Windows 7 installation problem

By sbgsus ยท 9 replies
Jan 21, 2010
  1. Hey there,
    Built my PC in August 2007, with Windows XP. It was upgraded to Windows Vista about a year ago.
    Decided it was finally time to upgrade some components, and to Windows 7.

    The trouble is, during installation, it froze at the 'Starting Windows' screen for ages. I literally left it over night and it wouldn't get any further. I did some googling and found it could be a SATA issue (I have 3 HDDs), so I unplugged 2 drives and ran the installation again with just 1 hard drive.
    This time it gets passed the 'Starting Windows' screen after about 30 minutes, but then hangs at the language installation screen, with me unable to move the cursor at all. There is also constant hdd activity.
    I've tried all sorts of suggestions I've picked up from searching, but to no avail. So I'm coming to you guys.

    Windows 7 32bit Professional OEM
    Core 2 Duo E6600
    1 X Samsung hdd 320gb
    1 X Samsung hdd 500gb
    1 X Samsung hdd 1000gb
    Geforce 250GTS
    Antec 550w psu
    2 gb ram
    Asus dual layer dvdrw drive
    Asus P5N32-SLI plus mobo
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Is this a full install, or an upgrade install? An upgrade to an upgrade would be unwise.

    This sounds like a HDD fault (bad spots etc), or a DVD drive fault or faulty media. You need to find a way to test all three possibilities. Check your hard drive thouroughly. Not only run chkdsk on it (oh, you cannot without an operating system), but you can download and place on CD the HDD manufacturers test software and run that.

    Or just remove the HDD and temporarily put it in a donor PC in place of a CD/DVD drive and test it from there. If you do that, you can chkdsk and/or low level test from within Windows.
  3. patio

    patio TS Guru Posts: 482

    I agree with the HDD testing.
    You can also after determining the HDD is healthy try installing with only 1 stick of RAM.
  4. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    Probability is its an HDD/Media issue; whenever reinstalling an OS its always best to start afresh by atleast re-formating the partition in question.

    Did you assembled/upgraded this system yourself?
  5. First, are you using burnt install media? You may have a bad burn... try switching to pressed media if it's available or re-burning.

    Looking at the system specs that you posted, it doesn't look like you have any peripheral devices; however, in situations like this, reducing as many variables as possible will save you a ton of time. So, if there is anything connected to the computer that isn't vital during install - remove it.

    As others have said, reduce the total internal HDDs to one, and make sure it's good by running tests on it. Usually the HDD manufacturer will have utilities to diagnose their drives, but you can also search for universal boot CDs that include a ton of other diagnostics - www [dot] ultimatebootcd [dot] com

    Remove all sticks of memory except for one, and test it as well. The above link to UBCD has memtest86 included, so you're ready to rock if you downloaded it.

    Before moving on, take some time to run the above tests for extended periods. It's not fun doing burn-ins, but they do help in reassuring you that your components are good.
  6. sbgsus

    sbgsus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Cheers for the replies
    removed all peripherals, tested all the hard drives and they seem fine. I tried it with just the one hard drive and it got passed the starting windows screen and everything seemed normal, until the installation halts again stating that there are CD/DVD drivers required for install are missing.
    I replaced the disc drive and again it didn't work, stops in the same place. It gives you an option to look for the drivers, but I can't find anything. Even in system32/drivers.
    I had planned on a completely clean install, but can't get far enough in the set up to select the option.
    I built and upgraded this system myself. I'm wondering that because all my hard drives AND my disc drive is SATA there could be some sort of conflict? or maybe a setting in the BIOS needs some attention?
    Would it be worth trying to get hold of an IDE dvd drive?

    The disc itself is an OEM Win7 pro, its from Microsoft themselves. Is it common for the odd disc to be a duff one?
  7. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Put in your mainboard's driver CD. They're probably out of date but still might work better.

    Or it could be that SATA controller is set incorrectly in BIOS. Try AHCI setting if it's available.
  8. sbgsus

    sbgsus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    It won't seem to detect the mobo driver disc, for some reason

    I can't find any option to change any AHCI settings.

    Do you think I should try an IDE disc drive?

    I'm at my wits end here and its been almost two weeks now. Any more suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  9. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    Well if you have an IDE/ATA DVD lying around somewhere then you may try it.

    If you can't find AHCI; can you look for "IDE emulation for SATA drives" option? in your system board's bios. It's an weird situation as the drive seem to be reading from media when you boot from it.

    What are the details of your DVD/CD Roms? Make / Models ? Interface (from your earlier post i am deducting that its SATA though, just to make sure)?

    Also I am tilting towards mwpow3ll's earlier suggestion/diagnostic (after reading various other forums) that it is probably something to do with the media you are installing with. So it will be prudent to take it back to Microsoft explain them what is the problem and ask them to replace it.
  10. 1. If the CD / DVD is pressed and straight from MS, it's unlikely to be the media; however, anything is possible. If you can, try downloading the ISO from MS and burning to a DVD at a slow speed.

    2. Do you have any other drives? Based on the earlier information, you have only one optical drive, just want to make sure that's all. If not, remove it. If you do have a spare IDE optical drive, try it. First remove the SATA drive though.

    If none of this works, I would copy the DVD contents to a USB drive, boot off the DVD with USB drive inserted, and attempt install. The idea is that the Windows installer will search all attached drives for the files it needs (USB drive) and continue from there. Keep in mind, the install will become USB and DVD dependent, so do not remove either until the installation is fully complete.

    If the issue still happens, you very likely have a bad pressed / burnt media and should revisit step 1.
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