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Thread: What's the problem here? 4 bad XP installs in a row

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    What's the problem here? 4 bad XP installs in a row

    I appologize for the long post but I'm trying to be as thorough and accurate in the re-telling of events as possible.

    Specs in sig.
    HD's: 2x WD SATA and 1 Seagate 320gb SATA II / 16mb

    Install #1: Put Windows XP Pro (No SPs) cd in drive, booted from cd, inserted Serial ATA driver floppy when needed, made 2 partitions on the 320gb, a 30GB for windows and a 200gb to serve as the "Program Files" folder/drive. Left the remaining space unformated for the time being. Proceeded to install windows on the 30gb partition. Setup constantly couldn't find files on the CD, I had to clean it, re-insert it, windows would proceed for a few seconds, then be unable to find another needed file. After about 5 times, I gave up. The XP CD was badly scratched and I think it had run its course.

    Install #2: Attained a XP Pro SP2 cd. Did not need to use SATA driver floppy. Proceeded to install windows, everything works fine. I install motherboard drivers, nvidia drivers, games, benchmarking apps, etc, etc. All is good. Then I put in my samsung widescreen lcd driver cd and (!?!). My dvd-rw drive dissappears from 'My Computer'. I check hardware manager device list, nothing. No unknown devices either. I go to manually install it and I don't even have the option of installing any optical drives. After rebooting and a few more trouble-shooting steps, I decide it was a freak occurance and re-isntall.

    Install #3: Re-format the 30gb partition and re-install windows with the SP2 cd. Everything is fine. Re-install motherboard and display drivers, reboot, put in the Samsung driver cd, double-click My Computer and NO DVD-RW DRIVE. I *know* this drive works because I just installed windows with it! I turn off the computer. Check IDE cable connection. Everything is plugged in fine, but just to be sure I swap out the IDE cable. Reboot. Still no DVD-RW drive in windows NOR is there even any CD-ROM/DVD-ROM option in the list of hardware to manually install. No unknown devices in the control panel. No sign of the drive at all.

    Later I find this while researching the issue:
    From the MS Support site: "CD-ROM drive or DVD-ROM drive appears to be missing after you install Windows XP or Windows Vista Beta 2"

    support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;320553

    When I get home from work, I turn on the computer and get 'HAL.dll file missing' after POST. I reboot, same thing. I insert the XP SP2 cd and set cdrom as primary boot device, and this time I get NTLDR missing. Sweet.

    Install #4: Again using XP SP2 cd, I go to re-install windows. When I get to the format/partition options I go to delete the 30GB partition. Then, I try to install windows on that same partition and it says Windows will need to setup some files/settings on one of my WD SATA drives to continue installing on the
    30gb partition of my Seagate drive. WHAT!? I quit the installation, unplug my
    2 WD SATA drives, and once again install windows. Now on the format/partition screen there is an 8mb partition before the 30gb partition. I install windows on the 30gb, and when setup is complete and I login to windows this is the outcome: the main windows partition is labeled as D:, the 200gb partition (which still has programs and games installed being carried over through these various installations) is labeled as C:, AND it has the boot.ini, NTLDR, etc. on it.

    When I do Start, Run, diskmgmt.msc, I cannot change the letters of the C: or D: partitions; as they both seem to be recognized as boot/system partitions.
    The 30gb windows D: drive does NOT have boot.ini or the other system files normally found on the windows drive. I also ran chckdsk and another HD diagnosis tool that checked each 'block' of the HD and both came up fine. I ran prime 95 stable overnight as well. Just covering the bases...

    I'm confused and utterly frustrated. I'm currently at work with the computer still running back at the house; I'm afraid to reboot. I've resorted to getting a 'Student Version' of XP SP2 and will try that when I get home. But seriously...wtf? :Angst:

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    • badass's system
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    I know you're convinced this is not the case, but having seen similar before, Its probably your CD drive causing the problems. Just because it sort of worked for the install does not mean its not FUBAR'd.
    There is a slim possibility that the media you burned is a bit poo aswell but i think thats unlikely.
    Either that or its your motherboard, but thats unlikely.
    the 8MB partition you mention is the bit windows reserves for dynmic disks - dont worry about it.
    If I had to bet, I would put my money on a duff CD/DVD drive. Swap it with a known good one (remember to set master/slave correctly) and try again.
    "In a perfect world... spammers would get caught, go to jail, and share a cell with many men who have enlarged their penises, taken Viagra and are looking for a new relationship."

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    I've been using this DVDRW with no problems for over a year. Considering it's never given me problems before, it installed windows and the other driver cds, plays movies fine, etc....

    How could it be the drive here?

  4. #4
    awm
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    Ufourtuneatly hardware can break. Do you have any old CD drives you can test with, either from old computers or borrowed from a friend?

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    I have a spare cdrw drive which I'll definently try... but what about the missing system files, inability to boot into windows at certain times, and strange drive letter assignments?

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    awm
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    I had that sort of problem because of bad SATA drivers. It means you have corrupted files, quite possibly due to a bad CD drive. Just to verify all your drivers are WHQL certified right? Best of luck!

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    Update: Looks to be a bad IDE slot on the Gigabyte DS3. Could not use a linux boot disk on this sysem, swapped out the IDE cable and the problem persisted, used the same cd drive and cd on another system and it worked fine.

    Conclusion: Bad IDE slot? I don't see what else it could be...

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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KJatl
    Update: Looks to be a bad IDE slot on the Gigabyte DS3. Could not use a linux boot disk on this sysem, swapped out the IDE cable and the problem persisted, used the same cd drive and cd on another system and it worked fine.

    Conclusion: Bad IDE slot? I don't see what else it could be...
    possible. happened to an old chaintech board of mine

  9. #9
    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by directhex
    possible. happened to an old chaintech board of mine
    me too on an abit board, and an asus.



    its worth noting i've had a:
    phillips, lg, liteon, pioneer........ optical drive break... I've had a lot break, funny thing is thou, all my 12 speed and below ones still work, i think.
    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

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    awm
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    This is ringing a bell for me too, except it was the cable. For the slot remove the motherboard and look at the solder joints. If one looks loose minimial skill with an iron should put it in tip-top shape [disclaimer: not my fault...]. On the otherhand that problem should be gigabyte's if its under warrenty make them deal with it.

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    I've had dodgy CD drives work fine on some PC's but not others. The way to prove its not the Drive is to use a known good drive on this motherboard and try to install.
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    I've had what I thought was a dodgy install CD before, would get part way thru an install and then just say it couldnt find xyz file on the CD, turned out to be bad RAM.
    Run memtest..

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    Ram is fine, I actually had bad memory before that failed memtest but OCZ sent me out replacement sticks rather quickly and this new set is working just fine. OC's well too. =)

    I tried another cd drive in this systrem (with the gigabyte ds3 mobo) and had the same errors with the linux boot cd. The boot cd worked both times with each cd drive using another system/motherboard.

    I'm pretty much convinced it's the IDE on the ds3.

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    I'm guessing you've swapped IDE cables yeah?

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    it's not by any chance, an nforce 4 motherboard and a seagate barracuda problem is it?

    nforce 4 mobo's and barracuda's have a love/hate affair. I suffered constant issues with a fullXP install going in and then it would'nt boot into Windows. Needed a new firmware for the sata drive.

    It says your specs in the sig, but you don't have one.

    Right.....take out one of the sata drives and sort it another day. Make sure all USB drives are removed (the little card readers built into floppy drives etc) No USB headers. Trust me.....a new install brings new IRQ conflicts. They can ALL go back in once XO is sorted.

    What's the mobo? nfiorce 4 anything at all?
    http://forums.hexus.net/showthread.p...hlight=seagate

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  16. #16
    Flat cap, Whippets, Cave. Clunk's Avatar
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    zak, its a gigabyte ds3 intel board with 965 chipset. i had one of these and it too had ide problems, but mine were partly resolved by a bios update, i say partly resolved because it died a few days later from multiple injuries.

    i notice you have the exact same memory as me that caused no end of problems. it is definately worth borrowing/trying some different ram, even if its only for doing the windows install, if there is no difference, its one more thing that you can definatley rule out.

    good luck

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