First off, I have to let you know that I'm not very literate in hardware terminology, and I don't have any previous experience building a computer, so please forgive me if I ask that you hold my hand along the way.
I've just built a computer for the first time. I'm able to successfully boot to the BIOS, where I can see that the mobo recognizes all the hardware I have installed. The computer is able to boot to whatever I want it to (internal hard drive, optical drive, USB drive, etc.).
When I boot to my Windows 7 install disc, the monitor shows the "Windows is loading files" screen and progress bar, and then displays the screen that says "Starting Windows", which shows the little animation of the colored orbs coming together to form the Windows logo.
Here's the problem: when I'm on this screen, the animation freezes, usually after 10 or 20 seconds, and remains in this state until I turn off the computer. It simply doesn't proceed to load the UI, even if I leave the computer for two hours.
Here are all the things I've done to try to fix the problem:
Removed one of the two memory sticks
Disabled USB in the BIOS
Unplugged all USB devices
Tried using another install disc
Switched from ACHI to IDE mode (no idea what those are)
Disabled SATA (don't know what that means, either, but I couldn't boot to the install disc with it disabled)
Various combinations of these things.
I've also tried updating the BIOS, but when I go to "instant flash", it displays the update file in the USB drive for an instant before displaying a message that says no update file was found.
I've seen some posts about memtest86, and I'm willing to run that, but what does it do exactly? And how do I use the information it provides to fix my problem?
MB: ASRock ax79 Extreme6
Processor: Intel Core i7-3820
I'm not at my computer right now, so I can't remember the specific models of the other components, but you can ask me if you need more info.
Have you tried onboard graphics and/or a GPU PCIe card?
Have you tried switching the two RAM sticks? (you removed one - but didn't say took the 2nd one out, and reinstalled the 1st one).
SATA must be enabled - this is what your hard drive/DVD are connected to.
To flash the BIOS, you must download the BIOS file from ASRock to a USB stick, plug the USB stick in and try to update.
I do have a GPU connected. Are you saying I should disconnect it?
I haven't tried switching the RAM sticks; I'll try that when I get home. I removed the second stick (B1) and left in the first (A1).
I've tried flashing the BIOS by doing exactly what you said, but the "Instant Flash" utility shows the filename ("something.10") of the file I have on the USB (FAT32) drive for about 0.5 seconds before saying that no file was detected. It's strange that the utility detects the file for only an instant.
Hi, It would be helpful to mention what SATA ports are the DVD drive and HDD connected and if you've tried other SATA ports or cables.
Ok, both drives are in SATA2 ports. The hard drive is in one of the two ports labeled "SATA2_2_3" (21 on the manual), specifically the bottom one, closest to the motherboard. The DVD drive is in a port labeled "SATA2_0_1" (22 on the manual), also at the bottom.
Something new is happening! Not sure if it's good or bad, but I'll be optimistic
So I didn't fully understand the labeling they use in the manual for SATA ports, but now I do. The hard drive is now in SATA3, port 0, and the DVD drive is in SATA3, port 1. When I run the installation disc, the same problem happens but the animation is frozen for only about a minute before a blue screen appears that says MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION. It tells me to check that the hardware is properly installed, and disable or remove any newly installed hardware or software and BIOS memory options. I'll give that a try.
I had nightmares with my wife's build - I purchased new mobo, RAM, PSU and CPU. It wouldn't install windows - ended in BSOD every install try. Fiddled with the BIOS, booted to Ubuntu fine...never an issue. All diagnostic tests I ran passed with flying colors.
Last thing I tried was the removing of 1 RAM stick (2 X 4GB), still failed. When I switched them, everything works. Installed Windows and all updates - no BSOD. Put the "bad" RAM stick back in - BSOD almost 100% during boot, if Windows did load, BSOD within 5 minutes. Ubuntu still RAN fine.
I removed the RAM, returned to the store and exchanged it. New RAM has no issues.
You would think the BSOD would give a steady error, but they were random, and not truly indicating what the problem was. Very frustrating Googling the codes to try and find out what was going on, and it was different with every boot.