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Having Trouble Installing either of XP/Vista on my Desktop

By Ckorban ยท 13 replies
Jan 29, 2008
  1. Hey guys, I've had a couple posts about various issues with this PC already, but I'm going to sum everything up in this one so as to keep it centralized. As for any specs or anything needed from the computer, I can get it later today and edit the post.

    PC Specs:
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
    Geforce 7900GS
    4gb of RAM (2 x 1GB of Kingston and another PNY 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) - If needed, I can get exact specs of the Kingston
    2 Hardrives (1 500gb Seagate Barracuda 7200.10, another 320gb specs&name if needed)
    Raidmax 530W PSU (Just replaced my Antec that came with my Sonata 2 Case)
    Genuine Intel Mobo (again, specs if needed)
    SoundBlaser X-fi Gamer Edition

    Everything completely at stock, nothing tampered with, nothing overclocked.
    PC used to run pristinely, Nothing in it more than 1 year old
    Using MSDN downloads to obtain legit/legal copy of XP Sp2 x64 and Vista x64
    Have tried another CD rom drive and at least 15 different copies of varying xp and vista burns, also varied from the machines used to burn and downloaded iso files.
    ISO files checked for hash and not corrupt, CD burns successfuly with verify.
    Before all the problems began, I had XP Pro 32 and Vista Ult 32 dual-booted with XP on my primary drive.

    The reason I decided to reinstall windows was because I was getting random crashes:
    BCCode : 1000000a BCP1 : 7B8785A8 BCP2 : 00000002 BCP3 : 00000000
    BCP4 : 80514721 OSVer : 5_1_2600 SP : 2_0 Product : 256_1

    What I have tried:
    I decided to reinstall windows since its been due time for a format and I wanted to install 64bit edition to actually use my full 4GB of ram. I downloaded x64 Win XP Pro off MSDN, burned it, and booted from it and chose to leave file system intact. That didn't work out so well, after about 1 or 2 minutes in, it gave me a file corrupt error, on various files. I tried again, this time full formating (not quick), but also, corrupt. At this point I lost my C: drive, meaning my XP installation and the dual boot info which was used to get into Vista. (I can't boot into an OS now).
    I tried burning from 4 different systems, using different media, and using different burners. I added a DVD writer and tried using it as the reader for the installation, in case my CD rom drive was busted, not so, same errors. On a side note, I also changed out my PSU, only because I managed to get a better one for free.
    Removing and recreating partition instead of just full format.
    Resetting the BIOS.

    Side note:
    Most times, it says "could not read file, maybe corrupt", i hit enter for retry and it works, but a huge problem file is win32k.sys, I don't beleive it ever got past that one while trying to install.
    Moreover, only once during all these attempted installs, a BSOD popped up, but I was unable to take down the info.

    I am currently clueless, looking at my hardware now, maybe my ram or HDD. Can anyone guide me in the right direction? Should I move around the ram, maybe take some out? Should I try another hard drive? Could the MS .iso possible be bad?


    What I am doing right now:
    Trying 32bit windows versions. XP Pro 32 does not error like x64, currently it is installing, going to try 32 Vista next. My suspicion that it is something related to the EM64T...

    What I am planning to do next:
    Test HDD and Ram.

    Oh and thanks to SNGX1275 and https://www.techspot.com/vb/topic69018.html for providing an example of a good post :p.

  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Hi Ckorban (good post :) )

    From reading through all the things that you have tried, you did not mention removed partition (only a full format)
    When loading Xp (or Vista) can you remove the entire partition first.

    Also (other than doing the above) these errors, look very familiar to faulty Ram card related. Yes I would suggest to remove one Ram, and/or swapping the Rams to different slots on the motherboard.
    You may also try downloading Memtest, to fully test your Ram

    One last (or first) option would be to reset your BIOS on your motherboard (usually shorting two pins near the cmos battery) you should also download and read the manual for your motherboard. In doing this, you may also find other jumpers or switches on the motherboard that could be adjusted.

    Please try those suggestions, and/or reply back with further info
  3. Ckorban

    Ckorban TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 70

    I reset the BIOS, and tried removing and recreating the partition, to no avail. When trying to install Vista, I get a BSOD as soon as it finishes the initial file load and/or errors out when I input my CD Key, and XP Pro hangs at the win32k.sys ...
    Is there some way this could be related to my computer not supporting 64bit? I have an e6600, would the mobo play any part in this?
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    It will be helpful to download and run the free MemTest86 for four hours or seven passes.
    Then download and run the drive fitness test for the brand of hard drive you use. All but Toshiba have one. It is fairly quick way to test your drive.
    It is clear to me that you have a serious hardware error... and that it is likely a memory module, video graphics port, or hard drive.
    If not, you still need to test them and remove them from consideration.
    Then if none of those, I would totally remove both the previsus VISTA and WXP installs, to the point of a reformat or a registry edit removal.
    You obviously know what you are doing, and sometimes that is the worst of positions. Take a pencil and paper and write down everything you do, and think about what you have done. You may be missing something, or bypassing an obvious step that a neophyte would not miss.
    Please let us know how this mystery worked out.
  5. Ckorban

    Ckorban TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Alright, I am now dumbfounded... Win XP Pro 32 bit got the furthest, no errors yet and its installing, unlike the rest where it would fail during preparation.. I'm about to let that go through and am currently burning Vista 32 bit to see if that works too... Maybe the x64 bit edition is messing things up?

    If vista doesnt work or the XP pro doesnt complete, i'm going to go look at the ram and harddrive, and do what raybay suggested.

    Oh and I have formatted the harddrives and removed all evidence of the previous windows installations

    OK, Vista 32 BSOD'd also, but later on during the installation. Win 32 XP Pro did not error and completed installation successfully and I am currently able to boot into it. I am now running memtest, I am getting a crapload of erros, 185,344 after 1 hour.
    I have 4gb of ram (4 x 1gb sticks), and I am unable to determine how to tell which module is bad other than taking them all out and putting them in one by one and separately running memtest... could memtest tell me the module? Maybe from the failing address? I couldnt find any documentation about how to actually use the program..
    Failing Address:
    000bbdb115c - 2945.3MB
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Once you have found errors running Memtest
    You must then remove all ram cards except for 1, and test again.
    Continue doing this with all ram cards, until you have found all faulty ones.

    By the way, whilst removing the Ram, make sure to blow (wind) away all dust.
  7. Ckorban

    Ckorban TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Ok, sounds good, well not really but now i know what the problem is... What I'll do is check each on in the first slot alone, then if they're all ok, test one in every slot...
    Also, your inclusion of "wind" after blow threw me off, can I not use canned air or something?
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Actually circuit board cleaner is the best, but just blowing using your own mouth will do (without spitting :) )

    Also checking each slot and checking each Ram is very thorough and commendable - and will take some time !

    Just post back here, in a few hours, or tomorrow, when you're finished.
  9. Ckorban

    Ckorban TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Alright, reporting back with results of memtest:
    I tried 3 of my 4 sticks, each for at least 4 passes.
    When trying my forth one, the computer does not get to the point where it checks to see where it's going to boot from.. It gets stuck at a screen blank except for in the down right corner the letters "BA". I assume this is some sort of check that the bios/cpu/motherboard does and that the 4th stick (the only one currently in the PC) is at fault for all my headaches and heartaches for the past week?
    I next plan to place the "good" 3 back into the slots at the same time, one of them in the 4th slot, and run it to make sure everything else is fine...
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Yes well done.

    You know in a computer shop, they just replace the ram (usually all) so you have reduced your cost significantly.

    By the way Xp can only see 3Gig max (as you mentioned 4Gig you have) I suppose you must have Vista.

    Also isn't 3Gig enough? I mean do you notice a difference?

    Also you may be able to return the faulty ram under warranty
  11. Ckorban

    Ckorban TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 70

    I see 3.25gb in XP, but I mean, i bought the ram in 2 packs, two 2x1gb kits...
    Also, I thought the limitation was due to 32bit, not winXP, because I faintly remember also only seeing 3.25gb in vista 32bit...
    Thanks for all the help, hopefully this is the end of this heartache..
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  13. Ckorban

    Ckorban TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Thanks for the article, got some background info and cleared up a thing or two...
    I'm currently running memtest on the 3 remaining dimms, with one in the same slot as i found the bad one in. Thankfully it was the PNY DIMM that went out and it has a lifetime warranty so I'll be RMA'ing it.

    Soon as 4 passes go w/o errors, i'm going to try to install Vista x64 again, hopefully successfully.
    What's weird is why was win xp pro 32 the only one of the 4 (win xp pro 32/64, vista 32/64) that was able to install 3-4 times with no problems but none of the rest?

    Thanks for helping me out on this kimsland

    memtest ran perfect for 5 runs on the remaining 3 DIMMs, and I installed vista x64 succesfully and its running fine and dandy right now... Going to go ahead and RMA this PNY module, its funny how it just completely broken down one day, not a couple of errors but literally 100's of thousands of errors during memtest...
    Now I get to waste my time finding drivers for Vista x64 instead of trying to fix the hardware :p
    Thanks again
  14. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Well done.

    Not sure why one broke down either.

    But not to worry, it's confirmed, single faulty ram.

    Drivers for Vista 64, and all the rest !

    Then all done, working at last.

    Please come back and post anytime, if any other errors occur in the future.
    It's been a pleasure (not so much for you) but because of you.

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