This is the 2nd time I am building this system, as I just recently assembled a similar tower with the 512mb version of the same card and got it running fine. Now I built this system for myself and am having problems. First off, I tried to install windows 7, but from seeing a E8400 with 4gigs DDR2 RAM go through the install menu, I noticed mine took exponentially longer. Probably 5-7 times as long to load into the first menu. When I finally could start extracting the windows files it crashed. then proceeded to crash randomly at different points in the install.
Next I tried installing Vista, but it locked up too. Lastly I tried installing WinxXP x64 bit edition, and that installed fine, but when I restarted to continue the install it proceeded to freeze. So I attempted to rule out some problems, first I swapped a different disc drive in and tried to run the install disc from there, no luck. Next I tried disconnecting the HDD and seeing how long it would take to load the Windows 7 installation menu, it was still slow. Next I ram memtest but didn't have any problems.
I tried switching the RAM to different DIMM slots, with no luck. After reading that there were some issues with the RAM I am using and the bios detecting the correct clocks, I attempted to manually set them to the clocks written on the sticks with no success.
At this point I don't know what to do, or what my next step should be. I just received it today so should I just RMA the RAM/Mobo/CPU and hope for the issue to be resolved?
Make sure your optical drive is set up properly, or try using another drive to run your Windows installer on. Could be that the process is taking longer because your new drive has a hard time reading discs. Let us know what happens!
If it's crashing erratically, check the memory. If things are being written to a faulty chip on one of the sticks then that could explain the crashes. As for the loading problem, make sure the optical drive is set up ok.