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Thread: The big lock-up after Service Pack 2 install...

  1. #1
    Bronze Member Island_Boy_77's Avatar
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    Angry The big lock-up after Service Pack 2 install...

    Hi All
    I run a computer reselling and service business in New Zealand. Just when I start feeling smug and happy at how well I can handle problems, a new one pops up to remind me that I don't know it all... yet...

    Anyway, I have just built the following system for a business client:
    - Albatron PX865PE Lite motherboard (socket 478, 800FSB, Intel 848P chipset)
    - 1 x 120Gb Seagate SATA
    - 1 x 80Gb Seagate SATA
    - ATi Radeon 9800 Xtreme 256Mb Video
    - 3.2Ghz 800FSB Prescott
    - Adata 400Mhz DDR 1Gb DIMMs x 2 (total 2Gb)

    My suppliers sent me the lastest version of the Windows XP Pro OEM install: "Oh goodie", I thought, "At last: a full version of XP with SP2 integrated". However, my joy was to turn to dismay , from dismay to disbelief , from disbelief to anger As soon as the install tried to actually install (after the initial copying of files to the hard disk), the system would lock solid with the Windows logo showing, and that little blue "Cylon" thing stuck somewhere in it's track after about 10 seconds. I thought, "I know, it's just trying to figure something out" (I am such the optimist... ), so left it for 5 minutes. Nope! So, I thought "Maybe some swamp gas interacted with the ozone layer and the light from Venus..." well, I gave it another 2 goes, and thought "Sod this!" So, I reformatted (full, not quick), and installed XP Pro with SP1. Yahoo! All was joy and happiness. Then I thought "Why don't I try installing SP2 from the MS-supplied CD? Everything went fine with the install. So, I dutifully restarted - oh crap, the frozen Cylon was back...

    Needless to say, it was time for Mr. Reformat and Mr. Reinstall SP1. My concern is that, warts and all, this machine is going to "need" SP2 sometime in the next 6 months. I can't for the life of me think what little demon is giving the system grief. I am about to update the BIOS, but am understandably reluctant to try the SP2 update now that ALL the software is installed. I may yet try, and just ghost the entire drive onto the 80Gb secondary (which is there as a Photoshop scratch disk).

    Any thoughts? I've read of a couple of threads regarding related SP2 problems, but no one seems to have had this exact "glitch". Thanks Uncle Bill for testing this so thoroughly...
    Peter

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Did you ever try booting the machine to safemode when it wouldn't boot (cylon thingy)?

    Sometimes it will hang on the safemode boot.. if it does take note of what line it hung on.. agp.sys is one well known.. amongst others.

    Further if it does boot in safemode, then it is probably driver or hardware related. Check the ram, video, and so on.

  3. #3
    Bronze Member Island_Boy_77's Avatar
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    Unhappy Cylon thingy

    Hi
    Thanks for your reply. No - I didn't. I also thought of the video driver thing. While I know a reasonable amount about generally installs and maintenance, I do not know how to get around the driver. How would I "change" the agp.sys? I'm no programmer, and I don't do command-line stuff (although I do remember a reasonable amount about DOS, if that helps). Presuming it is hanging on the video (which is likely), and presuming I can boot into Safe Mode, how can I force the system to accept or work around the agp.sys? Also, for some reason the configuration I am working with will NOT accept a floppy drive. I've tried 3 different floppies, 2 different power cables, and 3 different floppy cables, as well as all the permutations I can dream up for which was around the cables connect, and the motherboad keeps reporting "fail 80" on boot. So, I can't update the BIOS to see if having the latest will help SP2. You wouldn't happen to know how to make a boot CD would you?
    More thoughts?

  4. #4
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    Ghost the drive before installing SP2. Then you'll have more leeway to determine what's causing the problem.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Island_Boy_77
    Hi
    Thanks for your reply. No - I didn't. I also thought of the video driver thing. While I know a reasonable amount about generally installs and maintenance, I do not know how to get around the driver. How would I "change" the agp.sys? I'm no programmer, and I don't do command-line stuff (although I do remember a reasonable amount about DOS, if that helps). Presuming it is hanging on the video (which is likely), and presuming I can boot into Safe Mode, how can I force the system to accept or work around the agp.sys? Also, for some reason the configuration I am working with will NOT accept a floppy drive. I've tried 3 different floppies, 2 different power cables, and 3 different floppy cables, as well as all the permutations I can dream up for which was around the cables connect, and the motherboad keeps reporting "fail 80" on boot. So, I can't update the BIOS to see if having the latest will help SP2. You wouldn't happen to know how to make a boot CD would you?
    More thoughts?
    MS has a possible solution for the agp440.sys issue:

    http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;324764

    The way I've gotten around the agp440.sys (providing that that is the issue) you just need another spare video card. even a PCI or another AGP card will work.

    I'd do as conan says and make a ghost image of the current install in case anything goes wrong. And it will be a lot quicker to recover.

    Then I'd try to install SP2 *check your media... could be something wrong there.

    Further, do you have a spare motherboard you could try in this system? Install it and check to see if indeed the albatron motherboard is not the culprit. Considering that the floppy drive won't install, that could be indicative of an issue with the motherboard.

    To create a bootable CDROM of the bios, you'll need to use a working system with a floppy. Download the Albatron BIOS update, and create a BOOTABLE FLOPPY DISK.

    Then, when you've verified the bootable floppy disk works, open up NERO, select CDROM (boot) in the wizard. Then select the floppy drive, and make a copy of the bootable floppy to the CDROM.

    Then your CDROM should be bootable and should flash the Albatron BIOS.

    That's one way to do it that should work.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Another way to create a bootable BIOS disk:

    Clean Bootable CD-Rom (for BIOS upgrade) [new! dec 16, 2002]

    Some people ask me if it is possible to create a bootable CD-Rom to update/flash their BIOS, on a system that has no floppy disk drive. I realize that some new PC's nowadays also don't have a floppy drive so this problem may affect more people in future... This is probably is easiest bootable CD-Rom I've ever built.

    This Clean Bootable CD-Rom can be used for flashing your BIOS or other programs that need to be run from a "clean-booted" Dos operating system.

    The steps to create are:

    1. If you haven't already installed BCD, please do so now.
    BCD installation instructions:

    Download BCD full package v1.1.1 (523KB).

    Or update from previous version: BCD update package (v1.1.0-v1.1.1) (5KB).
    When updating from previous versions, just extract the package over the previous version, overwrite any existing files. The bcd.cfg file will not get overwritten!

    Unpack the BCD package to some folder for example d:\bcd. If you want to be able to run it from a server you should unpack it to a share from where your workstations can run it. You will need to map a drive letter to that share and run bcd using that drive letter.
    Make sure you also unpack the subdirectories!

    Download Nero Aspi Library (wnaspi32.dll) and copy it into BCD's d:\bcd\bin directory.

    I have asked Ahead Software AG if I could distribute their aspi manager with my BCD package but they said: "...due to our licence agreement you could only let your users download it freely from our web site...".

    2. If you haven't already installed BFD, please do so now.
    BFD installation instructions:

    Please download: BFD full package v1.0.7 (1.45MB).

    Or update from previous versions: BFD update package (v1.0.x-v1.0.7) (410KB).
    When updating from previous versions, just extract the package over the previous version, overwrite any existing files. The bfd.cfg file will not get overwritten!

    Unpack BFD in the same directory as BCD, for example d:\bcd.
    If you have already unpacked BCD, then some files from BFD will overlap with files from BCD, like the nu2lic.txt and the bchoice.exe. This is no problem, just skip or overwrite them.
    Make sure you also unpack the subdirectories!

    3. Download Clean v1.0 package (clean.zip) (2KB) and unpack it into the same folder as where you have installed BCD/BFD.

    4. Add the files needed to upgrade your BIOS to cds\clean\bootdisk\ folder. You have about 2.5MB available space on the bootimage (2.88MB floppy emulation). Do not add your files to cds\clean\files\ folder!
    Optionally you can edit the file cds\clean\bootdisk\autorun.bat and append a line to run your flash program.

    5. When you're done customizing, you open a command prompt, change to the BCD folder and run "bcd clean" to build your ISO image and burn it to your CD writer (if you have one).

    Warning! Use this Clean Bootable CD-Rom at your own risk. I only tried Asus aflash.exe flash program and that works OK!
    http://www.nu2.nu/bootcd/

  7. #7
    Triple Platinum Member Curio's Avatar
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    Apparently there is a patch for Prescott/SP2 configurations - you will need to search for it on technet though - I have never needed it so far.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curio
    Apparently there is a patch for Prescott/SP2 configurations - you will need to search for it on technet though - I have never needed it so far.
    Intel Prescott + SP2 = hung computer
    http://support.microsoft.com/default...t=windowsxpsp2

    AMD Athlon64 + SP2 = hung computer
    http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;878474


    Those are the two support sites you need for Intel and AMD based machines.

    And if you are having issues with software (since you are a system builder) you might want to give the following site a look:

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=842242

  9. #9
    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
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    SYMPTOMS
    When you try to restart your computer to complete the installation of Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) or Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005, your computer stops responding (hangs).

    You experience this issue when you select any one of the following options when you restart the computer: Normal
    Last Known Good Configuration
    Safe Mode
    Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    CAUSE
    This issue may occur if the following conditions are true: Your computer uses an Intel Pentium 4 or Intel Celeron D processor that is based on Prescott C-0 processor stepping.
    Your computer has a BIOS version that is out of specification.

    Note A BIOS version that is out of specification does not provide support for the processor that is installed on your computer.

    More info here

    =========== Please Read The Forum Rules ===========

  10. #10
    Bronze Member Island_Boy_77's Avatar
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    Talking Huge thanks

    Thanks to you all for your advice and info. Since I last posted, I tried working on getting the BIOS to update. What I found is that the 2 x HDDs, the Prescott CPU and the 9800 video card are drawing so much current, that there was nothing left to power the floppy. In desperation, I unplugged the power to the 2 hard disks and 1 case fan. After that, the floppy drive worked and I was able to use the diskette I already had (a Win 98SE boot disk): it worked a treat, and I was able to update the BIOS successfully.

    Next, I am going to Ghost the drive, and try SP2 - after I've investigated the various linkls / info you've all kindly posted.

    I did note that the BIOS was very out of date - almost 9 months - and that the CPU was not reading the correct speed: the multiplier was stuck on 14x, and I needed 16x to get 3200. The BIOS update has corrected that.

    I did get a boot CD created using Nero before reading all of your posts. It worked up until I ran the AWDFLASH exe - when I entered the BIOS file name, the program terminated with "Out of memory". I took that as a sign that Nero had created too much stuff to load into the first 640kb of memory, and so it was falling over. As I've mentioned above, I finally got the floppy working, so that's all good.

    A note for anyone following / researching this thread: make sure you have a power supply that is up to the job! This is the 2nd time I have been caught with a PSU that is too "small" for the job. It is only recently as CPUs and video cards have become so much more demanding (say, the last 2 years especially) that having a really good PSU has made a noticable difference. Gone are the days when a 300 or 350W PSU is able to do all and more. I thoroughly recommend a good TRUE 400W PSU for any of you out there putting together a reasonably well-spec'd machine. I thought I was being clever getting away with a 350W by not having a floppy. I hate to think what would happen if I had tried this stunt on an LGA-flavour CPU!

    Thanks again to all who've helped - I'll post the final results of the SP2 install once I've had a go...

    Peter

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Fabulous news peter. I think Curio was spot on with the SP2 boot issue and Reverend posted the info in regards to that as did I.

    PSUs are one of the most often overlooked pieces of hardware that are critical for system . I have a 475 watt PSU in one and I believe a 465 in another. Some users here have over 500 watts. Serious power for a serious machine.

  12. #12
    Bronze Member Island_Boy_77's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Woo hoo!


    Well, all is right with the world again! I went to the link provided by Curio and Reverend and downloaded the file at the link. Then I Ghosted the HDD to the 2ndary 80Gb. Then I applied the patch, rebooted, and ran the SP2 update from the MS SP2 CD. Upon restart, everything was fine!

    In truth, I'm now not sure whether it was a combination of the BIOS update + the link download, or just the link download, or just the BIOS update! At least for the future, I know what to look for.

    This whole "drama" has been somewhat providential, as it has really highlighted to me the critical importance of the PSU factor. So much so, that I am forking out for a whole new case / PSU for the client in question out of my profit so that there is NO niggling worry at the back of my mind about the stability of the 350W PSU in the machine now. (new PSU is 400W) From now on I will be specing 350W for all "basic" machines, and at least 400, poss 450W for "performance" (although not "gamer") systems.

    In closing this epistle, I would like to once again thank all those (Big Booger, Reverend, Curio and Conan) that have contributed: both for your time, your concise information, and the "professional" manner in which you have treated me. I have seen too many of these type of posts turn into slagging or bragging matches!

  13. #13
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Excellent news. Glad the information was helpful and certainly glad you came back to post the results.

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