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Old 07-16-2006, 03:04 PM   #1
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Default Windows freezes during setup...really need advice, please

What does this sound like – hardware issue? Software issue?

Here are my system (laptop) specs. It's an MSI 1039, and I purchased this less than one month ago.

Turion 64 MT-40 2.2GHz
1GB single-channel Crucial RAM
100GB Toshiba 5400RPM 16MB cache hard disk
ATI Radeon x1600 256 MB PCI Express video card
Microstar MP54G4 Wireless-G Adapter, IEEE 802.11 b/g MiniPCI

When I try to reinstall Windows from my (legitimate) Windows XP Pro, it gets to “Setup is starting Windows,” and then it just sits there. I cannot press ctrl+alt+delete to restart at this point. I let it sit there for 20 minutes, and it still does nothing. I disabled every setting in the BIOS I could find, which was only AMD PowerNow and Legacy USB support. There was not option to disable anything else, like Plug and Play.

HOWEVER, the strange things is that if I press F5 when the Windows setup starts (booting off the CD), I can install Windows just fine using the i486 C-Step setup. But I do not want to do this because then I have to configure everything manually.

I thought it may be a RAM issue, so I ran memtest from GRUB which was included with Ubuntu 6.06. I let memtest make two passes through the RAM, and it found no errors. Maybe I need to run it more than twice?

I then booted into the Windows XP recovery console from CD (isungin the i486 setup), and then I ran chkdsk /R, and it said it found some bad sectors. I then proceeded to run HDD Regenerator (demo version) to double check this, but strangely that program found no bad sectors. Maybe Windows repaired the bad sectors, or maybe it remapped them...

Another strange thing is that I can boot into Ubuntu (which is on another partition) with no problems. But, if I try to boot into Knoppix 4, it simply freezes – every time – it tries to run autodetection on eth0.

I've even tried removing the WLAN card, and I also tried swapping the RAM stick to the other slot.

So I have tried everything, but nothing has fixed the problem of booting into the (normal) Windows setup. I would just use Linux, but unfortunately I have to be able to run Windows for school and work.

Please post something if you have any ideas. Thanks in advance.

*EDIT*
Let me add that when I first got the computer, I was able to install Windows from (the same) CD just fine. Although, the black and gray cables were attached incorrectly to the wireless card.

I've also tried resetting the BIOS to its optimal settings.
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Old 07-16-2006, 04:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Windows freezes during setup...really need advice, please

Look at this article and see if it helps:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=217073
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Old 07-16-2006, 04:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Windows freezes during setup...really need advice, please

Thanks for the reply.

The only hardware I can remove is the wireless adapter. I won't be able to see anything without video, and I cannot unplug the CDROM because I would not be able to boot from the CD then. Although perhaps I could try using a CDROM drive from a different laptop...

And I've disabled everything I possibly can in the BIOS. Also, the only external device that is plugged in is the power cable. There is also no docking station involved.

Just now I opened up the main cover and wiggled the CMOS battery around, reset the BIOS to exactly the same as it was when I first got the computer, and I replaced the WLAN card, connecting the wires as shown in the manual. I also removed and plugged the battery back in.

Now it's booted fine into Windows setup 3 out of 4 times. Once it BSODed on me, giving me a STOP: 0x0000007B error, which apparently means it wasn't able to talk to the hard disk or CD-ROM. But it only happened once, and the power cable was unplugged that time.

Crazy. What do you think? Should RMA it, or should I try to get it working again? Any other ideas?
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Old 07-17-2006, 03:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Windows freezes during setup...really need advice, please

is there a different OS currently installed on this machine? because i had this EXACT issue when i was attempting to get rid of linux, partition magic did the trick though!
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Old 07-17-2006, 02:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: Windows freezes during setup...really need advice, please

Think I got it worked out. I was actually able to reimage the drive using an image of the Windows partition I made before the problems started. But I did use Active Kill DIsk to zero out the entire drive. I then used GParted to create the partitions, and then after reimaging the drive using ntfsclone I had to change hte Windows partition type from ext3 to NTFS and make sure itw as bootable (not sure why it was marked as ext3).
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