Homebuilt PC won't allow ANY load of ANY OS...
Ok here's a quick background....
This PC was originally built by me in 2002 with an Abit NF7-S and an old AMD Barton 2500+.... i had a problem with the mobo recently so i decided to upgrade. I got a new Biostar TForce 550 GF550 AM2 mobo & AMD A64 X2 4200+ (2x512k) CPU combo buy from Newegg... Also since the new mobo runs 240 pin ram, i had to order a new stick, i found the pqi 1Gb DDR2 667 Ram on NewEgg and it had all positive ratings. so i get all this in, then when i start to put it together, realize the power supply is an old 20 pin... ok, so i go out and buy a 24 pin new 500 watt power supply. hook it all up, and get all sorts of errors.... so i go out and get a new HD, a SATA 250 Gb WD Caviar. Also got a 300 GB Maxtor SATA drive.
I have legal copies of Windows XP Pro, Windows Media Center 2k5, and the Vista Beta..... i have tried to install EACH of these OS's and i get different errors with each one.
for starters, the Biostar mobo freezes during POST on every-other boot up... and its very strict about it... it will honestly work one time, then freeze the second.... when i reset, it works the next time, then freezes the next time. i have never seen anything like this. its not like it occasionally does this, or sometimes has the problem... it is EVERY OTHER BOOT.
ok, so i move on - i'll just do it on the second boot. well when i try to load XP Pro, one of three things will happen:
1) i get a freeze at the "setup is loading files (kernel debugger DLL)"
2) i get an error at the "File hal.dll could not be loaded. The error code is 7. Setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit."
3) i get an error that says: cannot complete windows load because the following file is missing or corrupt: C:\windows\system32\winload.exe."
Keep in mind the hard drive is brand new and is bare! i am doing a NEW load!
when i try to load XP Media Center 2k5, i get either a FREEZE during the "loading kernell debugger.dll" OR a "The file ohci1394.sys is corrupted. Press any key to continue. Setup Failed. Press any key to restart your computer."
When i try to load vista, it will either freeze while the progress bar goes across the screen preparing to load the OS, or it will get all the way through the load bar and reboot at the end of the progress bar. If i hit space bar on boot from CD screen in bios, and i run the mem check, i'll get a message that says "system found hardware errors" and it freezes and doesn't even get past 0% of the hardware test.
So if it is a hardware error, how on earth do i know what it is? i can't test a different stick of ram as i only have this one, i don't have another mobo of this type to test different ram on, i don't have other ram to test on this mobo, etc.... is it even a hardware issue? I don't want to buy ANOTHER stick of ram and i don't want to buy ANOTHER mobo.... but i also don't want to RMA both of these when i don't even know what the problem is. understandably this is very frustrating. I consider myself a knowledgeable computer person having built many PCs in my past. i have NEVER had an issue like this before.
If you guys have ANY ideas, please let me know. I have tried to boot from both hard drives, one of which is BRAND NEW, and the other is a used drive i had slaved on a different system and KNOW it works (no OS or partioning, just a bunch of random files). I am willing to format and partition either drive. ultimately i wanted to run both XP Media Center and Vista, so a dual-boot would be nice but i'll settle for "just" Vista.