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Cannot Boot XP from SSD or CD unless in Safe Mode

Last response: in Windows XP
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May 14, 2011 5:11:43 PM

I just upgraded to a M4N75TD with AMD Phenom II 555 processor and 2x2GB sticks of DDR3 RAM. When I try to run Windows XP Pro (32-bit) from my solid-state hard drive OR boot from my Windows intallation CD, I get a blue-screen error, but I can boot in Safe Mode with Networking from the SSD. In fact, I'm posting this from it now.

OS: Windows XP Pro 32-bit
Video: eVGA 9500GT 1GB
Power Supply: 550W SLI-certified

New system:
Motherboard: ASUS M4N75TD
Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition 3.2 GHz
RAM: 2x 2 GB Corsair xms3 DDR3 1333 MHz CAS9 (9-9-9-24)

Old system:
ASUS P5N-D
Intel Dual Core e2160 1.8 GHz
2 x 1 GHz DDR2 800

All other parts the same

If I boot in Safe Mode from the SSD, it boots fine, with networking, and even runs at my normal resolution of 1280x1024. I can access files on my SSD and my RAID drive, my CD drive and my DVD drive, and aside from the Safe Mode restrictions, everything works perfectly. If, however, I try to boot from my SSD normally, I get the Windows loading screen, then a quick flash of blue screen and the system resets. If I boot from my Windows CD, it loads all the drivers, etc, then gives a blue screen which stays until I power off.

I exchanged the motherboard, processor, and RAM for the same models, and the same problem occurred, so I doubt it's simply defective hardware, as the odds of getting the same specific error twice would be astronomically low.

All of the other computer components work fine with my old mobo/processor/RAM combo and are compatible with the new ones. When I returned the parts, I reinstalled the old mobo, etc. and it worked as before, so unless the M4N75TD is ridiculously fragile, I doubt I'm screwing up the installation.

Troubleshooting completed:
Verified MemOK light was going off after startup.
Disconnected everything but the SSD and video card, tried to boot from SSD.
Reconnected CD drive, tried to boot from CD.
Disconnected SSD, connected RAID card and drives, left CD drive connected, tried to boot from CD, crashed in the same place.
Tried all 3 of these with Core Unlocker on.
Installed old video card (eVGA 8500GT) and tried all 3 drive configurations, still booted in Safe Mode, but not in normal mode or from CD.
Reconnected everything, booted in Safe Mode, downloaded and installed every driver update I could find for the motherboard, processor, and video card. Rebooted from SSD and CD, no change.

Since it crashes consistently at the same point upon running Windows both from CD and the drive, but not at all in Safe Mode, I figure there is something in the settings or setup that's causing the issue, but can't figure out what. All the BIOS settings seem correct, and since it boots in Safe Mode and lets me access all my drives, I don't see how they could be wrong. I'm totally stumped.

More about : boot ssd safe mode

May 14, 2011 9:58:08 PM

In your BIOS, is your SATA drive set up to emulate an IDE drive?
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May 15, 2011 12:20:28 PM

No, the SATA SSD shows as SATA in the BIOS. My RAID card shows up as IDE in the BIOS, but the problem occurred with the RAID card and both drives disconnected, and with the SATA drive disconnected but the RAID card and IDE CD drive connected.
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May 26, 2011 7:08:29 AM

Turned out it was a bad XP CD. Apparently that also caused the issues that caused me to decide to upgrade (I'd thought it was a bad CPU or motherboard). I got a different XP CD and it installed fine.
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