BSOD during inital (clean) install of XP Home

Posted on 2006-06-03
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Hello everyone,

A little background of what I'm doing.  I read an article on Tom's Hardware about overclocking a Pentium D 805 and I decided to give it a shot.

I assembled the new computer with the following items:

- Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Motherboard
- Pentium D 805 2.66Ghz CPU
- OCZ Gold Series 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM Unbuffered DDR2 667 (PC2 5400)
- Gigabyte GeForce 7900GTX GFX card
- Enermax 500W PSU
- Zalman CNPS9500 copper CPU Fan.
- Seagate Baracuda 300GB HDD
- DVD +/- RW Drive
- SoundBlaster Xfi Sound Card.

The problems started during the very beginning of the install of winXP Home.  First I would get file copy errors while system files were being copied over.  If I just told it to retry a couple times, the install would continue a little while longer before I would eventually get BSODs.  On most BSODs it didn't point out what went wrong other than it needed to shut down to prevent damage.

I tried the install process at least 5 different times.  I got the IRQL_not less than something error a few times.

I swapped out the cd drive, I've tried a new (but identical) motherboard, I tried to install without the soundblaster card.  Every single time I got a BSOD.

I read a few other people who posted here that it could be a memory problem.  I used the Ultimate Boot CD and ran a memory test on the computer.  Everything passed with flying colors.  

I then thought it might have been a HDD interface issue.  I checked the BIOS setting and all RAID settings were disabled.

Next I checked to see if it was the ram's position on the board.  I had installed the 2 chips in banks 1 / 3, so I switched them to banks 2 and 4.  Same problem.  I tried slots 1 and 2 and that got me a little further in the xp install, but it still BSODed.

I thought the mobo was messed up at this point since it was an open box buy.  I RMAed it and got a full new one in less than a week.  The Install problem did not go away.

After sitting on it for a few days with a busted computer and parts all over the place, I thought, "Maybe the board isn't doing the Dual channel thing right"  I removed one of the chips and now the computer is running fine with 1gb of ram on one stick rather than the 2gigs I had planned for.  OS is installed along with GFX and sound drivers.

I hate to mess with the computer since its "working",  but I wanted to get some suggestions.  I want to say that it is the RAM but I dont want to buy another set only to have the same problem with it.  Is there anything I may have overlooked?

Thanks for listening to me ramble.  

Question by:clew142
    LVL 34

    Accepted Solution

    do both sticks work when the other is removed? because it sounds like one of the sticks is bad or they aren't a matching pair.
    LVL 91

    Assisted Solution

    couple of things to try :
    - check the power you need here :
    - install the XP with only disk and cd connected, no extra cards, drives
    - try another xp cd, or make a copy, and try it
    - try installing with another video card, even a cheap PCI one will do
    LVL 32

    Assisted Solution

    If the above posts do not work, you may want to check if the dual channel is enabled in the Bios setup. Sometimes the placement of the ram modules for single channel and dual channel are different, check your manual
     You may also want to check for a Bios update. Keep in mind there are 2 revisions of this board. 1.0 and 1.1, which do you have?

    Author Comment

    Thanks everyone for your comments.  I've been running on one stick of RAM for a few days now with no problems.  Half life 2 and Call of Duty 2 ran perfectly for several hours of solid play time.  I tried switching to the second stick of RAM and it worked for around 5 minutes or so before locking up.  After that point, the computer would not POST with that second stick.  What a headache.  I did try the single stick of ram on the mobo for both sticks earlier and both worked just fine with the XP installation earlier.  I didn't think a stick of ram would get progressivly worse, I thought it would be a "it works or its dead".

    Sparkmaker:  I should have version 1.1 of the mobo.  I think the Pentium 805 doesn't work on the v1.0 mobo.  

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