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problems installing XP on built PC

By j.mozdiak@btint · 14 replies
Mar 24, 2007
  1. Firstly, Hi guys, great forum! This is my first post.

    Ive just built my first PC, took a couple of hours but got there in the end, here is the specs...

    Athlon 64 5400+ X2
    2X 1GB DDR2 RAM
    BFG 7950 512MB Card
    Asus M2N-E Mobo
    420W PSU

    Ok, on powering up for the first time, everything lit up the BIOS loaded and then it tried to load XP off my HD (the only part I took off my old PC) and obviously failed with BSoD due to different hardware. The HD is quite old, its a Maxtor 120GB IDE drive.

    I inserted my genuine XP CD, after the PCstopped turning off randomly a few times the CD began to load, it was setting up installation but then froze. I tried again and the same, at a different part. This is the setup blue screen before the partition sequence comes up.

    I thought it must be a RAM issue, so took one out, swapped them, tried different ports, still the same. I tried another (equally old XP CD) with the same problem. I installed XP successfully on my old PC yesterday using the first CD just to check.

    I have had no luck. It still freezes at random parts of the initial setup sequence. Stops loading, the DVD drive eventually stops spinning, and then the PC restarts.

    I have not made any adjustments to the BIOS.

    The HD is 4 years old, but is now setup on my old PC and works fine (i have been swapping it back and forth to test new ideas)

    Both the XP CD's tried are SP1 and are 5 years old.

    If you need anymore info on my setup, I will be happy yo tell you, but I am stumped, I certainly do not want to have to take it in to a repair shop.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. gavinseabrook

    gavinseabrook TS Rookie Posts: 320

    You know what, A lot of people here use the non existing word Firstly lol.

    Anyjehews, It sounds like your memory is Non-ECC, so your going to have to setup your own memory timings in the bios. Same goes for your processor information. Check with Manufacturer website for and timings(Latency) or BIOS settings.
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    read the installing ram guide and the no post guides in the guides forum
  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +421

    I don't know if this is the problem but did you set the jumpers of the hard drive and any other device appropriately?
  5. j.mozdiak@btint

    j.mozdiak@btint TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK, I have no idea of the timings obviously, I bought Ebuyer RAM, they dont have a website for the timings so I have no idea how to get this information. THe processor info is already in the BIOS, I cant find any info that I can edit.

    To add to the problems above, sometimes when I go into the BIOS, it freezes and I have to restart. Also, I turn on the PC, and sometimes I just get a black screen and it turns off.

    I am getting very frustrated as I spent nearly £600 on all of this and I am stuck on my old PC. Thanks for the help so far but im still nowhere near getting XP installed.

    Im sorry but I have no idea how to do this either...
  6. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +421

    It might be a bad power supply. If you used the one that came with the case, they are usually of poor quality and I would consider at least trying another one.

    Even if the jumpers aren't the problem, you need to be sure they are set correctly just the same. When two devices, hard drives and/or optical drives, are on the same cable, one must be set as master and the other as slave. Usually the one on end of the cable is the master while the middle device is the slave. Look at the back of the drive (hard drives and optical drives) and find a plastic (it could be blue, black, green or some other color) jumper that pulls off and slides on. Click here for some illustrations to help you.

    There is a third setting, Cable Select, that you can also use but both devices must be set to cable select as long as your system supports it. However, for now just use master and slave.
  7. swker98

    swker98 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,077

    i agree on the powersupply 420 watts for that pc is a bit low especially if its the one that came with the case
  8. honvetops

    honvetops TS Rookie

  9. j.mozdiak@btint

    j.mozdiak@btint TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah, I asked a mate of mine and he said that 420w was way too low for the components I have.

    I have ordered a 600w PSU to arrive Tuesday (along with a SATA HD). I will let you know how I get on.

    Thanks for the help!
  10. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    I would suggest that u get the drivers for SATA HD then as u will need them.
  11. j.mozdiak@btint

    j.mozdiak@btint TS Rookie Topic Starter


    The 580w PSU and SATA HD arrived today and I immediately hooked them up. The XP setup started going through and was about to reach the partition section (the furthest its ever got) but then disaster, it went back to its old ways and froze, then powered off.

    Id had enough and phoned my local PC repair shop and described my predicament. He explained that its either dodgy cheap RAM or a fault with the Mobo. We were about to agree that I was to bring it in tomorrow when he said 'have you plugged the power cable into the GFX card?' I gulped, no I hadnt! He assured me this was the problem and stated he had seen it before.

    After I got off the phone, deep in embarassment, I plugged the PCI-E power cable into the card and tried again... but the same problems occured. Back to square one.

    I got back on the phone to him and explained it had failed. He said it was definately the RAM or the Mobo, and that an outside chance it could be the processor.

    He will try an different Mobo and RAM tomorrow. So we shall see what the problem is, he said that running the PC without the PCI-E power cable in may have caused the Mobo to become faulty, as it was looking for power elsewhere, we shall see if he's right.

    Just for the record, the symptoms are still...

    Freezing at random points during the XP inital installation.
    Sometimes the PC powers up, with just a black screen, then turns off.
    When in the BIOS, the PC freezes with the display still on screen, but becomes unresponsive.
    After the PC turns itself off, you have to turn the PSU switch off and on for the PC to do anything other than black screen and turn off again.
  12. gavinseabrook

    gavinseabrook TS Rookie Posts: 320

    I was assuming the memory was the problem to begin with. Also, this is the reason I like the ATI cards, where if you dont have the power plugged in for the card/port, the computer wont turn on. Give you a loud annoying constant beep. I doubt the the mobo will be injured, but I could be wrong. Hope it is just the ram
  13. j.mozdiak@btint

    j.mozdiak@btint TS Rookie Topic Starter

    All fixed!!

    So what was the problem?

    RAM? No
    Mobo? No
    PSU? No

    It was the little bit of plastic connected to the bottom of the CPU heatsink that I forgot to remove! The CPU was switching the PC off as soon as it got too hot (which wasnt long) as the plastic was stopping all cool air from getting to it! The repair guy said it was lucky no perminet damage was caused. He said its hard to see the plastic when you put it together because its perfectly moulded to the heatsink. He then showed it to me and it was have melted! He first noticed this from checking the CPU temp in the BIOS then took it apart and saw the problem.

    How ashamed do I feel...

    Well the lessons there for any people building their own PC's, REMOVE THE PLASTIC!
  14. Absinthe Minded

    Absinthe Minded TS Rookie

    Hats off to you, j.mozdiak - I'd have lied and said the RAM was dodgy.

    (Only joking).
  15. gavinseabrook

    gavinseabrook TS Rookie Posts: 320

    ROFL! The big peice of plastic protecting the heat sink coolant gel?! Wow!
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