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Very weird prob... Everything new, but won't work

2561 Views 27 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  juuzo

Any help would be appreciated... This is the prob.

I have a AS Rock p4vt8 motherboard with a P4 3.0G processor. Basically it's a barebone pc now, having stripped everything out and put into another pc. So, I give it to my nephew and he buys EVERYTHING brand new... new HD, RAM, Vid Card, Monitor, ect...

The problem, which is WHY I quit using it before, and bought another is this:

Everything works up to the point of installing Win XP Pro onto the new HD. I formated with new NTFS, and then goto install Win XP and it stops... Gives a blue screen saying some weird errors. Or, it will actually work, start to copy win files to the HD (for the win xp installation), and it freezes up at EVERY file.. EVERYONE!.. Says 'Setup cannot copy this file'... I hit 'retry' over and over, and it will work, till eventually the blue screen again. Only gets as far as like 6-7% copied.

I've used the SAME HD from that PC, and it was doing same thing, and put onto my new PC... Even reformatted my new pc the other day with same Win XP Pro disk... so it ain't the disk. BUT it won't copy the files on THIS damn PC! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

The HD is new, EVERYTHING is new.. So, I'm assuming it could be a bios setting? I reset bios and loaded defaults, still same prob. Or motherboard issue? It's only like 4 months old... well, I only used it for 4 months...

ANY help or lead in right direction would be great...


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Welcome to TSF:

Lets give this one a shot ! / there are quite a few things that could cause this problem.

Lets start by removing mobo outside the case and do a bench test.

place the mobo on a cardboard or other non-conductive surface / my favorite is to place it on top of the mobo box ~~ this allows the edge of the mobo to hang over a tad to allow full seating of the video card

visually inspect the CPU (did you install the thermal grease correctly????) is the heat sink properly fastened and secure ???? You must connect the cpu fan to the mobo to bench test / if the fan does not spin the mobo will not start!!

check the ends of the psu conenctors that attach the power (20 pin and the 4-pin) for signs of heat melting ??? if good proceed to next step

add video card and one stick of ram (check your mobo manual to see which slot must be used for single stick config) also check video card slot and ram stick slots for signs of over heating

connector mobo power connectors / both the 20 pin and the 4-pin if required / make sure to listen for the "click" of the locking latch / I worked on a cusotmers PC last week and the only problem was a failure to push the 4-pin in far enough - it made contact some times but not consistently / especailly if cables were wiggled !!!!

connect the case switch to the mobo / (the jumper pins on the mobo for the on & off power switch )

dont run any drives at first / at this point we are just looking for the bios screen to complete

then add a hard drive / make sure you have a good relaible cable (prefer a new 80 pin IDE drive cable~~ they are cheap now to buy) and power conenctor / same thing / just leave the hard drive resting on a magazine while your bench testing

I would only run with the single drive you want to use as the primary master / no slaves

what are you using for a PSU make and model ?????? If you are not running a good name brand reliable PSU of atleast 450 watts thats probally youre problem . any voltage fluctuations will make hard drives act very weird
enermax, antec, OCZ, sparkle are the only PSU's that I reccommend / if a PSU comes as part of a Case and combo deal the chances are the PSU is poor quality and inconsisent/ the P4 systems are very finicky about voltage consistency if they sense fluctuations all kinds of weird crap can and will happen !!!!

last thing : I strongly suggest you wipe the drive with a drive eraser to make sure there arent some corrupted files on the drive / you can connect the hard drive during the bench test and kill two birds with one stone / bench test and erase drive (it takes hours though ?????? about 1.5 hrs for 18 gigs !!!!) or you could erase the drive while its slaved to another computer / just make sure to disconnect the power connectors of any drives you dont want erased !!! DBAN can ERASE MULTIPLE DRIVES / when you start dban just type autonuke when you see it !! download the floppy version

post back the results of your bench build


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Just a thought, but not sure, it worked for me once....

How about trying a PCI ATA adapter and not use the onboard IDE?
Check to see if the virus checker in the bios is disabled.

This is the thing...

Everything is new... new Hard Drive, never been used... So it was clean install.

The processor, I didn't install. I bought the thing as a barebone, and added my own stuff, so I didn't install the Processor, I know nothing of it.

I did check the G Card, and it's seated nice... I double checked and reseated the main power connector to the board...

It boots to BIOS, and starts the install of windows fine... It formats the new Drive to NTSF, I did the slow process... 3 times now in fact... But, when it starts to copy the installation files from the CD for windows, it quits working or gives the blue error screen.

2 Questions...

First, sorry such a noob for PC's... But how to check where the single stick of RAM goes? I have it on the left next to processor if your familiar with the AS Rock P4VT8.

Second, My old G Card, the fan quit working... I still used it for a few months, put a house fan on it... Not good I know. But, it still ran, would get the blue screen every now and then. So I finally bought a new G Card, and put it in... Same problems... Blue screen every now and then. So I just bought a new PC, and a new HD for it... Worked fine.

Now, wiith the old motherboard, and EVERYTHING else new... it won't install windows... period. I've tried various CD Drives, HD's, ect... so something is definatly wrong with something of the 3... Processor, Motherboard, or BIOS.

Oh man, my nephew spent $580 for all the parts to get this working... I was sure all the new stuff would make it work right... Could it be the power supply going bad? I'd hate to spend more money if it's not right.

And, I can't find the way in BIOS to turn of anti-virus if its on... :cry:

Any more help would be great.


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Good info:

First of all I am doubtful a bare bones mobo & cpu would come with the thermal grease installed ??? which means the system would heat up if the proper thermal protection was not correct / once the heat builds to the saftey level freaky things happen like BSOD and auto shutdowns !! Check the articsilver website for a demo on applying thermal grease and then refresh yours / if your current CPU install has a thermal pad (kinda like a sticker pad) I would total remove it and clean the surface of the CPU with 99% isopropyl acochol << butchered that LOL you can get good quality isopropyl at drug stores and thermal grease at any good computer store

Second ? I am very suspecious of your PSU especially seeing as it has been the power plant during 2 video card burnouts !! I would try swapping out the PSU with a different one if possible / or buy one from a chain store like best buy or compusa they allow returns if thats no the problem / buy the most expensive 500 watt psu they have although I doubt they sell good ones (most component buyers dont realize the vitally important role a psu plays ) ?????

as for single stick slot / you mobo doesnt seem to be fussy about the single stick location so I would try it in the slot closest to the CPU


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Always try what the techs on this board suggest first, they are allot more experienced than I am. Now that I have warned you about my experience here are my thoughts and suggestions.

Lets assume that the Motherboard and it's BIOS are working at least to the extent where you can post and start the process of setting up the OS. Your CPU is working and probably not overheating because there was plenty of time to overheat during the format process. Lets also assume that your Ram is working because for setup to format your drive it has to put it's routines in memory to run.

The assumption that all the above mentioned hardware is working properly is somewhat bold but lets just say for the moment that it's all good.

Ok so you get through the format just fine but when it starts trying to copy files from the CD to your Hard Disk you got an error saying "setup could not copy this file". It does'nt say that it cannot write to your Hard Drive. You replaced allot of stuff but you never said that you replaced the CD Drive!

What about the CD, or the CD drive? I assume the CD Drive fired up the setup but maybe the drive or the CD are flaxy. I have had allot of those lately, they get a little dirty and dont want to read consistently.

Try the CD in a different drive and see if you can copy the files onto another PC just to test the CD. Try another CD Rom Drive.

If your CD Drive is ok and the CD is ok then lets go back to our assumption that the general system is healthy. You could remount the drive and go back to a fat32 format and boot the machine from a floppy or old windows 98 CD. If you do that you can copy stuff back and forth from the various drives to the Hard disk. You can run like this for a while and see if the system is basically healthy and all your drives are working properly.
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I kinda like that thinking / could be a Cd-rom drive ????? but two heated up vid cards ?????? hmmmm

running Dban on the drive to make sure its clean after a multiple OS install failure would also produce a Kill two birds kind of approach / you can run the dban prog or the hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic program (download from the drive manuf website) off a floppy drive to be sure drive is healthy ?????


Just going to add my 2 cents in here, Joe. Troubleshooting this type of problem is a test and swap parts ordeal, I suggest using utility software first to verify parts are okay when possible, if that doesn't resolve the issue then swap parts.

When an install fails, (copying files, etc), and the CD is good (no scratches) then it's definitely a BIOS and/or hardware issue. Keep in mind it could be more than one issue, I had one a while ago that I had to replace the CD drive, a data cable, remove a ram stick, and reset the bios to get it stabalized-putting that drive or ram stick back in would bsod it, ran fine with another drive and ram. I put the drive and ram in a P3 internet pc and haven't had a problem with them, they weren't bad, just incompatible.

Points to check...
-check ram is correct type, matched sets, run memtest86, (fits on a dos floppy).
Test errors may be ram stick is bad/incompatible or slot is bad.
-check/replace data cables (using 80 conductor ide cable?).
-check hdd's are okay, use the manufacturer diagnostics utility software when possible, (even new hdd's fail), verify jumpers set properly.
-check bios, note down the current settings then use default/fail safe settings. Disable bios virus check, verify bios recognizes hdd's by make and model name.
-while in bios, check CPU temperature, since it's idle should be less than 50C, if higher then could be a thermal problem-temperature ramps up quick under load conditions.

Also, that p4vt8 board's BIOS only supports the Northwood CPU (not the Prescott CPU).
Should run Astra (fits on a dos floppy) to identify the CPU type.

Platform: DOS, MS Windows 95/98/ME. Version: 5.10 download

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Thanks for the suggestions guys... I will try this stuff.

But to clear a few ends...

ONE G Card overheated with the current PSU/CPU/Motherboard. After I noticed getting a few blue screens from problems, I opened the case and found the fan for the vid card was not working.. I continued to use it for another few months... putting a house fan on it with the sides off... bad, I know, but check temps ect and only played a few games... =\

I had 2 cd rom drives in the case at that time. I tried both to install the win xp, after it started giving me problems... and neither worked. I will swap the one in my PC, along with the RAM to kill those problems.

The HD is brand new... Everything is new, from the HD Cable, to the RAM, to the vid card... the only things not new are the PSU/CPU/Motherboard. It goes to bios fine. It reformats fine. JUST when I goto install the OS, then it starts giving me trouble... EVERY single file is gets caught up on, until, it finally goes to the blue screen and I have to turn the damn thing off.

The Win XP Pro CD is fine. I just used it to install on my PC matter of fact, 4 days ago.

Now, you say the PSU Could be the problem? Diff variations of voltage could wack it out? Or the CPU temp... 50 C is good temp?

Breakdown -


RAM - 512
Video Card - G Force 6600

Problems started when G card overheated. Stripped PC, set it aside when I couldn't install the OS.

Bought new PC.. Everything I stripped, works fine in my new PC.

Nephew bought all new stuff for old PC, and it still has same problems. Everything works till the install of the OS.

VERY irritating... I will try these other things, diff CD Drive, checking temps, turn off virus, defaults for BIOS, ect... If not, I will try to buy a new PSU and see...

One more thing.. Could it of damaged the CPU any way shape or form? What if I turned down the MHZ lower to see? Is that possible, and would it help in any way for testing?

Thanks again

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Re-read Stu's reply / he is very good and usually much faster than I at getting to the root of the problem /
find the CPU info / that VERY important / if you are trying to run a prescot CPU when Northwood is the core it supports !!!!!!

Temps= 50C is not a good temp for a mild working enviro / I would not accept 50C unless your computer room is either 95 degrees F or your gaming with Doom3 !!!!

I cant imagine what the temps get to when the OS starts installing ???????

check these items above and post back ??????

we will all work together to fix this / just be patient / trouble shooting takes time




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I've BEEN trying, but I can't figure it out... sorry for being a nubber when it comes to BIOS... BUT

Where the HECK do I check the Temp and Virus thing? It's a AIMBIOS BIOS or some such thing and has like:

Main - Advanced - Power - Security - Boot - Exit

I think that's all... I went through each setting, and can't find ANYTHING about Temp or Virus Checker...

The main has the IDE Devices, and checked both HD and CD, and has both names so I think it's ok.


Thx in advance, and again sorry.
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After further review your bios doesn't have a virus checker......... :sayno:

And here is where to look for your temps.


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Good find Ringo :)

Dont worry Stomper: It will come together / everbody was or is a noob ( i really hate that description)

When you have put the last bullet into this problem you will get a feeling of accomplishment and will have a better understanding for future trouble !!


super_stumped said:
The Win XP Pro CD is fine. I just used it to install on my PC matter of fact, 4 days ago.
If the motherboard didn't come with a CD you can get the manual here...

The webpage for the P4VT8 board is...

The default BIOS settings for this board should work okay with WinXP, load BIOS defaults and then go through the sub-menus to compare with those shown in manual. Here's a couple you may want to verify/change.

Load Default Settings: use this to set the bios defaults, the settings should be same as those displayed in manual.

Resource Configuration
Primary Graphics Adapter: If have AGP card then can change this to AGP.

Peripheral Configuration
OnBoard PATA-IDE: Enabled (verify this is enabled)

System Hardware Monitor
Check here for board temperatures and voltages.

Quick Boot Mode: Disabled (can change to enabled after system running okay).

NOTE: This BIOS doesn't have settings for: virus check; ASPI; plug-n-play OS.

What if I turned down the MHZ lower to see? Is that possible, and would it help in any way for testing?
Yep, sometimes it does.

Windows XP (and Win2k) are far more demanding of correct BIOS settings and CPU/RAM synchronizing than older windows versions, so tweaking BIOS settings often fixes the problem.
Use ASTRA to get CPU and RAM details. (link was given above, also found on Ultimate Boot CD, see link below)

If you have a CD burner, I suggest downloading Puppy Linux Live. It loads from CD and runs completely in RAM-no HDD required, (no knowledge of linux required :grin: ). Often handy for quickly isolating drive/board issues.
Another handy utility CD to have is the Ultimate Boot CD

Could it of damaged the CPU any way shape or form?
The CPU is a solid state semiconductor with really only two frailties: voltage and temperature. If either is abnormal it can affect a CPU in several ways: degraded performance (temporary or timeworn-permanent); shorten lifespan; quick kill.

The PSU is the least considered part, (and arguably most important), of a computer system. If it's undersized or defective then the rest of the system is degraded and at risk of damage.

Abnormaly high heat can cause a catastrophic failure, an example would be powering on a P4 CPU without the heatsink clamped down-it will fry itself in a matter of seconds. CPU's subjected to abnormally high temperatures develop latent defects and become partially degraded, it can still work to some extent (low stress conditions), albeit the lifespan is significantly reduced.

Consider the 50c a worst case upper limit for an idling P4 CPU, 30~40C is typical and less than 30C is optimum. If it's that hot while doing nothing then there's a thermal problem that needs to be corrected or the CPU will be chaotic, and have a short lifespan. The most common cause of premature CPU fails is thermal breakdown due to inadequate cooling methods or a deficient PSU.

Comparatively, an P4 CPU's low power demand is about that of a 40Watt light bulb, and high demand is about a 60Watt bulb (some CPUs go up to 85Watts). If you've ever touched a hot 60Watt bulb then you have an idea of the heat that a heatsink has to draw off and dissipate.

Idealy, an active cooling system tries to keep the core temperature relatively constant, whereas a passive cooling system becomes less effective as heat increases.
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Its time to try a PSU swap / you want a GOOD name brand unit / enermax, antec, OCZ of atleast 450 watts ~~ 500-550 is better the generic PSU's dont put out the voltage they are listed for and very unstable (spikes and lows) power quality !!!!



The CPU Temp is 84 C with just booting it to the BIOS! Oh man, does this mean it's fried? I did it with the G Card overheating????????????????


I do think back, and my brother took off the Fan/HS from the CPU after it was giving me problems... Not sure if he put the DAMN thing back right.

If I take it off (which I have no clue how to do), and check thermal grease, get more if needed, then reclamp, will this HELP, or is the CPU a goner...??

Oh man... I shut it down immediatly and unclamped the fan things... But it won't come off, and I'm afraid to rip the damn CPU right off the board... lol...

Ahh, this is not good.

Stumper ( Now - Super Pissed At Brother )

EDIT: I don't have a floppy drive to get all these utilities... Should i put one in, and if I do, will it be able to check if the CPU is still good after overheating? GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
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The ultimate boot CD has all the utilities on it and it boots to a menu, so you don't need a floppy drive.

Check the manual for heatsink mounting instructions, it may be on wrong way.

Get some thermal grease for the heatsink, always re-apply it when the heatsink has been removed. Here's the instructions...

The CPU may still be functional, the important point is getting the temperature down to an acceptable level.

Also, sometimes the temperature sensors give false readings, did you put your hand near the heatsink to feel the heat coming off it?
This is more than likely the cause of all your problems............ :sayyes:
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