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New HDD, installing Windows 7. Stuck on 'Completing Installation'. :(

Last response: in Windows 7
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October 26, 2012 4:54:46 PM

Hi!

Yesterday I bought a new hard drive. I went from a Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB to a Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB. So, same family of HDDs. I put in my Windows 7 installation disc, and the process went okay until after the computer restarted and moved on to 'Completing Installation'. It just sits there. It doesn't freeze - I can move the mouse and there are three little dots after 'Completing Installation' that continue animating. I can also click the red X at the top-right but it says installation cannot be canceled at that point, which makes sense.

I first let it sit on 'Completing Installation' for two hours. Then I turned my computer off, unplugged everything except for my mouse and keyboard, formatted the drive to get rid of any bad data, and tried again. After three hours of 'Completing Installation', I removed my video card, all but one stick of RAM, and entered the BIOS to see if there were any options relating to my hard drive. The only options I found were the options to choose a hard drive - I only have the one - and a couple of Plug and Play options. I restarted setup again, formatted again, and started the process over. Then I went to bed.

This morning, seven hours later, it was still sitting at 'Completing Installation'. I tried taking the install disc out to see if the install would stop or throw up an error, but it didn't make a peep. I took the install disc to my other computer to copy the data to a folder on the desktop, to see if there was an error. Everything copied fine. Plus, when I burned the DVD, I burned it at the lowest possible speed and had the program verify it. Everything came up fine. (By the way, I downloaded the ISO directly from Microsoft. There is no funny business going on here.)

One thing I'll mention - when I start setup, I'm given an option to install a driver. I decided to choose that option just to see if it might provide any clarity. It then showed me the contents of my hard drive. Program Files was in there, My Documents was in there. So setup is doing something, it's just not finishing for some reason.

Anyone have any ideas? Thanks!
a b $ Windows 7
October 26, 2012 5:09:55 PM

Try use usb flash disk to install it see if it helps...

(I just copy everything from the disk to the usb including hiden/system files or u can use apps from windows to make bootable usb disk. don't forget to set the boot priority to the usb flashdisk)

there a chance u get bad drives, had u run deep scan when the disk first arrive (scandisk/r)
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a b $ Windows 7
October 26, 2012 5:40:34 PM

Is it connected to a SATA 2 or SATA 3 connector ? If SATA 3 did you install the SATA controller driver ? ( SEE HERE )

The SATA 3 controller does not load during a normal install of the OS so the OS can not read the HDD that is connected to it when it gets to that portion of the install and it hangs since it can not find the HDD unless you install the drivers properly during the install process ! Follow the procedures linked above to install your SATA 3 drivers and it should work afterwards.
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October 26, 2012 6:06:54 PM

Thanks for the replies!

I bought an 8GB thumb drive and set it up as a bootable Windows 7 install, so I'll try that in case it was some sort of problem with my DVD or DVD drive.

I also downloaded that Seagate program.

As for what type of SATA connector I connected it to, I cannot say. I probably should have researched it a bit better. I connected it the same way my old hard drive was connected. I figured since it was the same brand and even the same line (Caviar Blue), it would be straightforward.

I did download some "AHCI" drivers from my motherboard manufacturer's site. I've heard that Windows 7 automatically comes with AHCI drivers but I'll try to load them anyway.

And, barring that, I've learned of a way to access Device Manager during setup in case I need to disable some stuff.

I've also found how to check some sort of installation log that might shed some light on what the install is doing when it fails. It's in a directory called Panther, if anyone knows what I'm talking about. If I can't make sense of it, I'll post it here, and maybe one of you fine folks can help me.

Thanks again. I'll probably be back tonight with an update.

EDIT: Okay, hey! I just realized that my old 500GB drive was SATA II and this new one is SATA III? I think I just read that SATA III is backwards compatible. Is that true or am I boned? I think what JDFan posted is especially relevant now, so I'll try and do that, but I'd appreciate it if you'd come on back to school me on my options after this startling revelation!
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a b $ Windows 7
October 26, 2012 6:20:21 PM

I don't need to instal sata 3 driver when i installed my OS so I'm not sure it was the problem.. but it worth to follow the link sugestion....

yup sata 3 backward compatible with sata2.. (also at bios set the hdd as achi is good move)
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October 26, 2012 6:23:16 PM

I checked every menu in my BIOS last night and I don't remember seeing any options relating to my HDD (like AHCI) other than the option to fully disable it. I've downloaded all my mobo bios onto my flash drive just in case I need to update it before the option shows up.

Thanks rdc85.
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a b $ Windows 7
October 26, 2012 6:34:35 PM

also check your mb vendor web page to see if the mb has two sata chipset. most times on mid range boards there are 8 ports. if the mb is newerish it have two intel 6g ports. 4 intel 3g ports and then an 3 party chipset for two other 6g ports. if it older mb i would check that your new hard drive on one of the main sata chipset ports.
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