Having trouble installing Windows 7 on a computer I built


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Problem description: I've just built myself a new computer. It was my first time ever building a computer from scratch, although I have played around with the innards of my old one and replaced most things aside from the motherboard and cpu so I had a pretty good idea of what I was doing. I got everything put together with no issues, but when I hooked up the computer to a monitor and powered it on to install the OS I started to have problems. After setting the BIOS stuff to the recommended optimal settings as the motherboard guide instructed, I think opened up the DVD drive and put in my copy of Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. After resetting the computer I got a black screen with a white bar and a message saying "opening windows files." The bar filled up twice and then my computer restarted. The same thing showed up, but this time it made it past that screen without error. The windows logo emerged out of four dots, and then the system froze. It now freezes on that screen every time I restart the computer, although one time it did show a blue screen after the windows logo before freezing.

Attempted fixes: Switching the boot order, making sure I'm booting from the DVD drive, changing which SATA port the hard drive and DVD drive were plugged into, trying it without anything besides the monitor plugged in, and that's basically it. I really have no clue what's going wrong, if I screwed up building the computer or what.

Operating system: Trying to install Windows 7 home Premium 64 bit, using an OEM for system builders version bought online.

System specs: MSI P55M-GD41, i5 750 2.66gHz, HD5770, 4GB DDR3, Corsair 450w, Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200rpm, LG x16 OEM DVD drive
 
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Hi.

Many users have found success by installing with as little amount of RAM necessary. So remove all the RAM from the machine, except one stick. (You can place it all back after Windows installs.)

Also, remove the video card from the system. Connect a monitor to the motherboard. (Again, you can place the video card back after Windows is installed.)

Give this a try and let us know how it goes.

The 450W PSU may be too little for your system with the current graphics card. I don't know the necessary wattage needed for the video card, but if I were you, I'd look into it.
You'll probably have success installing Windows for now, as I've shown above.

Good luck.
 
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I just tried removing a stick of RAM, but still had the same results. Repeated with the other stick of RAM out instead and same deal. I cannot remove the video card as my motherboard doesn't have a integrated GPU, and I believe the Corsair 450w is a sufficient power supply for the system.

Do you have any other ideas on what could be causing the problem?
 

Nibiru2012

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Welcome to the Windows 7 Forums website TheNextSwarm!

Congratulations on your first system build! Now let's see if we can this puppy to install Windows 7 for ya!

First of all, just because there is the "Optimized Defaults" setting for the motherboard, you'll still probably have to tweak some settings.

1. Set the DVD drive to be your "First Boot Device" in the BIOS and save that setting.
2. Make sure the RAM timings and settings in the BIOS match the settings for the brand of RAM you bought.
3. Since you're on an Intel CPU go ahead and set your hard drive to have the AHCI mode enabled, it will run better and quicker.
4. Make sure the hard drive is plugged into SATA Port 0, it's not that big of a deal if it isn't but usually that's the traditional place for the first hard drive.
5. Check your ACPI settings in the BIOS too.

Put the install disc into the DVD drive and reboot and you may see a prompt which states: "Press Any Key to Boot From CD/DVD drive." Do that within 4-5 seconds and the install should begin. Initially it will take about 8-10 minutes before a reboot and it continues the install.

Be patient and hopefully these suggestions will help. It can be frustrating on a first system build not to have the OS install go smoothly.

Keep us posted and you should be okay.

NOTE: You should be good on the power supply you currently have, however if you decide to add more hardware, fans, RAM, etc., you may have to bump up to bigger one. A good rule of thumb for power supplies is to use one of the several "Power Supply Calculators" available on the web, use at least 2-3 calculators to get a better idea of what is really needed. Enter the exact hardware you're currently using and go from there. It's also a good idea to increase the "suggested" wattage size by about 20% as a "fudge factor".
 
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1. Done
2. They match correctly
3. Not quite sure how to do this, and a quick google turned up results that only showed how to change it through registry hacks. Looking through my BIOS I didn't see any options.
4. My BIOS says I don't have a SATA port 0, but it's in port 1 now.
5. Currently set to enabled.

I saved all of these changes, restarted the computer, and it once again froze on the "Starting Windows"/Windows logo screen.

The store I purchased my power supply from currently has a 650w PSU of a reputable brand (Antec Earthwatts) on sale for around the same price I paid for my Corsair 450, so I'm going to try return the one I have for a more powerful one and hope that fixes the problem.
 
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Dammit. Upon closer inspection of the receipt, I'm two days past the return date on the powers supply. I'm going to wait another day or two to see what other possible problems there might be before I bite the extra money it's going to cost to upgrade.
 

Nibiru2012

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AHCI is set in the BIOS where you choose the hard drive's settings such as IDE, RAID or AHCI.

Consult your motherboard manual and it will tell you how to do it in the BIOS. It's in the On-Chip ATA Devices submenu of Integrated Peripherals section pages 3-10 & 3-11. Enable your SATA controller and in the RAID Mode selection choose AHCI.

Regarding your power supply, Try to take it back and tell them you're underpowered and want to upgrade to a bigger power supply and you'll purchase it from them. If you explain it to them that way I don't think they'll cause you any issues.
 
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Good news: I called the store and was able to return the power supply. Did so and got the Antec Earthwatts 650.

Side news: Was able to enable ACHI.

Bad news: Neither solved the problem. The computer still freezes every time it hits the black Windows logo/"Starting Windows" screen. Occasionally for fun it decides to reboot instead.

This is extremely frustrating. Anyone else have any ideas on what may be causing this?
 

davehc

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If you can start the computer in safe mode?, do that. It will then load the VGA grpahics only.
Get into the device manage and disable the graphics card.
Go to System, Advanced settings, Hardware tab.- device installation settings.
Select the option "No, let me choose what to do." save the settings and reboot (select the nomal boot from the screen which pops up) If you are now into Windows 7, perhaps we can see what the heck is going on with the graphics card?
 
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I can't start the computer in safe mode, the only things I can modify are either in the BIOS or the hardware itself. This is a blank computer I'm trying to install Windows 7 on. You think it's the graphics card giving me problems?
 
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davehc

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Maybe not.
Have you tried reverting back to a non sata state and installing. Maybe a problem there.
 
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Sorry, don't understand what you mean by "revert back to a non sata state." As far as I can tell there isn't anything to revert back to. The hard drive hasn't even been used yet, I haven't been able to get far enough in the installation process to put anything on it. The only changes I've made are to the BIOS (boot order, ACHI, and I think that's all) and to hardware (removing RAM, replacing power supply).
 
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Someone on another forum solved the problem. Moral of the story: always check to make sure your RAM doesn't require different than normal voltage! Changing my BIOS to have my RAM at 1.65v fixed it. Thanks to everyone who responded for you help.
 

Nibiru2012

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Someone on another forum solved the problem. Moral of the story: always check to make sure your RAM doesn't require different than normal voltage! Changing my BIOS to have my RAM at 1.65v fixed it. Thanks to everyone who responded for you help.
That's peculiar, because 1.65 VDC is the normal voltage for most DDR2 & DDR3 RAM.

All motherboards for that type of RAM are default at those voltages. One has to go into the BIOS to change the voltages up higher.

I use Mushkin Enhanced Blackline RAM and it's voltage must be set at 2.0 - 2.1 VDC to run properly at it's timings and frequency.

People tend to forget that RAM is not a piece of generic hardware like it was 10 years ago or longer.
 
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I was just thinking if you had of defaulted the BIOS it may have also solved the issue. Picked up a similar problem on a PC and that did the trick
 
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