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Windows 7: Just cannot do a clean re-install

17 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
Just cannot do a clean re-install


I am trying to install windows 7 Professional 64 on a new system. The install freezes at a certain point.

Windows expands and installs the files and then it boots for the first time saying it needs to continue the installation. When it boots from the hard disk the first time (step 2), it keeps installing and freezes.

The green line on the bottom of the monitor does not go forward anymore, BUT there are three dots after the text "Completing installation…" , those 3 dots keep updating as if the machine was still doing something in the background. I let the machine run through the night, it is really frozen and not doing something painfully slow.

When I first assembled the machine, I installed windows without any problems. I left my other two hard drives out, and installed only on the SSD. I did all the windows updates in the internet.

Then I installed the two hard drives and all hell broke loose. Windows would freeze just after the desktop was loaded. (But when I loaded windows in safe mode, the hard drives where working)

I took out the 2 additional had drives, windows would still freeze.

I thought I should re-install windows.

I tried several times until I found the article:

Windows 7 - SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

and the I tried some more.

Even after using this procedure, Windows still does not ask me for a key when reinstalling, I would assume more things have to be erased before doing a truly clean re-install.

Please let me know if you can help. Many thanks

System details:

Windows 7 Professional x64 OEM

Intel S5520SCR

2 Processors:
Intel Xeon X5650

Thermal Solution:
Intel BXSTS100A
Active Thermal Solution w/ Fixed Fan.

Graphics Card:
Nvidia Quadro FX1800 PCIE16 768Mb GDDR3 (PNY)

Kingston 12GB
PC3-10600 DDR3-1333MHz ECC Registered w/ Parity CL9 240-Pin DIMM Single Rank, x4 Memory (Kit of 3) w/ Thermal Sensor (Intel Validated)

Internal Disk:
160Gb Intel X25-M Mainstream Sata Solid-State Drive

additional storage:
1TB Baracuda 7200 12 Sata 7200 RPM 32Mb 3.5in

Intel SC5650WS

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2010   #2
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello ericwa, welcome to Seven Forums!

Try again with a single stick of RAM installed and only the SSD connected for the install, do the "clean all" again and use the info for creating and aligning the partition on the SSD for the install; be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

How to Do a Clean Installation with Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2010   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

Hi there Bare Foot Kid!

Many thanks for your reply. It is still getting stuck in the same place.

I removed all the ram but 1 stick per processor. Did the clean all.

Windows installation goes as far as 2/3 of the way for step 2 Installing Windows, after it boots from the hard disk (SSD).

At the point it gets stuck, the "Completing installation…" three dots keep updating, the mouse is still responding. BUT the green progress bar just does not go forward anymore. No matter how long I wait, there is no progress anymore.

I would really appreciate any further suggestions. I have another PC if I need to do any other procedure on the side with the SSD I can try it.

Many thanks again!

Best, Eric
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Oct 2010   #4
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

One idea, if the Windows 7 install disk is one you burned yourself it may be a bad burn and needs to be done again, if so this would be the first thing to try.

Use the free ISO burner at the link below to burn another at a speed of now more than 4x and select to let the program to verify the disk before it finishes.

ImgBurn Free ISO Burner
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP


Test your RAM first with all sticks plugged in using memtest86 CD for 5-6 passes. Remove all but 2gb of RAM to try install.

Check for latest BIOS update. If current, reset the CMOS: Clear CMOS - 3 Ways to Clear the CMOS - Reset BIOS Set SATA controller in BIOS to AHCI.

Check alignment on SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2010   #6
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

The command/diskpart snip in Step Two of the SSD / HDD tutorial shows how to set the partition alignment before you start the install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2010   #7

W7 Ulti/64, XP Pro/32

Your SSD might want a secure erase done on it before install? You intimated that there was a previous install on it.
ie: return to factory nand state
I use OCZ, so apps are different, OCZ's use SE, Sanitary Erase.
It should be plugged to the first SATA PORT. Unplug all other drives but CD rom, which should be in the last SATA PORT.
The W7 disk should align the SSD properly.??????
You might try IDE mode instead of ACHI.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2010   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64

Hi guys, it's alive!!!!!

So, with the memory out, just as a precaution, I took out the battery from the CMOS and then restarted the machine.

Then I went into the BIOS to check if it was really reset or/and to do a reset as command inside the settings, go back to factory settings.

Then I found out that the older hard drives were still listed in the Boot order (after the CD drive and the SSD, but still listed).

Previously I had removed the battery of the CMOS, but even if it did erase the settings, I did try to put the two hard drives back in my multiple install and clean all SSD.

So now I removed everything that was not CD and SSD.

Did a clean all again, formatted in windows installation screens and installed windows successfully.

I assume the memory is in good shape, because the machine was running before.

During my attempts to install windows, I did realize that one of the drives, barracuda .12 had something different in the displayed drives by windows just before the installation starts.

This drive was a being displayed as a primary partition with a windows exclusive are also assigned.

This is a new drive that I put in my previous system to do the transferring of legacy files.

So now it has data. I wonder if I need to remove the data and format it. Or if there is a way to just jump the drive before I can format the drive.

1TB Baracuda 7200 12 Sata 7200 RPM 32Mb 3.5in

This hard drive did give me a hard time when installing it in the other system running vista ultimate 32.

Many many thanks for the help you guys. You have no idea how much I tried.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP


Plug in the Seagate drive and post back a screenshot of full WIn7 Disk Mgmt drive map and listings, using Snipping Tool in Start Menu. We may be able to spot the problem.

It's always best to unplug all other HD's and peripherals when installing Win7. That and/or the CMOS reset did the trick.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2010   #10
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello again ericwa.

Good to see you got it running and thanks for the update.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Just cannot do a clean re-install

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