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Having Trouble Installing Windows 7

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  • Homebuilt
  • Windows 7
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
February 4, 2010 1:31:53 PM

As the thread indicates I am having some trouble installing Windows 7 64-bit. First off, before I got a copy I made sure my current build could handle it since it is slightly dated, but it does have plenty to run Windows 7 64-bit.

RAM: 6GB
CPU: Pentium Core 2 Duo 2.3GHZ 64-bit capable
GPU: Nvidia GeForce 7950 GT OC 512mb 256-bit

So I have 2 issues really. First of all the install process seems to be running extremely slow. After booting from DVD it sits on the windows is starting up screen for about 2 minutes, then goes to a black screen for about a minute and then the blue windows screen with the little green plant and white hummingbird on the right. It sits on that blue screen for 5 minutes before the window the select language and install button pops up. After that it says setup is starting for about 20 minutes then finally starts to install.

I have tried twice so far. The first time it got to "Expanding Windows Files (29%)" and then froze. The 2nd time around it finished the install after about 6 hours and then I was able to enter my user name and computer name and the product key. After I entered the product key it took a couple hours and just went back to the screen to enter my user/computer name and product key again. After a few more hours the screen went black and my monitor wasn't receiving a signal.

It seems like it must be something hardware based that it is running so slow and not able to finish, but I'm not sure what it could be. Looking for any suggestions. Sorry for the long post, but wanted to try and get all the info in.

Thanks

More about : trouble installing windows

a b B Homebuilt system
a b $ Windows 7
February 4, 2010 1:42:57 PM

I'd like to know more about your RAM. A 6GB setup is not ideal for a Core 2 Duo system. What exact RAM kits do you have? Do they have exactly the same speed/timings/voltage ratings? Have you manually set those values in the BIOS? Have you run Memtest86+ overnight to test for RAM errors?

You might want to try your install with a single 2GB stick of RAM installed.

What hard drive do you have?
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b $ Windows 7
February 4, 2010 2:02:33 PM

The very long delays you experience suggest that something in the system is not working well at all, and the software keeps encountering errors and re-trying until it succeeds, then more errors and re-try delays, etc. I agree with shortstuff_mt that you should download and run from a CD-R the Memtest86+ software to check your RAM. Similarly, go to the website of your HDD maker and download from them a set of HDD test utilities. I know both Seagate (Seatools for DOS) and WD (Data Lifegard) have these for free. Get the version that has you burn your own bootable CD-R. You put that in your optical drive, boot from it (it installs a mini-DOS in your RAM so you can run completely independently of any other OS) and run all its tests to check your HDD.

Re: your RAM, check in your mobo manual that you have placed the RAM modules in the correct slots, and configured the BIOS RAM settings for that arrangement if necessary. Also go to the RAM maker's website and check the exact specs - timing, speed, and voltage as shortstuff_mt suggested. Then go into BIOS Setup and verify that your system is configured that way. Sometimes it makes a mistake in reading this info from the RAM modules and sets the BIOS wrong. In my own case I had to manually adjust the RAM voltage setting in BIOS to meet manufacturer's specs.
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Related resources
February 4, 2010 2:08:03 PM

Thanks for the reply.

RAM:
RAM kit 1: 2x2GB DDR2 800, 4-4-4-12 timing, 1.8-1.9 volt
RAM kit 2: 2x1GB DDR2 800, not at home at the moment, but i believe there is a slight difference in timing. i can update when i get home.

Hard Drive:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 16MB cache

I have changed nothing in the BIOS

I have not run Memtest86+

I also have not tried installing with 1 stick of RAM.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b $ Windows 7
February 4, 2010 2:12:03 PM

You should set the RAM speed/timings/voltage to the lowest common denominator and hope for the best. Mixing different sets of RAM like that is asking for trouble. You MAY get it to work by manually setting the RAM values correctly in the BIOS.

If your 2x1GB set of RAM is rated at 5-5-5-15 timings at 2v, that is the values you will have to use in the BIOS and hope it doesn't fry your 2x2GB kit.

If I were you, I would just ditch the 2x1GB kit and use the 2x2GB kit. I bet you won't be able to tell the difference between 4GB and 6GB.
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February 4, 2010 2:20:57 PM

Thanks again,

Found the specs on my other RAM kit:

2x1GB DDR2 800, 4-4-4-12 timing, 2.0-2.1v

I probably could just ditch the 2GB if it is going to be too difficult to get it to work and if it isn't going to make much of a difference. My main use for the 6GB is gaming, but 4GB is probably enough to run most.
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February 4, 2010 2:24:33 PM

@Paperdoc

Thank you also for your reply, and thanks for the HDD test suggestion. The RAM i know was set in the correct slots, but as i said above i did not configure the voltage in the BIOS.
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February 4, 2010 2:28:32 PM

Sounds good. Thanks again for all the help and I will start by removing the 2x1GB kit when I get home and see where that gets me.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b $ Windows 7
February 4, 2010 3:10:29 PM

Let us know how it goes.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 4, 2010 3:25:48 PM

For the record, I had the same problem as you mweb. This PC has ran memtest86 for 1 1/2 days with 0 errors, 2x1GB Corsair XMS2 @ 800, and a C2D. I bet that thing sat doing nothing for 5-10 minutes, but once it started it was fine.
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February 4, 2010 10:56:28 PM

Well the good news is I removed all but 1 stick of 2GB RAM and the install went very quick and easy.

The bad news is it won't start up if I have both sticks of RAM in. I have tried both sticks individually in multiple slots and they both seem to work fine, but as soon I try both sticks the system freezes on the startup screen. I definitely have the RAM in the correct DIMM slots so that they should be paired.

Is there some sort of BIOS setting or driver that I need first? In all my previous systems I have just popped the memory in and it works without ever changing BIOS so this is new to me.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b $ Windows 7
February 4, 2010 11:23:03 PM

You most likely need to manually set the speed/timings/voltage in the BIOS in order to use both sticks of RAM.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 4, 2010 11:36:01 PM

+1 for voltage.
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February 5, 2010 4:07:14 AM

I tried setting the BIOS as follows:

Voltage: 1.90v
CL:4
tRCD:4
tRP:4
tRAS:12

There was no difference between these settings and auto. Either way the system freezes at the starting windows screen.
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February 5, 2010 1:21:30 PM

I have not ran any diagnostics on my HDD. I can give that a try when I get home from work.

The thing I find strange is that on this machine I was running XP without any problems before I installed 7 which would lead me to believe the hardware shouldn't be an issue. Though the difference is I was running XP Pro 32-bit and my copy of 7 is 64-bit, but I don't know enough about it to know how that could effect things.
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February 5, 2010 10:23:25 PM

Hard drive seems to be fine as well. I'm pretty much out of ideas and not sure where to go from here.
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February 6, 2010 12:46:35 AM

So in trying some different things I put in one stick of 2GB and 1 stick of 1GB and it worked fine as well, but for some reason I still can't get the system to start when pairing the 2 2GB sticks.
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