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May 17, 2003 9:23:33 PM

I personally have to reinstall XP Pro once every month on average. Sometimes its more, i don't recall it being less. So why? I mean I have used linux now for around 4 years. And in the early years had to reinstall when i didn't shutdown properly, but the last years i haven't had to reinstall at all! Yes i do upgrade when a new version comes out which is almost the same but at least not because of bugs. IF you did that with any of the windows os's you get more bugs and then have to reinstall. If i had a company with that meany resources i would make people want to buy my product because its the best not because they have to. How many times do you have to reinstall.

PS the excludes Windows 2k

Defending AMD with your Stuff.
May 18, 2003 1:24:04 AM

What is it that's prompting you to reinstall Windows once a month? Do you perform regular windows maintainence/upkeep?

I switched over to WinXP just last November, but it's been running flawlessly since then. Just have to remember to keep up with defrags and other upkeep stuffs.
May 18, 2003 5:43:18 AM

Quote:
I personally have to reinstall XP Pro once every month on average.

I'd also like to know why you feel the need to reinstall so often, if you wouldn't mind taking the time to list the reasons and/or problems you might be encountering.

Quote:
How many times do you have to reinstall.

Before I start, remember ... you <i>did</i> ask!

I've got four systems in my house on a network that I built for for my own personal use. The first runs Win98SE, and was assembled in May of 1999. The second was built in August of 2000, and runs Win2K SP2. The third was build in May of 2001, and has run both Win2K and WinXP, respectively. The last was assembled in February of 2002, and runs WinXP.

I've installed Windows six times between the four systems. The Win98SE system has never required a reinstallation. The Win2K system has never required a reinstallation. The third computer only had the operating system <i>replaced</i> (in November of 2001), and has not required a reinstallation. The last system has needed two clean installations, but that was only due to the Data Lifeguard diagnostic software from Western Digital causing a problem with the partition tables when new hard drives were installed, which made my OS partition image useless ... but this wasn't actually a Windows issue, per say, since the problem occurred at the hardware level.

All of these computers have been well-maintained; all of them are stable, and none of them is in any need of a clean installation at this time. In fact, I can't foresee any reason for this to become necessary unless one of them has a future hardware failure, necessitating replacing enough of the components that a clean installation is the correct response.

IMHO, if you are in the position that a reinstallation is becoming unavoidable with this kind of frequency due to errors, then I would think that the problem is either (or a combination thereof):

1.) Because a hardware device (such as the physical memory), the mainboard, or a cable is damaged ... or because a device is incompatible with the current operating system,
2.) Because the BIOS, chipset and/or the hardware drivers need upgraded to recent versions,
3.) Because the computer is inefficiently cooled, or lacks a decent cooling solution,
4.) Because the system is underpowered,
5.) Because you are insisting on installing incompatible software,
6.) Because the system is overclocked in some way that causes data corruption, such as an incorrect mainboard jumper placement,
7.) Or finally, because of some kind of consistent user error.

Obviously, if there are those of us who don't need to reinstall Windows every month, but you find yourself in this position, then something <i>is</i> wrong. But the probability that the blame can be laid entirely on the operating system seems to me to be a cop-out, and not really a valid troubleshooting methodology. If you catch my drift, good sir.

I'm not making any comparisons with the various incarnations of Linux, you understand. The open-source movement/community and the results of which are a great thing. But that really has nothing to do with Windows, or whether or not a system can be assembled and run with one of these operating systems and still manage to be relatively stable, even for years at a time. It really only requires compatible, undamaged hardware ... disciplined system maintenance ... a few performance-enhancing user customizations ... and enough personal experience and knowledge to correct or anticipate possible problems as, or even before they might occur.

If that wasn't the case, we'd either all be running a Linux or Unix-variant (and nothing else), or reinstalling Windows every month or so. The fact is, that's just not happening (or I'd be making service calls every 15 minutes), so what I'd suggest is that you take a good hard look at the machine, and try to discover why the operating system and the computer are not functioning together correctly without a minimum of problems.

That's my 75 cents, with 53% going to state and federal taxes.

Toey

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May 18, 2003 5:37:43 PM

Quote:
I personally have to reinstall XP Pro once every month on average.

You <b>have to</b>??? Was there anything wrong with your OS?

:smile: Good or Bad have no meaning at all, depends on what your point of view is.
May 19, 2003 7:24:32 PM

Ive used win XP for over 7 months now, i havent had any trouble with it. I'm about to upgrade my system soon, so iguess i'll see what happens when i do.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by steven21 on 05/19/03 08:03 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 19, 2003 10:36:47 PM

I have HAD to reinstall XP at least 10 times THIS PAST WEEKEND!!! And I am writing this to ask for help from you guys. I built the computer on Friday night and did everything by the book. I boot it up configure the BIOS, again, by the book. I have everything setup correctly. I go to install Windows XP Home Edition for the first time. It creates the partition, and gets to the copying files stage. At this point 4% of the copying had been done, and BAM, the computer shuts off. So I tried again, this time I got past 4% and got in the 90's, then a blue screen popped up telling me an error had occured and that if I hadn't seen that screen before to just restart. So I did, and this time I got XP actually running. So about now I'm on my second cup of coffee and I am in the middle of installing the drivers and what not than BAM (and you can guess what happened. So I'm like, "Ok what the hell!" And once again I get XP (after a forced reinstallation) and guess what, BAM!! So I have now been trying to figure out what is going on. I have posted this on other forums and they think it if the RAM, PSU, or the CPU is getting too hot. Well I've ruled out the PSU because it is 500 watts and the CPU is not getting above 50 degrees Celcius. So any help you can give me would be much appreciated. Thanks
May 19, 2003 11:21:00 PM

Any possibility of getting some system specifications from you (and by the way, the more detailed, the better)? And having a little more information about the error codes would also be a big help. The great majority of the information in a BSOD is searchable (including the "numbers"), and it may point directly toward the hardware, program, or driver that is causing the system to spontaneously reboot.

I'd first suggest that you make a couple of changes in the system configuration (if you can reach the desktop, preferably in Safe Mode) such as navigating to Start\Settings\Control Panel\System\Advanced\Startup and Recovery\Settings, and under System Failure, clear the check box for "Automatically restart", and change the "Write debugging information" to (none).

After a reboot, the system should freeze when the BSOD occurs, giving you time to document the error.

If the error does <i>not</i> occur in Safe Mode, then the most likely culprit is an XP driver, since you haven't had much of a chance to install third-party applications.

Mis-matched or damaged RAM can also cause this sort of behavior, and so can a buggy BIOS version that has incompatibilities with the operating system, especially if the APIC interrupt controller is enabled ... and this might require flashing the BIOS to a newer version, changing the controller to PIC, and reinstalling the OS once more.

This is a good, freeware memory testing utility ... <A HREF="http://www.memtest86.com/" target="_new">Memtest86</A>.

Damaged IDE cables can cause similar difficulties, and so can weakened capacitors on the mainboard (and there has been some of that going around for quite a while). Incorrect mainboard jumper settings can also cause problems, so be sure to refer to the manual and double-check this, if valid.

Generally, when most people are troubleshooting a situation like this, they try to install the operating system on a barebones machine. That means as little in the PCI slots as possible (such as nothing, if you please), one hard drive, one CD-ROM, the video card, and only one stick of memory (unless you are talking about RDRAM, as this usually requires being installed in pairs). In other words, only what is absolutely necessary to boot the system and be able to see the desktop. No USB joysticks or USB devices (stick with PS/2 devices temporarily), no printers or scanners connected, etc.

All cable connections should be re-checked, and the system must never be plugged directly into a wall socket, as fluctuations in current can screw the pooch ... and even damage components.

Of course, heat can be an issue, but if the computer is rebooting, instead of completely shutting down, then the processor temperature is probably not relevant to this problem. Complete shutdowns might signify overheating, which could be caused by the heatsink not being in direct contact with the processor die. But be certain that all fans are running when the system starts, especially the video card.

Give us some more information, check out these areas, and then get back with us. We'll narrow it down, with a little effort.

Toey

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May 19, 2003 11:36:31 PM

Your system specs?

:smile: Good or Bad have no meaning at all, depends on what your point of view is.
May 20, 2003 12:10:49 AM

Here come system specs:

Mother Board-GigaByte 8KNXP

RAM-1 GB Crucial XMS DDR400

CPU-Intel 3 Ghz w/800 Mhz FSB

GPU-Radeon 9800 Pro

CR-RW-Lite On 52x24x52

HDD-Western Digital 80 GB 7200 rpm

PSU-500 watts PowMax

It also has Dual BIOS and some Dual Circuit junk that I didn't know the MoBo came with. Umm, oh right. I'll get on those checks as soon as I can but the I have homework...yup I'm still in school, but I dunno if I can get to it tonight. Thanks
May 20, 2003 12:36:41 AM

Ok first off, I can't even get the thing fully installed let alone get to the desktop. So changing the system configuration is out of the question. Next, the RAM. I bought the RAM as a matched pair so I assume it is correct and if it isn't then I have a bone to pick with NewEgg.com. Next, BIOS. It seems to me (and don't forget, I've only been building computer for a little while) that it is the BIOS. Two reasons. First, the MoBo is very new, therefore it would make sense because as all new software and what not, there are bugs. Second is it tends to respond irratically, as in with various speeds. This may or may not effect anything but I just thought it was worth mentioning. Oh one more thing I forgot to say, POST TAKES FOREVER!!! POST may actually last for a few minutes. It only takes a few seconds on the computer I am currently using. Any ideas why? Well seeing as how I'm not doing my homework and all I can concentrate on is my computer, I'm gonna see what I get in terms of errors.
May 20, 2003 2:33:22 AM

Ok here is exactly what the error message said:


A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent dammage to your computer.

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

If this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen, restart your computer. If it appears again, follow these steps:

Check to make sure any new hardware or software is properly installed. IF this is a new installation, ask your kardware or software manufacturer for and windows updates you might need.

If problems continue, disable or remove any newly installed hardware or software. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use Safe Mode to remove or disable component, restart your computer, press F8 to select Advanced Startup options, and then select safe Mode.

Technical information:

*** STOP: 0x0000000A (0xFFBE0000, 0x00000002, 0x00000000, 0x804E735B)

Beginning dump of physical memory
Physical memory dump complete.
Contact your system administrator or technical support group for further assistance.


Ok the thing I am most concered about is the memory dump, and only for the obvious reason of it saying "dump" and it saying that it was completed. Could you possibly tell me what this all means?
May 20, 2003 2:39:20 AM

My opinion on the matter is that you've got either a bad mobo, or a damaged memory stick. Try to run MemTest86 to check your memory. If you've got another system you can plug parts into, that'd probably be helpful. When I originally built my current system, I had a bad motherboard that was causing random bluescreens: During WinXP setup, in Internet Explorer, during boot ('loading windows').

Be sure to check and double check as best you can. But if everything points to the motherboard, it's the motherboard.
May 20, 2003 3:26:28 AM

Had a Gigabyte 7DX about a year ago and what you are seeing is almost like the situation I had. My guess......faulty PSU. Fixed the problem for me. May be a RAM issue as well, but I'm still betting on the PSU.
-Brett
May 20, 2003 4:02:06 AM

<A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?u..." target="_new">Stop 0x0000000A or IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL</A>

Based on your information, if you are following the advice already given (such as a new installation of the operating system with as few components connected as possible ... and by the way, that's a <i>clean</i> installation of the OS on a freshly formatted, active partition ... not a reinstallation or a repair), and the memory testing utility shows that the RAM is not damaged, then I'd suspect that you either badly need a <A HREF="http://www.giga-byte.com/Motherboard/Support/BIOS/BIOS_..." target="_new">BIOS flash</A>, or the system has got some kind of failing or defective hardware, with the mainboard being the most likely culprit, such as having a damaged IDE controller, for example. The next most likely component would be the video card, or a memory chip on said card. The third, a damaged IDE cable, or a problem with the new hard drive.

The <A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=254649" target="_new">memory dump</A> has nothing to do with the problem; it's the least of your worries. I find the feature more irritating than anything else, and of little real use in the real world.

Again, can you boot into Safe Mode? Have you checked the memory? Don't assume that any of the components are good-to-go ... run the diagnostic.

Note 1: Sometimes this is the price a user pays for cutting-edge hardware (or something fairly close). You might have an early revision of a board that still has a few bugs, many of which will probably end up being worked out at a later date with subsequent releases.

Because of this, to get the board to run properly, it might be necessary to do things like deliberately lower the FSB, set the AGP to 4x, or even underclock the processor in order to get the operating system installed. And that's in addition to flashing the BIOS.

Note 2: Always use two floppy disks when flashing a BIOS from DOS, even with a dual-BIOS mainboard. This way, you have a free area to back up the old BIOS, just in case the flashing procedure fails. It's nearly impossible to save the old BIOS on the same floppy disk that contains the new BIOS and the flashing utility, due to the size of the files. And be sure that the old BIOS is set to be flashable before making the attempt. Afterwards, set all the BIOS settings to the safest default, shutdown, and clear the CMOS, either with the jumpers or by removing the battery for a few minutes. Then start up the system, and set the correct BIOS settings for the best performance. Then try to install the operating system.

Use a MS-DOS 6.22 or Win9x <A HREF="http://www.mirrors.org/archived_software/www.bootdisk.c..." target="_new">boot disk</A> to start the system when flashing the BIOS. But don't save the old BIOS on a startup disk of this nature.

Note 3: Some newer Giga-Byte BIOS versions allow flashing by accessing the BIOS and running an internal wizard, with the new BIOS file on a floppy disk, and nothing else. But I'd still back up the old BIOS first, and remember, the flash won't work unless the BIOS is set to be flashable in the first place ...unless, of course, you want to see yet another error message. Check the mainboard manual for the instructions on how this setting is changed.

Always, <i>always</i> thoroughly document all the relevant BIOS settings before flashing. There are often minor discrepancies between the actual BIOS version and the mainboard manual. Attempting to remember all the settings, instead of writing them down ... that's playing with fire. Detailed documentation can save your bacon.

Toey

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May 20, 2003 5:54:16 PM

Double-check the jumper settings on that hard drive... that could be the reason POST is taking so long. I'm not sure if it could also account for the problems you're having installing WinXP; but it certainly would make sense.

The problem with WD hard drives is that most of them actually have TWO settings for Master. One is a master in a single driver configuration, the other is a master with a slave. WD hard drives are the ONLY drives I've seen do this. If you have the jumper set to master with slave present, it will either post very slowly or not at all and give you a Primary IDE failure. If the WD hard drive is the only drive on the primary channel, make sure the jumpers are set to Single Drive... not master.

<font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
June 7, 2003 3:37:17 PM

I've been using my XP installation for 2 years now. The most stable thing MS done (except for servers?). I few tips could be, run XP on hardware that ms has done drivers for, never install all the crap that comes out, perform all the updates from windowsupdate, uninstall programs instead of deleteing the program folders, check the registry run-keys for programs that starts with the system, check the services to only start the things you need...
June 7, 2003 5:55:55 PM

I had that exact problem and was doing a reinstall every couple of weeks. which is unusual for me since i usually manage to tweak myself into a corner every month. the problem your having is based on the memory i would have that checked first off. if it comes up fine then it IS your power supply. everytime I encountered that 4%,56% ,98% crash it was due to those and mainly the memory. to which was when i was using ddr 400. ill bet you a bag of apples that, that is your entire problem. as xp seems to be particular to the memory timings.
the other os'es from win2k down, and the various billion versions of linux do not seem to be so dependant on the timing of the memory.
So there you go.
June 7, 2003 6:01:06 PM

Quote:
A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent dammage to your computer.

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

That is flat out the memory, and if you simply switch it to 333 watch how stable you become. I had those exact errors. and it was all due to the memory. minus one blow out of the power supply "which was due to the fact I had it built into my semi and the power inverter was bad and fried it"
June 7, 2003 6:06:45 PM

The memory doesn't have to be damaged. the ddr400 sticks are not...um agreed on with certain specs yet from the memory manufacturers?. so its being a bit funky right now. I had the corsair stuff in mine a pair of 512's and I was just have headache upon headache til I backed down to 333 and now im happily doing my monthly reload after an insane tweak takes over my system. :eek: 

this has everything to do with the timing of the memory and it isnt working right yet. try it and see. then simply pull the sticks and replace with the 333. tis simple to test.
June 7, 2003 6:17:08 PM

Actually I already fixed it. It ended up being the PSU. One day I tried to turn in on and I heard a buzz then it never turned on again. I sent back the PSU and it fixed everything. Its been working flawlessly for a week.
June 7, 2003 6:34:54 PM

oh good, glad its working for you :smile:
!