TechSpot

XP Pro fresh install fails right at the beginning, please help

By TheUnSub
Jun 29, 2007
  1. Hi there I'm new here :)

    Recently my system had been making sounds that were new to me, like intermittent beeping which would go away if I turned the CPU fan speed up. A few days ago I turned my pc on and when XP Pro loaded the desktop it completely froze after about 5-10 seconds, no mouse response or anything.

    I decided to reinstall XP. I set my CD ROM to boot first so I could run the install from the XP CD, was able to format my hard drive, and select the partition on which I wanted to install XP. I get to the part after you press F8 to agree to the EULA license, and then it says "copying files", but it always freezes here. Sometimes it get's to 6% but always freezes!

    I'm pretty sure the CDROM isn't to blame, I have tried it with two different ones. The XP install disc isn't scratched at all. I've changed the cables running from the drives to the motherboard and checked the RAM chips are seated properly. The problem still persists, can anyone help me out here? I'm really frustrated trying to decipher what is wrong with the system, I even bought a new HD but that wasn't the problem either.

    Thanks for your help in advance :)


    Isla
     
  2. tomrca

    tomrca TS Rookie Posts: 1,051

  3. TheUnSub

    TheUnSub TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the welcome :)

    I've read up on the beep codes, and as far as I can tell they were temperature related - they went away after I turned the cpu fan up all the way.

    I'm just curious, could the mobo be damaged in a way that lets me get right to the point of the install trying to copy files, but then freeze right afterwards?

    I'm pretty sure my cdrom is plugged into the correct mobo slot, with the IDE cable seeming intact - could it be it's in the wrong slot, that allows it to enter the first stages of install but then causes it to freeze?

    Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it!
     
  4. trfc4ever_aldo

    trfc4ever_aldo TS Rookie

    Check that the heatsink and fan are seated propperly?

    Did you use loads of thermal paste? Sometimes you can put too much on and it doesnt work very well.

    Standard Cooler and fan?

    It doesnt sound mobo problem as your getting into windows unless your mobo is reading higher tempratures that the cpu is actually at.
     
  5. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 3,556

    If the beeping stopped when the cpu fan was turned higher then the problem is cpu overheat.

    You are killing your cpu (or have killed it).

    Hook the fan directtly to the mobo cpu fan connector (find out which it is by READING YOUR MANUAL), not through a controller. After that, provided the cpu isn't fried, you should be ok to install Windows.
     
  6. tomrca

    tomrca TS Rookie Posts: 1,051

    what trfc4ever_aldo said.... and make sure that your cd is clean. you can also check ram, it may be faulty
     
  7. TheUnSub

    TheUnSub TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The heatsink and fan seem pretty tight, I built this machine myself about 3/4yrs ago. The heatsink is the standard one that came with my Cooler Master Jet 4, my cpu came with its own heatsink and fan but I have never used them although I still have them as new with me.

    I went into the BIOS and turned on the alarm that warns of CPU fan malfunction, and restarted it, the pc speaker went mad with a continuous beep. I looked at the fan and heatsink and they appear to be fine, yet the alarm went off?

    I've just replaced the old heat sink and fan with the one that came with the CPU originally, and it hasn't made any difference. I made sure to plug it directly into the mobo fan connector like CCT recommended.

    I only have access to a laptop, so how would I be able to check if the RAM is damaged? I don't have another tower to plug the chips into to see if they're the problem.

    :)
     
  8. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 3,556

    Your cpu fan malfunction alarm will be continuous until you connect the cpu fan (any fan actually) to the motherboard cpu fan power supply.

    Do the motherboard leds light up and fans start and hard drive(s) spin up when you power on?
     
  9. TheUnSub

    TheUnSub TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ah okay I've connected the replacement fan directly to the mobo fan power supply.

    I have one amber led that lights up on the mobo, and its fan (Gigabyte 8IPE) starts as well. All the optical drives and the HD power on and react as you would expect them to.

    I have the cdrom IDE cable plugged into the IDE 1 slot, not sure if that helps any but thought I'd include the details.

    Isla.
     
  10. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 3,556

    Then either the cpu is now fried OR some component of the mobo chipsets is dead or both.

    I would suspect the cpu.
     
  11. TheUnSub

    TheUnSub TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ah that's a pity, all I can salvage from the system would be the drives, since the new motherboards are PCI express I wouldn't be able to use the RAM or any of the PCI cards.

    I'll monitor this thread for a little while longer to see if anything else is posted that might help me out, I think CCT has probably identified the problem.

    Thanks everyone for helping out, TechSpot is awesome.

    Isla.
     
     
  12. trfc4ever_aldo

    trfc4ever_aldo TS Rookie

    Dont just assume the cpu has burnt out. Check the ram there are many programs on the market that you can use.

    http://www.memtest86.com/

    Try using that but read the instructions. As it runs as a bootable floopy or cd.

    I have a similar problem with my system at the moment but mine wont even get anywhere near windows and im pretty sure its the cpu however im taking it to be tested tommorow. The whole system is less that 8 months old too. So you can imagine how angry i am.
     
  13. TheUnSub

    TheUnSub TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I ran memtest from a bootable CD and it ran a bunch of tests for about an hour and a half. It said everything was okay and I should press ESC to stop the tests, and not knowing how long I should run it for, I stopped it after about 1hr45min. No error markers showed up. What would you recommend the next step be?

    I can appreciate what its like when hardware fails, especially if it fails so soon after you buy it.
     
  14. trfc4ever_aldo

    trfc4ever_aldo TS Rookie

    ok so your memory seems good.

    Unfortunately its pointing towards your Cpu.

    When you opened up the case after all these beeps was there alot of hair and dust in heatsink?

    Have you took the chip out check if there is any visable signs of fried chip such as discoloured areas, oily mark or smell of burnt out metal?

    But if you ran memtest for 1 hour and 45 minutes then your cpu was running for 1 hour and 45 minutes and if it was getting as hot as your saying it would have deffo been fried in that amount of time.

    Hardware problems are so hard to indentify.

    Cpu or mobo my guess but you would not know for defo unless you test it on another machine if you have one or can borrow one to test it on.

    Hope this helps.

    You have an excuse to build a new machine now though if it is fried:)
     
  15. TheUnSub

    TheUnSub TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have to admit the old heatsink/fan combo was pretty caked in dust - enough to make me wonder about long term overheating. I cleared all the dust from the machine, including all cards and anywhere else I could see. Tried again and it still freezes.

    I took the CPU out and on the surface it seems fine, no discolouration or burn marks/smells.

    I've ruled out all the things I can definitely test, like the optical drives, I've tried the install on the CDROM, DVDRW, and DVDROM and all freeze at the same place. The CD is in pristine condition, and memtest says the memory is alright. I've swapped IDE cables just in case one was damaged.

    I think it's probably the cpu or mobo like you said. All I have to do is save a little and build another machine, which is always fun :)

    Thanks for your help, I appreciate it!
     
  16. Ph30nIX

    Ph30nIX TS Rookie Posts: 359

    Its almost definately the CPU at this stage. My P4 system would beep when it started to get hot just before locking up, although this was because the warning level was set fairly low.

    I have also fried out a cpu within a week because of the dodgy thermal compound that comes reapplied on some newer heatsinks. Ended up having to get cpu and mobo replaced.

    If its 3/4 years old probably not worth spending a heap of money on, probably better to go en route for a new pc.

    Forgot to mention: when the guy who fixed it for me was trying to install xp it kept of freezing as well.
     
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