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Windows 7: Win7 32 bit won't get past "Starting Windows"

07 Sep 2010   #1
cooltouch

Win7 Ulitmate x64, XP x86 (Dual Boot)
 
 
Win7 32 bit won't get past "Starting Windows"

The title pretty much says it all with respect to what's happening right now. When I first started trying to install Win 7, I got a blue screen telling me to disable caching of memory in a few different devices, so I went into CMOS setup and disabled anything I could find related to memory cache. Well, this did away with the blue screen, but then I got another screen offering to check the system memory, which I did. Afterward, it came up to the Starting Windows screen, where the four blobs swirl around and then form the Windows logo -- and from that point nothing more occurred. Rebooted and this time there was no screen offering to check memory again. It just went straight to the logo and stopped. Most recently, I went back and re-enabled all the cache settings that I'd disabled. No more blue screen, but the machine continues to stop at the same point.

Now a bit about the machine. It gets kinda complicated and I'll try to be clear. During the open test period last year, I installed the x86 7100 build on the machine and everything went fine, except for finding drivers for a couple of old peripherals (a SCSI controller and an old sound card). My entire reason for installing it was to see if Win 7 lived up to MS's claims that it would run well on older hardware. That motherboard and processor was 2001 vintage and was running 768mb of RAM. It was perfectly adequate for years as an XP platform, and I wanted to see how it handled Win 7. As it turned out, it did fine.

During the interim between then and now, my daughter upgraded her machine and her more recent mobo and processor became available -- 2005 vintage. So, I decided to swap out the mobos and processors, but left the hard drives in place. Now, I know from past experiences that Windows becomes very sensitive to the hardware it's installed on and I knew this would be a problem for Win 7, so rather than even trying to deal with that mess, I just formatted the C drive and set it to "bootable." I used the Linux utility Parted Magic to do the formatting and to set the boot flag. The C drive is 30 gigs, so it's big enough for x86 Win 7 and then some.

For reference, the old mobo is an MSI model K7T Turbo and the newer one is an MSI K7N2 Delta. Both mobos are running AMD processors. I like MSI. I've had very good experiences with their products and will use them again provided that they have maintained the same reliability that they have shown in the past.

So, to my way of looking at things, I have a fresh system to install Win 7 on (empty C drive and all), and I've got my XP disk handy to verify that I qualify for the Win 7 upgrade. But it doesn't appear that I can even get to the point where it starts setting things up for Win 7. First time I've run into this. I'm not a Windows techno-weenie by any means, but this is my fourth time installing Win 7 (one 64-bit and three 32-bit), so I've been through this before, but I've never been stopped out this early before.

Any ideas what I should be looking for that might be causing this?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Sep 2010   #2
gregrocker

 

Wipe your HD of incompatible old-school Parted Magic formatting following this tutorial: SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

The Win7 partition manager which works best when installer or Disk Mgmt can't is free Partition Wizard bootable CD.

Either format using installer if you want 100mb SysReserved boot partition (which places Repair console on F8 Advanced boot tools menu) or use DISKPART formatting steps in tutorial's second phase.

Clear your CMOS: Clear CMOS - 3 Ways to Clear the CMOS - Reset BIOS

Set the SATA controller setting to AHCI to start, then IDE if necessary.

Test your RAM with memtest86 for 5-6 passes, then HD maker's full diag/repair CD scan: Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2010   #3
cooltouch

Win7 Ulitmate x64, XP x86 (Dual Boot)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Wipe your HD of incompatible old-school Parted Magic formatting following this tutorial: SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

The Win7 partition manager which works best when installer or Disk Mgmt can't is free Partition Wizard bootable CD.

Either format using installer if you want 100mb SysReserved boot partition (which places Repair console on F8 Advanced boot tools menu) or use DISKPART formatting steps in tutorial's second phase.
Thanks for the response, Greg. Well, I d/l'd Partition Wizard and used it to re-format drive C (to NTFS, same as I did with Parted Magic). I tried first to use a system repair disk. I burned one on another 32-bit Win 7 machine. It wouldn't even load. I got a blank black screen after it said it was loading files. Looks to me like it stopped right before loading the Microsoft swirling blobs logo. So I used PW to format C.

Did this first thing, following your advice. Had to go back in and change one cache setting to 'disable' so I wouldn't get a blue screen and had to rearrange the boot disk sequence so I could boot from CD.

Quote:
Set the SATA controller setting to AHCI to start, then IDE if necessary.
N/A on this machine. No SATA controllers or SATA drives. Old stuff only -- like UDMA 66.

Quote:
Test your RAM with memtest86 for 5-6 passes, then HD maker's full diag/repair CD scan: Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.
Did the RAM test and it tested fine. I haven't done the hd diagnostics yet -- had a problem finding a way to make a bootable disk, but I'll keep looking. Besides, this disk was working just fine with the RC v7100 Win 7 as recently as a week ago (I booted up the computer for the first time in months just to check it before swapping out the mobos), so I doubt seriously there's an integrity problem with it.

This is a real puzzler. When I first tried to install Win 7 RC on this machine, back with the old mobo, I had a problem with the install also -- it kept erroring out and gave a variety of reasons for doing so. Running memtest86 finally revealed that I had a bad RAM stick. Once I got rid of it, things went great. But memtest86 has shown that the RAM I've got now (which is different from the earlier one) is good.

So far, the only things I've been able to boot on this machine are Linux-related utilities plus memtest86, which looks like regular old DOS. So, this got me to wondering, and I decided to see if I could install Win XP on this machine, which it used to run. Welp, just finished it -- Win XP installs normally. So after installing XP, I tried the Win 7 disk again, thinking maybe if it saw an XP installation, this would free it up. No joy. Still sticks at the same spot -- after stating that it's loading files, the Starting Windows message appears, then the swirling blobs make the logo, and then it just stops.

I've run out of ideas.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Sep 2010   #4
gregrocker

 

Where did you get Win7? Check HASH against official HASH. Burn another DVD using ImgBurn at 4x speed - it never fails.

Try running Win7 installer from XP to overwrite it.

Swap RAM sticks to reseat them.

Did you "wipe" partition or only format it? You need to use the "Wipe" choice from PW Disk tab to apply at least one set of zeroes to overwrite any possible conflicting or infected code.

Try installing WIn7 in the other machine, then swap HD into problem machine. It will frequently start up while swapping out all drivers, requesting several restarts. If not, try booting into safe mode to install chipset and video, sound drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2010   #5
neo101

WIN7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Check my specs!
I can even run the huge game 'Crysis' on medium settings fine on Win7 Ultimate!

Motherboard sitting around multiple months - have you tried swapping out the cmos battery in case it's beyond recharging.

Make sure system bios is on correct date
Flip the bios back to default state and see if will load Win7

Why dont you try loading with the ram in your pc? As far as I know Win7/Vista are limited to 2gb ram - pull any extra ram off m/board! Another thing is ram Voltage.

Many bioses do not load correct ram voltage (if ram uses higher than spec like Corsair 'high speed' stuff) other than the default!
So set up all ram timing/voltage manually.
Sometimes it takes a tweak of one voltage .1v notch up(say 2.5v to 2.6v) for dual ram setups to work correctly due to poor motherboard regulators.

The minimum graphic card spec is an nvidia 6200 with 256mb memory / Ati 9500 series (as far as I remember)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2010   #6
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by neo101 View Post
Check my specs!
I can even run the huge game 'Crysis' on medium settings fine on Win7 Ultimate!

Motherboard sitting around multiple months - have you tried swapping out the cmos battery in case it's beyond recharging.

Make sure system bios is on correct date
Flip the bios back to default state and see if will load Win7

As far as I know Win7/Vista are limited to 2gb ram - pull any extra ram off m/board!

The minimum graphic card spec is an nvidia 6200 with 256mb memory / Ati 9500 series (as far as I remember)


I have 8GB of RAM and have done so many installs of Vista and Windows 7 with all 8GB "on-board" that I could never begin to count them with never a RAM issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2010   #7
gregrocker

 

It's only on certain mobos that Win7 installer doesn't want too much memory for install.

Haven't heard any reasons why - has anyone else?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2010   #8
neo101

WIN7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by neo101 View Post
Check my specs!
I can even run the huge game 'Crysis' on medium settings fine on Win7 Ultimate!

Motherboard sitting around multiple months - have you tried swapping out the cmos battery in case it's beyond recharging.

Make sure system bios is on correct date
Flip the bios back to default state and see if will load Win7

As far as I know Win7/Vista are limited to 2gb ram - pull any extra ram off m/board!

The minimum graphic card spec is an nvidia 6200 with 256mb memory / Ati 9500 series (as far as I remember)


I have 8GB of RAM and have done so many installs of Vista and Windows 7 with all 8GB "on-board" that I could never begin to count them with never a RAM issue.
OP says he's using MSi k7N2 Delta
"The new MSI K7N2 Delta series use the turbo charged nForce2 Ultra 400 Systems Platform Processor (SPP) that now support FSB400 Athlon XP CPU"

This is an 'Antique' Socket A/462 thread - isn't it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2010   #9
Keiichi25

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
It's only on certain mobos that Win7 installer doesn't want too much memory for install.

Haven't heard any reasons why - has anyone else?
First blush guess would be certain hardware not set to specs or expecting a specific driver that MS does not have. I would also look at correlation with AMD based boards as they tend to have different implementations than Intel on some things that I wouldn't put it past certain things don't get handled right even with the base line drivers that will require a little 'tweaking' in order to work properly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2010   #10
neo101

WIN7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Keiichi25 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
It's only on certain mobos that Win7 installer doesn't want too much memory for install.

Haven't heard any reasons why - has anyone else?
First blush guess would be certain hardware not set to specs or expecting a specific driver that MS does not have. I would also look at correlation with AMD based boards as they tend to have different implementations than Intel on some things that I wouldn't put it past certain things don't get handled right even with the base line drivers that will require a little 'tweaking' in order to work properly.
Quite right, from my brief hack around with Suse 10.1 linux years ago, you have to set the bios up with a certain menu setting, which won't let the PC work when trying to access a Windows format drive!

MSi are pretty good with beta-bios updates but you need to contact them - as they don't advertise them.
I got hold of one which allows 1TB+ drives to be used.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Win7 32 bit won't get past "Starting Windows"




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