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Big problem...lost for a solution

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  • CPUs
  • DVD Drives
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July 30, 2010 9:46:16 PM

Hi

I just purchased a Zotac H55-ITX socket 1156 mini itx motherboard.

Installed i3 530 and connected Western Digital Silicon Blue SSD

Connected DVD drive to sata etc....

Got 4gb RAM (which works, took it from old rig) and 8800GTS PCI-E

Everything POSTS no issues.

Try to install windows 7 32 ultimate, it gets me through installation, select drive etc.....but while unpacking files it will suddenly freeze. The mouse cursor freezes, the DVD drive spins down...everything locks and need to be hard reset

Really frustrating, just got my new rig and cant even get windows installed

Please help!

More about : big problem lost solution

July 30, 2010 9:51:03 PM

if you could get yourself another copy of an os, try that, it will tell you whether it is a problem with the disk or hardware.

have you used the disk before??
July 30, 2010 10:05:07 PM

disk is fine. i used it to do an installation on my laptop, worked fine, then tried PC....fail!

What was weird is that the HD had an OS on it (win7) running off an atom board. I removed it, plugged it into my new board and started getting 000000000x00 errors (the OS install was a clode from a HDD to this SSD). so straight away i knew this zotac was going to be fussy

So thought id try fresh install onto SSD (which is the best option,...shouldnt have cloned in te first place)

Now it just hangs during install.
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July 30, 2010 10:08:01 PM

I would look at the SSD first. It is possible that is has some kind of controller issue that WIN 7 does not like. Try installing WIN 7 on any old HDD to see if it completes the installation. Dont put in the product key or activate WIN 7 this is just an experiment to see if you can eliminate the SSD from the equation.

It is also possible that you Motherboard BIOS is not coping with the SSD. Make sure you BIOS is fully updated. Dont forget these SSD drives are very recent additions to the market and some Motherboard Manufactorers may be slow to catch up. This would be especially true in budget boards which your board appears to be.
July 30, 2010 10:11:24 PM

This issue is normally 3 things......either RAM (unlikely, taken from working PC).....HDD (SSD) Driver.....BIOS settings

SO....if it installs onto a SATA HDD, that doesnt leave me any better off, i need a fresh install on SSD....

But ill try it and see if it works

Any other thoughts?

Going from an Atom 330 Dual core with ION....which I loved with a 8800GTS...to an i3 thinking I could get rid of the CPU lag....nothing but headache so far
July 30, 2010 10:14:23 PM

I just went into BIOS and set to 'Failsafe defaults' where I think all settings are set to absolute compatibly mode, no bells and whistles. Ill see what that does. This is a widely reported issue with Win 7 from what I can see, but no definative answer....just a sheite installer package.

Were at 75% unpacking now.....never got this far before...

If it loads im upgrading the BIOS straight away, had a look on Zotac.com....SOOOOOO many fixes in the BIOS upgrade, got a feeling they rushed this board to market

But your payig the premium for mini itx you expect a bit more for your money!
July 30, 2010 10:14:57 PM

Spoke tooooo soon. Just froze out at 76% and decided to turn itself off..WTF!
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July 30, 2010 10:25:19 PM

Last time I ran into this same issue, I had a faulty ram. Run memtest86 to be sure. You could have damaged it by handling it.

You could try on stick at a time also if you dont want to run memtest for at least 16 hours or less if you see errors right away.
July 30, 2010 10:31:58 PM

I unplugged 1 stick (had 2 x Crucial 2Gb DDr3) and also unplugged mouse and keyboard (as they were connected through a USB hub) as recommended by this guide

It is now up to 80%

Seems the classic KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) approach really works for Windows 7 install.....remove anything and everything (even RAM apparently) including USB hubs

Really really disappointed with Microsoft, what a crap installer. Heard of several issues where the installer drops the HDD driver mid installation etc.

Will now re-install the RAM and connect the USB....run memtest another time (but been working fine for games etc)

Just relieved to get it installed. I have tried to be detailed as possible as several fixes I have found, all you see is a "Thanks" at the end, with no explanation of how the problem was actually resolved

Windows is now booting! POST works, Startin Windows is on....taking time as it is its first attempt...but working still

Thanks for all your help guys

Microsoft, you can sit on my chode...thank you muchly. It's little things like this that make me refuse to pay full price for your software.

Office 2010 from software4students.co.uk - full professional version only £39.95 ;) 
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July 30, 2010 11:12:56 PM

I think that BIOS upgrade is essential. If there are as many fixes as you say then there will be issues with WIN 7 installing and operating even if it manages to lurch through a install with everything set to no frills and one stick of RAM. I have WIN 7 installed on 3 desktops and one laptop and I have never had a problem with the installation on any of them.

One BIOS problem I had was when I upgraded my Core 2 Duo to a Quad Core and another when I jumped from 4 GB RAM to 8 GB RAM. Even though the Board Specs fitted these configurations the BIOS simply didnt want to know without the BIOS updates. Some Boards are sold with BIOS that are several months old and this is where problems can start to occur. The BIOS on some boards can pre date WIN 7 and this needs to be addresses especially with a recent SSD involved. Even if the SSD worked on the Laptop the Desktop is using a completely different BIOS with a completely different SATA controller. That makes a lot of room for error.
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July 30, 2010 11:14:02 PM

This problem is always caused by faulty RAM, Windows 7 is much more critical on memory than Windows XP The problem could still be the memory even if it passes memtest86 as the problem is caused by DMA transfer from the SATA controller. I have experienced this problem many times and sometimes only replacing the memory with another brand will cure the problem. But as a first step try increasing the memory voltage and try only one stick of memory.
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July 30, 2010 11:16:35 PM

The RAM issue is a genuine one. I now recall when I upgraded my Laptop to 4 GB RAM from 2 GB RAM WIN 7 hung on start up and blue screened. A change of RAM brand eliminated the problem.
August 1, 2010 2:24:43 PM

Hmmm I have run memtest. RAM all appears ok. The ram is not on the qualified vendor list but it is EXACTLY the same spec as the Kingston ram that is on the QVL

Thoughts?
August 1, 2010 3:04:45 PM

Hmmm.....new thing to test. These guys reviewed my board and apparently there is a bug with the H55 Zotac BIOS (would have helped if I knew this).

They are using some nice gaming RAM, obviously not QVL....but had to manually set CAS latency to 10 to fix the bug

"Unfortunately, due to a bug in the H55-ITX BIOS we had to run the CAS latency at 10. Memory frequency on these boards was set at 1333MHz due to fact that the i3 530 does not natively support 1600MHz RAM. Interestingly, the BIOS on the H55-ITX has an option for 1600MHz but choosing it prevents the system from POSTing. However, when the i3 530 was overclocked the memory frequency was bumped up to 1500MHz while using the same timings."

Here is the link. Ill see how this gets on, maybe my pockets wont be emptied just yet

Weird it plays games ok but streaming video crashes. More RAM intensive?

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2950/5


August 1, 2010 11:02:40 PM

Still freezing. ALot more stable using 10-10-10-24 ratio to get past this bug. But still froze

Now trying 10-10-10-25 ratio just for consistnecy. Otherwise Ill be sending the whole lot back

ANy other thoughts?
a b à CPUs
August 2, 2010 12:27:13 AM

Just replace the Motherboard if the BIOS is the main issue as your research seems to indicate.
August 2, 2010 7:10:23 AM

Bought it from scan.co.uk. Not sure how good their return policy is? Anybody had any dealings with them

This leaves me with only one other optin....a P55 chipset made by DFI lan party mini itx
!