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Windows 7: W7 Will Not Install, Even On New Hard Drive

18 Oct 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
W7 Will Not Install, Even On New Hard Drive

Mother: "Hey, my computer stopped working the other day, could you fix it?
Me: "Of course."

It is a base HP Pavillion a4302f.

Original problem was "BOOTMGR Missing".

Easy enough, was able to fix that through an installation disc using Startup Repair. The PC then rebooted into the same screen. So I tried Startup Repair again, but now it doesn't see any Windows installations. I even tried to reinstall Windows to see if it would see the drive, and it does not see any drive to install to.

Then something along the lines of, "DISK BOOT ERROR, Please insert bootable disk and try again." decided to pop up during one of my reboots. I checked BIOS. BIOS doesn't see the hard drive anymore.

After resetting BIOS to defaults, and doing the SAVE and EXIT, the computer restarted and it hung on the HP screen before BIOS. The screen that shows ESC to Boot Menu, F10 to Setup, etc.

Somehow along the way I did a power cycle of unplugging the cord and holding the power button for 60 seconds. After doing that I was able to get back to a functional BIOS or Boot Menu etc., where before it was as if it didn't recognize me hitting the keys.

After checking connections and reconnecting the hard drive, the computer was seeing the hard drive again. So I began Bootamania.

Side note: whenever the computer restarts itself via a Disc or through Exiting BIOS, it returns to the frozen HP screen. So whenever I need to try something again I HAVE to unplug power cord for 30+ seconds to move forward.

At this point I began trying XP, Vista, W7, Ubuntu, all on DVDs, and a couple even on USB. They all hang at numerous locations. I would give error codes, but the codes were different at different times, and I googled them, and they are mostly generic.

W7 usually stalls at Expanding Files 0%, if it even allows me to install to the disk. Usually it says this disk can't be used, or the 'Next' option is gone, or I try to Delete, Format, or Partition and it fails to do so and the Drive disappears. Ubuntu got the farthest, until something with the graphics card I assume made it crash too.

I ran some SMART tests on the disk within BIOS and an older message I ignored came up, "HARD DISK FAILURE IMMINENT, REPLACE HARD DRIVE.

OK, after all of this, you don't have to tell me again.

I came home earlier with the new hard drive. Popped it in, and mostly the same stuff, except this new drive sounds much better and is always recognized, where the other one was recognized 2/3 times.

I took the original drive and stuck it into an older desktop I had, and was able to install Ubuntu on it completely and successfully. That bothered me because I considered it dead. That aside, I tried installing W7 to the drive on that older computer, and it failed numerous times, and then finally worked. I tried to take the drive from older computer into the original computer and it booted to it, then froze at the Starting Windows.

If you skipped most of the above, the short version is this: I assumed the hard drive was dead and got a new one. Now even the new one won't work in the problem PC. I even replaced the PSU to a spare just incase everything wasn't getting enough power.

Is it the motherboard? The CPU? The Graphics Card? The SATA ports?

I have literally tried everything and more than I have already shared. This is the first time I have become stumped with this sort of thing, because as soon as I have the answers - the computer changes the questions. HELP! Please.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Most recent attempts to install W7 result in this.

"Windows cannot install required files. The file does not exist. Make sure all files required for installation are available, and restart the installation. Errod code: 0x80070002"

Which adds to the possibilities. Is it my media? My disks? My USBs? It works on one machine sometimes and not the other?

At one point I thought maybe the DVD drive was faulty and removed it and went USB only route, which leads to the same place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

I recently had a Dell D630 laptop I was about ready to sell for scrap since it would crash and burn in Windows (several installations of 7 and 8 both) every time, but would pass every diagnostic I threw at it.
I finally borrowed another D630 and put my RAM and Hard Drive in it and one stick of failed. Put the same stick in yet another Latitude (different model) and it failed again, even though it had never failed in the original system.
So.... I know where you're coming from.

I'd suggest running any diagnostics you can get your hands on, such as memtest86 for memory, HDD manufacturer's diagnostic for the hard drive, any diags that the computer manufacturer offers, and so on. If everything passes, try the components in another computer as similar as possible to see if you get a failure there.

I'd test everything at this point since your symptoms are so weird.

Almost forgot;
Disconnect anything non essential that you're not testing when you run your tests.

Good luck with it and keep us posted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Oct 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

About the only thing I haven't tried or taken out is the RAM. It's 2x2GB, and 1x1GB.

Would RAM stall the system and/or prevent complete installation?

Since getting the new drive, I removed the GPU incase that causes anything.

All I have hooked in is the Hard Drive and USB to boot from. And of course, mouse keyboard, monitor.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2012   #5

7 x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ErbyJ View Post
Would RAM stall the system and/or prevent complete installation?

Since getting the new drive, I removed the GPU incase that causes anything.

All I have hooked in is the Hard Drive and USB to boot from. And of course, mouse keyboard, monitor.
You bet it would. In a hart beat.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

From the problems I would say your install media is borked. Is it a commercial DVD or an iso download?
RAM wouldn't keep you from installing though. However I'd toss that RAM out and get a good 4 or 8GB kit and put in it, the OEMs like to mix it with differing sizes creating a time bomb for performance at some point.
EDIT: I re-read and see you've tried several OS installs. You may have a failing board as well. What was Mom doing when it quit working and what happened, if she can describe that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP


Work through these steps for Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start starting with the hardware tests.

I would also change out the HD cables.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Oct 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I think I have figured it out. After researching the exact board some more (M2N78-LA), I believe the SATA controller is messed up from the NVIDIA North Bridge Chip overheating, or something like that.

Here is a good link that helped a lot: m8530f desktop PC with a m2n78-la mother board doesn't see m... - Page 2 - HP Support Forum

After coming up with my theory, I just couldn't make the diagnosis myself. So I took the PC to a little shop down the road. After trying a few things and going over what I have done and think, we both agreed the motherboard needed to go.

There are a couple options that might salvage the MB, but none of which are really worth the time, trouble or money.

Basically I need to buy a replacement motherboard or just salvage the parts.

After already spending $80 on a new hard drive (that wasn't needed) I am in no mood to spend another ~$100 on a motherboard, making this a near $200 project when you factor everything in.

Maybe in a few days when I get over it I can make a decision to scrap, replace, or tinker with the other options.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 W7 Will Not Install, Even On New Hard Drive

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