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CAnnot install Windows on built from scratch computer, how do I do it?

Posted on 2000-05-08
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I have a computer that I built from scratch.  The HD has nothing on it.  The specifications are as follows:

Motherborad: EPoX 7KXA with the original BIOS (1/28/2000) that it came with
CPU: Athlon 700 (a STEP-Thermodynamics o/c 500)
RAM: 128 PC133 (from STEP-Thermodynamics)
Video: Stealth III
DVD/CD: Mitashita (or something like that, not a name brand, but works in another system)
Floppy: Generic from CompUSA
HD: 20 GB Maxtor 7200 RPM (also works in another system, FAT32 and formated)

I believe that is all the necessary infromation, so here is my problem.  When I try to boot from the Win98SE cd to install Windows, sometimes the menu of selecting Boot from HD or CD shows, sometimes it doesn't.  If it does show, then I get to the part about booting w CD support, w/o CD support, or start Windows setup.  Usually when I do get to this part and select anyone of the three options, the computer just freezes and nothing else happens.

I try to boot from floppy and the thing just says non-system disk, although it is a system disk.

I moved the HD to another system, and copied the Win98SE cd to it (in a directory) and I coppied the bootdisk I had to the HD.  This does not work either, the system shows a Win98 screen (you know like when you boot from a Win98 bootdisk) and then the system freezes at that screen.

I tried to flash to BIOS to the latest version, but I followed the instructions that came with the update, but they would not work, and I was unable to flash toe BIOS to the new version.

I have tried everything that I know to try and nothing has worked, can you help me solve this problem?
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Question by:enkidu
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16 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:SwissCheese
ID: 2790739
If you unable to boot to the bootable disk, you've either got a bad boot disk, or you have real hardware problems (Probably mainboard, could be floppy drive).  Make sure you've got a good boot disk that works ok on another machine.  Then make sure your bios is set to boot to floopy.  Boot to the floppy, and see if you can access hdd.  If you can, then change to win98 directory and type in "setup" & enter.  If you cannot see hdd, retry all cable connections, go into bios and auto detec hdd.  If still no hdd you have narrowed down hardware issue to mainboard or hdd.  Let me know how far you get & we'll go from there!
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Author Comment

by:enkidu
ID: 2790748
Bootdisk and floppy drive both work as they have been tested on other machines.  The BIOS is set to boot from CD then floppy, then HD, and I did not have a CD in the CD drive at the time I was trying to boot from the boot disk.  That is where the problem lies, I think that it is a MB problem, but the MB works fine in every other regard so I am hesitiant to place blame on the MB.  The HD works fine, as it was tested on another machine.
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Author Comment

by:enkidu
ID: 2790751
Oh, and the BIOS detects the HD fine.  Also disregard my previous comment about my belief that the problem resides in the MB, I have no idea where the problem is hence this question.
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Author Comment

by:enkidu
ID: 2790760
Adjusted points from 360 to 610
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Accepted Solution

by:
RoadWarrior earned 620 total points
ID: 2790904
Your overclocking is probably too aggressive, run the CPU slower. Windows can be more picky than any stability tests you have run yet.

You may get away with 600-650 Mhz.

Did you buy a "guaranteed overclockable to 700" CPU?

well the overclockability really only holds good when you use it on the exact same board as the people who tested it, some will say their guarantee is fulfilled if you can boot it to a dos prompt. You REALLY ONLY HAVE a 500Mhz processor.

regards,

Road Warrior
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Expert Comment

by:crojas
ID: 2790952
Can you try another HardDisk from Quantum?
I've heard some Ultra-ATA 66 disks are not very compatible with some Athlon Mainboards. And i heard that Quantum hard drives are fully compatible.
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Expert Comment

by:emery800
ID: 2791005
A couple of questions:
1. Have you checked all your CMOS settings and the bootup options?
2. Do you have the motherboard book, I am not sure if the Epox has a jumper on the motherboard or a setting in CMOS to allow you to flash the Bios. I think it was a jumper on MB for the ones I have worked on.
3. What type of bootdisk did you format the hd with (From what type of OS) and set the fat32 up?
4. Have you tried the bootdisk on another operating system to make sure it works and has necessary files on it? Sorry for the questions?
From what you identified above I have to concur for what its worth that the overclocking is giving you the problem. Dave
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Expert Comment

by:Otta
ID: 2791132
I agree -- "undo" the over-clocking, until you get WIN98SE installed and stable. Then, gradually add over-clocking.
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Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 2791351
> Mitashita (or something like that, not a name brand

I can only comment that I agree the overclocking is most likely the culprit here.  But the quoted above was just too much...  Matsushita Industries is the largest company in Japan, the second largest economy in the world.  Anything that has the name Panasonic, Technics, and 17 other brand names are all really made by Matsushita.
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Expert Comment

by:ddaly
ID: 2791894
Focus on your floppy disk drive - if it doesn't recognise a tested bootable floppy disk the trouble must lie in the drive, the cable from the drive to the mb or the mainboard connector. I would swap the floppy drive and assume it's an incompatibility problem
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Author Comment

by:enkidu
ID: 2791913
The above comments led me to the solution.
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Author Comment

by:enkidu
ID: 2791915
Adjusted points from 610 to 620
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Author Comment

by:enkidu
ID: 2791924
Thank you Road Warrior, that was exactly the problem.  Do you have any tips on getting it to run at the promised 700?
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Author Comment

by:enkidu
ID: 2791936
Oh, and the people did guarentee the o/c ability, and they do not say anything about using a certain MB, they have reccomened ones, but not one they require.
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Expert Comment

by:emery800
ID: 2792492
Glad your initial problem is fixed and it demonstrates again teamwork works! Dave
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Expert Comment

by:RoadWarrior
ID: 2794298
Hmmmm I have been round some overclock sites and your motherboard is thought well of, though i have only seen tests with FSB overclocks, no repeorts of multiplier overclocks yet. It is said to be better than the Asus K7M board that STEP thermodynamics supply. However this board which they seem to have the most experience with has an AMD chipset, they also recommend the Asus K7V with the VIA chipset, which is the same chipset as you have and is good for up to 1G Athlons.

I presume you got the "accellerator card" with your CPU and instructions how to set the clock multipliers and cache options.

Take a look at the recommended voltage setting from STEP, the standard is 1.6 but some of their CPUs require 1.8V to be stable, this is jumpered on your motherboard.

The way they describe their re-manufacturing of the CPUs, then I think you may just have some settings problems or heat problems. Follow STEP's cooling recommendations.

I presume you tried the CPU set at 7x100, with the FSB memory bus boosted to 133. If the voltage thing does not work, try setting the bus to 115 Mhz the multiplier to 6 and turn off the 33Mhz boost to the RAM, this would have it running at 690 Mhz with the RAM at 115Mhz.

Try also playing around with the L2 cache settings onboard, apparently the default BIOS setup for best performance is very good, but we are doing something a little out of spec here so a little tinkering may be needed. Also experimenting with the onboard cache settings via the switch settings on the accel card may be a help.

This may only be a temporary problem, after a month using your board at as high as you can get now, it might be better "burned in" which can be a factor in how well a board handles overclocking. Some electronic migration can take place in the Semiconductors which benefits speed.

regards,

Road Warrior
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