Win7 install fails at 75%

I've searched forum threads & online info extensively and tried everything I could think of before posting, but haven't been able to solve this issue.

I recently did a new build, including:

MB: ASRock N68-VS3 UCC
CPU: AMD Phenom II 965e black edition
graphics: Radeon HD 4850
RAM: 2x4Gb Crucial (Micron) DDR3 1333Mhz
Power supply: Seasonic SS500-HT (500 watts)
Case: Antec P180B
Drives: Samsung SP1614
Seagate ST3160023AS, both 160Gb

I installed Win7 ultimate x64. Installation was smooth, and everything worked, but was much more sluggish than I expected. Running a diagnostic, I found the CPU was running at 800 Mhz rather than 3400 Mhz. This was the first time I'd done a build, so I'd missed that the ASRock board supports the Phenom II line, but didn't have enough power for this CPU.

So I swapped out the motherboard and installed an MSI 760GM-P34(FX).
When I did the Win7 install, it proceeded through all steps to part way through the final "completing installation." It does a successful restart, and completes "Setup is updating registry settings" and "Starting services." It then does another restart. The windows splash screen comes up, but instead of starting up it goes to a black screen for a minute or so, then restarts, shows the splash screen, goes to black screen, etc.

After trying a number of fixes, I posted on the MSI forum. A moderator there told me that even though the MSI web site says the board supports 125 watt CPUs, he has found that under load it would cause instability issues for a 125 watt CPU.

So once again I swapped out the board and now have an Asus M5a97 R2.0, which supplies 140 watts, which should be enough for my 125 watt CPU.

When I did the install, exactly the same sequence followed, the black screen at the same point in the install.

Here's the kicker: in order to get more information, I tried an install with an old XP disk I had around. It installed with no issues, and has been running a variety of tasks including gaming for a week now.

Everything looks good in the bios: 4 cores running, 3400Mhz, temps low, voltages from power supply look ok, memory & drives are present.

Here's what I've done:
--run Windows disk repair utility from install disk. It says Windows has booted properly.
--boot into Safe mode. It says installation is not complete, and I have to restart normally.
--remove second hard drive.
--remove second stick of ram, try booting on each individually.
--run Memtest 86 v.3.5b: 2 passes on each stick of ram individually, then with both installed.
It found no errors.
--run Windows memory diagnostic, which also found no errors.
--change sata mode from AHCI to IDE
--installed XP on each hard drive without issues.
--download a fresh copy of Windows 7 x64 from Digital River, burn & install. Exact same problem.
--turn off everything in bios, including all usb, power management, lan controller, etc.
--flash bios with most recent update
--clear cmos

What is wrong with this picture...??

Thanks for any suggestions,

12 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. When you swap the motherboards, are you reinstalling the operating system totally? or just trying to let the o/s pick-up where it left off? If you replace the motherboard, you need to totally reinstall Windows and wipe everything out, even for a not-yet completed o/s installation.
  2. I would also only have one hard drive connected when doing the Windows installation.
  3. did you make sure your mb bios was up to date??
  4. Yes, danny, a complete reformat and reinstall. I did disconnect the second hard drive while doing the Win7 install. smorizio, I contacted Asis support, and updating the bios was one of his suggestions, so I did that as well. No change.

    Thanks, Scott
  5. Try with only one stick of ram when installing. If one fails, replace with the other and restart the whole installation.
  6. Thanks, danny, but besides testing the ram, I did go to the trouble of doing an entire install with each individual stick of ram. still same result. And the puzzling thing is that it's not a random failure, it's always exactly the same...

    Thanks, Scott
  7. You could try installing from USB instead of DVD. Has worked a couple of times for me in the past and it's faster anyway :)
  8. Best answer
    Not surprising because it looks like windows has got to the part of performing system rating test.

    And I bet what is happening is this.

    As soon as it goes to test the 4850 card. it bombs out and restarts.

    Are we sure we plugged in the extra power feed to the 4850 card ? Because that test does a Dx test and is graphic intensive you know= more power needed by the 4850 card. Xp does not have that test does it?. Hum interesting if you think about it. ;)
  9. Casper, thanks, I'll try that. At this point, any new ideas are good.

    I've assumed the video card is good since it installed with Windows 7 the first time. It's also working with XP because it was easy to see the difference in video performance after I installed the drivers for the card. But with a problem this hard to pin down it's always a good idea to swap out any system elements possible to see if it makes a difference. I don't have any other suitable video cards around, but I'll see if I can locate one.

    Thanks for the suggestions, I'll give an update.

  10. from a tech xp and windows 7 driver data base is not the same. all the old xp drivers were not installed in windows 7. you may want to try and make a slip stream image of windows 7 with the mb drivers installed. you can hit f6 and install the amd chipset drivers..usb cards...sound..then see if the system still hangs. if it passes..then it may been a driver issue of windows 7.
  11. Finally, problem solved! When I also did a successful Win7 x86 install, it seemed clear it was the video drivers in the Windows X64 install. It took some time, but I was able to borrow another graphics card, install Windows 7 x64, install the Asus drivers, then swap my graphics card back in. All good now, I just have to keep a spare graphics card handy in case I need to reinstall--

    Thanks to everyone for your helpful suggestions!
  12. Best answer selected by oneofus.
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