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Frustrated beyond belief -- can't install XP Home

Frustrated beyond belief -- can't install XP Home

Postby EJC » Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:48 am

So I started out with a perfectly good, brand new Inspiron 1720 with Vista Home Premium pre-installed, which my wife and I purchased for her to use as her primary computer. It worked fine. Except that it was Vista, and like seemingly 99% of the world my wife grew to dislike Vista, so we did the research and decided it would be a good idea to dual boot with XP Home, which the idea being that we would use exclusively XP until it someday became advisable or necessary to give Vista another chance.

I purchased an XP Home with SP2 DVD and attempted to dual boot. Then the roadblocks started. Can't detect the disk drives. So I downloaded drivers, bought a USB floppy drive and did the F6 thing. Not enough partitions to install XP because it was a Dell with Media Direct. So I deleted Media Direct and its partitions and re-installed XP. And so on. And then it finally happened -- XP at last completed the install process, the Windows XP splash screen appeared . . . and for the briefest moment a BSOD flashed and then the system rebooted. The BSOD was so quick, it took me about 15 tries of staring right where the code appears just to make out the last two characters: 7B.

So with XP utterly unusable, I popped in the Vista DVD to repair the Vista bootloader. It worked fine. I used a utility which I have since learned I shouldn't have used and tried to set up a dual boot. Got the dual boot menu just fine, but if I selected XP . . . 7B.

Hours turned into nights. No cure for the 7B error. Then, one night, other errors started to occur within Vista. Before long Vista was unusable as well. It couldn't last 5 minutes after startup before a BSOD appeared, with errors like 24, 50, and something involving a C. I can't even remember them all at this point.

So now I had an XP installation that won't boot, and a Vista installation that I had shepherded from working just fine to unusable. I tried to repair Vista, but to no avail. I ran CHKDSK, which told me the disk was just fine.

At the end of my rope, with no functioning OS at all, I decided to try formatting the entire drive and installing only XP. It was a drastic step that I had been trying to avoid, but that time had come.

So tonight I did that. Everything worked fine. I formatted the entire drive as a new partition and installed XP. It completed the installation process and rebooted. The XP splash screen appeared . . . and then the 7B BSOD returned for an instant and then the system rebooted. Again and again and again. Even with a completely formatted hard drive and only XP, I could not get the 7B error to go away.

So now I come before you seeking help. I have taken my wife's computer from a perfectly-functioning Vista system to a coaster with an unbootable XP Home installation.

Any theories on what I need to do to get it working again? Thanks in advance for your help. If there is information you need that I haven't included, please let me know and I'll be glad to supply.
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Postby jaelanicu » Sat Nov 24, 2007 12:24 pm

First, here are the official name of the error codes.

0x00000024= NTFS file system error
0x00000050= Page fault in nonpaged area
0x0000007B= Inaccessible boot device

Regardless of the error name, the cause of the error can be either software or hardware.

Since you already tried to format the drive and start from square one, and the fact that the BSOD occurs at random time, IMO, the conclusion is that your new system is no longer stable. Most of the time, when error occured at random time during Windows installation (especially) or on an already installed Windows, the cause is hardware malfunction rather than software misconfiguration.

The cause of the malfunction is probably during the shipment of the system where it may had bumped on something. Other cause is that the system is already "dying" at the time you purchase it where the effect is not yet severe.

You may be temped to thinker with the BIOS settings, and it may worked, but usually that is because the settings are set to the safe mode which will not make the system run optimally. Any system that can only be run in BIOS safe mode is not 100% stable. You should consult the seller's technical support about replacing the defective system instead.
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Postby EJC » Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:50 pm

In case this helps diagnose the problem, here is the code I get when I try to boot XP Home now:

*** STOP: 0x0000007B (0xBACCB524, 0xC0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)
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Postby jaelanicu » Sat Nov 24, 2007 9:03 pm

Frankly, only the first number (the stop code) is most useful. The remaining four numbers are the location of the device driver code when the error occured - not quite useful. It is rather difficult to know which component that malfunctioned since they are connected to each other. You can search the stop codes at the Microsoft's website, but you'll only get a list of possible causes - both software and hardware.

Two to three failed Windows installations or when system is getting unpredictable is enough for me to blame the hardware.

Since your system is brand new, it should still under warranty and you should at least report the problem to the seller. There's a hardware check-up list, but it require access into the system case which will void the warranty. So I don't think it's a good idea.
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Postby Nativedude » Sun Nov 25, 2007 5:14 am

I'm not familiar with Dell's warranty but you will want to read through the papers, installing XP on a Vista machine may have voided your warranty

Before I would send it in though I would at least try to reinstall Vista
If it is still unstable after a complete Vista reinstall than it's definitely hardware and needs to be sent in
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Postby xXDIGITALXx » Sun Nov 25, 2007 6:50 am

I second the last post. If you talk to Dell I don't know if I'd tell them that you tried to dual boot XP and all that.
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Postby NT50 » Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:17 pm

1. When installing XP soley, did you delete the partition and then recreate?

2. Have you tried to do a total restore of Vista?
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Postby xXDIGITALXx » Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:42 pm

I was thinking today. Active@ has a program called KillDisk. It COMPLETELY removes all information from a hard drive. Partitions, files, everything. It literally kills all the info. Might try doing that and then attempting the install again.
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