly but given what your saying, there is definitely something wrong.

Something is happening when it tries to start the os install program from the cd. If you think about all that happens when you try to do that a whole lot of possibilities come up.

I would suggest the following.

1. Break your computer down all the way back to the start. Taking out the processor, ram, mb etc.
2. Check for damaged connectors, lose fitting plugs, lose hsf etc. Heck even check the psu, it could be as soon as there is any sort of load on it, it craps out.


This is what makes computers fun, when there is a problem, there really is a big problem that is extremely confusing.

The next step I would do after the cd/dvd drive is eliminated is a rma of the mb. It almost sounds like something is wrong with the bios, where it wants to go to the bios setup screen upon hitting a button rather then just boot off the cd.

May 14, 2008 4:40:01 PM

obiwan05 said:
I did not see mention of your optical drive in your config. Is it IDE or SATA? If it is IDE, what do you have it jumpered to, Master, Slave or Cable Select? If it is set to Master, try cable select or vice versa and then slave as a last resort. Failing that, do you have access to a SATA optical drive? I've had issues on a couple of systems that have only the single IDE controller with only a single IDE cd/dvd rom drive installed.... jumper settings have helped, slaving a second drive to the controller has helped and then I just gave up and went completely sata and have not had the problem since....


My optical drive is a tested and working NEC/SONY Optiarc DVDRW drive. I had it on an old system with no problems. It is connected on an IDE as I recall.. a master drive currently.

I sort of understand what you are trying to say. I'll change around the jumper settings when I get home and see if that helps. But as per the BIOS, everything is detected, connected and showing up just fine.
May 14, 2008 4:43:25 PM

atcbrownie said:
I dont know if this has been addressed but I had the same problem with one of my builds and it ended up being a bad sata power connector to the optical drive. double check to see that it is pushed in all of the way and if it is try a different sat power connector from you psu. hope this helps

Jason


In my case, IF it was a bad SATA power connector, would my drive still be recognized in the bios? My power supply has 6 sata power connectors, I'll try using a different one and see if that does anything.

May 14, 2008 4:51:09 PM

cranbers said:
Let's review here


1. Your computer posts fine [CHECK]
2. Your computer DOES try to boot from the cd, as it says "press any key to start install" from the os install disc right? [CHECK]
3. Once you do push any key, instead of starting the os install program, you know the blue screen we all know and love. It simply goes black and hangs? Requiring a restart where it repeats? [CHECK, goes to black screen with blinking underscore indefinitely and requires restart to do anything]

4. You have done this with linux and windows? [CHECK, two different xp cd's and one Linux cd]



Ok first of all, have you tried a different cd rom? I don't remember even seeing what brand/model you have currently. What is the interface? [It is a Sony NEC Optiarc 18x 7170 DVD Burner, E-IDE interface and I know the drive works]

This sounds like something simple and almost silly but given what your saying, there is definitely something wrong.

Something is happening when it tries to start the os install program from the cd. If you think about all that happens when you try to do that a whole lot of possibilities come up.

I would suggest the following.

1. Break your computer down all the way back to the start. Taking out the processor, ram, mb etc.
2. Check for damaged connectors, lose fitting plugs, lose hsf etc. Heck even check the psu, it could be as soon as there is any sort of load on it, it craps out.
[I will try it but as stated, everything is recognized and looks and sounds like it is running/operating fine so this will be a last resort]

This is what makes computers fun, when there is a problem, there really is a big problem that is extremely confusing.

The next step I would do after the cd/dvd drive is eliminated is a rma of the mb. It almost sounds like something is wrong with the bios, where it wants to go to the bios setup screen upon hitting a button rather then just boot off the cd.



My current leads are:

*Trying to double check the power going to the SATA drives.
*Checking if the dvd-drive is master/slave/cable select.
*Updating the bios as the ASUS technician mentioned.


My last resort would be plugging in an old floppy drive that I have and try using a boot disc I made..



::Sigh:: SO FRUSTRATING!!!!! It's like having $1500 worth of pc equipment in a pretty box and not being able to use any of it. lol :cry: 
May 14, 2008 5:17:32 PM

I may have missed it but you haven't told us that you tried taking out all but one Memory Stick. If that doesn't do it put in a different memory stick. Try each stick in each slot, if one or some of those work then you have a problem with Memory sticks or slots being bad.

If one stick works in some slots and not others RMA the MoBo. If some sticks work and others don't you have bad RAM sticks, RMA the ones that don't work.

If none of the sticks work you likely have a bad MoBo, RMA it.
May 14, 2008 5:20:41 PM

On startup and in my BIOS, all 8gb of my ram show up.

Do I still have to check if the ram is bad?
May 14, 2008 5:26:59 PM

Bengoshi-San said:
On startup and in my BIOS, all 8gb of my ram show up.

Do I still have to check if the ram is bad?


Yes, even if the BIOS see's all the memory, you still may have a bad module. I would pull all but one out and try it that way, if it doesn't work, try the next one and so on.
May 14, 2008 5:36:14 PM

But mine have to be installed in pairs.

If I just keep 1 stick in there (2gb), would the computer run as normal?
May 14, 2008 5:43:56 PM

Your Memory was sold in pairs to esure that the sticks work well in Dual channel Setups. You don't have to run it in pairs but when you do you want Memory sold in pairs to get the best preformance. The machine will work just fine with only one stick.
May 14, 2008 5:47:10 PM

I just called ASUS tech support again and spoke with someone else and he said check the ram by inserting 1 stick only and maybe that will work.

I guess I'll be busy again tonight. :-\
May 14, 2008 6:01:36 PM

Hope it works.
May 14, 2008 6:04:59 PM

I'm having my girlfriend try it with just 1 stick of ram right now.
May 14, 2008 6:08:59 PM

She tried 2 sticks individually and got the same result, nothing changed.

I'm going to try the other 2 when I get home, but this is looking like it's not a RAM problem.
May 14, 2008 6:43:34 PM

Where exactly does the failure occur? You boot, post, and hit a key to start the windows install. Do you ever see the screen "starting windows now"? (the one right before you hit F8 to agree to MS terms)

I have seen some Asus boards using the JMicron ATA controller need a "F6" driver for the optical drive even though the SATA hard drive may not.
May 14, 2008 7:24:51 PM

The error occurs before any sort of windows install screen comes up.

It's literally like this...

[name of cd rom drive in green with some numbers]

press any key to continue....

At that point if you hit any key.. it goes to the "ASUS" bios logo then it goes back to the press any key to continue screen... then if you press any key.. it goes to a black screen with a " _ " blinking continuously and endlessly until I power it off or restart.


May 14, 2008 7:39:02 PM

this is more stressful than a dentists visit for me
May 14, 2008 8:07:45 PM

It says exactly "press any key to continue"?

Normally when a PC boots it will post then attempt the boot sequence. If there is a bootable media in the Optical drive and the optical drive is listed before the hard drive in the boot order it will process that media. In the case of a Windows install media part of the design asks you if you want to boot from the optical device as opposed to just doing it. It will say something like "press any key to boot from CD or DVD". I dont remember ever seeing "press any key to continue" from a Windows media. This is very strange. Also if your bios will let you disable the splash screen I would do it so you can see what is happening during post/boot. It would be helpful to have more information about the "press any key to continue" message.
May 14, 2008 8:13:42 PM

Im at work and kinda reading this off and on. Did you (or GF) update the bios yet?
May 14, 2008 8:21:45 PM

she wasn't able to update the bios off of the dvd we burned. i burned the bios on a cd here at work and also put it on a floppy.

i'm gonna try updating the bios first when i get home and then move on to finish testing the ram, i have a cd with memtest86 on it, i'll run that to check the ram.

then i'll double check all the power connections and sata cables and the jumper on the ide dvd drive

then i'll just suck on my thumb if none of that works.....

i'll get more info when i get home at 6-7pm
May 14, 2008 8:25:15 PM

Not sure how this double posted
May 14, 2008 8:25:46 PM

asus tech support is open till midnight so maybe i'll call them up and have them try to help me through the process

my working pc (dell dimension 8200) has a working floppy.. so if i really need to.. i can rip the floppy out of that and use it to run an xp boot disc or something, maybe it will help

off to the chiropractor, will check back in round 7-9
May 15, 2008 2:13:31 AM

Okay, so here is how it went down when I got home.

I ran the memtest86 cd on the computer and the RAM turned out fine after the 1 hour long test.

Then I tried installing XP and it was still doing the same thing.

I called Tech Support, they had me change a bunch of settings and nothing.. it was still the same.

We even removed everything to barebones and only had the psu, cpu, gpu, hdd and dvd-drive connected. But that didn't fix the problem either.

The tech support guy ran out of ideas and basically told me that it's probably a bad IDE controller on the motherboard.

So now I am going to call newegg and see if they will replace this. If they won't, I think I will be able to get ASUS to replace it.

Thanks for the help guys but I guess it was a lost cause right out of the box...
May 15, 2008 6:22:05 PM

Got an RMA from Newegg, I will be sending this back to them tomorrow. It will take me about a week/two to get the replacement, lets hope that works.

Thanks for the help again and I'll keep you guys posted if the new mobo fixes the problem.
June 2, 2008 2:00:30 PM

Here is an update for anyone who runs a search or has a similar problem in the future:

I exchanged the motherboard from newegg.com only to have the same problem happen. So basically this led me to believe the motherboard was never the problem to begin with.

After doing some digging around and using many different windows os cd's to install, I kept getting a message that said something along the lines of "Cannot Find BOOTMGR".

I kept digging and running a search and it turned out that my dvd-rom drive (Sony/NEC Optiarc 7170 DVDRW+-) didn't read that file type. I swapped the new drive for an old dvd burner I had (Phillips) and immediately.. Vista started installing and everything after that was smooth.

It's been a few days since the PC was built and it runs very solid. I recommend my setup to anyone looking for a killer storage, gaming and media pc for $1200, go with my setup.

:-) Thanks for all the help again guys. This just goes to prove that it's always the smallest, dumbest thing that causes problems.
!