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Hangs on Vista/XP Install


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#1
trujm

trujm

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Hi, I was impressed by the level of detail and time you put into other people's problems, so hopefully you will put the same into mine.

Here's my situation. My GF bought a computer about 3 years ago, right before Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans (that's where we live). Right before the hurricane (two weeks before) there was a power outage and her computer wouldn't power on. She assumed it was broke, the hurricane hit, and the computer has been safe in storage ever since. Well, we finally rebuilt our home after the hurricane, and JUST NOW got around to messing with the computer again. I suggested that the power supply might be the problem, and sure enough that was it. The computer turned on fine, however the computer didn't recognize an operating system. That brings me to where I'm at now.

I bought Windows Vista Ultimate Edition and figured that it would work fine on the old computer. The specs for the old computer are as follows:

AMD Sempron 3000+
512MB Pc2700 RAM
120 GB Hard Drive
Integrated Video Card
CD-RW/DVD-R Drive

So then I attempted to load Windows Vista on the computer. It said "press any key to boot from CD Drive". I pressed a key, it told me to wait while it copied the windows files to the memory. That finished just fine and then it went to the screen where the scroll bar goes across the screen and it says "© Microsoft Corporation". And it just hangs here. The scroll bar keeps running across the screen infinitely, never starting the initial load of Vista. The strange thing is, however, that when I unplug the IDE cable from the hard drive, it lets me go past the screen I described above and into the Vista installation screen. Of course, I can only go as far as selecting which drive to install Vista to because the hard drive is unplugged. But im not understanding why it would hang when the hard drive is plugged in, and let me proceed when it is not.

I tried all of the following as a solution

1. Switching the jumper on the hard drive to all 4 positions
2. Making sure the IDE cables were all inserted correctly.
3. Trying to install Windows XP instead of Vista (thinking maybe the machine wouldnt accept Vista), where the installation "loaded" but it eventually hangs after the first reboot and I see nothing but a blinking cursor at the top left hand.
4. Editing the primary/slave drives in the bios.
5. From the XP "recover" option during install, I tried "fixmbr" and "fixboot"
6. From the XP "recover" option during install, I tried "chkdsk /r" (which is what im doing now, 67% completed.... ill make a follow up post to let you know what the results of that was)

So as you can see, I'm very very desperate. My two cents on the situation is that it sounds like something is not letting my computer start the boot process of ANY operating system. I formatted the hard drive, so it has to be something in the boot record. However, I don't know enough about that sort of thing to be able to speculate on what it is - that's why I'm coming to you guys. At this point, I'm so desperate I will settle for any operating system to work on this computer - as you can see by repeated attempts to install XP towards the end, thinking maybe it would work, but no. We have come so far in getting this computer running. We're a little tight for money right now because hurricane Katrina cost us $80,000, so hopefully you guys can save me at least $600-700 of that by getting this computer running rather than buying a new one.

What could be the problem?

Edited by trujm, 23 June 2007 - 10:13 PM.

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#2
Neil Jones

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If the install gets past a point when a piece of hardware is not plugged in, it means there's an issue with that piece of hardware. In your case you have an issue with the hard drive which, being a critical piece of equipment for a computer, needs replacing.
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#3
trujm

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Why would it allow the Windows Setup to copy files to the hard drive at all if it were the hard drive that was bad? I even successfully made two partitions on the drive.
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#4
Neil Jones

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Bad sectors most probably. When setup copies files to the hard drive, they're stored temporarily. When Setup completes, they are often moved somewhere else. It only needs a critical file to end up on a bad sector and screw the entire install up.
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