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Windows 7: Windows fails to start after clean install


04 Jan 2010   #1

none
 
 
Windows fails to start after clean install

A rather peculiar problem I have encountered.

I consider myself a very experienced user, many years of computer building and OS installing.

This one has me stumped.

I have an older PC, a GA07N400S-L mobo with 512mb memory, Sempron2600 processor. All basic hardware is currently disabled, only the AGP and SATA ports are enabled. Through much surfing, I have found that the hardware I have should work based on the successes of others with similar configurations.

The issue:

Installed Windows 7 32bit on a fresh install. Everything during this process is normal, virtually identical to a vista install AND an install of Windows 7 on my "newer" box. In that particular case, SATA RAID was used for the primary drives. I encountered no issues whatsoever.

On this gigabyte machine, as I said, everything appeared normal. I observed screen blanking and then refreshing to show me a higher resolution and colour count...tells me the driver for the video worked....so far, install at this point is as expected. I also am presented at near the end of the install process to provide a login name, computer name and the next screen, the password. Done and done and done. The computer appears at this point to be ready to fully go to the OS and then gives a "shutting down" message, afterwhich, the pc will then reboot.

And then reboot and reboot and reboot and rebooot...you get the idea...

Pressing F8 at the appropriate time does NOT give me safe mode. Pressing it like a tap dancer does not give me safe mode. The computer simply blanks out and I am presented with the POST for another round.

I have tried startup recovery from the DVD, but the startup diagnostics yields no problems, even stating that windows started fine. Not from my perspective it did. System restore is equally useless as there is no restore point created yet.

I have tried using standard hard drive as well.

Vista installed without any issues, virtually identical. Yet Windows 7 fails at boot time.

Is there any diagnostics tools available to help me determine just what the issue is?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

04 Jan 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

Did you remove the DVD from the tray?

What "basic hardware is disabled?"

512 mb is barely enough memory.

What is the SATA controller set to in BIOS?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2010   #3

none
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Did you remove the DVD from the tray?

What "basic hardware is disabled?"

512 mb is barely enough memory.

What is the SATA controller set to in BIOS?
Basic hardware I never use, such as the floppy drive, serial ports, parallel port are disabled.

SATA was disabled in a couple test installs to a PATA drive I had.

I agree, 512mb isn't recommended, but from many other places I had read around the net, other people have had success installing Windows 7 with 512mb. Even Vista is recommended by MS at 1Gb minimum, yet that worked in this hardware.

Currently I am attempting to install again as we speak, I swapped out a Radeon 2600 for an older gf5200. I am doubting that is the issue, since it doesn't appear the OS has a chance to even load anything....quite literally the reboot happens right at the point pressing F8 would be done.

As right now, I observed one reboot during install, it finalized a couple things, and is doing a second reboot. This thus far this is normal to what I see. I should be presented with "setup is preparing for first time use" and now video performance check. Again, all typical of an install. Now I enter the user name and computer name. And next screen, the password. I then select "ask later" for updates. Then set region time zone. And "windows is finalizing your settings" is presented at this stage.


I then get a "welcome" screen, and then "shutting down" and then....reboot, reboot et al. Nope, not the video card either.

Now to disable the optical drives.....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


04 Jan 2010   #4

none
 
 

Minor update...

Thus far, Vista seems stable and I have enabled all the hardware options I plan on using, and updated all the drivers. The video card Radeon HD 2600 Pro is supported up to Windows 7, so that definitely was not the issue.

After checking things over and doing a reboot to finalize the newer drivers, I downloaded the upgrade check tool. It advised me to get the service packs before I upgrade to Windows 7, which is what I am doing at this time. However, the initial indications are that I should not be having any problems, the tool recommended I upgrade the memory for performance reasons. Thus far the tool says everything is a pass.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

Are you booting from the DVD to Custom install? Try that.

If so, then have you tried running the installer from Vista to overwrite or to a second partition you shrink space for.?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2010   #6

none
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Are you booting from the DVD to Custom install? Try that.

If so, then have you tried running the installer from Vista to overwrite or to a second partition you shrink space for.?
Yes, I have been booting directly from the DVD.

In all instances, I have used empty hard disks....cleared the old partition and created a new one. Windows 7 creates a 100mb partition of its own when I create the new one and go forth from there.

I can try doing the upgrade in Vista directly, though truth be told, I prefer to do clean install to avoid any potential mess from the older OS. But since it is late and I gotta work in a few hours, I'm crashing. If anyone has any other suggestions, let me know. I'll be reviewing the logs on one Windows 7 install through vista later, though I doubt this will provide me any useable clues....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2010   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

If you try running the installer from Vista to see if it will complete install, it will auto-format the HD before installing. However it will configure a dual boot. The only way to avoid this is to unplug the Vista drive during install and boot from DVD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2010   #8

none
 
 

minor update

Ok, did some minor hardware changes. One was to get rid of an older tower that housed this rig and use anther tower I had that was in better shape.

Took another hard drive from the previous system and am currently using that one. I had several seagate 160G drives, the previous drive was a 7200.7 version, where this one is 7200.9.

I also obtained another 512mb stick of ram to shove in, giving me 1GB. Like before, most legacy hardware has been disabled, just leaving USB, sound and hard disk channels open. Bios settings set to low speed everywhere.

Machine did not boot into windows after yet another full install, in spite of ensuring my minimum specs were met. A discussion today with another IT guru, this had him scratching his head. He has a similar PC like this one, though his processor is a bit faster and slightly different hard drives, mine are larger and newer, Why vista and not Windows 7?

Am trying yet one more fresh install. The only difference this run through, is that I allowed the Vista installer to delete and create the partitions. Unlike Windows 7, vista did not force a system partion of 100mb. I'm taking this as the anomaly to the other times I installed Windows 7 without issue. Hopefully, the install will go through as expected.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

If necessary, install Vista and attempt to run Windows 7 installer from Vista.

Select Custom install and it will overwrite Vista. This is not an in-place Upgrade.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jan 2010   #10

none
 
 

Odd, odd odd!!!!

And several variants of my favourite expletives to go with that.

Windows 7 finally is installed and operating. Seems that the 100G partition it was creating was the issue. Don't know why that would prevent this box to boot, since the other PC I gave to the parents had Windows 7 installed in a very similar partition arrangement. Granted, different mobo and so forth, but still...this was indeed a strange thing.

Thanks for your assistance. Hopefully this issue solution will help someone else.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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