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Windows 7: Using a surrogate computer for install

05 Sep 2011   #11
gregrocker

 

That's a keyboard driver. Change the keyboard.

You said you troubleshot installation failure but weren't specific as to where you got the help or what you did.

Did you use the prescribed step for Completing Installation hang which is often a driver, by entering Device Manager to uninstall the erroring Device? Device Manager - Access During Windows 7 Installation

If this fails then get the superior Clean Install: Clean Install Windows 7

I use surrogate computers sometimes when I have no more time to troubleshoot install failures, however this is always on a Clean Install. I would not waste my time on an inferior in-place Upgrade except as a temporary substitute.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Sep 2011   #12
red454

7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
That's a keyboard driver. Change the keyboard.

You said you troubleshot installation failure but weren't specific as to where you got the help or what you did.

Did you use the prescribed step for Completing Installation hang which is often a driver, by entering Device Manager to uninstall the erroring Device? Device Manager - Access During Windows 7 Installation

If this fails then get the superior Clean Install: Clean Install Windows 7

I use surrogate computers sometimes when I have no more time to troubleshoot install failures, however this is always on a Clean Install. I would not waste my time on an inferior in-place Upgrade except as a temporary substitute.
-----------------------------
To answer your questions:

(Let me preface this with another format and successful install on the 670, then a sysprep. Transferred HD back to 9150)

It starts to boot "Starting Windows", and I get a screen "Setup is preparing your computer for first use" and hangs after about 15 seconds. One time it got to a "Checking video" screen, but still hung.

Not that this matters, but at this point each time it hangs, the hard drive stops crunching and there is a faint, rhythmic ticking.

I changed the keyboard as you suggest - actually to the Dell keyboard that came with it originally. No change.

Troubleshooting was primarily done with info from this forum.

I accessed the Device Manager a couple times (earlier) and there were roughly a dozen devices that were yellow, which I disabled. Except the Ethernet one, that one would cause it to hang, so I disabled all but that one. No change.

Now when I go to safe mode and then shift F10 for command prompt, safe mode loads all the drivers, then immediately goes to the screen "Setup is preparing your computer for first use" - I can still hit shift F10 and get a command prompt window, but can never finish typing a command before it hangs.

I have formatted and installed close to 20 times so far.

I even tried to put XP back on it, with both the original factory Dell disk, and another copy I have, and both go to blue screen mid way on the install.

Additional info - I get blue screen mem parity errors once or twice a day. Moving / changing mem sticks to different slots has no effect.

And it takes 5 to 10 tries to hard boot to get a full boot up. This is a problem that has been around for several months. It hangs when the diagnostic lights on the front panel are on 2 and 4, which indicates a video card problem. Tried a new card a while back - no change - same problem.

I am beginning to wonder if something on the motherboard is failing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2011   #13
gregrocker

 

The HD needs testing with all that clicking. Use maker's diag/repair extended CD scan. Then zero it to try install: HD Diagnostic

Boot the installer to try Custom Install, using Drive Options to create and format partitions. If install fails, create one big partition and run Disk Check from Command Line accessed by pressing Shift + F10 at first DVD screen after boot, or in DVD System Recovery Options.

Make sure you've disconnected all other drives and peripherals, reset the BIOS: Clear CMOS - 3 Ways to Clear the CMOS - Reset BIOS.
While in BIOS setup, set SATA controller to AHCI to try install first. then IDE mode if neccesary.

Test your RAM for 5-6 passes or overnight with memtest86 RAM - Test with Memtest86+. Double check that your RAM sticks are matched and spec'd correctly. Try any with better specs to be sure.

Stress test your mobo with this: CPU - Stress Test with Prime95 - Windows 7 Forum
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Sep 2011   #14
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Your post is indicating Bad HD Drive, cables, Sata or IDE Controller, or bad lines on the MOBO.

Press F12 at boot & run the Dell diagnostic tools.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2011   #15
red454

7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

I have run the Dell diagnostics on the mem and HD - both passed. (In fact, the rest of the diagnostic tests pass too) And I reset the BIOS to the factory settings. Tried the AHCI variation too.

I have a dozen or so extra mem sticks, but of course none fit the 9150.

And I can get Win 7 to install and run fine on this HD when I put it in the 670, although I will run the other tests you suggest.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2011   #16
red454

7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

I got a copy of the Paragon Adaptive Restore and after a few tries, I was able to get 7 to boot up and work.

It is still sensitive to any driver updates (freeze ups), and I have had to use the Paragon Adaptive Restore a few times to reset things and start fresh, but each time I get a little farther and the freeze ups are declining.

Thanks to everyone for your help and to "theog" for the Paragon suggestion. That software seems to be what got me over the hump.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Sep 2011   #17
red454

7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Well, 24 hours and still running. Multiple updates installed fine. Made sure to create a few restore points and then created a disk image.

It does still have a splash screen "Windows is setting your computer up for the first time" each time it boots up, but as long as it boots the rest of the way and loads the desktop, I will leave it alone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2011   #18
gregrocker

 

There is a registry edit for getting rid of the " Setup is preparing computer for first use" loop which is known error with Paragon Adaptive Restore here: David's Blog: Windows 7 - Preparing your computer for first use
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2011   #19
red454

7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Ok - thanks. It just updated to SP1 along with many other updates.

Still running well, although the (onboard) sound device is not functional (no sound) and the diagnostic error says that a sound device is not installed, so I have no sound.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2011   #20
gregrocker

 

Go to Device Manager and update the Sound driver. Try going online to find it first, then if necessary import it from the Support Downloads webpage for the computer or device model.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Using a surrogate computer for install




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