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Trying to install XP on GA-890FXA - constant rebooting

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#1
Nomen

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I'm trying to install XP-pro 32-bit on a system with Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 motherboard (AMD SB850 southbridge) and all attempts have resulted in the system continuously rebooting after the "DOS" portion of the installation process is finished.

The hard drive is a 320 gb WD sata drive, formatted with a 30 gb FAT32 partition with 4kb cluster size and win98-DOS. The rest of the drive is unformatted / unpartitioned. XP-sp3 CD copied to its own directory on the drive. The drive is connected to either SATA-0 or SATA-1 port (can't tell which one) on the board (one of the 6 "blue" connectors). In the BIOS I have 3 choices: "NATIVE IDE" or "AHCI" or "RAID". There is 4gb of ram on the board.

If I set the BIOS for "NATIVE IDE", then I can boot DOS with himem.sys (with the numhandles setting) and smartdrv is happy. But I want to install XP with the SATA interface already set to "SATA" (which I guess is AHCI), but with that setting DOS craps out when himem.sys is loaded:

Loading Operating System

==================
The following file is missing or corrupted: c:\dos\emm386.exe
there is an error in your config.sys file on line 4

The following file is missing or corrupted: Command.com
Type the name of the Command Interpreter (e.g. C:\windows\command.com)

C>
=================

If instead I boot DOS with himem.sys from a floppy, it works, but I get strange and different results when I try to access the C drive. Substituting himemx.exe for himem.sys gives same behavior.

A plain dos boot without himem.sys, either from the hard drive or floppy, works fine and hard drive seems fully accessible in AHCI mode - it's only when I try to have DOS load himem.sys that drive access is screwed up in AHCI mode. Bringing system ram down to 2gb doesn't help. In NATIVE IDE mode there is no problem with himem.sys.

Ok, so instead of trying to install XP from CD-copy on the drive after booting DOS, I boot from actual CD instead. BIOS is set to AHCI. Destination for install is the FAT32 partition. I get the "press f6" thing to supply SATA driver from floppy, and I give it the floppy, select the x86 driver and continue, get the EULA and press f8, I think there is 1 reboot, it continues, then there is one more reboot which ends the "DOS" portion of the install. It's at this point that it just simply keeps rebooting.

Ok, fine. Go back to bios, set the drive for NATIVE IDE. Boot the drive into DOS with himem and smartdrv, delete all the garbage that the XP install left behind, perform a "sys c:" command from the floppy just to be sure, restart XP install from hard drive image, do all this twice (once where I press F6 and give XP the SATA drive, another time where I bypass this step), and I do this a third time (install from CD).

And still I get same result - system gets into reboot cycle upon transition out of DOS portion of installation.

This is my first ever experience with AMD based motherboard. Motherboard was bought on ebay about 6 months ago and at the time I got it all I did to test it was throw a CPU and RAM into it and test it with memtest86 booted/loaded from floppy (it passed).

What is going on here?

Why does himem.sys interact negatively with the bios AHCI setting? I've never had such experience with DOS/FAT32 formatted SATA drives and SIL-based controllers set to non-IDE-mode access.

Should XP install be able to work with ANY sata controller if set to IDE mode without needing F6 driver on floppy? Or is this only true with older hardware (or intel-based chipsets)?

Why can't I get past the DOS-based portion of XP install?

Edit: I even tried a CD-install where I told it to perform a quick NTFS format of the unformatted drive space and install XP on the NTFS partition, and still get constant rebooting after dos-phase of the install.

Edited by Nomen, 26 December 2015 - 11:27 AM.



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#2
jaclaz

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What is going on here?

Set the thingy to stop on error (instead of rebooting).

I don't get the reason why you are using DOS at all, (I have to guess that you are attempting ot use WINNT.EXE to install, right? :unsure:) in any case the first part of the install is not "dos" it is "text mode" or "real mode" (before the switch to "protected mode").

How big in size is the disk drive?

How big in size is the FAT32 partition you created?

In any case, try (only to test) to install in "native" mode, this way we can exclude issues with the hardware.

 

jaclaz



#3
Nomen

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> Set the thingy to stop on error (instead of rebooting).

I suppose I do that by using a particular command-line argument?

winnt /something?

> I don't get the reason why you are using DOS at all

In the very few times I've installed XP on a few computers that I use infrequently or are used by others that I have to manage, I install on a drive that has been pre-formatted as FAT32 and for convienence and speed has had the XP cd copied to it along with all necessary drivers. It only makes sense that the drive also be self-bootable (into DOS) in order to start the XP installation process and it therefor becomes dual-bootable (DOS/XP) after XP has been installed.

> I have to guess that you are attempting ot use WINNT.EXE
> to install, right? :unsure:

XP cd is copied to c:\xp-cd, and after booting into dos I change to c:\xp-cd\i386 and run winnt.exe to start the XP install. I think the very first thing I'm asked is to confirm the source directory of the install files (which is c:\xp-cd\i386).

> in any case the first part of the install is not
> "dos" it is "text mode" or "real mode" (before
> the switch to "protected mode").

I'm aware of that, but I believe that even Microsoft calls it the "DOS" phase, so I thought I was just following convention.

> How big in size is the disk drive?
> How big in size is the FAT32 partition you created?

I mentioned that in the first post. Hard drive is 320gb. It previously had windows multipoint 2010 server on it (meaning it had several NTFS partitions). I used fdisk121.exe to delete all partitions and create a single 30 gb FAT32 partition and set it to Active. I then slaved it to a win-98 system and ran Western Digital Data Life Guard (DLG) and set the cluster size to 4 gb and had DLG format the partition. The remainder of the drive (300 gb) remained unpartitioned / unformatted.

> In any case, try (only to test) to install in "native"
> mode, this way we can exclude issues with the hardware.

I repeatedly tried to install with the bios set to "NATIVE IDE" mode (after trying AHCI mode) and still got continuous rebooting after "TEXT" phase of XP install was finished.

#4
jaclaz

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It is possible that a completely different (not SATA/AHCI) driver is creating the error, first thing would be to stop the rebooting and understand what error it could be.

 

The "standard" way the install of Windows XP works (through WINNT.EXE or otherwise, SETUP.EXE or WINNT32.exe, etc. )  is to create a directory on C:\ drive named \$WIN_NT$ ~BT containing the "boot" files which run the "text mode" part and then the BOOT.INI is set to automatically load the "protected mode" or GUI part of the setup at next reboot with no or minimal timeout.

 

Usually, if you are very quick at pressing the up or down keys following reboot you can access the BOOT.INI settings, allowing you to boot again to DOS.

 

From it you can edit the BOOT.INI adding a decent timeout to choices.

 

Apart from this, if you tap F8 quickly at boot you will (should) enter a list of options including one disabling restart on system failure:

http://answers.micro...1e258150?auth=1

 

Then, with the actual BSOD STOP ERROR data we may be able to understand what is happening.

 

Also running the "Enable Boot Logging" may help, the result should be a plain text file in C:\Windows\ntbtlog.txt, which contents (sometimes, but not always) are useful, see (example):

http://www.dell.com/.../en/04/SLN51612

 

jaclaz



#5
Nomen

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I have successfully installed XP on the system in question (GA-890FXA).

The problem of constant re-booting when the system transitions from the "Text" phase into the VGA-GUI phase was solved by turning off the second CPU core in the bios. The CPU is a retail-box Sempron 145. Some motherboards have a "feature" to activate second cores on some AMD cpu's sold as single-core. This appeared to work fine on this board, but I guess this is one of those cases where one of the cores on this die was flawed, and hence what could have been an Athlon was turned into a Sempron.

Funny thing though, Windows system information identifies the CPU as an Athlon 4450e, but task manager shows only 1 core.

#6
submix8c

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That would be the BIOS reporting that (unless I misunderstand how detection works). It will have a "set" of CPU Updates embedded in it. Usually they "group" like sets and it appears to be misunderstanding.

Note the Release Dates of the CPU's in question -

2008 - http://www.cpu-world...4450DOBOX).html

2010 - http://www.cpu-world...45HBGMBOX).html

There seems to be a Rev2.0 and Rev3.1 version of the GA-890FXA-UD5 MoBo.

http://www.gigabyte....spx?pid=3417#ov

http://www.gigabyte....spx?pid=3781#ov

Both have a BIOS Update greater that the Athlon Release Date. I'll assume you probably have the Rev2.0 MoBo. The Released BIOS for it appears to be Pre-Your-NotAthlon-Sempron, so maybe a BIOS Update is in order?

 

HTH


Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#7
Nomen

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The board is rev 3.0

On a side note, what happens when you install XP (pro, sp3) on a system with a single core, and then you switch CPU's to a 2 (or more) core? Do you have to monkey with the HAL to get the system to get it to boot at all, let alone recognize (and use) the additional cores?

#8
submix8c

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There's a simple trick via adding another entry to the BOOT.INI that "automagically" sets the correct HAL.

 

It's "somewhere" on MSFN (I had posted in the Topic).

 

I have to go out in the screaming cold right now to get something, so you'll have to search. If you find it, post the link here, othewise I'll try to find it and update this post with it.

 

--- AHHH! This may have been it.

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Pro HAL Test" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /kernel=ntkrnlmp.exe /hal=halmacpi.dll

Once you select the second one, XP "repairs" itself and then that line becomes reduntant.

 

HTH

 

edit - And No, it will just use the Single Core until you swap them.


Edited by submix8c, 10 January 2016 - 04:36 PM.

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#9
jaclaz

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To be fair, it is not a "particular trick" it is the intended use of the kernel and hal parameters.

 

It would be a good idea to use a "universal" hal/kernel BOOT.INI, such as those represented here:

http://www.vernalex....sprep/hal.shtml

http://www.etherboot...t_winnt_sanboot

or (go to point #5 #6) here:

http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=23553

at least when experimenting (having a "way back" should something go wrong).

 

jaclaz


Edited by jaclaz, 12 January 2016 - 02:57 AM.


#10
submix8c

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Correction - Point #6.

6. Universal XP - Support in boot.ini menu for Multiple Hal and Kernel
The info and links will guide you. AFAICR, the most important thing is to have them all ready to go, as one (or is it two?) of them rename to the "standard" name. You'll note that in my "BOOT.INI" example.

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#11
jaclaz

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Yep, my bad :blushing: , corrected.

 

jaclaz






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