Big, stupid trouble installing Win2k

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OK it's Windows 2000 Professional, and the Compaq Presario 4500 minitower(P233MMX, 32MB, 10GB).

Basically it can't get through the first restart during the installation; it goes through that loading screen(with the little status bar at the bottom) that win2k always uses at startup, then has some kind of BSOD, which says something about a memory dump and to try restarting once, and if that fails call a tech support-type person... Uhh... I've tried restarting it close to 15 times now. Furthest its ever got was half way through the installing-drivers-for-connected-devices part, then mister BSOD flashed up.

I did some research on Google about 2k and 32MB, and nobody else has reported problems, so RAM size isn't it. The hard drive is brand-new and currently has win 95 running fine on it so that's not the problem, either. And I tried several different RAM chips and unplugged everything but the essential hardware...nothing gets rid of it. Install CD works fine on my Armada 1500c and my friend's half-dead PC(BIOS apparently eaten by a virus), so not even THAT explains it.

Somebody help me?

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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All i can say is that Win2k i

All i can say is that Win2k is MUCH more sensitive to hardware faults than win 9x is. If you have some peice of hardware that is slightly off kilter, Win9x might work just fine but Win2k just might barf on it.

Usually if you have a BSOD at intermittant times, it ends up being a hardware fault.

32 megs for Win2k? Thats barely enough ram to boot the thing much less than use it.

Can you put more ram into it if at all possible?

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Yes and no.

Yes I can put more RAM in there... but no it won't stay in there for long(the Macs deserve it more Wink). I suppose I can pull even more stuff off the logic board(eg the L2 cache), but I really can't be bothered putting that much effort into making it run... I was hoping there'd be a big, obvious problem. Ah well.

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Just try putting more ram int

Just try putting more ram into it for now and see if it works better.

If it does, then you know that not having enough memory is the issue.

Most techs basically use 64 megs as the bottom line for Win2k which is probably why you don't find much info on using Win2k with only 32 megs.

What kind of ram is it anyway?

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I already have tried using mo

I already have tried using more RAM, but it didn't make any difference. I used a different drive today to see if there was an improvement(the computer's original 4 gig monster) and it got all the way through the setup assistant(?) thing then BSODed as soon as I clicked Finish, and then it quit starting up at all. This was with everything removed but basic CD-ROM, HD, RAM, floppy.

Hmm.

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Man, i just wonder if the sys

Man, i just wonder if the system is just broken. Maybe the motherboard is just flakey enough to be weird around win2k. Your computer just sounds like its bummed out hardwarewise.

Heres a far shot, open the case and examine the capacitors. Look for bulging/blown/leaking caps. They can cause weirdness. If you need help identifying bad caps, go here: www.badcaps.net They have pictures of what they look like.

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But...

About 3 days ago, I stripped the computer down to bare metal(including disassembling the PS and cleaning out dust/checking for potential shorts) and examined every square millimetre of every component in it. Nothing is wrong. It's really, really good on the inside... caps and all.

So it's not the cache, hard drive, optical drives, floppy drive, RAM, install CD, VRAM chips, mouse/keyboard(you never know), and damn it it doesn't appear to be the logic board or CPU that's at fault. Maybe Win 2000 just has a thing against Presarios. Tongue

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BIOS or HDD size?

1. Make sure that you have the latest BIOS. Win2K has a list of bad BIOS versions that need to be upgraded before the OS will install but you should see an error message if this is the case. However, an update is always a good idea on PC models that predate Win2K.

2. Win2K accesses the HDD differently than Win 95, so the fact that Win 95 works is no guarantee that Win2K will be happy. Try partitioning the disk so that the Primary Partition on which Win2K is to be installed is less than 8GB. You can recover the disk space later by creating another partition using the Win2K disk manager.

Phil

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You may be SOL.....

My wife's grandmother had one of those tiny Compaq Presarios. When we visited her, I was going to do a good deed and upgrade her RAM (she had 24). We bought a 128 MB DIMM and tried to install it. It had the same problem as yours. Upon returning the DIMM and placing the original back in, I looked it up online. It only goes up to 40MB of RAM.

If yours uses an Intel 430VX or HX chipset, it only recognizes up to 32MB DIMMS. Upon looking online for the 4500, diagrams of the motherboard only show one DIMM slot.

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Regular hard drive(now) is 10

Regular hard drive(now) is 10GB, formatted accidentally to 8GB during the last QuickRestore to 95... drive I tried yesterday was a 4GB, so no issues with size there.

Yup, 4526 will only ever see 48MB total RAM. One DIMM slot. It's darn lucky its not slow while stock, coz there's nowhere else to go. Tongue On the upside, the new hard drive(only 5400rpm/2MB) gave it a 200% performance boost- which I mean quite literally, as every process goes around twice as fast now. And I've tracked down a copy of Win 98... no 2000 = no loss, really.

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Compaq= "teh 5uX0r" I'd ju

Compaq= "teh 5uX0r"

I'd just get rid of that thing and never look back.

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man, if it wasn't so freaking

man, if it wasn't so freaking expensive to ship computers, i would just give you one of our old junkers that we end up binning. I hate compaq comptuers with a passion. They are just so "weird" compared to almost all other brands (except for maybe HP/Packard Bell, they also can be weird).

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2kPro refuses to run on all p

2kPro refuses to run on all pre-PIIs, and hates PIIs. Also, you have way to little RAM, 64meg minimum. I recommend just getting a new machine or forgetting 2kPro

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Anti-Compaq?

Hahaha... I love Compaqs and they are the only PCs I'll ever use(them and HPs), simply because every one I've owned has performed wonderfully for well beyond the average lifespan of a PC(3 years).

And Dr Webster... I happen to hate Dells with a passion- every one I've seen(and lets not even THINK about the one I owned) had some sort of fault, and reminded me of the word 'cheap'... Funny how one brand works just fine for one user, and causes another to want to bomb it's headquarters. Wink

(PS- I'm not implying that all Dells are crap, or that all Compaqs are works of art. They're not. It's just that my experience means more to me than other people's opinions.)

EDIT: That second last comment also applies to Bobotech- wouldn't want you to feel left out, now would we! Wink

EDIT #2: This computer has more sentimental value to me than anything else. It’s not really my main computer now that the Armada’s up and running, and I really only use it for cool old games that won’t run in 2k or XP(shoulda thought about that before trying to install 2000 anyway), and downloading files(keeps possible virii and spyware off the lappy). So I don’t mind if it has some near-invisible hardware fault, or the RAM doesn’t go over 48MB- and I really wouldn’t want another, less-cool-looking but slightly more functional PC taking up space in here.

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BTW one thing that everyone n

BTW one thing that everyone needs to know about win2k and installing it on older computer, you need to install it as a "standard computer" and NOT as a acpi computer. I totally forgot about that.

Bascially all pentiums before the intel 810 (used with the p3) chipset are not fully acpi compatible. All of your older bx/lx/ex chipsets will cause weird problems when installing win2k.

The way you override it is when you are booting up the win2k install cd, when it says "press f6 to install driver" or whatever it says, you need to hit the F5 or the F7 key (i always forget which key is it, i just hit them alternately in a quick fashion). Then once it starts the install sequence, you should get a new screen which shows variouis types of computers.

You then look for "standard pc" and choose that as your choice.

In all the years that I have been a professional tech (10+), the priopertiy (sp?) models have always been the worse when it comes to upgrading and what not, such as the packard bells, compaqs, hps, etc. Dells usually use somewhat standardized motherboards in their cases so you can junk the old motherboard and replace it with something more functional (except for dell's fun attempt at standard looking powersupply connectors which really aren't standardized).

I would so much rather have functionality over form. The most functional pcs that i have found are generic whitebox computers. They are all standardized cases with standard parts in them and are usually upgradable and forgiving. Not so with the crappy compaqs of the world. I don't know how many compaqs i have passed over when browsing the thrift stores. i dont' even give them a second glance.

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Things that do work

Quoting Bobotech:

"Bascially all pentiums before the intel 810 (used with the p3) chipset are not fully acpi compatible. All of your older bx/lx/ex chipsets will cause weird problems when installing win2k."

I've installed 2000 and XP on literally hundreds of LX and BX systems with few problems, most of which were fixed by a BIOS flash. As always, if you purchased a PII motherboard from a decent vendor you encountered no problems running the ACPI HAL but if you bought cheap stuff you all know what happens...

Whilst I wouldn't recommend installing Win2K on anything older than a PII, it will happily install on a Pentium 75 with 32MB RAM if you can cope with a 15 minute bootup time. You'll need to use trick mentioned by Bobotech to install the Standard PC HAL.

Phil

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Well the majority of the olde

Well the majority of the older boards taht we have on campus are gigabyte bx boards, or they were intel 440bx boards. We also have a ton of older EX class boards but the name escapes me of the vendor. I know that those EX class boards are the ones that give us the most fits and are the reason why we have both non-acpi and acpi images. We genearlly just use the non-acpi image on anything older than an 810 class motherboard.

A lot of the older motherboards are acpi compliant however its not 100 percent which causes odd problems at times.

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Re: Anti-Compaq?

Disco Inferno wrote:

And Dr Webster... I happen to hate Dells with a passion- every one I've seen(and lets not even THINK about the one I owned) had some sort of fault, and reminded me of the word 'cheap'... Funny how one brand works just fine for one user, and causes another to want to bomb it's headquarters. Wink

All I know is that I work for a university that leases about 4,000 Dell machines. We rarely have more than 3 in at a time for repair. I've had absolutely no problems with my Dimension tower at home.

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Not quite

I have it running on a P1-233 at the office without any problems. I think the slowest PC I've installed Win2k to is a 133.

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Re: Not quite

bfutrel wrote:

I have it running on a P1-233 at the office without any problems. I think the slowest PC I've installed Win2k to is a 133.

Thats meets the bare requirements for win2k:

Here are the minimum system requirements for running the Windows® 2000 Professional operating system.

Minimum Requirements
Computer/Processor 133 MHz or higher Pentium-compatible CPU.
Memory At least 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM; more memory generally improves responsiveness.
Hard Disk 2 GB with 650 MB free space.
CPU Support Windows 2000 Professional supports single and dual CPU systems.
Drive CD-ROM or DVD drive.
Display VGA or higher resolution monitor.
Keyboard Required.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/professional/evaluation/sysreqs/default.asp[table][/table]

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[quote]All I know is that I w

Quote:

All I know is that I work for a university that leases about 4,000 Dell machines. We rarely have more than 3 in at a time for repair. I’ve had absolutely no problems with my Dimension tower at home.

Good to hear. Could be something to do with Dell sending all their QC-rejected junk to Australia. Wink

Quote:

Whilst I wouldn’t recommend installing Win2K on anything older than a PII, it will happily install on a Pentium 75 with 32MB RAM if you can cope with a 15 minute bootup time.

Um... it takes longer than that to boot on a 400MHz Celeron with 64MB. Tongue

Well it feels like that anyway...

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Flaky Win2k Installs

The most likely cause of your installation faults is the partition on your drive.

I tried installing Windows 2000 on my Thinkpad 600e (PII 366, 128MB RAM) and I was pulling my hair out over it. I tried different RAM, different HDD, different accessories plugged in, different install disks, network install, and they all failed. I was ready to give up, but then a friend told me that Win2k is finicky about the partitions it will install to. Basically, I have only ever found three options to work for me:

1) Boot from a Win9x boot floppy and completely blow away any and all partitions on the disk. (This will destroy any data on the disk - backup first, if necessary). Then, create a small partition (I believe 1.5 GB is the minimum, I usually go with 2GB to be safe) for the machine to copy installation files to. Reboot back into DOS and format the drive (it'll be FAT/FAT 32 depending on if it's a Win 95 or Win 98 boot disk used). Then, from the i386 directory on the install media launch winnt.exe and install from there. Then, when you reboot into the actual installation and Windows asks where to install it's files, then point it at the unused portion of the drive and tell it to format it NTFS. NTFS makes Windows 2000 much happier. (NB: Win 9x can't access NTFS drives without special drivers). Then, proceed with the install as per usual. I have never had this method fail for me, although it is time consuming.

2) Install Win 98 (preferably SE) and do an upgrade, if applicable. Only certain install media can be used to do an upgrade, and your copy may not be capable of an upgrade, so your mileage may vary. One upside to this method is that Win2k will run a check on your hardware to see what's compatible and what is not. This method, however, is more time consuming than #1, because you have to install 2 operating systems to get to your goal.

3) This is the most obscure option. Boot off of a Linux Live CD (I like Knoppix) and run cfdisk in Linux to make an NTFS filesystem on the drive. However, for this to work, you need at least 64MB RAM to boot Knoppix (96MB or more preferred - 32MB may work if you're willing to forego X - YMMV). As well, your machine has to be able to boot from CD-ROM or have Windows 2000 boot floppies made ahead of time, as you won't be able to use a Win 9x boot floppy to launch the installer, because the installer won't have anywhere to put it's swap files. I prefer to have the Windows 2000 boot floppies on hand anyway, it's just much more convenient than fighting with obscure BIOSes. If you can't get the floppies and your machine refuses to boot from CDROM, then you can always install a small drive in your computer, in addition to your main drive, that the Win2k installer can use as swap space.

Hopefully I've given you some possible ways to get Windows 2000 to run on your machine. I highly recommend at least 64MB for Windows 2000, as any less is just painful. Processor speed should be ok, but you need a lot of RAM to compensate for slower processors. I ran Windows 2000 on a 187Mhz (weird jumper configuration) AMD K6-2 with 160MB RAM and it was absolutely fine. Not speedy, but enough to handle serving music to 2 or 3 clients simultaneously over a 100mbps network.

Have fun with Win 2k!

The Czar

PS: On many Compaq machines, the BIOS interface is contained on a small (<~10MB) partition on the hard disk. DO NOT delete this partition, as you will be unable to change any settings in the BIOS without it, and you will have to end up completely trashing everything on the drive to restore the BIOS partition. It's a real PITA to install, as well, especially if you've just gotten Win2k to run and realize that you have to completely redo it because you need to change a BIOS setting. TC

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*blank stare*

I know about the Compaq hard disk-based "BIOS"(setup), I have a problem with this having had been erased on my Armada, but the Presario has real, live flash-memory-based BIOS on the board. It's just broken so I can't get to it. Tongue

As for all the other stuff you said... 1) I don't have a freakin' clue how to do anything with MS-DOS and 2) I don't have Windows 98, only 95, 2k and XP. Oh and I certainly don't have Linux.