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I'm having trouble tracking down possible causes for a install problem I'm having.

I've had Win7 running fine on my PC for a while, but then my power supply blew. I replaced it and windows would get to the splash screen and then reboot. Tried everything, Safe mode, repair etc and still would reboot.

Then decided to re-install. Booted of the DVD fine, got to the bit where it asks you where to install (the hard disk bit), chose the drive, click next.... reboot.

Tried again but this time with WinXP SP2. This lets you choose the drive, do a FULL FORMAT of the drive, then starts to install. Starts to copy files over, then at some point after the network install option reboots. Then goes back to the setup option and tries again... reboot.

I've replaced the drive, tried taking out memory modules and still the same. The only thing I can think of is that my motherboard is fried, but then I can't work out why I can do part of the WinXP install process and do a full format of the drive.

It's a GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 motherboard. I was running with RAID, but slowly worked back through the various configurations to disable it. My last option will be to try with IDE disks instead of SATA.... but I'm shooting in the dark really.

It seems that any disk read access causes a problem. The system seems stable when just left switched on.

Any ideas?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 24 '09 at 13:33

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Curious have you tried a live cd? Could be that the psu is just being over taxed ie maybe faulty. –  MrStatic Oct 24 '09 at 13:56
    
Did you fix the problem, and what did you do to fix it? –  Chris Pietschmann May 17 '11 at 20:15

4 Answers 4

Thanks guys.

So far, I've tried a new disk - no change. I've also managed to get a Win7 install done, though by luck more than anything. With a single disk in the system and several crashes, it eventually got itself to a completed install.

Tried again with a second disk (same scenario, one disk in the system everything else unplugged) but no joy. I got quite a way... upto the finish install then first proper boot where it configures all the registry settings but now its permanently stuck on the reboot cycle there.

Using the first disk that had the working install on it, I then added back in the second disk, tried to copy the data over the network. After about 5 mins the system rebooted itself.

I'm mulling over a few options atm....

1st, My new 600W power supply isn't sufficent (i7, 3 RAM chips, fanless ATI graphics card) and when the PC tries to do more work, it gives up - but I find it hard to believe that as my other 600W ran 3 HD's and all the other cards I had no problem for about 2 months (this is a different brand, a Zalman though)

2nd, I have a heating problem. My i7 has a huge fanless heatsink and I have a fanless graphics card but I am running airflow over both via three case fans. This might be the problem as I've seen it before and once the PC has been on a while, the reboot frequency seems to get worse. It was working fine for quite a while before the original PSU died though.

3rd - Motherboard or processor is damaged. I just don't know how to tell which, and it's expensive to randomly replace - In effect I could end up buying a new PC with parts I don't need.

I've ran the Win7 memory test. No problems found.

Thanks for the feedback so far, any further thoughts?

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It's also possible that your CPU fan has blown causing your system to overheat and shutdown. I've seen that happen more than one with bad power supplies.

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I agree with Wil's answer, though I expect you won't be able to find much damage by visual inspection.

If the issues are mostly coming from drive accesses, the problem could be confined to the drives or the motherboard's drive controller. I'd try

  • a) hard drives that were not in this computer when the old PSU blew, and/or
  • b) using an add-on SATA controller instead of the motherboard's built-in controller.

These tests would eliminate the possibilities that your issue is being caused by a) a damaged drive or b) a damaged onboard SATA controller. If only the onboard SATA controller is causing issues, this might allow you to continue using that motherboard.

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It is hard to tell without seeing the computer, but I think you could have somehow blown or damaged the motherboard as changing the PSU should have of put the computer into the state it was in before.

In particular, if I was you, I would check all around the hard drive SATA ports and chips that they all look normal and there is no sign of melting / damage - however, it is more likely to be something you can't see.

I typically see this after lightning strikes or similar.

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You can kind-of test this by booting off a LiveCD (e.g. Ubuntu or Knoppix) and seeing if everything works right. Also, the Windows 7 DVD will let you run a memory test--can't hurt. –  CarlF Oct 24 '09 at 15:15

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