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I just finished one of my builds and am trying to install Windows XP onto it. Here are the specs beforehand...

  • Intel Pentium 4 Northwood 2.4 GHz (512KB L2, 533MHz FSB)
  • QDI Superb 4 Motherboard
  • 2x 1GB PC3200 DDR RAM
  • Seagate 80GB IDE HDD
  • Bestec 250W PSU
  • 16MB NVIDIA TNT2 Pro
  • Samsung DVD-ROM
  • USB 2.0 PCI Card
  • Generic PCI Modem

The issue right now is that when I'm running through the Windows Setup from my XP Pro SP3 disc, partway through the setup says that a random file on the disc is corrupt and the computer needs to be restarted. Every time I tried booting it up, a different file was noted as corrupt.

However, I tested the same disc on another computer and the Windows XP disc ran to the end of the setup screen without error. I tried this on another computer and the same thing. What could possibly be happening on this one build to cause it errors during the Windows Setup?

Thanks in advance.

More info: I ran Memtest86+ with these for a couple hours before without error, but I am running it again to see what is wrong. Just to mention, the CPU FSB is actually higher than the motherboard FSB, running at ~1.8 GHz instead of 2.4 GHz. I don't know if this is an issue.

SOLUTION: I was running PC3200 DDR RAM, when the highest official supported speed of RAM is PC2700. I had some spare sticks of PC2100 lying around (also supported) and the setup went through without error. Thank you for your assistance!

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It's my experience that these alleged file corruptions are actually due to bad RAM.

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I'd run a standard diagnostics program. There are too many variables at this point - could be a bad drive, bad RAM, CPU problem, fluctuating power supply. Try and start with Memtest and then move forward to one of the system diagnostics programs. Since many are self booting, they don't require an OS.

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Every time I've run into this problem, either the Windows CD was damaged (even though it visibly appeared to be in reasonably good condition), the CD drive was flaky, or the hard drive was bad.

Update: Glad you got it working--I'm surprised the RAM was the issue, considering the RAM test passed! Technically, the computer should have been able to run the PC3200 RAM at PC2700 speed, but some motherboard/RAM combinations don't seem to properly negotiate a stable speed--my guess is that some off-brand RAM is rated higher than its highest stable speed. Normally, the computer is supposed to auto-detect the RAM speeds and will back down to the speed of the slowest device. You might want to try manually setting the PC3200 RAM to a lower speed.

I've had some Gigabyte motherboards that wouldn't POST when a certain off-brand of DDR800 RAM was set to run at its stock speed, but which ran fine when I bumped the RAM down to DDR667 speed.

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I actually agree with Rob even though the poster decided this was not the answer –  James Watt Apr 23 '10 at 3:35

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