Uneed X11 HTPC case (includes VFD w/ IR)
Asus A8N-Sli Deluxe MOB (BIOS 1011)
Athlon XP 3700+ 939 San Diego
Artic Cooling Silencer 64 Ultra TC L heat sync
2 Seagate SATA 150 300GB HDs (brand new and both are identical)
1 Corsair CMX1024-3200C2 (compatible with Asus board and CPU)
ATI Radeon X800XL 256MB PCIe
ATI HDTV Wonder (not currently installed)
Hauppauge PVR 150 MCE (not currently installed)
PLEXTOR SATA DVD (PX-716SA/SW)
Sound Blaster Audigy 2Zs gamer (not currently installed)
Sabrent 42 in 1 card reader
Seasonic 430W PSU
When I start up the PC, with the MCE Disk 1 in the DVD drive, the computer launches the typical blue screen with “Windows Setup” in the upper left-hand corner and then flashes the loading instructions at the bottom of the screen. When it gets through the initial install, it then posts a message on the bottom of the screen that says, “Starting Microsoft Windows”. At this point, the loading process gets hung up and the computer goes into a loop that can only be stopped by switching off the power.
I have tried the following to fix the problem, but have not been successful:
1. Flashed the BIOS with the newest (non-beta) version – 1011
2. Disconnected all "non-essential" PCI cards/peripherals (left the ATI Radeon X800XL graphics card)
3. Set up NvRAID striping (0) array in BIOS for the 2 SATA drives
4. I hit F5 just as Windows setup begins, so that I can manually choose the "Advanced Configuration..." HAL option
5. Created a driver disk for the NvRAID controller (I found the 2 driver sets for this) and loaded the drivers using F6 when Windows setup begins.
Note: After installing both NvRAID drivers, the setup continued, but right where it normally begins to "hang" in the process, the system now shuts downs and starts a reboot! I do not get the option of being able to choose a partition. When the system rebooted it went right back to the Windows Setup process again (same as before). This time, I left it alone and did not press F5 or F6. It didn't help - the computer is now "hanging" in the same place as it was before (with "Setup is starting Windows" in the bottom left-hand corner). I checked the RAID config in BIOS (by pressing F10) and it is fine (set to Boot and listed as ”healthy”).
6. I then disabled NvRAID in BIOS and tried the install with just one HD connected. I still loaded the NvRAID drivers as before, but now, instead of rebooting, the system just hangs once again in the "Windows Setup" phase of the install.
7. Someone commented that they my PSU might be too weak, but I just don’t think so – this is a high quality PSU. It's a 430W Seasonic - at 3.3v it has 30A, at 5v it has 30A, at 12v it has 14/15A.
What could be causing the restart and the subsequent “hanging” during setup issue?
- Could it be a bad MCE 2005 disk? How would I check something like that?
- Could these problems stem from a bad MOB? Hard to believe considering that the board is recognizing my components and allows me to set up RAID.
- I don't think it's one of the HD's because BIOS picks them both up with no problem? Maybe I need to load an additional driver under the setup when I hit F6 – like for the HD or something else?
- Power shouldn't be an issue as I mentioned in previous emails, but maybe I'm missing something obvious here?
- What other BIOS settings can be manipulated to get a different reaction?
- I called Asus and emailed them with the issue, but I hear they are horrible about getting back to people, so that's probably a dead end. Who else can I contact for help on this? (I bought most of the stuff at Newegg.com)
- Should I try to create a boot disk from my other XP machine (non-MCE) and then load that OS just to see if it works? Seems silly to do this since it's not the OS I want to install - is there any benefit?
The only items I still have connected are:
1. The 2 Seagate HDs (in the SATA NvRAID on-board connectors - position 1 and 2)
2. CDROM in an IDE slot (I will be using a Plextor DVD Burner in SATA, but unplugged it to rule that out as a possible problem)
3. ATI Radeon X800XL PCIe video card
4. Sabrent 42 in 1 card reader (this has 2 USB front jacks, an IEEE, and audio/mic inputs)
5. VFD w/ IR, which comes with the X11 case
6. Extra USB, Game, and Midi ports that came with the MOB
7. Floppy (this will not be attached after the system is set up - I pulled one from another computer and am using this to install drivers as needed)
8. Essentials - PSU, CPU, and Corsair memory (the memory is compliant with the MOB and CPU)
Sorry for the long post, but I thought more info would be better than less. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.