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Windows won't boot or install, but Linux will

By The_Walrus ยท 9 replies
Feb 7, 2007
  1. I had a very unstable version of XP Pro, but decied to go to a more stable version. After trying to re-install, it froze. and it froze again. I tried like 4-5 different XP discs, rangeing from SP1-2, and Home and Pro. All of them get most of the way through then just freeze. So I tried installing it by hooking my hard drive to another computer and it installed fine, but when I hooked back to my computer it wouldn't boot, it jsut gives a black screen with a blinking dos line and I can't type anything.
    I finally gave up on windows, and tried linux. No problems, excpet the fact that I like playing games and linux is a lot harder to play games in so I want windows. Any ideas on what to do? This has plaged me for 3 days now, and being a Computer engineer major, this really distrubs me and annoys me. Thanks in advance.
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    You could try pulling out everything that isn't essential to booting/installing. Drop down to 1 stick of RAM, remove all cards except your video card, disconnect any extra hard drives or cd drives, and see if it can install on that. If so then as you likely would guess, add components back 1 at a time.
  3. The_Walrus

    The_Walrus TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I tried that too. No luck. It is the wierdes thing i have ever seen. My computer usually never pwns me like this.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    you apparently lost the vendor specific drivers when you started reloading
    version of XP. The Linux install came with its own and it runs.

    try to get the drivers off the OEM cd, or downloading them from the vendor.
  5. The_Walrus

    The_Walrus TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I tried a different cd drive and it went further, but stops at usrtea.dll

    and could someone explain a little further on the subject of jobeard?
  6. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    That sounds a lot like my adventures with Windows & Linux. I fought a couple of days trying to install XP x64 and get it running stable with the latest updates, but in the end I ended up installing openSuSE 10.2.

    My experiments showed that Windows problems had something to do with partitions on my four hard disk drives - when I physically removed all but the one I wanted to install Windows (and partitioned with Windows setup), it worked. But when I plugged in the other drives, all kinds of problems from BSODs to booting errors to registry corruption started to occur.

    Fortunately I can play most of the games I want in Linux :)
  7. The_Walrus

    The_Walrus TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I fixed it by just going with linux, openSUSE infact. Hopefully I can get oblivion and battlefield 2 to run, if those run i'll be fine. Thanks for the ideas.
  8. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    The first thing I'd try is resetting your BIOS to the defaults. Disable any BIOS shadowing options and disable AHCI if you have an Intel controller and a SATA hard drive.

    Next, I'd try removing all unnecessary devices. Install Windows on your system with JUST board, memory, video, CPU, one optical and one hard drive.

    If that doesn't work, I'd consider doing a memory test: www.memtest.org

    How about some more details of the system? What platform is it? Are you using SATA? Are you using RAID? What's your video card? Any interesting details about your setup?

    Going with Linux is great, but when Windows can't install on a system, it is often to some sort of misconfiguration or hardware failure.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    Or missing oem drivers. Installing Linux and ability to boot it implies hardware is ok; well maybe a sound card issue or strange NIC that couldn't be config'd got ignored :) Certainly memory, HD are just fine.
  10. foozy

    foozy TS Rookie Posts: 139

    I think what Rick means is not necessarily that the hardware is faulty but rather that there is some sort of incompatibility with windows, such as the problem that Mictlan had. If you troubleshoot the hardware you can find out which part of it Windows has a problem with, and then you can fix it using a software solution. That's just how I read it, anyway. I'm gonna bet its a silly little BIOS problem, but, is it a fresh install? It might be overlapping software causing the problem. Since Linux is an entirely different OS it wouldn't have conflictions.
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