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[Solved] Fresh install problems

Last response: in Systems
November 13, 2009 6:50:59 PM

Hey guys,

I am having some trouble getting my new system working. Windows XP pro sp3 fresh install stalls at different times and never finishes.

System info:

MSI 790GX-G65 AMD 790 Socket AM3 Motherboard (new)
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition AM3 CPU (new)
Corsair XMS3 4GB (2 * 2GB) PC10666 DDR3 Dual Channel 1333MHz (new)
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" (new)

650 W PSU (old)
Sony DVD drive (old enough not to have SATA)

(I did not include my videocard for the initial install)

Problem details:

I have put the system together without any problems. Bios boots just fine, and windows install from DVD starts just fine as well. this is when the problems start, the install stalls at different times and never completes (I have tried leaving the system on for 2 hours). Here is chronology of install problems:

"windows is starting" stall
"windows is formatting (quick)" stall
"windows is installing" stall at 6%
"windows is installing" stall at 7%
"windows is installing" stall at 9% (on "" I think)
I have never gotten past this point

What I have tried and has not resolved the problem (in no particular order):

Taking all parts out and rebuilding system
Cleaning sp3 install disk
Used a XP pro sp2 install disk
used a different DVD drive
took out one memory stick at a time
changed location of RAM on the board
Set bios to fail safe settings
used a different hard drive

What I want to try:

Changing settings for the memory

I would very much appreciate any help and advice,
Thanks guys!
November 13, 2009 7:15:54 PM

If its stalling this early in the install, then it could be a bad CD, but you've already tried a different one and it still stalled, or it could be a bad hard drive. Do you have another computer where you can test the hard drive on?
November 13, 2009 7:22:28 PM

I'd suggest trying a different PSU. Old/weak PSUs can cause lots of different issues.
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November 13, 2009 9:12:02 PM

Thanks for the input!

I should add that I have successfully installed XP with this CD on my previous build. As for the hard drive I could try to install it on my friend's computer to check it. I have also tried an older 200GB hard drive and I get the same errors. For the PSU, I will see if I can get another one.

Again thanks guys!
November 14, 2009 12:30:58 AM

Get a copy of Ubuntu on CD. Boot from the CD and enter Ubuntu.

If you can run Ubuntu then your system sounds fine.

Since you tried another hard drive I doubt it's the hard drive.

That leaves the DVD which you say should work.

You could also try copying your Windows DVD and attempt to install with the copy. I've successfully installed programs from copies of DVD's that wouldn't install. It seems odd, but it worked.
November 14, 2009 2:42:20 AM

Thanks for the advice!

Here's what I have done:

I tried Ubuntu Live CD and the system would boot to the select screen but the OS would not start (boot from CD option)

---> I have tried this with each RAM stick (one at the time)

Memtest86+ 4.0 results:

Stick #1: wouldn't complete test, stuck at test#7 with 2 errors at test#5

Stick #2: wouldn't complete test, stuck at test#5 with no errors registered

This is as far as these tests went but for either RAM the tests also failed earlier (at random points).

So it seems both memory sticks are toasts. Could both sticks realistically fail or is the problem with the Motherboard or PSU?

BTW small correction my PSU (cooler master) is 600W not 650W

Thanks again for the help!
November 16, 2009 3:30:14 AM

If your ram test is getting stuck, then that means your ram is toast. Corsair XMS ram is overrated. The Dominators do have some really cool heat sinks though.
November 16, 2009 4:32:48 AM

Solved! (for now)
After I isolated the RAM as the culprit for the random freezes, I did some more research focusing on this model of DDR3. I found these two post made by the same guy:

He describes a very similar problem with a setup almost the same as mine. So I tried his fix: upped the voltage of the memory in bios to 1.8v. This a little higher than the stock 1.5v but so far it seems stable and temperatures have been acceptable. I first tested each stick running at 1.8v in memtest for 1 hour and then both together. They passed the tests just fine with no errors. From there the windows install was normal.

I will update if there is any other complications. I would however like to understand why this happens with the MSI board / DDR3 combo so please feel free to post any insights.

Thank you all or the advice and input, it really made the troubleshooting easier.