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Question

HELP! clean OS installation reboot loop

Hi all,

I just assembled a "new" PC out of some old parts from a couple of other computers I took apart (plus quite a few new parts to fill in the gaps). I am trying to install Windows 7 (64-bit) and after startup, it goes through the POST, starts spinning the DVD, says "Windows is loading files...", displays the "Starting Windows" logo screen only momentarily, then restarts and starts all over again.

I'm caught in this loop and don't know what to do to actually get Windows installed!

Some (perhaps) relevant details:

-Intel BLKDP55WB motherboard
-Intel Core i3 - 530 CPU
-8 GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333 Mhz RAM
-1 TB Western Digital "Blue" SATA HDD
-MSI Geforce GTX 650 Ti GPU
-Rosewill "Stallion" 400W PSU

I'm able to get into the BIOS and tool around just fine, and all the components seem to be recognized. I've changed a handful of settings - boot order, SATA mode (set to AHCI), disabling network boot.... etc. Nothing seems to have worked so far.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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All Answers

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Answer
Re: loop

In reply to: HELP! clean OS installation reboot loop

Three things you can do:
1. Check if the disk works on another PC.
2. Remove all unnecessary hardware. That's the GPU and 1 stick of RAM.
3. Reset the BIOS to defaults.

If it still doesn't work with known correct disk, minimal hardware and a default BIOS, start replacing hardware until you found the culprit.
You might like to try to boot from, or even install, Linux, just to see what it does.

Kees

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Answer
PSU dual rail and GPU

In reply to: HELP! clean OS installation reboot loop

That PSU has two 12V rails and each will support a "max" of 150-160w of power each, which means that's where they cut out. That's not a "continuous" power rating. The GPU is rated at sites between 100w to 135w. Use the most powerful 12V rail on it and don't use any more from that one for anything else in the computer.

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PSU "rails"?!

In reply to: PSU dual rail and GPU

Ooooh! Thank you! I never would have got there on my own...

Now my question is, how do I know which "rail" various components are powered from? (I'm not at home by the computer at the moment, but will play around with this as soon as I get there.)

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which rail is which?

In reply to: PSU "rails"?!

That's a very good question, and I don't know the answer to it. Try one rail and don't use it's plugs for anything else, and if that doesn't work, try the other. Sometimes one rail can go bad and the other still be good too. I had that happen on a Logisys, and it would read 12v but the amp rating or wattage it could supply had failed. So, a meter wasn't the answer, unless you had one that can also create and measure the load on it. There may be some clue in any manual or the sticker on the item itself which will help identify the stronger 12v rail. However since the video connectors typically are on the strongest rail, unless there's a set on each rail, then that should suffice.

Here's another discussion on it.

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Not sure about the PSU rails... HDMI issue, maybe?

In reply to: which rail is which?

Hmm, well, after examining the various connectors available from the PSU, it looks like I have no good way to fix this even if it is the problem. There's really only one usable cable with the 6-pin connector needed to power the GPU, and I would think that Rosewill of all companies would know to put that line on its own rail (it's even labeled "PCI-e").

So, I'm sorta back to the drawing board... I'll have to do the methodical hardware testing thing, I guess...

I have heard that Windows 7 had trouble with HDMI-connected monitors (before patching). I am using a 32" Samsung TV as the monitor, connected to the GPU by HDMI. Could THIS be my issue? (If so, I'd have to track down/borrow a DVI monitor from someone or something...)

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to further confuse or clear it up. Myth Busting

In reply to: PSU "rails"?!

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PSU doesn't seem to be the issue...

In reply to: PSU dual rail and GPU

Well, I plugged everything into a 500w PSU, and... same exact problem.

So, I figured, ok... some other hardware piece is causing it. I started out by removing one stick of RAM. And, that did make a difference, but not in the way I'd hoped. When I reached the point where the system usually resets (as soon as the graphical "starting Windows" screen appears, after "Windows is loading files" reaches completion), I got a blue screen of death.

I thought "Ah! This means one of my RAM sticks is bad!" So, I plugged the other stick in to see if having just that one did the trick. Nope. Still reached the BSOD at the same point. Just to see, I plugged both sticks back in. Back to the reset loop.

Does it mean anything that messing with the RAM causes me to reach a BSOD rather than the reset loop? What should my next step be? Thank you all!

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Answer
I'm going to peg this on hardware.

In reply to: HELP! clean OS installation reboot loop

I've yet to see your HDMI issue with 7. Even the original Windows 7 Retail without the Service Pack.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-650-ti-benchmark-gk106,3318-18.html is where I'm going with 140 Watts for just this GPU under load. To stay out of trouble we want the PSU +12V RAILS to each have 280 Watts capability. I won't bore you with total Watts so let's check out your current PSU.

I read +12V2@13A so that's 156 Watts so your current PSU missed the mark by a lot. I'm not writing this is your fix but I would not expect this to work for long.

Even at 140 Watts on a 156 Watt lead, that's like driving your car with the speedometer that goes to 120 MPH at 110 MPH. While it may do that, it won't do it for long.
Bob

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PSU

In reply to: I'm going to peg this on hardware.

Interesting, thank you. I suppose I can try re-purposing one of my beefier rigs' PSUs just for purposes of testing... Will try this evening.

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Doesn't seem the PSU was the problem...

In reply to: PSU

Well, I plugged everything into a 500w PSU, and... same exact problem.

So, I figured, ok... some other hardware piece is causing it. I started out by removing one stick of RAM. And, that did make a difference, but not in the way I'd hoped. When I reached the point where the system usually resets (as soon as the graphical "starting Windows" screen appears, after "Windows is loading files" reaches completion), I got a blue screen of death.

I thought "Ah! This means one of my RAM sticks is bad!" So, I plugged the other stick in to see if having just that one did the trick. Nope. Still reached the BSOD at the same point. Just to see, I plugged both sticks back in. Back to the reset loop.

Does it mean anything that messing with the RAM causes me to reach a BSOD rather than the reset loop? What should my next step be? Thank you all!

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windows 7 and video

In reply to: Doesn't seem the PSU was the problem...

"displays the "Starting Windows" logo screen only momentarily, then restarts and starts all over again."

In all of this, have you tried to start it in "Safe Mode"? If it will boot into that, but not normal mode windows, then may have a video driver problem. You might need to install the video driver while in safe mode, then boot into normal windows.

Were there any problems during the install of windows? Anything? Or did it seem to go smoothly?
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The infinite reboot loop is the problem..

In reply to: windows 7 and video

I wouldn't even call what I've done an "installation" of Windows. It gets me to the point where I think I'd be able to start the installation process, then reboots.

I thought the graphics driver issue might have been a good lead, so I tried hitting F8 just before the point (on the "Starting Windows" splash screen) when it usually reboots. I was able to get into the menu that allows a start in safe mode.

But... no luck. It shows a bunch of the Windows system files loading in (command prompt style), then does the same thing: reboots and tries to start over.

I still think the graphics drivers MIGHT be the problem, but there's no way for me to attach a monitor other than through the GPU.

That gave me an idea, though - could I hook the system's HDD up to one of my other comps, install Windows and the latest nVidia drivers to it, then simply plug the HDD back into the machine I'm trying to get running? Can Windows be installed that way, or does it somehow need to recognize the motherboard it's going to be running on?

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Re: install

In reply to: The infinite reboot loop is the problem..

1. Since the installation runs with the drivers from the install disk, not with anything that is installed on your PC it isn't a driver issue.
2. You need to install on the machine you want to run on, not on another machine. It's motherboard-dependent.

So the thing to do: replace the defective hardware.

Kees

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hardware

In reply to: Re: install

Hm, I was afraid of that, but ok... thanks.

Did you see my post above about the RAM experiment? When I took out a stick, it gave me a BSOD at the point where it usually resets. Is this an indication that the RAM might be bad? (It gave me another BSOD when I replaced the one RAM stick with the other, still with a total of one. When both are in, no BSOD, but I'm back to the reboot loop.)

I'm not entirely sure what to do to test whether this could be a GPU issue, since the mobo doesn't even have its own monitor output. I'm inclined to think it's not a GPU issue, though, since I dropped that in from another machine on which it was working perfectly. Same goes for a lot of the other components, like the CPU. The mobo is "new" (bought online), so I'm afraid that could be the culprit...

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Answer
Is that board from 2009?

In reply to: HELP! clean OS installation reboot loop

I had a laptop back then that WIndows 7 would not and never did install on.

I didn't check out your build because you just built it. It looks to be very old gear. Maybe there's a reason you found/got it cheap?

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