It seems no matter what I try, I can't install Windows 7 RC x64. I get a blue screen every time at some point during the "Extracting Files" part. The most common BSODs are IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL and BAD_POOL_HEADER, but there are lots of others that show up. I'm attempting to install to a Western Digital WD3200AAKS hard drive, which I have formatted and tested multiple times. I have tried changing several BIOS settings, as well as using the Fail-Safe Defaults. There has to be some kind of hardware/compatibility issue, but I don't know what needs replaced. I'm thinking it's the hard drive or the motherboard, but I really need someone else's opinion.
G-Skill 2 GB DDR2 1066 (passed Memtest)
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
ATI Radeon HD 4870
I was think that same thing the drivers are working/playing well with your hardware. I would try and re-download the software again. Maybe you got a corrupted/damaged file during the download or something like that. I'd also try a different OS and see if you can get that to work (at least to make sure your hardware isn't at fault).
I actually have tried installing Windows XP Home, but it usually just crashes the computer without warning. The few times that it has successfully installed, it would often crash at the welcome screen. If it didn't crash there, it would eventually crash without warning. All of these XP crashes usually happen without a BSOD. Now that I've shown problems with 2 different OSes, does this ultimately mean there is a hardware issue?
I'll try an older IDE drive with each OS in the meantime.
Well you could try turning on the system and go into the BIOS and monitor your temperatures (mainly the CPU) and see if you have a temperature issue that is shutting down your system after 20-30 min or there abouts. This would shed some light on your CPU HSF seating or maybe even the mobo chipset is getting too hot. Also check that your case/CPU fan(s) are working correctly too.
My CPU and system temps are 38 and 27C respectively. There is no problem there.
Here's some more info though: while installing to an older IDE drive that I know works, I still got BSODs. The first one was PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA, and the next was PFN_LIST_CORRUPT. I tried my original drive again and got a new error: UDFS_FILE_SYSTEM.
38c seems quite high to me. Generally you should be idleling around 22-28c, depending on the temperature in the room.
* Did you let the system idle in the BIOS for 20-30 min.?? If that is what you did and you were at 38c, I'd pull your HSF off and clean off the thermal paste and re-apply some new paste. Then double check your installation of the CPU HSF and make sure all looks good.
* Another thing you might want to try is a different SATA cable (of course after addressing the CPU HSF). The cable might have issues and might be part of the problem. Not sure, but it's worth checking out.
* Also I would also check out your mobo chipset and feel if it's getting too hot. I'd recommend not touching it for any length of time. The chipsets usually are warm, but maybe yours is getting really hot too. This would point to a possible mobo issue, which might be part of the problem too.
My friend came over today to help. In my BIOS, he noticed that my PSU's 12V rail was fluctuating by significant amounts. (about .15V differences if I remember correctly.) I will replace the PSU soon and post my results.
As for the CPU temp, it is about 27C after I give it some time. I ran a stress test and the CPU peaked at 57C. That may be high by some people's standards, but I really don't think it would crash my computer.
You could try running some linux to check your hardware. If it works just fine then its windows. It still could be your optical drive not reading the files correctly. You can check for that on ubuntu by picking the 'check disc' option.