Interesting installation problem

Discussion in 'hardware' started by vizhip, May 11, 2009.

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  1. vizhip

    vizhip Registered Member

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    I have a system that once ran XP Professional that has been running Centos 5 for over a year... but business practices require additional resources, so I am going to need to revert it back to XP Professional...

    Problem is... and this occurs with ANY CD or DVD drive I plug into the IDE cable... XP installation disk... sees the CD... says set-up will inspect the system and off it goes never to return...

    Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 advanced server disk... goes through the motions and loads all the drivers... then says loading Windows 2000... only it never returns...

    Windows 98... (yes, I tried MULTIPLE OS attempts to see how far they would go) recognizes that the partition is being used by something else... asks if I want to remove it... I say yes... it asks if I want to reformat it... I say yes... and from there, nothing happens...

    I can now walk into that room and boot Centos 5 if I want... seems nothing has taken any action against the hard drive... and Centos runs without any trouble... so the hard drive and that IDE are fine...

    Memory checks out ok... and CPU appears to be humming right along...

    The fun question is... is it possible that something in the motherboard is blocking this or causing the hangs ?

    I do get memory configuration errors when I first power up the system, but if I press F2 to use the standard config, it always works fine... or if I enter set-up with F1... and then do nothing except exit, from there the bios boots fine...

    Regards -
    -Bob
     
  2. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Did you happen to set the BIOS settings to their default settings? (Don't do this, I'm just asking)

    Does the BIOS have any type of Boot Sector Protection that could be protecting the OS install?

    P.S. I'm no expert, just trying to get the ball rolling.
     
  3. vizhip

    vizhip Registered Member

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    I tried setting the BIOS to its default one time... after that I gave up and set it back to the way I typically run systems... but then I had to change it again because it didn't like the boot order...

    I don't overclock systems I know I will be using for work type purposes, so this one has never been overclocked... just simple changes like disabling audio or changing boot order...

    This particular motherboard was a last ditch effort to keep the PC parts that I could salvage when my UPS died and took the previous motherboard with it... so it doesn't have very many bells and whistles and I even had to remove one of my sticks of memory because the PC Chips motherboard doesn't support the amount of memory that my ASUS motherboard did...

    Pretty sad when you are stuck with a brand you wouldn't otherwise go near because you can't find any other motherboards to support AGP, IDE and the DDR memory that was running on that system... I even still have the AMD 2700+ running nicely...

    Funny thing... which is why I asked it it might be a motherboard problem... Even when I set everything to the defaults of the motherboard, it still popped up that error when first powered on requiring me to press F2 to accept the defaults or F1 to enter set-up...

    If it is the motherboard... I am willing to continue using it as a Centos 5 system until it finally dies... I will just have to move the XP Pro license to another computer... just hate to go through that process... did it once on another XP Media edition system... and took me 3 days to get that one worked out...

    Regards -
    -Bob
     
  4. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    The reason I asked about the default BIOS settings is because when I first built my first (and only) machine last year, I couldn't install XP. I tried several times but something would screw up. It turned out the default BIOS memory voltage was to low for my memory. I have to credit markymoo for helping me figure out that easy fix.

    Was there any boot sector protection mentioned anywhere in the BIOS settings? On my machine it wouldn't let me install XP until I disabled it.

    Would the MB battery be dieing? Again, just guesses. That's all I have for now and I'm sure tomorrow will bring more replies.
     
  5. vizhip

    vizhip Registered Member

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    There were no boot sector protections mentioned that I could see... but I can go back and take a look again after work tonight...

    If the MB battery is dieing, that would be a record because the motherboard is the newest in my house and none of my other MB batteries are even close to dead... except maybe the 2000 one that is 9 years old... )))

    The boot sector protection does sound promising... I just have to locate if there is a bit that isn't described properly...

    Thanks -
    -Bob
     
  6. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    This suggests to me when the system boots and goes through its checksum and POST, it is not finding the attached hardware it expects to find. Since you "do nothing except exit", the values are not saved, or are lost when the power is off.

    I would unplug the computer from the wall, touch bare metal and replace the battery. Then boot into the BIOS on first boot, set date and time, verify drives and boot order, "Save and Exit" and see what happens. If you get memory configuration errors again, start looking at your RAM. Pull all but one stick and run with that for a bit, swapping out until you go through them all, and perhaps identify and eliminate the bad one. Or you can test RAM using one of the following programs. Both require you to create and boot to a bootable floppy disk or CD to run the diagnostics. Using the floppy method is generally easier (and another reason to include floppy drives in new builds). However, the CD method is just as effective at detecting RAM problems. Allow the diagnostics to run for several passes or even overnight. You should have no reported errors.

    Windows Memory Diagnostic - see the easy to follow instructions under Quick Start Information.
    or
    MemTest86+ (for more advanced users) - an excellent how-to guide is available here.​

    For the drive not accepting a new OS, I would pull the drive and attach it as a secondary drive to another computer, and perform a fresh, full format (with NTFS). This is a good time to set up partitions, and run chkdsk /r too.
     
  7. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    I ran into this problem after I installed linux on an old computer and then decided to switch back to WIN98. I deleted the linux partition with aefdisk to delete all partitions using the /delall switch and then used the the fdisk command from a bootable floppy to create a partition. For some reason, aefdisk was the only thing that worked for deleting the linux partition and boot sector. Fdisk did not see the linux partition so I was not able to delete it. If do not have a floppy, try putting aefdisk on a bootable cd. You also might have some luck using a program like parted magic to delete your linux partition. Then try installing your OS. Check post #15 here.

    http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/re...-trouble-fdisk-trying-delete-partition-2.html
     
  8. vizhip

    vizhip Registered Member

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    Tgell -

    Your solution was close to what I ended up doing...

    I had to mount the drive on another XP system, then have it delete the partition twice... then delete something that was still hanging about...

    Once those were deleted... then I could start formatting the drive...

    Thanks for the idea and input... wish I had read it before I disassembled the PC... )))

    Regards -
    -Bob
     
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