Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

Help! Can't load XP - setup just "hangs"


  • Please log in to reply

#1
Millsy

Millsy

    New Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Hello. I am having some trouble with a clean install of my Microsoft Windows Media Center 2005 OS on my new HTPC and I am sooooo hopeful that you might be able to assist me to correct the issue. I have put a couple of PCs together before, but this is my first HTPC and my first using an Asus product. I have read through all the posts in the last 30 days, but no one seems to have the same exact issue. The hardware for my machine is listed below (all major components are MCE 2005 compatible):

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.

Cheers -
Dave
Portland, Oregon
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
dsenette

dsenette

    Je suis Napoléon!

  • Administrator
  • 26,019 posts
  • MVP
wow....that is officially the most thorough and helpful post I've ever seen....good job...have you checked your system temps? do you have a valid xp disk that you can use to install? (just to rule out the bad disk possibility)
  • 0

#3
Millsy

Millsy

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Thanks for the speedy repsonse. I hope I don't scare others off with too much info, but I thought more was better than less. I have looked at the system temps in BIOS a few times and they seem to be around 35C and 39C for the board and the CPU respectively. I'm certinaly not an expert, but I think those are in line with normal operating levels, aren't they?

Regarding the XP disk... I don't have a bootable XP disk, but I can make one from another machine if need be. I was really hoping that would be a last-ditch option since I don't want to go through the process of installing an OS that I will just need to reinstall later, but you are right - it would rule out the bad disk possibility. I wish there was another fix. I'm soooo confused - I must be cursed :tazz:
  • 0

#4
dsenette

dsenette

    Je suis Napoléon!

  • Administrator
  • 26,019 posts
  • MVP
http://www.memtest86.com/ try downloading this...and test your ram to see if youve got any corrupted ram
  • 0

#5
OneCool

OneCool

    banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 466 posts

1. The 2 Seagate HDs (in the SATA NvRAID on-board connectors - position 1 and 2)



Are you hitting "F10" and setting up the Raid array after the system POST?
  • 0

#6
Millsy

Millsy

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Thanks again! I will give that a shot this evening. Wish me luck!

Edit - OneCool... had the response que'ed before seeing your post. Thanks. I have set up the RAID array and verified it with F10, but it did not make a difference. I appreciate the reply though. Let me know if you think of anything else. Love the AMD girls - sweet!

Edited by Millsy, 02 August 2005 - 05:58 PM.

  • 0

#7
OneCool

OneCool

    banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 466 posts
If your going to run raid you need to setup Windows for it....some help here http://members.shaw....puting/RAID.htm
  • 0

#8
Doby

Doby

    Member 2k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,075 posts
I looked into your psu and your right its high quality, what might have confused someone is the way you listed the 12v at 14/15A. this is combined amps on 12v1 and 12v2 for a total of 29A, this is very good and should not be the problem.

Do as dsenette suggested and run memtest but try running it with only one stick of ram in at a time, if one stick shows lots of errors then don't use that stick and try and load the OS.

You cpu temp looks good and should also not be the problem.

I am betting the ram but also make sure to clear the cmos and reload the bios defaults.

Rick
  • 0

#9
Millsy

Millsy

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Thanks gang! OK, so here's the latest...

1. I checked the RAID array and it is set up correctly (NvRAID 0).
2. Thanks for checking out the PSU – sorry I wasn't more clear on the amps.
3. I did the MemTest last night and everything checked out OK.
4. I pulled out every last connection on the board except the essentials (i.e., CDROM, floppy, HD's, & VGA). I also had to leave the VFD plugged in as it turns on the PC.
5. I tried a normal, non-RAID install (with one of the SATA HD’s) - no luck.
6. Checked PSU connections –they are all good
7. Triple-checked BIOS settings - not sure if I missed something critical here.

I am thinking we've got it down to being a bad copy of XP, so I'm going to load an older, non SP2 version, which I know works. If that boots then it's the disk. I am also planning to try a regular PATA HD to see if it will load on that. (I'll try these tests separately of course) It could also be the MOB, but not sure how to test that?

If you have any other ideas, I'd love to hear 'em. Thanks again – you are both great to take some time regarding my problem. I'll send another update your way tomorrow - wish me luck!
  • 0

#10
Doby

Doby

    Member 2k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,075 posts
Ok, heres one thing I noticed, you are useing a dvd drive to load windows, its a long shot but try a cdr drive.

I have seen problems accur when using dvd drives to load windows before but they weren't the same as yours, worth a shot.

Keep us posted on the other things your trying

One other thing how long did you let memtest run?

Rick

Edited by Doby, 02 August 2005 - 07:37 PM.

  • 0

Advertisements


#11
Millsy

Millsy

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
I think I have a spare CDROM hanging around, so I will give it a shot. I let MemTest run all night (almost 9 hours). It showed 25 successful tests and 0 errors. I wasn't sure how long to run it, so I just left it up.
  • 0

#12
Doby

Doby

    Member 2k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,075 posts
Thats plenty of time for memtest so I doubt its ram related, let us know how you make out using the cd drive.

Rick
  • 0

#13
Millsy

Millsy

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Bummer - no go with the CDR. What could be causing a restart after I load the drivers? Maybe the drivers are bad? Is it's omething in the BIOS? Could it be a bad MOB? At this point, I feel like we've ruled out soooo many things, but yet I can't put my finger on the fix. Thanks again for hanging in there with me Rick!
  • 0

#14
Doby

Doby

    Member 2k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,075 posts
Its late I'll have another look tomarow but I think we need to get back to basics, you mentioned before about trying to load windows on a ide drive or sata just not set the raid up maybe this would be best to see if all the hardware/bios setup is ok.

Rick
  • 0

#15
Millsy

Millsy

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Thanks for staying with me on this! The strangest thing happened not last night. I was going through one of my many restarts (probably 100 of these over the last 6 days!) and I stepped away from the computer for a minute and missed hitting F6 to load the NvRAID drivers, which is what I normally would do. I let it run for the heck of it and guess what - it didn't "hang" - it went into the next phase of Windows Setup (i.e., license agreement and partitions).

I couldn't continue without creating a partition on both drives (the drives were listed separately, but it was a good sign that they were listed at all!). Not sure if I should have partitioned, but like I said, I didn't have a choice. Once the partitions were set (one for each HD), it asked if I wanted to quick format or full format - I chose quick. It began the loading process, which didn't take that long - 3-5 minutes.

Here's the weird part. I left the computer to go upstairs and burn some drivers onto a CDR (to speed up the process later on). When I came back down, the computer had rebooted and was hanging in the POST. On the bottom of the screen it said, "hit any key if you want to boot from the CD..." I hit any key, but no response - it was now "hanging" with this on the screen - UGH! I turned the power off and then restarted and when the same message came back up I hit a key to boot from the CD (as long as you hit a key right away, it works - strange!) - it then booted from the XP install disk, which seemed odd. The worse thing was it began to go into the install process all over again, just like nothing had been formatted or partitioned.

I then rebooted and went to BIOS to change the settings, so that it booted off the HD, instead of the CD, thinking that XP had installed enough on one of the HD's to contnue the loading process. When the system started the reboot (after getting out of BIOS), there was no response from the computer - it could not find a hard drive or CD - I had to boot again. I went into the RAID array this time and cleared any data from the disks, then restarted the process over, hoping to catch a glimpse of the screen just before it reboots (after the partition is installed). I didn't catch it completely, so don't know if there is an error message or something. I am going to try it again tonight. Maybe I should try to take off the RAID config and load the OS on just one SATA HD? If I do that though, will I be able to set up RAID afterwards?

It's odd that setup launched WITHOUT the NvRAID drivers. Maybe this is the cause of the trouble. I just don't know. Thanks again for your help.

Dave
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP