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So I wanted to do a fresh install of Windows XP on my system as my system was getting clutered. When I went to install Windows, it always shuts itself down randomly during the format. If I do a Quick Format, it'll usually crash eitehr during format or when it starts to copy files over.

At first I thought it was my hard drive. I have two in the comp and one of them seemed to have died a while back. But I tried using another computer to do the install and it works fine. When I try to boot into Windows on the original comp, I'd get a BSoD when it tried to boot but only on the original comp.

So I thought it was some weird hardware problem. I removed all but the CPU, Memory, HDD and Video Card. Same thing. I have two memory sticks in the computer and another one laying around so I tried using just one stick at a time. I also used a different Video Card.

After all of this I figured it was jsut the Motherboard. It's an Asus a7n8x. I put the new one in and it gave me a CPU speed error on bootup. Then I loaded the default BIOS settings (which by the way, it shut down a few times while in the BIOS). It said I had an AMD 1400+ in there when I really have a 3000+.

After the BIOS was fixed, it got past the errors but the same problem came up when I tried to load Windows. On any of the 3 hard drives I tried that had Windows on them, it gave me a BSoD. When I tried to install it, it would shut down during the format or install.

Then I got a new processor. Same thing. It even still says it's a AMD 1400+. I've tried a different Power Supply. I believe I've tried everything.

I've used a combination of the following parts
2 Motherboards
2 Processors
3 Sticks of Memory
2 Power Supplies
3 Hard Drives
2 Video Cards

All producing the same results.

Is there anything I'm not thinking of? I don't know my way around the BIOS enough to know if there is something wrong there that causes it to load as a 1400+ so that might be a part of it, but what little I do know and was comfortable enough to change had no effect.

Please help.


Edit: I also used different IDE cables in case you are wondering.

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Last Post by J_Search
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siege911,

I didn't notice in your post, anything regarding your copy of XP.

What's the common denominator?

Of your list...
2 Motherboards
2 Processors
3 Sticks of Memory
2 Power Supplies
3 Hard Drives
2 Video Cards
...I don't see # XP CD(s)? Perhaps this is your problem?

Unless by...

But I tried using another computer to do the install and it works fine.

...you mean you used the same CD on another computer.

I doubt the solution is this easy...but you never know.

So what's the main issue? There must be a combination of some of your hardware that works...figure out what the bad apple is. I know I'm basically telling you to solve your own problem, but only you know what you've done.

If you're like me, you franticly put pieces together to try to get at least one thing working. But I advise being methodical about it. Write down your parts and what works with what. I doubt nothing works, so find out what does and hopefully that will lead to what doesn't.

Perhaps once you develop your list (more methodical version) we could provide better help. Speaking for myself, it's hard to view what you've done, based on your current post, and come up with helpful suggestions.

J_

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Yes, the it was the exact same Windows XP CD used on both computers.

Here's a list of the parts I have. To save typing time, I'll also put a code for the parts next to them.
Motherboards
2 Identical Asus a7n8x motherboards (MB1 and MB2)

Processors
1 AMD 3000+ (CPU1)
1 AMD 3200+ (CPU2)

Video Cards
1 ATI Radeon 9800 Pro - AGP (VC1)
1 ATI All in Wonder *a relatively older one* - AGP (VC2)

Memory Sticks
2 Identical Corsair 512MB sticks (M1 and M2)
1 HP 256MB stick (M3)

Power Supplies
1 RaidMax 550W (PS1)
1 Older Generic (PS2)

As I eventually stripped the computer down to these parts, I won't bother with any of the rest of the setup.

Here's the exact order of testing things.
I had MB1 installed when I stripped things down. I swapped out M1 and M2 as single memory sticks and swapped out VC1 and VC2.

Upon this I figured it'd probably be the motherboard. Insert MB2 and repeat process. Swapping out M1 and M2 and VC1 and VC2. That processor speed error threw me so I ordered CPU2.

This time, same thing. So I tried swapping out M1 and M2 with CPU1 and CPU2. I only have one decent heatsink so I did these one at a time but did try all 4 possible combinations of M's and CPU's.

Finally I thought maybe it was something else. My father upgraded his memory so he had the extra M3 stick lying around. I tried throwing it into both M1 and M2. At this point CPU1 stays in M1 and CPU2 in M2.

Then I took a power supply from an older computer and tried it in M1 and M2.

With every test, when I try to load any of the 3 hard drives which have Windows installed on them and has successfully loaded on another machine (which had VC2 and P2 in it), it came up with BSoD. When I tried installing Windows on the 2 HDD's that I didn't mind formatting, it would randomly shut down.

I had two complete setups testing independantly to find the problem.

1 setup was
M1
CPU1
P1
M1 and M2
and tested all 3 hard drives.

2nd setup was
M2
CPU2
P2
M3
and tested all 3 hard drives.

Note. All 3 of these Hard Drives booted on another computer. And two of these Hard Drives, I did the initial install successfully with the same Windows disc on the other computer but neither will work on either of these setups.

The only other common error I found was that in both setups, the Mobo told me that it was a AMD 1400+ rather than a 3000+ or 3200+.

Was that methodical enough? Any other tests or setups I should do?

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siege911,

Yeah, thanks.

Have you tired a setup with just M3? It's either that, or something that the Asus a7n8x doesn't like. I would have a hard time believing anything other than these two components would create the errors you’re experiencing. Especially with the amount of variety you have had in your test setups.

For the sake of argument, use all of the same components, and see if you can track down a different motherboard. With that, test the M1-3. If they all work, you know your issue is defiantly the motherboard. I doubt the memory will fail, therefore I would seriously consider tracking down a representative from the company that makes the Asus a7n8x to inquire about memory and any possible known issues. Take if from there, and see what you come up with.

J_

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