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Windows won't install on new build computer


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#1
Siborg

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Ok, so I told my friend that I'd help him get a new computer through a place I know. I helped him choose the parts, and helped him build it.

The system is as follows:

CPU: AMD Phenom 3750
Mobo: Asus M3A
RAM: 2 x 1Gb PQA 1066 (PC 8500)
HD: Maxtor 250Gb sata
DVD: Asus sata (not sure of the model number or anything)
Video: Asus ati 3870 512Mb

The problem is as follows:
Getting it to install windows!

The windows version is XP professional with SP2. I install the way I usually do, which is booting from CD, doing a format, and going through the windows install procedure.

What happened initially, was that when setup was copying the files, the computer stopped responding. On reboot, it was saying that there was not enough space in the runtime area (VRAM) and smbios data would not be available. This was eventually resolved by inserting the ASUS motherboard driver disk (after a bit of googling) and holding ctrl + pg up.

The recurring problem is that the setup is copying files, doesn't complete. I have tried a couple of different versions of windows, all with the same result:
1. Windows xp pro sp2... not even detected
2. windows xp pro (pre sp1)... setup goes to copy files, and resets at ~70%
-when it goes to boot, it says ntldr is missing and won't continue the installation

I have used both of these versions many times before on my own computers, and had no problems.

A few things we tried to fault:
* We were unsure of the RAM configuration, so we moved them around and finally, back to channel A1, B1... dual channel (both yellow)... which we had initially.
* Hard drive had a jumper on the back of it... With the pin on it was 1.5 Gb restricted, with it off it was 3Gb. We removed it as the M3A mobo supports 3Gb sata.



As my friend lives on the other side of town, he left unsatisfied with an awesome PC but no windows. He tried one of his versions and he told me just now that it keeps stopping at 30%


Does anyone reckon we may have stuffed up the build, or does it sound like there is faulty hardware somewhere along the line?

I'd really appreciate some help because he spent a fair bit of money under my advice, and I feel as though I've let him down.
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#2
Tyger

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How did you format the hard drive before installation? Windows XP is not natively able to deal with that large a drive, you have to have SP1 installed before it can format that large a partition. And was the hard drive used for anything before you formatted it?
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#3
dhitchner

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The hard drive size won't restrict installing Windows XP on it, you just won't see the full size of the drive until you install the service pack on it.

I would try different RAM on the system myself and see if that fixes the problem. I've run into funny errors before trying to install windows on a system with a bad RAM module.
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#4
Troy

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He tried one of his versions and he told me just now that it keeps stopping at 30%

Hi there,

How many "versions" of Windows do you have? Are we talking about legit, original CD and COA (product key) for each "version"?

A ripped version will well and truly cause problems (who knows what), not to mention it's theft.

Don't worry, your friend still has a good computer.

If you have legitimate Windows, then I would look at running memtest86 to check the RAM is not faulty.

Cheers

Troy
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#5
Siborg

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they are backup copies from ones that i bought years ago (the originals have since been damaged)

I have used these copies countless times on my own pc's with no fault... I'm seriously doubting whether i did something wrong, or maybe the ram is dodge-ey

haven't heard of PQA before, but they were the only 1066 chips from my supplier.
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#6
dhitchner

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I actually had PQA's in my last system and they ran fine, but that doesn't mean anything. You can get faulty RAM from any manufacturer/supplier. Replacing the RAM or doing what Troy suggested, running the Memtest86, are good ideas to start with. I've had Memtest86 find bad RAM in a matter of seconds, but sometimes can take hours to determine.
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#7
Troy

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Hi there,

First off, I would try grabbing a good-condition original XP disc for the installation. You've used the copies for years, and media doesn't last forever. As long as you have your own, original XP Professional COA and product key, then just try to borrow one off somebody you know. You also should be able to contact Microsoft and have them send you a new disc for a small fee, once you've convinced them you own a legal version. :)

And Memtest:

Click this for a guide to using Memtest

Click this to download Memtest

Cheers

Troy
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