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Windows (any) install fails.

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Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
A client brought me an Asus X550CA that he couldn't get Windows to install on. Initially, he suspected a bad HDD (my thoughts too), so I gave him an old 250GB drive I had lying around. The drive had a couple of bad sectors, but was otherwise fine.

He tried the installation again, but with similar failure, so he brought the machine to me. I tried first with the same installation media (Windows 10) that I use on my main machine. It would bring up the splash screen, and then go blank. I changed a few settings in BIOS (AHCI mode in stead of IDE, and I changed CSM to legacy), but no dice. I then tried to run System Rescue CD from the same flash drive (USB2), and it went blank just before it gave me the option for keyboard selection. So on a hunch, I removed the drive, and booted fully into SRCD.

Since this is happening with two different drives, I suspect the SATA controller. Am I right?

Edit: I forgot to mention, I tried flashing the BIOS to the newest version (300), but apparently it won't allow that to happen without the battery connected and charged to at least 20%, and his battery is dead and gone.
 
Last edited:

bob4933

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
lol, change the battery. If you're screwing with cmos, you're bound to have issues. If it doesn't work, you have a spare layin around. CR2032 is the battery you're looking for. You can get them for around a buck.

edit: another fun way to test, install a drive with windows installed from another machine. No the drivers wont be right, but it will still boot to windows (I've gone between amd and intel, laptop to desktop. No it doesn't work for major use, but can allow you to boot for some diagnostics).
 
OP
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Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
Well, it looks like I may have (*temporarily) inherited the laptop, so I'll try messing with some things. I changed from IDE to AHCI simply because I don't know why it was set to IDE in the first place. The machine came with Windows 8 installed, so AHCI should have been enabled by default, I would think. I changed CSM to get my flash drive to boot.

I'll try installing Windows on a spare drive and see if I can't get it to boot. I've done the same thing before with mild success, I just didn't think about it.

I just wasn't sure if it was worth messing with.

Oh, by the battery I meant the actual power battery, not the CMOS battery. This is definitely going to be more than a buck.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Consider also there could be a bad SATA adapter. Some laptops have a short ribbon cable between the drive and the board connection.
 
OP
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Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
I'll tear it apart some time and check everything out, he said he did have it apart, so that's a possibility.