M3A78 with Athlon 64 X2 6000+ 89w

First, my hardware:

- ASUS M3A78 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+, 89w, 65nm (Brisbane)
- OCZ Reaper HPC 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)
- 1 IDE CD/DVD drive
- 1 SATA HD (have tried two different hard drives)
- New case
- 700W power supply, 4 months old

The issue: Cannot install Windows XP (Home SP2)

PC powers on, loads the ASUS splash screen, can get into the BIOS and make/save changes, HD is recognized. All it seems to do after the splash screen is go to a blank prompt with a flashing underscore.

I was once able to get it to begin the Windows XP installation, chose my drive/partition (NTFS), and the installation began successfully. It got as far as 39 minutes and got stuck on a file called "asme," which it said was missing. Since then, I tried to restart and it wouldn't give me the option to start over the installation, nor would it resume, so I formatted the HD in another computer (NTFS), and now it just goes to a blank prompt. I have tried two different SATA HDs, and they both have the same behaviour at this point (boots to a flashing prompt).

The boot order is set to 1. CD drive, 2. Hard Drive.

I have tried switching out power supply cables, SATA cables, tried just 1 stick of RAM, then the other, in each channel, and tried both sticks together in both sets of channels.

All I really want is, of course, to get this up and running, but it won't seem to let me even start the Windows XP installation anymore, whereas it was able to at one point (which it froze during).

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.

4 answers Last reply
More about m3a78 athlon 6000
  1. Set the video to onboard video in the bios.
  2. Thank you for the response. Unfortunately, there is no onboard video for this particular motherboard (the ASUS M3A78 plain).

    An update to my issue, as some pretty decent progress has been made:

    - I was able to successfully install Windows XP SP2 onto my SATA hard drive (which is now D:\). However, I was only able to get it to install by having my IDE hard drive attached, which had an existing Windows installation on it from previous hardware (which is C:\).

    - I am able to consistently boot into my new Windows XP installation (the installation that is on the SATA hard drive), however it refuses to boot unless if I have my IDE hard drive attached. If I remove the IDE hard drive from the equation, or if I set the IDE hard drive to slave via jumper settings, it will not allow me to boot into Windows with my SATA drive.

    - Interestingly, after getting Windows to install and booting into Windows, the SATA's installation (which is located on D:\) did not have the boot.ini, ntldr, or ntdetect.com files. I copied these files over from a boot disk, however it still doesn't seem to allow me to boot with just my SATA hard drive attached. I don't really want to have to have my IDE attached at all times, and for it to be required in order to boot.

    - The boot.ini file of the old Windows installation, the IDE at C:\, lists both the old and the new Windows installation:

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /usepmtimer
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

    So I've been reading around a lot, and it appeared that copying over the boot files from a boot disk should resolve the issue, however it has not. The biggest issue seems to be the fact that my PC won't even give me the option to boot into my SATA drive unless my IDE drive is attached. It's almost like it isn't recognized after the POST, however when I go into my BIOS, it recognizes the SATA, and allows me to set it to first in the boot order... it just won't boot off of it, and seems to only ever want to use the boot.ini file of the IDE drive, even without the IDE drive anywhere in my boot order.

    If anyone has any further ideas, I would greatly appreciate it.

  3. The IDE drive has a boot partition and the SATA drive has a system partition. It looks for the boot partition first.
  4. So if I understand what I've read on the Microsoft KB correctly, it seems as though going into the Windows Recovery Console and selecting my D: drive, then doing "fixboot" and "fixmbr" to the D: drive should make the D: drive into a boot partition.

    1. Is the above correct, or am I missing the point?

    2. Would there be a need to use "fdisk" to set the D: drive as the active partition?

    Thanks :}
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