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Author Topic: Unable to install windows/hard drive error  (Read 1767 times)

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vinylite

    Topic Starter


    Greenhorn

  • wake up sleepyhead
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    Unable to install windows/hard drive error
    « on: March 06, 2009, 01:38:13 PM »
    Hello all,

    New here. I apologize if this is the wrong category to post in. I will ask my question first and then give my problem.

    Anyone have any ideas on what I can do to resolve my inability to read my system disk/install XP on it? And for the record, I have had the same problem with 2 hard drives, as he first one is "dying" or sick or whatever. so I tried installing XP on the second and same problems came up. Now for the details...

    In a nutshell, I cannot install windows XP back onto my computer. I have a computer I have used for audio recording for well over a year now that has a 40 GB HD for programs/Windows, and a secondary 160 GB HD for data and audio storage.

    A few days ago I started getting an error and a "blue screen" with some error information on it (I unfortunately did not write down or capture this info.) after rebooting my computer. Since that first time, it seems to have gotten worse. It did the "blue screen" a few times on subsequent reboots (both cold and warm booting) and then I attempted to reinstall windows. The install went well, computer seemed fine, etc. I was able to get into Windows after the fresh install of XP. Since that worked okay, I ran chkdsk to check the system drive for any issues. The first clue that something was wrong was that it almost finished the chkdsk (seemed to get to 100% complete) but then stated something like"windows cannot complete chkdsk on this drive". So i rebooted the computer again and now it won't even finish loading up and gives one of two or three errors that all lead to "disk read error, press control+alt+delete to restart". So i restart, and it happens again. I then decided to reinstall windows again. In reinstalling, I deleted the current partition on my system drive so I could format and creat a new partition. But it would not even get through the formatting process (trying quick format/NTFS). It will get towards the end of the formatting and then another "disk error, press enter to try again or F3 to quit". It also states thaty the drive may be damaged. I tried reinstalling one last time, went through BIOS and defaulted everything, and same thing.

    All this to me seemed to point to a faulty or dying hard drive. So I took an extra drive I had and was going to use that for my system drive. Turned off the PC, installed the new drive/jumber settings, and then turned on the computer with the Win XP install CD and started the install process on the replacement drive. And PRESTO! Same problem! I get identical errors when trying to install windows on this replacement drive. From that I am now wonderiong what the diagnosis might be. Cable went bad maybe? Or could it be the "HD controller?" I am unsure how the HD controller works, but read something that made it sound like maybe the controller is fried.

    I have checked cables, all are secure. I have also browsed the web for answers, but there are so many out there I don't know where to begin! I can give a basic overview of my system, but I'm at work and don't have the spces with me. I have had this computer long enough to kow it was pretty stable for awhile and have just recently had these problems arise. Any help is GREATLY APPRECIATED! Thanks in advance.

    SysteMax Pentium 2 Core 2.66Ghz
    2 GB RAM
    BioStar P4M700A MB
    GeForce 6200, 256 MB vid RAM
    Narcolepts think that you will like their modern indie rock.

    Album out May 2009.

    click link  below for more...
    http://www.myspace.com/narcolepts

    Glitch

    • Guest
    Re: Unable to install windows/hard drive error
    « Reply #1 on: March 06, 2009, 01:42:44 PM »
    Have you tried using diagnostic software available from the hard drives' manufacturer?

    vinylite

      Topic Starter


      Greenhorn

    • wake up sleepyhead
    • Thanked: 1
      Re: Unable to install windows/hard drive error
      « Reply #2 on: March 06, 2009, 03:23:17 PM »
      Hi Glitch, thanks for the reply.

      I have not tried the diagnostic tools other than what Windows provides (scandisk/chkdsk, recovery console). So guess this is a good next step (This is all very new to me!) Would these diagnostic programs run without windows working? I assume they would, but I really don't know. If there are choices, I would need one that could boot from a CD as I do not have a floppy drive.

      I was given some advise that it may be my master boot record?!? problem and to try a low level format of the system drive . Do you feel this is worth trying? I am not worried about losing data as this is an application drive only and my "valuable data" is on a separate drive. I was also told that recovery console (I tried using to some degree with no success) may be able to repair the MBR so try that before low level formatting.

      I am fortunate enough where I work that I went to our IT dept and they had 3 extra hard drives they are letting me do trials on, so I will also attempt to utilize one of these. My only concern here is that this same issue has happened on two separate hard drives of mine already and I feel very confident that the second drive I tried installing on is a good drive. Could have been a fluke though I guess....

      Are there any other possible areas to look into that are somewhat common and mirror some of what I am dealing with? For example, I am going to try replacing the ribbon cables as well, though I've checked all cable connections and they are all snug and show no physical signs of damage. Also I was told in general terms that it may be the motherboard or HD Controller.

      One last note that may or may not be important, During the previous installation attempts of XP, both my system and secondary drives are "located", so I know windows/my pc can recognize that the drives are there.

      I will try the diagnostic tools, but I may PM you for help in figuring out how to locate and use the tools.   
      Narcolepts think that you will like their modern indie rock.

      Album out May 2009.

      click link  below for more...
      http://www.myspace.com/narcolepts

      Glitch

      • Guest
      Re: Unable to install windows/hard drive error
      « Reply #3 on: March 06, 2009, 04:02:30 PM »
      Just go to the manufacturer's website and download the bootable version of the diagnostic software on cd.

      Also...make sure you have the drives jumpered correctly.  Try one drive at a time...

      It's s good idea to make sure you have the correct ribbon cable, as well.

      I'd perform a low-level format...much better than just a regular format.  However, if the drive(s) are, in fact, defective...this is not needed.


      Unfortunately, I don't provide support via PM...sort of negates the forum...if you know what I mean...this way all can benefit from the answers.

      vinylite

        Topic Starter


        Greenhorn

      • wake up sleepyhead
      • Thanked: 1
        Problem Solved : Unable to install windows/hard drive error
        « Reply #4 on: March 07, 2009, 12:21:22 AM »
        Well, I've got the diagnostic tools for my drives, but I haven't used them yet. And yet, still a happy ending to all of this...

        I spoke with an IT rep at my work, he gave me a new ribbon cable to try, and then he reached into a box and took out 3 used hard drives for me to test out over the weekend. So i got home and thought I'd try one more hard drive before i got into any lengthy diagnostic testing. I set the jumper, plugged the drive in, started up the pc and went into bios. Bios didn't even recognize this third drive i tried! So i laughed it off and decided since i had another 2 drives i could try, i might as well. put in the 4th and ......PRESTO! I'm back up and running. Got windows installed, currently optimizing and tweaking a little to remove the services i have no need for.

        I use this pc I'm referring to for digital audio recording, and this has taught me that the old saying "you don't know what you're missing 'til it's gone" is more relevant today than ever! In today's digital age, you can lose years worth of "valuable data" in an instant.

        This has definitely taught me patience! So, thank you Glitch. I have a new found respect for you and others like you who can actually find their way the broad realm of computers and can understand what's "going on under the hood" so to speak. Still scary stuff to me, LOL! But I now have a new tool I can use if this happens again.

        My issue has been resolved.
        Narcolepts think that you will like their modern indie rock.

        Album out May 2009.

        click link  below for more...
        http://www.myspace.com/narcolepts

        Glitch

        • Guest
        Re: Unable to install windows/hard drive error
        « Reply #5 on: March 07, 2009, 06:17:16 AM »
        You're welcome...

        Glad to hear you're out of the woods...