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Windows installation issues on new PC

By Gavin Smith ·
I've built a new PC. Everything's wired and ready according to every tutorial I've looked at. I have my DVD drive and one hard drive on an IDE cable in order to install and set up Windows. However, I'm encountering countless errors during the dozens of installations I've tried. I'm using Windows XP Professional SP2. I usually encounter the errors during the initial setup - the 39-minute one. The errors come in all sorts of varieties. I've gotten 0x0000008E, 0x0000007A, 0x0000007E (I think), 0x000000A1... definitely others. Some of those codes might not be right, but that gives you the idea of the many errors I've come accross. These errors occurr during every installation, except different errors during each attempt at different points in the installation. The errors are terminal, so the installation progress is lost.

I've even tried Vista RC1. It encounters the same errors during unpacking files.

I really don't know what else I can describe - I've been troubleshooting for about a total of 10-12 hours now with no luck. I have formatted the hard drive several times.

I can install Windows XP using the same hard drive and optical drive on my old computer (with its motherboard and processor, etc), I've tried a couple times during the troubleshooting. I can not, however, install Windows on the old machine and put the HD back in the new - it comes close to working, but at the 'Start windows normally'/'safe mode'/'last known good configuration' screen, selecting any option results in either absolutely nothing happening or a bunch of command prompts appearing that do nothing. I have let it hang for hours at a time with no results.

Here are my hardware specs:

Motherboard - MSI P965 Neo
Processor - Intel Core 2 Duo E6400
Video Card - GeForce MX4000 128MB PCI
Hard Drive - 40GB Western Digital 7200RPM

Please let me know if you can lend some advice here - I'm really stuck at the moment.

Thank you in advance.

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by zlitocook In reply to Windows installation issu ...

First be sure XP supports the hardware, go to microsoft and look up all your hardware. Next make sure every thing is installed correctly, disconnect every thing except the floppy if you have one, if not disable it in the Bios. Leave the memory, power supply and video catd if it is not on board. And boot the computer, do you get any thing on the monitor? You should get things like the bios, memory size ect. If you do not you may have the wrong memory or the main board may not be grounded. Read the main board manual and be sure evey thing is set right, is this a SATA drive or IDE? It sounds like some thing is not set right on your new main board.
I would reset the Cmos and try again.

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by Gavin Smith In reply to Windows installation issu ...

When I boot without the optical and ahrd drive plugged in, as you said, I get the BIOS - and then, if I don't puch 'delete', I get 'Disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter'.

The motherboard is installed properly - the case screws ground it through contacts on the MB's screw holes.

I don't quite understand how to check for compatibility - the Windows Marketplace surely does not offer every motherboard, video card, etc. avaialble that's compatible with XP.

The hard drive is on the same IDE cable as the optical drive - there is only one IDE slot, I will need another one on a PCI adapter in the near future as I have one more HD and one more optical drive that are both IDE.

Could the problem have to do with the optical and hard drives being on the same IDE cable?

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Windows installation issu ...

You will quite commonly run into problems like this when you have the HDD & Optical drive on the same IDE Chanel.

If you can move the HDD to another IDE Channel or use a SATA HDD that should cure your current problems.


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by Gavin Smith In reply to

Thank you for this answer and the subsequent emails, I do believe this is my problem and will purchase the necessary card tomorrow if possible.

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by TheChas In reply to Windows installation issu ...

In addition to the other advice you have received, here are a couple of other common issues I have run into.

Power supply: Make sure it has enough capacity for your hardware. I would recommend at least 500 watts since you plan to add in more drives.

Memory: I can't count the number of times I have had memory that should work with the motherboard but just does not.

Back in the early days of SDRAM, conflicts between memory and motherboards were a lot more common than they are now.

In fact, the last system I set up had problems with a bad memory slot. So long as I did not install RAM in slot 3, I had no problems.

Speaking of RAM, you did not list how much system RAM you have. You want a minimum of 512MB for this hardware. 1.5 - 2 GB would be better.


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by Gavin Smith In reply to

I'm pretty sure HAL just solved my problem, but in regards to your response - first of all thanks for answering.

I used a 200W power supply on my old Dell with the same drives (2 optical, 2 HDDs). Since the E6400 and other Core 2 series processors are supposed to be very power concious I think I'll be fine on my 430W - but not I can't say I haven't been warned.

I'm running on 1GB of dual-channel Corsair 667MHz XMS2 5400 DDR2 RAM. No difference seems to appear when changing the modules around and using one or the other in different slots. I'll probably get another GB in coming months.

Thanks again for your response. I'm going to use a PSI IDE adapter card tomorrow, hopefully, and see how that goes. I can see why using an HDD and optical to install windows on the same IDE cable may be an issue.

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by Gavin Smith In reply to Windows installation issu ...

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