Not a problem, a solution

  Legolas 22:45 27 Apr 2003

I was forced to do a format of my hardrive, something I have done many times before. After completing the format I proceeded to install my OS WinXP Pro, again something I have done many times before.

At the "copying files to be installed" stage I got error messsages saying such and such a file cannot be copied. I tried many times and got to different stages but always with error messages, whatever I did I could not get XP to install. I finally gave up on XP and managed to install a very unstable version of ME.

I then tried to install XP from within WinME still no joy I got all sorts of error messages and BSOD. I tried all sorts of things to get XP to install I burnt a copy of the original incase the original disk was damaged, no joy, I took all expansion cards out of my system except my graphics card and memory, still got all the same error messages.

Then I noticed that some of the BSOD error messages mentioned memory problems so as a last resort I swapped the memory stick (256MB)with an identical (256MB)memory stick from a second system I have. Hey presto XP Pro installs no problem, as the system was working with ME I never suspected the memory stick as the culprit I have put this memory stick in my other system and it certainly boots ok but I will have to keep an eye on it to see if it causes that system running ME to become unstable.

So what have I learned...well I have learned that memory can be faulty but the system can still boot up and be operative allbeit in my case a bit unstable, I have learnt that all possibilities must be explored to find the cause of a problem, and perhaps most importantly I have learned to take more note of error messages as they can hold important clues to a sytem malfunction and its possible cure.

I hope my experiance with this problem and its subsequent solution can help someone to avoid the long hours of fruitless toil. All in all it took me almost a fortnight before I stumbled upon the solution.

  beeuuem 23:15 27 Apr 2003

I had a similar problem last year with XP- the system suddenly started crashing with increasing frequency. Reached the stage when it wouldn't boot and I couldn't reinstall or repair , as you say, error messages saying that it couldn't copy files from the CD.

Removed a stick of added RAM, Crucial no less, reinstalled XP and it all worked. Put the RAM back in and that problem has (touch wood) not come up again. Why the memory should have this effect - who knows?

  King Diamond 23:39 27 Apr 2003

Yeah...somtimes anti-virus software interferes also. I would uninstall AV/Firewalls ect before doing a re-install.

I also found I had problems with installing it on some older Dell pc's, don't know why. That was probably just coincidence.

  Legolas 23:45 27 Apr 2003

I am using the system at the moment that I put the faulty? memory stick into and it seems ok, as you say beeuuem I have no idea why the memory should suddenly have started playing up on my system and caused the problem.

  billyliv 23:46 27 Apr 2003

Hi, Just to put my pennyworth in before I attempt the incline up the wooden hill. Why the frequent formatting and re-installing? OK, maybe once every year or so, but surely there isn't a need for doing it evey so often. Cheers, Bill

  DieSse 01:15 28 Apr 2003

Memory and memory sockets may be tin or gold-flashed. Mixing the two can lead to contact problems, which are often cured by removal and refitting - thus cleaning off any corrosion caused by dissimilar metal/metal contact.

I've lost count of the times I've been into older systems to change something - then got problems of the RAM or processor not working - cured by reseating them in their sockets.

  woody 01:36 28 Apr 2003

"Why the frequent formatting "

In my case i experiment by trying out lots of programs approx one per day .Then i try to remove them.There is always lots of rubbish left behind and after a while - max 3mths - i start to get more than my share of faults .

I reformat and clean install all is well till i mess it up again.
On the comp's that i do not experiment/load unnecessary programs they work like a dream .

Maybe a message to those that gets lots of crashes.

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