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Acer Aspire 7736 stuck in system setup loop

By DJnRF
May 24, 2012
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  1. Acer had decided that due to a sudden problem where they could not
    find why the PC could not find an OS that the HDD must be bad. They
    sent new setup discs, and suggested a new HDD be installed and setup.
    When a new drive was purchased and installed the setup discs were
    used to install the Windows 7 OS. It appeared to go through the setup,
    and did show as finished, but with the reboot process it first gave a
    notice that setup could not complete with the installed hardware and
    needed to restart. With each successive trial to reboot it would ask
    to reinstall the setup discs. Each time now it says setup could not
    complete, and would restart again. Each and every time of a restart
    it does the same thing.Entering into BIOS setup and insuring the settings
    are correct will still restart to the same screens to install setup again.

    In the attempt to format the new drive to start again with installation,
    and insuring that the CD drive is first boot, will not change the entrance
    into the same screens for system setup. The PC still attempts to boot
    from the HDD even though it has been selected to be absolute last
    in the boot process, and the CD/ DVD first. Not even HDDeraser.exe
    CD is 'seen' in the boot process in the CD drive.

    Is there some other hardware or software issue that would cause this,
    or a problem in the Acer firmware?
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Pull the hard drive out of the laptop. Does the laptop try to post at all without the hard drive installed?
     
  3. DJnRF

    DJnRF TS Rookie Topic Starter

    This is Acer Aspire laptop Model 7736Z. It has a 320 gb HD, 4 gb RAM, 2.2 Mhz CPU.
    The OS is the home version of Windows 7 that they used in these laptops.

    Other than a new HDD purchased when Acer support could not find the reason
    that all of a sudden the PC kept showing a message that there was no OS, and
    suggested that a new drive be purchased as the original was bad. That was the
    reason for the new drive. (the same WD 320 gb as the original) There is no
    other change in hardware in the PC, and since it was a new HDD there was
    no software yet. (still isn't)

    As for trying to see what happens with a boot up after removal of the HD, I
    have yet to try that. I will check that as soon as I can and post the results.
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Okay, if the laptop doesn't show anything on the screen with the hard drive out, the motherboard or memory may be at fault...
     
  5. DJnRF

    DJnRF TS Rookie Topic Starter


    With the HDD out of the laptop it does try to load. It shows a media failure and Broadcom shuts down.
    With the HDD installed the BIOS does show the drive, but it just goes through an endless loop to install
    the OS when the computer attempts to boot. When it can't start Windows (7) it immediately shows
    Starting Setup Services, and the whole process begins again to where it can't install Windows and must
    be restarted to begin the installation process all over again.
     
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Those setup discs might be for the wrong model laptop or they might be corrupt. Can you do a full format before the Windows 7 install starts?
     
  7. DJnRF

    DJnRF TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It will not come out of the 'loop' to setup installation. I can't even get it into DOS. I have tried using my XP Pro disk
    to do a complete format to no avail. All it does after loading is to stop at a blue screen saying that Windows has
    been shut down to prevent damage. I don't know how else to get it to format. I have even tried using a hard drive
    eraser, and it won't work either. The PC still goes into the setup/ installation mode.
     
  8. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Since this is a laptop, this might be a motherboard issue. If you have 2 memory modules installed, try it with only one
     
  9. DJnRF

    DJnRF TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Finally! One of the memory modules was bad, but that wasn't all the problem.
    After removing the bad memory stick I noticed that even though the installation
    program seemed to install the HD didn't show anything. The end result was
    found to be a bad, brand new HDD. It was a simple exchange with the company
    as it was new. With a new HD installed, and the bad memory stick removed
    the installation went smooth.

    Thanks much for the memory jogging for me.
     
  10. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Okay good :)
     

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