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WHS Simply Won't Install RRS feed

  • Question

  • Am attempting to install WHS on an older PC.  It does meet all of the requirements: AMD Barton 2500, nVidia GeForce 4 MX Integrated GPU (with the latest drivers - Nov. 2006), 300 GB (IDE), 120 GB (IDE), 250 GB (SATA), 1 TB (SATA II), 2.5 GB RAM, DVD drive.

    I downloaded the .iso file and CRC32 confirmed a perfect download.  I have burned it to at least 5 DVDs using AVS and now Nero 9; I used 1x speed burning, and each instance verified correctly.  In all cases, the installation starts with "Windows is loading files", then the "Microsoft Corporation" logo appears for 2 seconds, then the screen goes blank and nothing more progresses.  I have left it idle for 15 mins, but nothing.   I have searched through the Forum and online, but don't fina anyone else who stalls out at this point.   Any ideas?
    Monday, March 9, 2009 5:18 AM

Answers

  • Outcome - upgraded to a Server 2003 compatible mobo (Gigabyte) with a Core2Duo processor.  WHS installed without any problems and running smoothly now.

    Lesson - absolutely check the compatibility of your hardware.  If the manufacturer doesn't list it as Server 2003 compatible, it probably will give you trouble.
    • Marked as answer by burpler Friday, April 24, 2009 3:55 PM
    Friday, April 24, 2009 3:55 PM

All replies

  • Hi,
    I remember, that the drivers from WU for the GeFORCE 4 MX messed up Windows XP installations before, so it may well be, that the video adapter is not compatible with the initial stage of setup.
    If it is one with shared memory, try to assign at least 128 MB for the video adapter in Bios, if possible.
    Also I would recommend to detach all disks besides the one, which you want to use as system drive.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Monday, March 9, 2009 10:23 AM
    Moderator
  • Olaf - vielen Dank fuer die Vorschlaege.  Here's what I did:

    Using the MSI Live Update tool on their website:
    1.  I updated/flashed the BIOS to the latest version for the MSI-6570 ATX motherboard.
    2.  I updated all video and system drivers.
    3.  I noticed 8 VGA driver updates for many nVidia VGA cards - none of which I have.  Should I have updated these too? (I did NOT).

    I then followed your suggestions:

    1.  Advanced BIOS Settings
    Video BIOS cacheable = disabled; External cache = enabled

    2.  Advanced Chipset Features
    System BIOS cacheable = disabled; Video RAM cacheable = disabled; AGP Aperature Size = 128 MB; Frame Buffer Size = 128 MB (these last 2 are described in the BIOS as for sharing video memory).

    3.  Hard Drives
    I set the single 300 GB drive as the only (master) drive.
     
    When I tried to run the WHS setup again, it proceded further (!!), but I got a blue error screen recommending that I "disable caching or shadowing, update the BIOS, or try changing the video adapters"; there was also an error STOP code: 0x0000007E (plus lots more...).

    I changed the Advanced BIOS setting for External cache from "enabled" to "disabled" and the blue screen of error went away, but the setup once again froze 3 seconds after the "loading files" stage, while the "Microsoft Corporation" logo was just showing.

    I don't know if it would help, but the current nVidia GPU is incorporated into the MSI motherboard.  I do have an older ATI Technologies Radeon Graphics 7200 4X AGP (32 MB) video graphics card that I could install in the open AGP slot of the mobo. Or is that going in the wrong direction ?!

    Any further thoughts are greatly appreciated. 
    Tuesday, March 10, 2009 4:59 AM
  • Hi,
    that stop error is handled in KB article 330182.
    So maybe, perform a Bios Reset to default settings could help, or changing the disk against another one. (What was on it before?) Also reinitializing the disk as described in this FAQ would be an idea. 
    In worst case your mainboard is broken - check for bumped capacitors.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Tuesday, March 10, 2009 11:23 AM
    Moderator
  • Steps taken tonight:

    1.  Tested DVD on another (newer) PC - works fine = DVD OK.
    2.  Connected only the hard drive that is the primary boot drive now (it currently launches and runs MCE 2005 perfectly fine).
    3.  Reset the BIOS settings.
    4.  Matched th BIOS settings on the WHS PC to the PC on which the DVD initialized properly.

    In all cases it simply stops when the Microsoft logo appears, and before the initialization process begins.  Because the PC operates Windows XP MCE 2005 (and XP Pro previously), and the installation process never actually starts, I am leaning towards a lack of compatible of the installation with this hardware combination.  I will contact MSI and nVidia for any experience that they may have with Windows Home Server on this hardware combination.

    Any other ideas?

    If it turns out to be incompatible, would you suggest:

    1.  Upgrading to a newer motherboard (if so, do you have any suggestions or is there a compatibility list that I can check so I don't go through this again?).
    2.  Adding a different AGP card (if so, do you have any suggestions or is there a compatibility list that I can check so I don't go through this again?).

    Any assistance is much appreciated.

    Wednesday, March 11, 2009 4:44 AM
  • Hi,
    regarding to the boot drive - it could be the case, that some stuff is written in the MBR, which is causing the installation routine to stuck on load.
    Thats why I recommended to try a reinitialization of the disk or swapping it against another drive.
    For hardware compatibility the Hardware Compatibility List for Windows Server 2003 would still fit, although it is relatively outdated (not sure, if Windows Server 2003 can still be found in the linked place) and does not contain consumer grade hardware for that OS.
    If the Video adapter is guilty, trying another one should work - even if you keep it in the server only during the installation.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Wednesday, March 11, 2009 7:45 AM
    Moderator
  • I tried everything, but still no luck.

    I reinitialized the drive.  Used only one drive.  Tried it with 2 other functional drives.  Tried a different video AGP card.  Still it freezes right after the files load.

    All I can guess is some setting in the BIOS conflicts with the installation.  Unless there are any other suggestions, I think I will buy a used/more modern motherboard/CPU setup.

    Thursday, March 12, 2009 1:31 PM
  • Outcome - upgraded to a Server 2003 compatible mobo (Gigabyte) with a Core2Duo processor.  WHS installed without any problems and running smoothly now.

    Lesson - absolutely check the compatibility of your hardware.  If the manufacturer doesn't list it as Server 2003 compatible, it probably will give you trouble.
    • Marked as answer by burpler Friday, April 24, 2009 3:55 PM
    Friday, April 24, 2009 3:55 PM