On Sat, 4 Aug 2007 16:24:01 -0700, Tom VL <Tom
>I'm having problems with the Windows Vista installation.
>Every time I try to start the installation when my computer's starts the
>setup freezes when the loading bar with the green moving blocks come up. When
>that happens I reset my computer again and again, and eventually it will come
>to a point where it takes me into the installation.
You sound like someone sawing off their limbs one by one, and
wondering why it hurts. I'd stop trying to run Windows on what is
clearly a sick PC, and re-establish my assumptions from hardware up:
- test RAM, eyeball motherboard capacitors etc.
- test physical HD (NOT USING CHKDSK /R)
- test file system, evacuate data before "fixing"
- formally manage malware
- only then, attempt to run Windows
At this point, you'll realize that Windows is like buying a car that
has the hood welded shut and no spare tyre; works great, but as soon
as it needs maintenance, you find the tool cupboard is bare.
Well, nearly bare; if you have a proper Vista DVD (as opposed to
Dubious Advantage royalty-OEM drekage), you at least have a dangerous
RAM tester and HD "fixer", and some chance of running malware
management tools formally (i.e. without running the infected OS).
To test RAM, you can go to a PC that doesn't suck, download the free
MemTest86, and run that to make a boot CDR. Then go back to the sick
PC and leave that CDR running for, say, 24 hours. After 24 hours, you
will see one of the following:
- RAM errors
- a locked up PC
- test still running, but wall time is < 24 hours due to PC resets
- test still running, wall time is 24 hours as expected, no errors
Only the last result is acceptable, allowing you to do the next step.
As I mentioned, you can also boot the Vista DVD and use that to test
the RAM, but it's a riskier process:
- test writes to HD, runs on next (HD) boot
- test is short, unless you override the defaults for 24 hours
- test results displayed on screen may not be cumulative
- tester writes results to the HD
- to see results, you have to boot the OS to reach Event Viewer
The last thing you want to do when RAM is bad, is access the HD at
all. Read operations can bit-flip to writes, sectors can be written
to the wrong locations, trashing the file system, etc.
To test the HD, I would use HD Tune from www.hdtune.com
, which is
free, very thorough (full SMART details, surface scan) and safe (it
doesn't try to "fix" anything, though the HD itself might).
HD Tune is a Windows-based tool, and as we discussed earlier, you do
NOT want to run Windows yet (every Windows session writes to the HD,
and bad exits leave this corrupted even if whatever is wrong with the
PC hasn't already corrupted the HD).
However, if you know someone with Windows XP SP2 or Server 2003, you
can download Bart PE Builder, integrate HD Tune as a plug-in, build a
Bart CDR, boot your sick PC from this, and run HD Tune from there.
Unfortunately, HD Tune will not run from WinPE 2.0 or Vista DVD boot.
I've bugged this to MS, but they won't fix it; I guess they can't see
why we'd want to check HDs without "fixing" them.
So you can look for similar tools, and at this point someone will
mention tools from the HD vendor. These tools may be safe, in that
they may run from CDR boot, but they may also be skimpy. Suspect this
if the "full" test takes only a few minutes to run - you may find they
merely report the SMART summary, which is nearly always "OK" until the
HD is not only dying, but has multiple bits rotting off.
Last, there's ChkDsk /R, which will scan the surface of the HD and
"fix" bad clusters, having first "fixed" the file system on the "sick
HD that it hasn't tested yet. Wrong priorities; test the physical
first, ABORT without "fixing", evacuate contents, and only then you
can pretend to "fix" what is physically broken, just for laffs.
>Even then it literally takes 12 minutes to load up the first screen, when
>you have to select your language, etc.. and the time in between the next
>couple of screens takes that long as well.
Nature's trying to tell you something. Listen up ;-)
>Then it finally takes me into the OS, but tells me I have to reinstall Vista
>because something went wrong.
DON'T do that either.
<destructive crater-digging snipped>
>Here are my computer's specifications.
>-Core 2 Quad (Q6600)
>-MSI P965 NEO-F
>- 4 GB DDR2 800
>-XFX Geforce 8800 GTX
>- 1 Maxtor Sata2 Hard drive (160GB)
>- 1 Sata dvd+-r writer
>- 630 Watts PSU
>Is anyone able to help me please?
As above. Looks like new hardware, which could be on the steep part
of the failure curve (as in, "defective manufacture, not caught by
pre-sale testing"). Err... are you overclocking?
Nice kit, tho. Are you on Vista64 or Vista32? I ask, due to the 4G
RAM that wouldn't be fully addressable by Vista32. I'd prolly rather
go with Vista32 and less RAM, myself.
Shame about the piddly little Maxtor... is that carried over from a
previous PC, or do you really have an application that needs heroic
processor and RAM and never touches the HD, so the small cost of
doubling capacity and halving head travel is not worthwhile?
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Who is General Failure and
why is he reading my disk?
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