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Windows 7: Win 7 install hanging on new HDD

05 Jun 2013   #1

Windows 7 Pro 32
Win 7 install hanging on new HDD

I'm attempting to install Win7 on an older Dell E521 and running into problems where it hangs after booting from the DVD. I have installed a new Western Digital 500G hard drive. Before I swapped the hard drive I loaded the Win7 DVD and ran the compatibility check. Hardware-wise (cpu, memory, etc) it claims to have passed. When I boot from the Win7 DVD I see the message at bottom of screen "installing files". After a minute or 2 I see the "Starting Windows" screen. But I never get any prompts to do any setup (choose language, etc). The "starting windows" screen never changes, I've let it sit for hours. I've checked around these forums and elsewhere, but haven't found anything that seems to address this situation.

Some things I've tried so far:
1) Re-burned (or is that re-burnt?) my DVD from the ISO file using the verify option.

2) Loaded the win7 DVD on a different PC running XP. It does auto-run and asks if I want to install win7. (I haven't actually gone thru with the install on this 2nd PC, just wanted to test the DVD)

3) Booted and successfully installed an old version of XP on the new HDD to verify the HDD is ok.

Any suggestions highly appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP


Unplug all other HD's and peripherals,

Boot into BIOS setup, reset to defaults, save changes. (If an EFI BIOS you'll need to decide if you want UEFI BIOS vs. Legacy BIOS. If UEFI follow these special steps for Install, otherwise enable Legacy BIOS or Compatibility Support Module to proceed with normal install.) Set DVD drive first to boot, HD second, set SATA controller to AHCI, Save changes and Exit.

Then boot into Windows 7 installer DVD or flash stick burned or written using tool and latest ISO for your licensed OS version here.

At first installer screen Press Shift + F10, or enter System Recovery Options to open a Command Box, type:

SELECT DISK 0 (after confirming Windows 7 target HD #)
CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY SIZE=102400 (for 100gb partition, adjust as desired)

Next click Install Now, then Custom install to Clean Install Windows 7 to the partition you created. If it fails then report back at which step and the verbatim error message.

In addition read over these steps to understand the tools and methods which work best to get and maintain a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7. The steps are the same for retail.

After install you can adjust partition size or Create new partitions for data, etc. in Disk Mgmt. You are creating the partition here for the purpose of wiping the HD and marking Active which overcomes certain install failures.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2013   #3

Windows 7 Pro 32

Thanks for the tips, G-R.
I'll try them later tonight or tomorrow and report back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Jun 2013   #4

Windows 7 Pro 32

Problem resolved.
I did the steps GregRocker suggested (some of which had already been done). Still no joy.
Looking around in some other forum I saw where someone had similar symptoms I did.
Their fix: remove half their memory. Install completed successfully. Then they reinstalled their memory.
Sounded odd, but figured I'd try it.

My install with 2 memory sticks out worked flawlessly. When I put the other 2 sticks back in after the install was complete my reboot again hung on the "Starting Windows" screen. Some quick trial and error found that 1 of the memory sticks (didn't matter which slot) was causing win7 to hang on startup. So I'm up and running fine with 3G RAM while I order the 4th Gb. But odd that this same exact box ran just fine with XP running on it. Perhaps that stick was starting to go and Win7 is more sensitive? Eh, whatever. My upgrade is complete.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jun 2013   #5
Microsoft MVP


Thanks for reporting back what worked for you. Those would have been among the next steps if you'd reported back as requested exactly when the install failed and any error message given.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Win 7 install hanging on new HDD

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