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Windows fails to install

By sillyfishyboy
May 21, 2007
  1. While trying to do a full format and reinstall of windows (something I try to do once every 6 months or so). I ran into a pretty serious glitch, the windows setup screen loads up giving me various options to format, install etc, strangely when I first tried it, it told me that the drive was unformatted or damaged, so I formatted before installing initial files, the setup then restarts in order to continue, however once restarted it goes straight back to the initial setup screen where I can reformat or overwrite existing windows installation???. (every now and again it still claimed that the drive was damaged and needed to be formatted) I wondered if this was the drive (sata) so I tried installing on my backup drive. still no luck. I also wondered if there was a problem with my windows disk, so tried installing a version of linux which hung pretty early in the process. I have a few more ideas to test when I get a chance, hopefully tonight. such as making backup master and removing sata before installing, and replacing dvd drive with old standby. However I did want to check with you guys opinions regarding faulty ram/cache which I dont really know how to check (other than replacing with spares (which I dont have))

    Thanks
    Sillyfishyboy
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,984   +168

    Try doing a "zero fill" write on the drive, then format it in DOS by booting your system from a Windows 98SE boot floppy or from the disk management utility in Windows XP. You can get the low-level format/zero fill utility from the drive manufacturer's website
     
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    there is no real need to reformat/reinstall windows every six months. Use a good program the CCcleaner to eliminate unecessary programs, and clean the registry.
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,984   +168

    I would love not to have to reformat/reinstall Windows 2 or 3 times a year, but hardware upgrades as well as sofware trials and removal demand that I do... I have gotten very good at reloading Windows and all my critical programs and files in under 2 hours. I expect that my new imaging and backup skills and hardware will cut this 2 hour time in half soon
     
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Perhaps they demand that YOU do, but that is contrary to normal experience... and if you can do it in under two hours, you are missing something, or a true magician.
     
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    There's no need to reinstall if you back your system up periodically. Save those backups as a restore point. Also a program like GOBACK works wonders.
     
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Goback hasn't been updated since September, 2001, has it... not really a supported program for modern WXP or VISTA, unless things have changed recently..
     
  8. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,984   +168

    I agree Raybay GoBACK is an old clumsy program at best. I have Acronis True Image. I have imaged my entire 80GB C drive to my 100GB USB backup drive using Acronis. I should be able restore this image if I need to... in under 1 hour
     
  9. sillyfishyboy

    sillyfishyboy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the response. I was recommended to run memtest, which I have done, (been running for about 30 hours while I was away) So far I have found 4 errors on the memory .. could this be causing the problem?
    All errors are 1200-1500mb.. I am assuming that this means they are all on the second stick of memory (using 2x1gb sticks), As I will have to replace this stick, do I need to replace them as a pair? or can I replace one on its own with any other stick?

    sillyfishyboy
     
  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    You can replace them independently. However, if you are a dedicated gamer or do intensive design work, a matched pair is a better choice. Try to avoid one "Value Ram" and one full 1st tier module... at best. they will both work at the speed of the slower module. Some mismatches with visibly different chips on the two modules can perpetuate your problem - even if both are good modules
     
  11. sillyfishyboy

    sillyfishyboy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for the help raybay, I have removed the faulty stick and am now able to install windows (yay) and am about to order some new memory to replace it. I just wondered if this was just because of a dodgy stick or if there is some other issue, fault which is effecting that memory slot. I guess I wont know for sure untill I add more memory and it goes bad.

    Cheers again
    Sillyfishyboy
     
     
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