OS won't boot up

By n56cbk
Jul 21, 2007
  1. So today, I built my first computer with the help of friends. We had a few power issues at first but we discovered I just needed to hold down the power button for a second or two. If it helps, I have an Antec 900 case.

    However, sometimes if I just turn it off and turn it on right after by holding down the power button, the monitor doesn't show anything at all even though the hardware all works. I have to wait a few minutes with the computer off, but when I press the power button, the computer instantly leaps to life, instead of my having to hold the power button for a few seconds.

    The furthest we've gotten is to a blankish Vista screen immediately after the Vista loading screen. The cursor appeared and I moved the mouse around, only to have it freeze on me after a second. We kept retrying, and it started freezing upon the BIOS looking screen saying "Loading Vista files" or something similar. My friend was guessing it wasn't detecting the hard drive. We went into the BIOS and it detected only the DVD drive that was connected, in the SATA slot number one. We noticed though on the same page it said HDD autodetect was disabled, which was weird because the screen after the startup menu where you can choose to enter setup had the hard drive shown in light blue, saying 250 GB available and the hard drive name. It was not there, however, instead showing No HDD detected, before we unplugged it from the SATA slot number one from the mobo and replugged it into a SATA RAID slot. There were six "normal" SATA slots on my mobo, all red and clustered around each other on the bottom right (with the I/O ports to the top left), and the SATA RAID slot we plugged it into was black and directly above the slot we had plugged the graphics card into.

    If it helps, this is the mobo I got: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131013

    My friend asked when I started the computer for the first time if it asked me to do any formatting or configuration with the hard drive, which it did. But somehow or another, I sort of skipped it and it went to the screen which said ERROR BOOTING OS, INSERT OS DISC AND PRESS START or something. Every time I restarted, it would skip the formatting part and try to load the OS disc, freezing upon loading the files. So he said maybe I had to partition the hard drive, and went to the BIOS setup page, whereupon it froze again. We could mess around inside it for a few minutes, but would always freeze up. He did say, though, that installing an OS took a while, maybe around 15 or 20 minutes, but should it have frozen?

    To recap, what it does now when I insert my Vista Home Premium 64-bit CD and start it up is it goes to the ASUS logo screen where I can go to the BIOS setup, then goes to the screen where it detects my hard drive. After that, it goes to a screen with text on the bottom saying Loading Vista files... with a gray bar across the bottom being filled white from the left as it loads, then once it becomes fully white, it goes to a Vista loading screen, with a rounder, smaller bar and a color background. Then it goes to a Vistaesque looking background with only a single cursor that can be moved for half a second before freezing.

    Is this normal for installing a new OS on a clean hard drive? If so, sorry for just wasting your time. >_>

    But if there is a problem, kindly let me know what I can do to solve it. Thanks in advance.
  2. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    WHOA!! WHOA!! WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You do not toggle power to electronics like that!! You are playing with fire!! Certain types of electronics store charge. When you power on, they charge up. When you power off they discharge. If you toggle the power quickly like that, you can fry them!! A sudden change in voltage while they discharge can damage them! Your monitor probably has some kind of power "interlock" mechanism to prevent sudden changes in applied voltage.

    It's best to wait 5 to 10 seconds when you turn the power off before turning it back on. This allows the electronics to discharge sufficiently.
  3. n56cbk

    n56cbk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh yeah, I knew that. It's just that when it didn't turn on immediately after pressing in the power button and letting go quickly, it wouldn't turn on for around three minutes. Waiting around 5 seconds is what I mean by "turning it on right after I turn it off."

    Er, usually.
  4. n56cbk

    n56cbk TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Well, after restarting the computer over a hundred times with varying results, mostly freezing just before language selection, I finally got to the Vista installation page decently far. After selecting language, inputting the product key, choosing custom setup (upgrade was disabled as there was no OS there to upgrade from), and selecting the installation location (non-partitioned, non-RAID hard drive), it came to an installing page. There seemed little progress at first with a big, bold (0%) next to Expanding Files, but I knew it hadn't frozen because the little ellipsis was still animating. Then, when it got to the magnificent (1%), the ellipsis stopped at two dots. And the cursor wouldn't move.

    So I thought I would restart again, but this time, on the page it would normally say Loading Windows Files..., it now just says

    BOOTMGR is missing
    Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to restart

    And it does this every single time. I read an article explaining that many of the Vista installation failures were due to something about the CD burner burning too fast, though I doubt this has anything to do with me since the article had Vista Beta 2 in question.

    I had changed a few BIOS settings before, but I reverted them back to defaults with the same result. Is there anything I can do?
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