Please Help! XP Pro Installation Problems!!

I have spent several days trying to get XP installed on my system, to no avail.

I have an Asus A7v133 mobo with a 1.3GHz Athlon, and am installing XP on a WD SE 80gb hard drive formatted in NTFS. I also have 768MB of Crucial PC133 CL2 SDRAM, a Leadtek GeForce4 Ti4400, and a Mitsumi CD-ROM.

I booted with the XP cd and setup started. After it copied the temporary files from the CD, I got a message saying "Setup is Starting Windows" and it just hangs there...I had moved the hard drive from master to slave, and from the primary to secondary IDE port and get the same result...I have removed all but one RAM chip, removed the sound card, ethernet card, everything but the video card, hard drive, and CD-ROM. I had also installed an old GeForce2 32MB card instead of the GeForce4. I have also flashed the BIOS to the latest version on the Asus site, ver. 1.009, and get the same result no matter what.

I then put the hard drive in my roommate's computer and was able to get XP completely installed on that hard drive with no problems. I then put that hard drive in my PC, as the master drive, and set up BIOS so that it will boot from there first....I then get an error during boot-up saying something like "Disk read error, press ctrl+alt+delete to reboot"...I can understand that, the HAL is all messed up, but it was installed on my roommate's PC with no problems, meaning that the hard drive is fine.

I had also installed Win2k Pro on that same hard drive in my PC with the same hardware configuration as above, and had no problems. Then, while in Windows 2k, I inserted the Windows XP cd and started installing it. After the files were copied from the CD, XP rebooted my system. During reboot, the black Windows XP screen came up saying it was loading, and it just froze. I tried to reboot several times and it did the same thing each time. Then, I booted from the Windows XP cd and started to install it again. Once the files were copied from the CD, a message at the bottom of the screen said something like "Setup is Starting Windows" and it just hangs there...

I had also used the official XP boot disks available from Microsoft. After all of the drivers are copied, I get the "Setup is Starting Windows" message.

I have also replaced my GeForce card with an old SiS PCI video card and get the same result. I have tried just one RAM chip (tried all three) in all three different slots...same thing...

Ive tried formatting the drive in FAT, FAT32, as well as NTFS....

Ive also tried to load BIOS defaults and get the same result...

Last but not least, I copied all of the files from the i386 directory to my hard drive, booted with a Win98 floppy into DOS, and ran Setup from there....same result as above...

I feel like I have tried everything possible to get XP installed. Can anyone think of anything else I can try? Ive been at this for days now with no luck...Thankfully I still have Win2k installed on another hard drive so I can still use my computer....

Any ideas? Thanks for any assistance!
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  1. couple of things:

    1) Just as a lark, try setting the CAS level to 3 (I know you're using 2, and are using Crucial which is one of the best) to see if it fixes it.

    2) The XP CD - is it an official one or a bootleg (I know you got official boot diskettes, but you didn't say what the CD was)?

    3) Sounds like you're pretty close to a board RMA.

    <i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
  2. Thanks for the reply Jlanka.

    "1) Just as a lark, try setting the CAS level to 3 (I know you're using 2, and are using Crucial which is one of the best) to see if it fixes it."

    Thats something that I have not tried...I'll do so this evening.

    "2) The XP CD - is it an official one or a bootleg (I know you got official boot diskettes, but you didn't say what the CD was)?"

    Yeah, its official. Luckily I got it for about $ company is a Microsoft Certified Partner and I was able to get it through even came with a Win XP baseball and a Win XP bobblehead least thats a couple things that I can use!

    "3) Sounds like you're pretty close to a board RMA."

    God I hope not...Ive had this board for quite awhile and I dont know if theres any warranty left or you think Id still be able to use Win2k if there was a board problem?
  3. not sure about the 2K running, but I did think of one other question: Which controller is the Hard Drive connected to? And which is the CDROM connected to?

    <i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
  4. Ive tried hooking the hard drive up in both the Primary and Secondary IDE ports, and tried setting it as Master and Slave in both ports...same with the CD-ROM. I havent tried hooking the hard drive to the RAID yet...didnt really think that would help...
  5. disable the RAID controller, and try it on those ports just for grins.

    <i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
  6. I'd try installing with the hard drive, jumpered as the Master, in the Primary UltraATA100 IDE (the secondary, or IDE 3), and load the Promise Driver at the beginning of the text-based portion of the OS setup, in Jumper-free mode, but with the JP13/JP14 jumpers set to ATA100. (As per your mainboard <A HREF="http://" target="_new">manual</A>.)

    If that didn't work, I'd jumper the drive as Cable Select and try again.

    I'd also use the GeForce2 card during the installation (GF4 cards can have some compatibility issues with certain mainboards, the BIOS, and ACPI), and reformat the system partition with the OS CD, just in case the parameters are incorrect.

    You should be able to get the Promise driver <A HREF="" target="_new">here</A>. V2.00.0 (Build 18) <i>should</i> work with that mainboard and WinXP. But no promises. (Pardon the pun.)

    And ...

    Here's how to add the Promise driver during setup:

    <A HREF=";EN-US;Q220845&?FR=1" target="_new">Adding Third-Party or Updated Driver During Windows Setup</A>

    You also might find this article helpful, in case you need to specify a Standard HAL and APM power management:

    <A HREF=";EN-US;Q310760&?FR=1" target="_new">Windows XP Does Not Respond at "Setup Is Starting Windows XP" Message</A>

    If none of this works, your options seem to be: 1.) Stick with Win2K with that particular system. 2.) Replace the WinXP disk in case the ISO image on the CD is corrupted. 3.) Change out the mainboard. (IMHO.)

    Otherwise, it appears that you've covered all the other possibilities. You've done an <i>excellent</i> job troubleshooting the problem, for whatever it's worth.


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  7. Thanks for your response Toejam31. I'll try those things you mentioned about the different hard drive settings and the Promise driver.

    One thing I did notice is that when the computer freezes up at either the black Windows XP screen (prior to installation) or when it freezes at "Setup is starting Windows", the LEDs on my keyboard go I suppose the keyboard is dying...could it have something to do with the PS/2 keyboard port? I have the Microsoft Internet keyboard...would it be possible to hook it up to either a serial port or a USB port?
  8. "disable the RAID controller, and try it on those ports just for grins."

    If I were to disable the RAID controller, would those ports be treated as IDE ports? I know nothing about RAID...
  9. yes.

    <i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
  10. I am having the same problem. The only way i can get my computer to run is lower the fsb to 129. I am running an xp 2000+ leadtek gforce 4 Ti 4400 512 of crucial 40gb ibm hd. I dont know whats going on. It shows up as an 1900+ but its running. I dont know what to try. If anyone could help me out i would be very thankful.

    the wrath of my dignity shal scare thy dna
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