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Advice needed - i7 Build - Ubuntu installs but Windows won't

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July 24, 2009 5:17:16 AM

Hi, just pieced together my 3rd build, 1st in a few years, which will serve as a DAW/all-purpose box. It has the following components:

i7 920
Gigabyte EX58-UD4P mobo (rev 1.0, Bios version F8)
3x2gb modules of OCZ gold DDR3 triple channel memory
Zalman ZM 750-HP power supply
4 SATA HDDs (Western Digital Caviar, blue and black)
1 older IDE Sony CD/DVD burner

My intention is to install XP 32 bit (due to requirements of DAW software) and within a year or two go to Windows 7. I have a retail copy of XP 32 bit, SP3 to which I have nLite'd the SATA drivers provided by the mobo. When running this install, the process gets most of the way through, finishing "copying files", "completing installation". When it begins "Registering system components" suddenly the power goes and the machine soft reboots. It gets stuck in this loop if I try it again.

I tried the process over and over again, with only one HD, using different HDs, only one memory stick. I ran memtest 86 for hours with no errors. No difference, the system reboots before Windows can finish the install.

Next I thought I'd try Windows 7 beta, to see if I had better luck. No, same thing happens when "Updating Registry". Install cannot finish.

At this point, I thought I had a hardware issue (maybe PSU or mobo) so I thought to confirm, I'd d/l and install a linux distro. Lo and behold I get Ubuntu 9.04 64 bit to install and run perfectly on the first try.

I would appreciate any insight into what might be the issue here, especially if you have had a similar experience. Thanks very much in advance.

Mateo

July 24, 2009 5:45:16 AM

you have 4 hard drives in a RAID?

or are you just installing xp on a single drive?
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July 24, 2009 6:27:47 AM

I'm installing XP on a single drive, no RAID.

I originally had the drives operating in legacy IDE mode (which I thought would be the "easiest" way to for them to be properly recognized), and had the same problem. Afterwards, I put them in AHCI mode and have the XP setup using the Gigabyte drivers to see them properly. I thought perhaps this would help, but the same issue occurs.
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July 24, 2009 12:28:58 PM

Id remove the power leads from the 3 drives you are not installing on .

Set BIOS to native IDE mode

Check the jumpering in the IDE dvd drive is set to slave , or replace it with a sata drive

If XP installs then reconnect the other hard drives and format them
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July 24, 2009 2:00:48 PM

Thanks. I have already tried with the power leads disconnected from all but one drive. I have even disconnected the unused leads on the psu side, since it's modular.

The DVD drive is set to master though, so I will try again with it as a slave.

Regarding the BIOS settings, I want to make sure I understand: In my BIOS, there are three relevant items:

1) SATA RAID/AHCI Mode -- Here you tell the BIOS whether to treat SATA devices as RAID, AHCI or IDE devices. If "IDE" then the drives appear as IDE and the extra drivers aren't necessary. This is how I began my install attempts. Lately I have it as AHCI, and all drives are recognized as on SATA ports.

2) SATA PORT 0-3 Native Mode -- This can be either ENABLED or DISABLED. This is changeable whether or not the SATA devices are in RAID, AHCI or IDE mode. The only explanation in the mobo manual about this is to enable it when using an OS that supports Native mode, disable it when not. I have tried this both ways, with no success.

3) Onboard SATA/IDE Ctrl Mode -- This can be IDE, AHCI or RAID/IDE. I believe this is for the Gigabyte Sata controller (different from the Intel ICH10R southbridge controller for the other SATA ports).

So, are you saying to make sure #2 only is in native mode, or should I try all three in IDE mode?

If you're interested, you can see the BIOS itself at the following link. The fourth screen contains the shows these items:

ud4p virtual bios

Thanks for your help
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July 26, 2009 2:48:36 PM

Hi, I'm back with an update, still no success.

DVD drive on slave made no difference.

However, once I got Windows setup to not restart upon error, I began receiving a BSOD Stop error. I was able to look up that stop error and find an entire KB item on MS's site describing it. Basically it says that it is likely due to some hardware conflict. I am now hoping to figure out which components it might be.

My next move will be to buy a SATA DVD burner to eliminate any IDE devices from the system, in case this presents a problem. Any reason why mixing the two would make a WinXP install fail? According to the block diagram of the motherboard, the IDE connector either goes thru or is connected in some way to the onboard Gigabyte SATA controller, so perhaps there is some problem with that? I know, I'm flailing a bit.

Question #1: Can I eliminate the CPU and motherboard? I feel like if it were either of those two, I would not be able to get as far into the install as I have, not to mention be able to install and run an Ubuntu system.

Question #2: Since the system is no longer restarting, but now spitting out a BSOD of death, can I assume that the restarts were Windows-caused, and therefore not the symptom of a screwy power supply?

Question #3: Could the damn video card be causing such a problematic error at such an early stage of install? I wouldn't think so, but....

Question #4: I tested the memory extensively with memtest86 from a bootable CD, and it reported no errors. But could Windows somehow be incapable of using the memory? I always thought that interfacing with memory was done at a very low level, and that no OS driver existed to possibly crap out when addressing memory that is confirmed good by memtest86.

The HDDs I'm convinced are good, as Windows and linux have now written and read extensively from them, they are always properly detected in any config I put them in.

Please, any additional help would be much appreciated.
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