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Windows 7 64 bit installation nightmare.

Last response: in Systems
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September 24, 2010 6:49:58 AM

Hello, I see a lot of similar threads and many suggestions.
New Build

i5 760 CPU
GA-P55A-UD4P MOB
2 x 2gb patriot 10666 1333mhz ram
XFX GTX 260+ factory OC black ed.
antec earthwatts 650 watt PS
Samsung 500 GB sata
pioneer sata dvd

This has had me pulling my hair out for days. It all began when I tried to load windows 7. Freezing just before "starting for first time" screen. Searched some forums and found many people in same boat. Removed all hardware not required. Tested memory, waved a chicken foot over it, set everything to safest in bios and then even tried to load XP. NO good either! Now I'm taking the loose connections/faulty part scenario a little more seriously. Check the forums again and am relieved to find that my XPSP1 disc is too old to run sata drives. Finally downloaded an ISO image of win7 64 setup and burned a new disc. Loaded no problems. Finished off setup. Now for the drivers. Downloaded them all so latest. All going well until downloading updates for win 7. Identifies about 40 needed. Downloads and installs 2 then asks for restart. On restart it freezes at the little colored ball before login page. alt,ctr,del won't help so boot again from CD, repair windows using system restore as it can't repair it any other way, re-install drivers and then dump the offending updates and try another. Same scenario! After many cycles of trying different updates and then reinstalling OS I turn off updates. All appears well??? Now go back into bios and turn turbo back on. Freezes again at same start up point, on pretty ball just before login. Back to bios turn turbo off....still freezes so boot disc...repair...sys restore and still freezes. Back to the forums...wow so many people with win7 64bit install trouble *^%%^^%$%&* microsoft. Here we go F5 at boot will give me more options. Where would we be without forums. Last known good configuration works and loads. Try some restarts and all is well. Now how am I going to get the good stuff back on like sata3, USB3, turbo or even extreme mode and of course updates? This software reminds me of the first OS I bought new...Win98 the day of release...what a freeze and crash nightmare that was and this version is just as bad. Please people any thoughts on how I get this the rest of the way there and deliver it to the friend I'm building it for. I will certainly be sticking to XP for my own use for now.
September 24, 2010 8:11:06 AM

Have u tried downloading win7 32bit & installing it just to test the pc?
September 24, 2010 8:17:43 AM

Do you have the latest BIOS and don't overtighten the graphics card inthe PCIe slot. Try just 1 memory module until everything is hunky dory.
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September 24, 2010 8:26:52 AM

jabbrun said:
Have u tried downloading win7 32bit & installing it just to test the pc?


Hi jabbrun, Thanks for the reply. I'm not sure I follow the reason for that. If it works or fails how will I know that the problem was hardware or software? If the problem is to do with 64 bits can't it be either a hardware or software problem? I'll start looking for a download and give it a go while I ponder on how to interpret the result.
September 24, 2010 8:31:05 AM

If win7 32bit install fine then it could be the win7 64bit is corrupted or something...have u tried to install the win7 64bit on another pc or you can try virtual machine like virtualbox...
a b $ Windows 7
September 24, 2010 8:31:54 AM

Are you actually using a proper licensed version of Win 7?
September 24, 2010 8:33:25 AM

doive1231 said:
Do you have the latest BIOS and don't overtighten the graphics card inthe PCIe slot. Try just 1 memory module until everything is hunky dory.


Thanks for your reply. I have tried the one ram. I pushed the card down until it seated properly. Not sure I understand 'overtighten'. Any way I've had it in and out trying a second old PCI card I had and it doesn't seem to make a difference. I haven't tried the bios yet but the MOB box says that it is win 7 compatible. I will give it a try.
a b $ Windows 7
September 24, 2010 9:36:57 AM

Freezing like this on Windows 7 is normally caused by incorrectly functioning memory even though the memory may pass all memory tests. Try increasing the memory voltage or running with only one stick of memory. Sometimes the only solution is to use a different make of memory. Interestingly Vista and XP will probably work fine with your memory. The problem is caused I think by the DMA timings of the SATA controller.
September 24, 2010 9:47:49 AM

Wamphryi said:
Are you actually using a proper licensed version of Win 7?

The proper licensed version of Win 7 is a coaster now. I'm using its product key on an ISO I downloaded from a link in another forum about a similar problem. It was a microsoft site and I remember it had vista in the address as this seemed unusual. I'm looking for the link again so that I can see if there was a 32 bit option as well. I've cleared my cache since then and I don't remember the exact name of the page as the link was to the software download directly. I checked it was a MS website before I downloaded and anyway the copy I've got works, unlike the copy MS sold me.
September 24, 2010 9:58:03 AM

jabbrun said:
If win7 32bit install fine then it could be the win7 64bit is corrupted or something...have u tried to install the win7 64bit on another pc or you can try virtual machine like virtualbox...

Don't know about virtual machines. I will look up this virtualbox and try. Will the virtual machine be able to test software under my conditions, like sata drives? I've never used them before and I guess that is making me uneasy about them.
September 24, 2010 10:04:32 AM

They can emulate a SATA drive..it works like a real machine where u can test softwares & stuff..
a b $ Windows 7
September 24, 2010 10:27:04 AM

I dont think your Disk is a Coaster just yet. I had a very similar problem and it drove three of us mental for over a week. As it turned out I had a dodgy PSU but eliminating it did not fix the problem. I also had a HDD (Raptor) that had an intermittent BIOS problem. It caused the set up (XP a the time) to hang in a manner that sounds much like what your machine is doing. I reckon the problem is hardware and your OS is fine. Check the PSU first but also consider that HDD BIOS as a possibility.
September 24, 2010 11:30:16 AM

Wamphryi said:
I dont think your Disk is a Coaster just yet. I had a very similar problem and it drove three of us mental for over a week. As it turned out I had a dodgy PSU but eliminating it did not fix the problem. I also had a HDD (Raptor) that had an intermittent BIOS problem. It caused the set up (XP a the time) to hang in a manner that sounds much like what your machine is doing. I reckon the problem is hardware and your OS is fine. Check the PSU first but also consider that HDD BIOS as a possibility.


The disc I bought wont complete install but the ISO image I downloaded will. Of course I had to buy the disc to get a key. Any way I think that was a separate problem to where I'm stuck now. I've got an old hard drive but it is an IDE so if I try that and it works I wont know if my problem was the hard drive or the sata control. How can I check the hard drive for this fault? I don't have any spare MOBs or systems here that are sata enabled to test it with.
September 24, 2010 12:08:59 PM

It sounds like the memory to me, I had a near identical issue with installing windows. It would keep freezing, eventually after many tries it installed, then it would regularly freeze starting windows or soon after.

I know you tried one module of RAM and had the same issue. But did you then use the other module? (I assume you have two) You need to try each one individually - if you only tested one and it was the one with the fault then the Windows will of course still freeze.

Have you checked your Bios settings to see what it is running the RAM at? What speed and latency is your RAM supposed to run at? What speed has the Bios set it to - often the Bios does not default the correct timings. What Voltage does your RAM need and what voltage has your Bios set it to? They usually need 1.65v and the Bios tends to default it at only 1.5v as a result the RAM does not get enough juice and causes instability and freezing.

I had RAM with timings 7-7-7-22 and 1.65v at 1600mhz. The Bios had defaulted it to 1.5v (I discovered this was the issue after a couple of evenings tearing my hair out). After I adjusted it to 1.65v Windows successfully installed.

If you check all this and everything is correct but you still face issues, then you can start playing around with the RAM settings - slowing it down and decreasing the latency can help sometimes. After my earlier issues, I then faced many freezes whilst in Windows, I took both modules out and tried one at a time. One caused freezes, the other ran the machine smoothly. With the module causing the freezes I actually slowed it down to 1066mhz and 9-9-9-24 timings and then it too ran the machine smoothly, so I added the second module in and mathced the slower timings and every ran fine. Course, in the end, once I knew for sure what module was the problem, I left the working one in at the faster timings and RMA's the faulty one - while the machine ran fine at 1066mhz and 9-9-9-24 timings, that is not what I had paid for.
September 24, 2010 12:22:43 PM

asteldian said:
It sounds like the memory to me, I had a near identical issue with installing windows. It would keep freezing, eventually after many tries it installed, then it would regularly freeze starting windows or soon after.

I know you tried one module of RAM and had the same issue. But did you then use the other module? (I assume you have two) You need to try each one individually - if you only tested one and it was the one with the fault then the Windows will of course still freeze.

Have you checked your Bios settings to see what it is running the RAM at? What speed and latency is your RAM supposed to run at? What speed has the Bios set it to - often the Bios does not default the correct timings. What Voltage does your RAM need and what voltage has your Bios set it to? They usually need 1.65v and the Bios tends to default it at only 1.5v as a result the RAM does not get enough juice and causes instability and freezing.

I had RAM with timings 7-7-7-22 and 1.65v at 1600mhz. The Bios had defaulted it to 1.5v (I discovered this was the issue after a couple of evenings tearing my hair out). After I adjusted it to 1.65v Windows successfully installed.

If you check all this and everything is correct but you still face issues, then you can start playing around with the RAM settings - slowing it down and decreasing the latency can help sometimes. After my earlier issues, I then faced many freezes whilst in Windows, I took both modules out and tried one at a time. One caused freezes, the other ran the machine smoothly. With the module causing the freezes I actually slowed it down to 1066mhz and 9-9-9-24 timings and then it too ran the machine smoothly, so I added the second module in and mathced the slower timings and every ran fine. Course, in the end, once I knew for sure what module was the problem, I left the working one in at the faster timings and RMA's the faulty one - while the machine ran fine at 1066mhz and 9-9-9-24 timings, that is not what I had paid for.


I too am very suspicious that it is a memory issue but would this cause the freeze to happen at the same place each time (the pulsing colored logo just before login). If I don't try to download updates it runs quite stable. I'm not a gamer myself but my son downloaded and installed 'Guns' and happily played it for several hours without any issues. Yes you're right the ram voltage has defaulted to 1.5v and I haven't tried changing that yet. My RAM isn't on the approved list for the MOB but the list does say that it is not complete and that many other brands may work. Wouldn't it be nice if they listed the non-compatible brands instead? In hindsight I guess I should have checked the list before I bought the ram and stuck to one that was on it.
September 24, 2010 12:29:07 PM

I would not overly worry about the RAM not being on the approved list, usually with a few timing tweaks you can get it working.

When you get the chance, change the voltage to 1.65 (That is the max safe voltage for the i5 760 and is the most common settings required by RAM).

As to your question about freezing in same place, once Windows was finally installed, that pulsing colored logo is EXACTLY where I would freeze constantly.
Once my computer was up and running (which was a regular occurance once I changed the voltage) the freezing would be random - could be immediate, after 10 minutes, an hour, while browsing the internet or even while idle. Yet oddly, the one time it was most stable and would remain so for hours was actually while I played a game. If you are lucky then once you adjust the voltage to 1.65v the computer will run perfectly fine, I only continued facing issues because I was unlucky enough that one of the modules was faulty - the 1.5v issue is simply a case of the RAM being underpowered due to a default Bios and does not mean there is an actual problem wit the RAM
a b $ Windows 7
September 24, 2010 9:04:10 PM

Rumple said:
The disc I bought wont complete install but the ISO image I downloaded will. Of course I had to buy the disc to get a key. Any way I think that was a separate problem to where I'm stuck now. I've got an old hard drive but it is an IDE so if I try that and it works I wont know if my problem was the hard drive or the sata control. How can I check the hard drive for this fault? I don't have any spare MOBs or systems here that are sata enabled to test it with.


When I had the HDD BIOS issue it mostly froze at the same point but on some occasions would freeze at other satges depending on its mood. The memory issue is well worth exploring but I would install Win 7 to the IDE drive on the basis that the result will clear up some issues one way or the other. If it installs and all goes well you know that the memory is good. That will leave the SATA as the main suspect. If it fails on the IDE then you know the problem is almost certainly memory. You can also test out your install disk vs the ISO and see if they work on the IDE.

Another and important thing that you can do is go into BIOS and see if there is a PC Health Section which will display the voltages being put out by your PSU. If the readings are to low or are not steady then you will know if your PSU is a good bet or not. Do not underestimate your PSU's ability to cause major issues in your system.
September 30, 2010 1:08:04 AM

I thought I should post an update to let others know what this problem was. I finally gave up and put it in for the techs at my parts supplier to sort out. It took them 2 days to find the problem. Turns out it was a faulty MOB. They have replaced it. No labour charges and a $40 refund because they only had the UD3P version in stock. Thank you to everyone who helped me out with this.
!